science

Word of Mouth
1:38 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

D.I.Y. Sistine Chapel Security: How To Build Your Own Faraday Cage

Yes, I went to Art School. No, it wasn't for illustration.
Credit Logan Shannon via Rob Fleischman's Brain

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.

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Word of Mouth
9:10 am
Mon March 11, 2013

Beware The Nasty Effect

Credit Marco Mayer via flickr Creative Commons

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.

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Word of Mouth
3:15 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

Word Of Mouth 02.16.2013

Credit Leo Reynolds via Flickr Creative Commons

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.

You can also hear the show on SoundCloud:

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Word of Mouth
12:04 pm
Mon February 11, 2013

The Science Of Peer Reviews: How Did The Controversial “Arseniclife” Study Get Such Glowing Reviews?

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.

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Word of Mouth
12:26 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

Word of Mouth 01.26.2013

Credit Leo Reynolds via Flickr Creative Commons

Word of Mouth's weekly show that wraps up the best of our content in one great-to-listen-to package.

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Word of Mouth
10:53 am
Wed January 16, 2013

The Kraken Lives!

Credit massdistraction via Flickr Creative Commons

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.

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Word of Mouth
4:18 pm
Mon January 7, 2013

High Heels Are Sexy and Other "No Duh" Research

Credit pixieclipx via Flickr Creative Commons

The high heel—ever the fashion accessory—has always attracted attention. Turns out (insert astonishment here) that they make the wearer more attractive and more feminine. 

In honor of this not quite surprising research, here are our top scientific no-brainers inspired by the Ig Nobel prizes for thoughtful, humorous and sometimes absurd research.

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Word of Mouth
10:13 am
Wed January 2, 2013

Does Holding a Gun Make You See a Gun?

Credit woodleywonderworks via Flickr Creative Commons

A study finds that the very act of holding a gun (even a wii gun!) prompts subjects to identify an object held by another person as a firearm...even when it's just a shoe.

We talk to the researcher behind this work, Jessica Witt of Colorado State University.

Word of Mouth
11:15 am
Wed December 19, 2012

TED's Fight Against Bad Science

Credit Sterin via Flickr Creative Commons

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.

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Word of Mouth
12:01 pm
Thu December 13, 2012

Sign Language for Science

Credit Wikimedia Commons

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. 

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Word of Mouth
12:01 pm
Wed October 17, 2012

The Discovery of Singing Mice

Brian_Kellett via Flickr Creative Commons

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:

Word of Mouth
11:49 am
Wed October 17, 2012

What Is Your Dog Thinking About?

gryhrt via Flickr Creative Commons

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.

Word of Mouth
10:20 am
Wed October 3, 2012

Flight of the Living Dead

me'nthedogs via Flickr Creative Commons

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." 

Word of Mouth
5:25 pm
Mon October 1, 2012

The Placebo Effect's Evil Twin: The Nocebo Effect

Virginia Guard Public Affairs via Flickr Creative Commons

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

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Word of Mouth
4:45 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

Word of Mouth 09.29.2012

Credit sameold2010 via Flickr Creative Commons

Part 1: The Bad Science of the Left/Tweeting Political Poems

Think the right has cornered the market on denying science? No way, says Alex Berezow. He has a Ph.D. in microbiology and is co-author of the book Science Left Behind: Feel Good Falacies and the Rise of the Anti-Scientific Left. 

and

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Word of Mouth
11:14 am
Wed September 26, 2012

Unicorns, Nessie, Big Foot...Oh My!

The Fur Bearing Trout
VeniceVandal via Flickr Creative Commons

A replica of Bigfoot, a display case dedicated to lake monsters, and the “mystery cat corner” are a few of the sights to see at Portland, Maine’s International Cryptozoology Museum. A little bit oddity, a little bit kitsch, it’s the type of place you might find by walking down a random alley... lucky for us, our adventurous producer Zach Nugent took that walk, and brings us this audio field trip.

The famous Patterson-Gimlin film:

Word of Mouth
1:51 pm
Tue September 25, 2012

The Science Behind Bath Salts

SpiritualHerbs via Flickr Creative Commons

Last spring, we heard a series of stories of bizarre and violent crimes attributed to people high on the street drug “bath salts.” in Florida, police shot a man who was cannibalizing another man’s face – and a mother tore off her clothes and assaulted her three-year-old son.  Although neither crime has been definitively linked to the deceptively-named street drug, they ignited conversations about the production and complicated legal status of ‘bath salts'.

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Word of Mouth
1:36 pm
Mon September 24, 2012

Endeavor's Final Voyage

Marcus Teply

Space shuttle Endeavor took a final victory lap over California landmarks Friday, piggybacked on top of a NASA 747 on its way to retirement at the California Science Center in Los Angeles. Endeavor is the last of the four space shuttles to be relegated to a museum, and its final flight brought crowds of thousands out to streets, rooftops, and even freeways, looking to the sky for a glimpse of history. Valerie Hamilton sends this audio postcard from the Los Angeles International Airport.

Check out a video of Endeavour's epic piggy-back ride:

Giving Matters
12:00 am
Sat September 22, 2012

Seacoast Science Center

Myra (right) shows a young visitor the wonders of the Touch Tank. (Cheryl Senter, NHPR)
Cheryl Senter NHPR

At the Seacoast Science Center at Odiorne Point in Rye, visitors learn about the science and beauty of marine life and the Gulf of Maine. Myra Sallet is a 13-year-old volunteer who particularly likes working with younger kids who come to explore.

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Word of Mouth
10:12 am
Mon September 17, 2012

Living with Lyme

fairfaxcounty via flickr creative commons

Recently, we learned on this program about the other tick-borne pathogens we should be worrying about beyond Lyme Disease. In the meantime, more and more people in New Hampshire are contracting Lyme. It’s a trend we’ve noticed even on Facebook, where many of our friends are posting about their positive test results, including Word of Mouth contributor Adam McCune…so we asked him to share his story.

Word of Mouth
10:44 am
Mon September 10, 2012

The Science Ignored by Liberals

sameold2010 via Flickr Creative Commons

Think the right has cornered the market on denying science? No way, says Alex Berezow. He has a Ph.D. in microbiology and is co-author of the book Science Left Behind: Feel Good Falacies and the Rise of the Anti-Scientific Left.

Word of Mouth
10:37 am
Mon September 10, 2012

Fine Dining...at Hardees

Powerplantop via Flickr Creative Commons

Since spring of this year, our Shifting the Balance series has explored how environmental and social factors affect the way people eat…and how those factors play in to America’s obesity epidemic.  A recently published study in Pyschology reports demonstrates how setting the right mood at meal time can help diners cap their calories. 

Word of Mouth
10:00 pm
Fri August 31, 2012

Word of Mouth: 9.01.2012

Leo Reynolds via Flickr Creative Commons

Part 1: Chasing Lightning/Birth Photography

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NH News
11:09 am
Fri August 31, 2012

The Story Of Phineas Gage: Redux

From the collection of Jack and Beverly Wilgus. Wikimedia Commons

Earlier this month, a construction worker in Brazil suffered a strange and grisly construction accident - an iron rod fell from the fifth floor of the building on which he was working. The bar broke through the worker's helmet -- and his skull, eventually exiting through one of his eyes.

Word of Mouth
11:45 am
Thu August 30, 2012

Fake Science 101

Horia Varlan via Flickr Creative Commons

Science is one of those topics it seems you either get or you don’t. If you fall in the latter category, you might have wished at some point – maybe during a high school physics test – that you could just make up the answers and get credit for being clever.   Well, our next guest makes his living doing exactly that. Phil Edwards is the author behind the Fake Science blog, and a new sort of textbook called Fake Science 101.

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Word of Mouth
11:44 am
Wed August 29, 2012

The Science of Changing Your Mind

Peter O via Flickr Creative Commons

Ever wonder whether hard facts play a part in changing a person's mind? Turns out, not so much. Boing Boing's Maggie Koerth-Baker wrote about the real influences on choice for The New York Times Magazine.

Radiolab - August 10
3:33 pm
Thu August 9, 2012

Where Am I?

OK. Maybe you're in your desk chair. You're in your office. You're in New York, or Detroit, or Timbuktu. You're on planet Earth. But where are you, really? This hour, Radiolab tries to find out.

Word of Mouth
11:06 am
Tue July 31, 2012

What Makes a Great Science Teacher?

the_exploratorium via Flickr Creative Commons

Produced with Phoebe Axtman and Zach Nugent

Mounting research has shown that the most important factor in a child’s successful education is not his or her socioeconomic status, class size, or even the design of the curriculum…. it’s the teacher.  But teacher dropout rate is high and the highly talented teachers are too few, especially in Science and Math.

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Word of Mouth
10:52 am
Tue July 31, 2012

Look, Don't Touch: The Problem With Environmental Education

Tiggywinkle via Flickr Creative Commons

If you want to learn about the earth, you’re gonna have to get your hands dirty.   That’s the philosophy of environmental educator David Sobel: senior faculty member at Antioch University New England, and author of the book "Beyond Ecophobia".

Word of Mouth
8:33 am
Wed July 25, 2012

Manipulating Climate Change

Photo Credit FlyingSinger, Via Flickr Creative Commons

Two Harvard professors are developing a proposal for a first-of-its-kind field experiment in geo-engineering… a trial balloon that would release chemical particles into the atmosphere.  Their hope?  To better understand the effectiveness and dangers of technology designed to manually reverse climate change.  Henry Fountain covere

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