Our niftiest and spiffiest content, all in one great show. This week, a look at the shifting human condition. Holocaust survivors being turned into holograms, a Russian "Swiss Family Robinson" that missed most of the 20th Century, corporate anthropologists, transplant "tourism," the nasty effect of internet comments, and a former professor pens a memoir about being stalked by an ex- student online.
Want to keep your home as signal-secure as the Sistine Chapel will be during the Conclave?
Today's segment on Faraday Cages really inspired my inner maker-bot so I asked Rob Fleischman to give me instructions on exactly how to make one. It really does seem surprisingly easy to create one out of a few relatively inexpensive materials easily acquired from your local hardware store.
The internet is a technological forum for public conversation, debate and cross-cultural interaction and their very opposites. Reader comments often take on characteristics more like the roman forum…it’s in the comments section where sniping, shaming and mean-spirited insults are pelted like rotten tomatoes onto a stage. A study published in the journal of computer-mediated communication measured the influence of reader comments on the articles they describe. Dietram Scheufele, John E. Ross Professor in Science Communication at the University of Wisconsin, Madison discusses reader comments and their influence on the articles they cling to. He recently co-authored an article on the subject for the New York Times with Dominique Brossaard, "This Story Stinks"; the comments section for the article closed with 400 comments.
Our shiniest and sparkliest content, all in one show-tacular program. This week, a Salon writer contemplates the history of "white Southern defeat," a foremost expert on gluten explores the hype around the latest food trend, New Hampshire author Ben Nugent talks about his new novel, "Good Kids," and illustrator Danny Gregory explains how grief was overcome with art. Oh, and Sean Hurley contemplates the danger of skating on thick ice.
Two years ago, a press conference was held at NASA headquarters, where it was declared that an alien life form had been discovered in Earth’s backyard. It wasn’t green and it didn’t say “take me to your leader”. But still, this tiny microbe dubbed “arsenic-life” caused quite a ruckus in the scientific community. Dan Vergano is a science correspondent for USA Today and he joins us to discuss his investigation into the study.
Last summer, a team of scientists and filmmakers from Japan’s National Museum and the Discovery Channel captured the first-ever video of a giant squid in its natural habitat off the coast of Japan. The team recently released a clip of the video, which has gone viral on Facebook.
As long as humans have navigated the seas, the idea that these fierce and slippery creatures are lurking just beneath us has evoked fascination and fear. Their elusiveness plays into our love of the chase, which probably explains why every development in the world of giant squid science is big news.
TED is the world-wide home for “Ideas Worth Spreading,” and the non-profit organization’s event videos are watched by an eager audience of millions. People wanted their own local TED experience, and the TEDx phenomenon grew quickly with over 5700 events since starting in 2009.
Imagine trying to learn astrophysics without using the word “light-year”. Or study biology without being able to say “photosynthesis”. That’s the dilemma facing deaf students hoping to pursue careers in the sciences—where new terminology is being coined and communicated on a daily basis.
Recent studies out of Duke University have discovered that everyone’s favorite lab rat, the humble mouse, has a penchant for singing – and more importantly, singing in tune...in a way. Producer Taylor Quimby is Word of Mouth’s always willing investigator of strange science, and he has the story.
Check out Cinderella's singing mice. They are true heroes:
It’s not often that we stumbled across a story like the one we found in the latest edition of one of our favorite magazines, Mental Floss. It’s a profile of Alexandra Horowitz, who earned her PH.D. in cognitive science and teaches psychology at Barnard College.
Since 2006, Colony Collapse Disorder has drastically reduced honey bee populations across North America. In California, there’s another emerging threat to the hive that’s straight out of a B-horror film (see what we did there?), a parasite that’s turning honey bees into mindless automatons, or as they’re being called by some, “zom-bees."
If you break a 30-second drug commercial into parts, you’d hear about 7 seconds of why you should be taking a product, followed by a breathless lists of potential side effects and “ask your doctor today!” That list of potential side effects satisfy legal obligations, but doesn’t stop millions of people from making pharmaceuticals a multi-billion dollar business. Still, the mind is a powerful thing – and new research shows that informing patients about possible side-effects makes them more likely to experience them. It’s a phenomenon called “the nocebo effect”. Chris Berdik is a