Big Picture Science – 100% Invisible

by Gary Niederhoff on February 8, 2016

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Big Picture Science – 100% Invisible
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In astronomy, the rule of thumb was simple: If you can’t see it with a telescope, it’s not real. Seeing is believing. Well, tell that to the astronomers who discovered dark energy, or dark matter … or, more recently, Planet 9. And yet we have evidence that all these things exist (although skepticism about the ninth – or is it tenth? – planet still lingers).

Find out how we know what we know about the latest cosmic discoveries – even if we can’t see them directly. The astronomer who found Planet 9 – and killed Pluto – offers his evidence.

And, a speculative scenario suggests that dark matter helped do away with the dinosaurs.

Plus, the winner of the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physics explains why neutrinos that are zipping through your body right now may hold clues to the origin of the universe.

Listen to individual segments here:
Part 1: Mike Brown / New Planet
Part 2: Michael Lemonick / Planet X
Part 3: Arthur McDonald / Neutrino Nobel
Part 4: Lisa Randall / Dark Matter

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Big Picture Science – Skeptic Check: Glutenous Maximus

by Gary Niederhoff on February 1, 2016

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Big Picture Science – Glutenous Maximus
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Eat dark chocolate. Don’t drink coffee. Go gluten-free. If you ask people for diet advice, you’ll get a dozen different stories. Ideas about what’s good for us sprout up faster than alfalfa plants (which are still healthy … we think). How can you tell if the latest is fact or fad?

We’ll help you decide, and show you how to think skeptically about popular trends. One example: a study showing that gluten-free diets didn’t ease digestive problems in athletes. Also, medical researchers test whether wearable devices succeed in getting us off the couch and a nutritionist explains how things got so confusing.

Plus, why part of our confusion may be language. Find out why one cook says that no foods are “healthy,” not even kale.

It’s Skeptic Check … but don’t take our word for it!

Listen to individual segments here:
Part 1: Healthier Menu Substitutions
Part 2: Dana Lis / Gluten Free
Part 3: Michael Ruhlman / Healthy Food
Part 4: Beth Skwarecki / Nutrition Studies
Part 5: Mitesh Patel / Fitness Trackers

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Big Picture Science – Glutenous Maximus: Dana Lis / Gluten Free

February 1, 2016

Glutenous Maximus – Gluten Free click to listen (trt 9:40) Part 2 of Skeptic Check: Glutenous Maximus, featuring Dana Lis, sports dietician and PhD student at the University of Tasmania, describing her study which found no health benefits in athletes who thought that a gluten-free diet had helped them.

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Big Picture Science – Replace What Ails You

January 25, 2016

Big Picture Science – Replace What Ails Youclick to listen! Germs can make us sick, but we didn’t know about these puny pathogens prior to the end of the 19th century. Just the suggestion that a tiny bug could spread disease made eyes roll. Then came germ theory, sterilization, and antibiotics. It was a revolution […]

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Big Picture Science – Winging It

January 18, 2016

Big Picture Science – Winging It Ask anyone what extraordinary powers they’d love to have, and you’re sure to hear “be able to fly.” We’ve kind of scratched that itch with airplanes. But have we gone as far as we can go, or are better flying machines in our future? And whatever happened to our […]

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Kudos, Seth!

January 13, 2016

Wonderfest, a West Coast organization that promotes public interest in science, has chosen Seth to win its Carl Sagan Prize for Science Popularization. Sponsored by Google, the prize was awarded during a ceremony held in a nobby San Francisco restaurant on January 7. Several dozen tech industry glitterati were in attendance. The evening wrapped up […]

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Big Picture Science – Apt To Adapt

January 11, 2016

Big Picture Science – Apt To Adapt If you move with the times, you might stick around long enough to pass on your genes. And that is adaptation and evolution, in a nutshell. But humans are changing their environment faster than their genes can keep pace. This has led to a slew of diseases – […]

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Big Picture Science – Stellar Job

January 4, 2016

Big Picture Science – Stellar Jobclick to listen! The stars are out tonight. And they do more than just twinkle. These boiling balls of hot plasma can tell us something about other celestial phenomena. They betray the hiding places of black holes, for one. But they can also fool us. Find out why one of […]

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Big Picture Science – You Think; You’re So Smart?

December 29, 2015

Big Picture Science – You Think; You’re So Smart? Sure you have a big brain; it’s the hallmark of Homo sapiens. But that doesn’t mean that you’ve cornered the market on intelligence. Admittedly, it’s difficult to say, since the very definition of the term is elusive. Depending on what we mean by intelligence, a certain […]

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Big Picture Science – Skeptic Check: Fear Itself

December 20, 2015

Big Picture Science – Skeptic Check: Fear Itself Shhh. Is someone coming? Okay, we’ll make this quick. There are a lot of scary things going on in the world. Naturally you’re fearful. But sometimes fear has a sister emotion: suspicion. A nagging worry about what’s really going on. You know, the stuff they aren’t telling […]

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