Big Picture Science – What Lies Beneath

by Gary Niederhoff on August 31, 2015

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Big Picture Science – What Lies Beneath

What you can’t see may astound you. The largest unexplored region of Earth is the ocean. Beneath its churning surface, oceanographers have recently discovered the largest volcano in the world – perhaps in the solar system.

Find out what is known – and yet to be discovered – about the marine life of the abyss, and how a fish called the bristlemouth has grabbed the crown for “most numerous vertebrate on Earth” from the chicken.

Plus, the menace of America’s Cascadia fault, which has the potential to unleash a devastating magnitude 9 earthquake.

Follow Dr. Sager’s voyage back to Tamu Massif in Fall 2015.

Listen to individual segments here:
Part 1: Bruce Robison / Bounty of Bristlemouth
Part 2: William Sager / Tamu Massif
Part 3: Chris Goldfinger / Cascadia Subduction Zone

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Big Picture Science – The Light Stuff

by Gary Niederhoff on August 23, 2015

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Big Picture Science – The Light Stuff

The light bulb needs changing. Edison’s incandescent bulb, virtually unaltered for more than a century, is now being eclipsed by the LED. The creative applications for these small and efficient devices are endless: on tape, on wallpaper, even in contact lenses. They will set the world aglow. But is a brighter world a better one?

Discover the many ingenious applications for LEDs and the brilliance of the 19th century scientist, James Clerk Maxwell, who first discovered just what light is. But both biologists and astronomers are alarmed by the disappearance of dark. Find out how light pollution is making us and other animals sick and – when was the last time you saw a starry night?

Listen to individual segments here:
Part 1: Ian Ferguson / LEDs
Part 2: Jay Neitz / Color Vision
Part 3: Martin Hendry / James Clerk Maxwell
Part 4: John Barentine / Dark Skies

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Big Picture Science – Skeptic Check: Skeptic Seth

August 17, 2015

Big Picture Science – Skeptic Check: Skeptic Seth Are you skeptical? Sure, you raise an eyebrow when some Nigerian prince asks for your bank numbers, or when a breakfast cereal claims that it will turn your kid into a professional athlete overnight. But what do you really know about the benefits of organic milk? Or […]

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Big Picture Science – Solar System Vacation

August 9, 2015

Big Picture Science – Solar System Vacation Ever gone bungee jumping on Venus? Of course not. No one has. However your great-great-great grandchildren might find themselves packing for the cloudy planet … or for another locale in our cosmic backyard. That’s what we picture as we accelerate our imagination to escape velocity and beyond – […]

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Big Picture Science – The Fix Is In

August 2, 2015

Big Picture Science – The Fix Is In The moon jellyfish has remarkable approach to self-repair. If it loses a limb, it rearranges its remaining body parts to once again become radially symmetric. Humans can’t do that, but a new approach that combines biology with nanotechnology could give our immune systems a boost. Would you […]

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Big Picture Science – Skeptic Check: Are You Sure You’re Sure?

July 26, 2015

Big Picture Science – Are You Sure You’re Sure? Nuclear fission powers the Sun, right? Or is it fusion? At any rate, helium is burned in the process, of that you’re certain. After all, you took astronomy in college. You know what you know. But you probably don’t know what you don’t know. Few of […]

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Big Picture Science – Moral’s Law

July 19, 2015

Big Picture Science – Moral’s Law “If it bleeds, it leads” is the tried and true tenet of news. Indeed, headlines are often no more than a long list of moral atrocities. Yet one man argues that we’re living in the most civilized era in history. And he credits this to scientific thought and reason. […]

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David Brin on sending messages into space

July 17, 2015

We recently participated in a California Academy of Sciences NightLife event. The theme for the night was “how-to” and we discussed how to talk to aliens. Part of our presentation included a video that science fiction author David Brin put together, outlining his reasons against sending messages into space (aka active SETI, aka METI). His […]

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Big Picture Science – Forget to Remember

July 13, 2015

Big Picture Science – Forget to Remember You must not remember this. Indeed, it may be key to having a healthy brain. Our gray matter evolved to forget things; otherwise we’d have the images of every face we saw on the subway rattling around our head all day long. Yet we’re building computers with the […]

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Big Picture Science – The Dogged Pursuit of Pluto

July 10, 2015

Big Picture Science – The Dogged Pursuit of Pluto Pluto is ready for its close up – but the near encounter during this historic flyby will last less than three minutes. Be ready for the action with our special New Horizons episode! Hear from researchers who are Pluto rock stars: the astronomer who discovered two […]

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