science

The Exchange
9:00 am
Mon December 22, 2014

The Sky Guys' Top Space Stories Of 2014

'Best picture by Joel Kowsky' of Antares rocket explosion during liftoff, October 28, 2014
Credit Dan Beaumont Space Museum / Flickr/CC

It was a big year for Mars, with India getting into the game and launching its first spacecraft. Meanwhile, the European Space Agency celebrated the successful landing of its probe on a comet. And the private space travel industry lamented the crash of Virgin Galactic’s test craft.

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Word of Mouth
1:04 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

Good Gig: Professional Science Geek Howard Eglowstein

Good Gig is a series of conversations with individuals who have landed their dream job.

Howard Eglowstein’s Good Gig involves working to encourage girls in the computer science and math areas for a company called Science Buddies.  They give kids ideas and guidance for science fair projects that deviate from the well-trod robotics and erupting volcano paths. Howard’s background in tinkering started with toy making, but he's always been a creator.

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Word of Mouth
1:52 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

12.16.14: The Best Of What's New & Hollywood's Pretty Little Secret

Gorilla brand clear repair tape.
Credit Via Popular Science / bestofwhatsnew.popsci.com

For the past 27 years the editors of Popular Science have identified products and technologies designed to change our world. On today’s show we’ll review some of 2014’s groundbreaking technology.

Then, we’ve come to accept retouched images on magazine covers and billboard ads, but now the practice has moved to movies and television. We’ll take a look at the latest advancement in digital-alteration: frame-by-frame beauty work.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

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Word of Mouth
1:50 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

12.14.14: Unruly Presidential Kids, Pitfalls Of Public Wi-Fi, & What's In Your OJ?

Colorado's Mount Sopris serves as the W's backdrop this week.
Credit Logan Shannon / NHPR

Last week, a GOP staffer resigned after political Facebook faux-pas - criticizing President Obama’s daughters for dressing like teenagers. On today’s show, we’ll take a look back at the long and fraught history of judging the President’s kids.

Then, these days just about every coffee shop, bookstore, and restaurant touts a free Wi-Fi hotspot – but at what cost? We’ll find out the hidden dangers of public Wi-Fi.

Plus, the industry secret behind the robust flavor of orange juice.

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Word of Mouth
11:01 am
Thu December 11, 2014

12.11.14: The First Skiers, How To Talk To Strangers, & This Is Crohn's Disease

A ski trail at Mount Sunapee
Credit Kelsey Ohman via flickr Creative Commons

In New Hampshire, skiing is one of winter’s biggest perks and the best cure for cabin fever. The first skiers put two planks on their feet and slid down a mountain, not as a past time but as a way to hunt. On today’s show, a National Geographic reporter sets out on the trail of the earliest skiers in human history and finds himself elk hunting in the far reaches of western China where he witnesses a skiing tradition thousands of years old.

Also, a couple embarks on a medical odyssey to find relief from a devastating illness. And talking to strangers may be good for your health. The psychology behind interacting with people you don't know.

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Word of Mouth
11:52 am
Wed December 10, 2014

12.10.14: Ethnic Plastic Surgery, Secret Santa, & A Prosthetic Arm For A Drummer

Credit James Mutter via flickr Creative Commons

In the last decade, cosmetic procedures performed on Asian-Americans, Hispanics and African-Americans have far outpaced those among the white population. The goal? Westernizing ethnic features.  Today we put ethnic plastic surgery on the examination table. Then, NHPR's Sean Hurley brings us the story of a secret Santa with a secret identity.

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Word of Mouth
1:30 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

12.3.14: The Sixth Extinction & America's Only Water Sommelier

Paper triceratops
Credit Emre Ayaroglu via flickr Creative Commons

While the asteroid that killed off the dinosaurs may be most familiar, the earth has experienced five great extinctions, and we may be in the midst of the sixth…right here, right now. On today’s show: a startling account of the planet's biodiversity crisis, and the role humans have played in creating it.

Plus it’s easy to condemn the office gossip – but getting the inside scoop at work might just save your career. We’ll discuss why gossip can be good for you. And, America’s only water sommelier explains why his restaurant features a 44-page water menu.

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Word of Mouth
1:58 pm
Tue November 25, 2014

11.25.14: The 100 Most Cited Scientific Papers, The Postdoc Glut, & Megan Amram

Credit Driek via flickr Creative Commons

A postdoctoral appointment, commonly known as a “postdoc”, was once considered an apprenticeship position to help scientists hone their skills before one day running labs of their own. On today’s show, has the postdoc appointment become a temporary purgatory? And colonial history, one panel at a time.  As kids we’re taught the basics about the Mayflower, the Salem witch trials, and the first Thanksgiving. A new collection aims to broaden our perspective on the period, through an unusual medium.

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Word of Mouth
3:00 pm
Wed November 12, 2014

11.12.14: Bacterial "Fingerprints", The Seedy Underworld Of Kickboxing, & The Whiteness Project

Home is where the microbes are.
Credit Illustration by Renee Carlson/Argonne National Laboratory / via flickr Creative Commons

The fingerprint was once law enforcement’s “smoking gun”, next came DNA evidence. Now, scientists are researching another bio-marker that may be able to tell us even more about a crime scene. On today’s show, we’ll find out what a perp’s microbiome reveals after they leave the room.

Plus, after Ferguson, President Obama said that the nation seriously needs a conversation about race. A filmmaker asks: is dialogue possible if America’s most privileged race can’t clearly see itself? What does it mean to be white?

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The Exchange
8:00 am
Thu November 6, 2014

The Science Of Marijuana: What We Do & Don't Know

Credit Vaporizers_ / Flickr/CC

With legalization in two states now, and a growing number of others allowing medical use of marijuana, advocates and opponents alike are looking for answers to back up their positions. We’ll talk to two research doctors about what we know about the effects of the drug, what we don’t know, and whether the claims are correct. This show is produced in partnership with Science Cafe NH - Nashua, which held a conversation about the science of marijuana last month.

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Word of Mouth
1:33 pm
Tue November 4, 2014

11.4.14: Winners & Losers

Credit Garry Night via flickr Creative Commons

While we can’t predict the outcome of the midterm elections, two things are certain: there will be winners and there will be losers.  Today’s show is all about winning and losing, starting with the brain chemistry of champions. And we’ll examine the victors and the vanquished in the natural world through the parasite-host relationship.

Plus, we’ll take a look back at political losers throughout history, including Samuel Tilden, who never got over his loss to Rutherford B. Hayes in 1876.

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All Things Considered
3:47 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

Granite Geek: New Hampshire Archaeology Up To And (Maybe) Including America’s Stonehenge

Whatever the history of America's Stonehenge may be, you have to admit this is the best sign you're going to see on the internet today.
Credit Michelle Souliere via Flickr/CC - http://ow.ly/DtUCm

Ancient archaeology is the kind of thing that, with the right find, can quickly capture the public’s attention and fascination.

And yet a New Hampshire group that studies ancient stone structures is turning 50 this week – and few Granite Staters have heard of it.

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The Exchange
9:00 am
Mon October 20, 2014

What's Next For The Electric Car?

Watson Collins with his Chevy Volt
Credit James Pouliot / NHPR

With charging stations expanding across New England, including a new super-charger coming to Portsmouth, this niche automobile market is growing.  We’ll dig into the science of electric cars: how they work, new technology to expand their range, and why – depending on where you live – they may not be as green as you might think.

(originally broadcast August 4, 2014)

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The Exchange
9:00 am
Thu October 16, 2014

The Sky Guys On Mars: From Rovers And Orbiters To Human Settlement

Faith Meixell NHPR

In recent years, the Red Planet has been bombarded with space craft, rovers, observers, orbiters and studied intently from here on Earth.  But the idea of human boots on Mars has remained in the realm of science fiction. Now though, serious planning is underway, for missions and even colonies there, and possibly much sooner than you might think. (digital post by Faith Meixell)

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Word of Mouth
1:54 pm
Wed October 15, 2014

10.15.14: Are Milgram's Torture Experiments Still Valid & The Gift Of Adversity

Ontario Science Centre: Milgram's Electric Box
Credit Isabelle via flickr Creative Commons

In the early sixties, social psychologist Stanley Milgram tested the limits of humans’ obedience to authority with an actor, an unsuspecting volunteer and a fake electroshock machine. On today’s show: the experiment that stunned the world and the repercussions Dr. Milgram faced as a result. 

Then, we’ve all heard the self-help mantra: what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Turns out, there may be some truth behind it. A psychiatrist explores the benefits of adversity.

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