Big Picture Science – On Thin Ice

by Gary Niederhoff on August 14, 2017

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Big Picture Science – On Thin Ice

Water is essential for life – that we know. But the honeycomb lattice that forms when you chill it to zero degrees Celsius is also inexorably intertwined with life.

Ice is more than a repository for water that would otherwise raise sea levels. It’s part of Earth’s cooling system … a barrier preventing decaying organic matter from releasing methane gas … and a vault entombing ancient bacteria and other microbes.

From the Arctic to the Antarctic, global ice is disappearing. Find out what’s at stake as atmospheric CO2 threatens frozen H2O.

Listen to individual segments here:
Part 1: Peter Wadhams / Sea Ice
Part 2: Peter Wadhams / Larsen C Danger
Part 3: Eric Rignot / Larsen C Calved
Part 4: Peter Wadhams / Permafrost
Part 5: Åsmund Asdal / “Doomsday” Vault
Part 6: John Priscu / Microbes Unleashed

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Big Picture Science – Skeptic Check: Busting Myths with Adam Savage

Can an opera singer’s voice really shatter glass? Can you give your car a rocket-assisted boost and survive the test drive? How do you protect yourself from a shark attack? Those are among the many intriguing questions and urban legends tested by the MythBusters team in front of the camera.

Now that the series has ended after a 16 year run, co-host Adam Savage tells us how it all began, how he and Jamie Hyneman walked the line between science and entertainment, and why he considers himself a scientist but not a “skeptic.”

Also, he reveals the location of the episode, “Duct Tape Island.”

Listen to individual segments here:
Part 1: Anatomy of Mythbusters
Part 2: Behind the Scenes of Mythbusters
Part 3: The Science and Skepticsm of Mythbusters

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Big Picture Science – Caught in a Traps

July 31, 2017

Big Picture Science – Caught in a Traps “Locked and loaded” is how one scientist recently described the San Andreas fault. Find out when this famous west-coast rift might cause “the big one;” also, the state of early earthquake warning systems. Plus, another sign of our planet’s unceasing turmoil: volcanos! Could the eruption that produced […]

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Big Picture Science – What Goes Around

July 24, 2017

Big Picture Science – What Goes Aroundclick to listen! It’s not just tin cans and newspapers. One man says that, from a technical standpoint, everything can be recycled – cigarette butts, yoga mats, dirty diapers. Even radioactive waste. You name it, we can recycle it. But we choose not to. Find out why we don’t, […]

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Big Picture Science – Eclipsing All Other Shows

July 17, 2017

Big Picture Science – Eclipsing All Other Showsclick to listen! They say that the experience of watching a total eclipse is so profound, you’re not the same afterward. If life-changing events are your thing and you’re in the lower 48 states on August 21st, let us help you make the most of viewing the Great […]

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Big Picture Science – Frogs’ Pants

July 10, 2017

Big Picture Science – Frogs’ Pantsclick to listen! It’s one of the most bizarre biological experiments ever. In the 18th century, a scientist fitted a pair of tailor-made briefs on a male frog to determine the animal’s contribution to reproduction. The process of gestation was a mystery and scientists had some odd-ball theories. Today, a […]

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Big Picture Science – Skeptic Check: Rational Lampoon

July 3, 2017

Big Picture Science – Skeptic Check: Rational Lampoonclick to listen! Two heads may be better than one. But what about three or more? A new study shows that chimpanzees excel at complex tasks when they work in groups, and their accumulated knowledge can even be passed from one generation to the next. But group-think also […]

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Big Picture Science – Skeptic Check: How Low Can You Go

June 26, 2017

Big Picture Science – Skeptic Check: How Low Can You Goclick to listen! Baby, it’s cold outside… but you still might want to be there. Some people claim that chilly temperatures are good for your health, and proponents of cryotherapy suggest you have a blast – of sub-zero air – to stave off wrinkles and […]

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Big Picture Science – Perpetual Emotion Machine

June 19, 2017

Big Picture Science – Perpetual Emotion Machineclick to listen! Get ready for compassionate computers that feel your pain, share your joy, and generally get where you’re coming from. Computers that can tell by your voice whether you’re pumped up or feeling down, or sense changes in heart rate, skin, or muscle tension to determine your […]

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Big Picture Science – Science Fiction

June 12, 2017

Big Picture Science – Science Fiction No one knows what the future will bring, but science fiction authors are willing to take a stab at imagining it. We take our own stab at imagining them imagining it. Find out why the genre of science fiction is more than a trippy ride through a bizarre, hi-tech […]

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