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montereybayaquarium: Sea Palm Culture: In the Weeds Our Kelp...

montereybayaquarium: Sea Palm Culture: In the Weeds Our Kelp Forest exhibit is a visitor favorite. It’s gorgeous, and in 1984 it was the first living kelp forest grown outside the wild. Today it’s home to a forest of giant kelp and bull...Show More Summary

Ep. 407: Galactic Cannibalism

Remember when we told you that the Universe is a big place, and anything that can go wrong, inevitably does? Today we talk about what happens when galaxies come together. This is particularly pertinent because our Milky Way will collide with Andromeda in the future!

Ep. 406: Stellar Cannibalism

Most of the time stars hang around for billions of years. But the Universe is a big place, and anything that can go wrong, inevitably does. Today we talk about what happens when these stars come together. The outcome is violent, and fortunately for you, also interesting.

A bit of ancient music

This was making the rounds a while ago but I didn’t get to it: “Hurrian Hymn No. 6” is considered the world’s earliest melody, but the oldest musical composition to have survived in its entirety is a first century A.D. Greek tune known as the “Seikilos Epitaph.” The song was found engraved on an ancient marble [...]

Ep. 405: Method Not Found

Last week we talked about knowledge, what we do and don’t know. This week we talk about questions which are impossible to ask, where the answers don’t actually exist.

Ep. 404: The Difference Between: Can’t Know, Don’t Know, and Just Awaiting Better Tech

There the things we know, the things we don’t know, and the things we can’t know. How do we know which one is when when we’re deciding to fund research and direct our scientific inquiry.

Ep. 403: Funding Big Science: from Alma to LIGO to TMT

How much of a challenge is it to get funding for large projects like LIGO? Fraser and Pamela discuss the difficult issues finding “Big Money.”

Reading the Collections, Week 49: Light Box

In anticipation of the StAnza Festival taking place in early March, I decided to read some poetry for this week’s post – Light Box  – a collaboration between Professor Robert Crawford, Norman McBeath and the scientists […]

Ep. 402: Gravity Eyes: See The Invisible With The Force

What kinds of things can we see using gravity, that we may not otherwise be able to see? Pamela will fill us in on the Great Attractor, etc!

Ep. 401: Future Predictions

What do Pamela and Fraser think will happen or be discovered in 2016? What would they like to see in the near future?

Ep. 400: The State of the Universe

It’s time for us to go back and catch up with all of the projects, news stories, weird star systems, and other topics that need updating!

"It eats salty": middle voice on "Top Chef"

On a recent episode of Bravo's competitive cooking show "Top Chef" ("Spines and Vines," 12/10/15), the contestants had to make a dish with uni (sea urchin) and pair it with a wine. One contestant, Angelina Bastidas, received the following less-than-glowing appraisal of her dish from the show's host, Padma Lakshmi, and guest judge Dana Cowin, […]

On the Radio Yet Again, on Nightlife

Last night (Wednesday 27 January), I was on ABC Nightlife talking with Rod Quinn about the safety of plastics and bisphenol A in the light of the latest Australian Total Diet Study.For those of you who missed my radio performance last...Show More Summary

Ep. 399: Women in Science

Science is typically a male dominated profession, mostly dudes, not a lot of ladies. From researchers to professors, to law makers, woman have a tough time gaining traction in such a heavily gendered field. Today we’re going to talkShow More Summary

The Finn-donesian of "The Force Awakens"

For my language column in the Wall Street Journal this week, I describe how some alien-speak in "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" ended up being created a young Finnish YouTube sensation, tailor-made for Indonesian actors. We could call it "Finn-donesian," though the character Finn doesn't actually speak it. Rather, the dialogue was designed for the […]

Ep. 398: Seeing Things: Emitting, Reflecting, Ionizing Light

Astronomers gather electromagnetic radiation with the telescopes: mostly visible light. But sometimes they've got to be clever about where they look for these elusive photons. Light can get emitted, absorbed, reflected, and each method tells astronomers a little more about what they're looking at.

Bob Dylan can't even

For Bob Dylan connoisseurs, the release of The Cutting Edge 1965-1966: The Bootleg Series Vol. 12 is a momentous occasion. It encompasses the studio sessions that gave us the albums Bringing It All Back Home, Highway 61 Revisited and Blonde On Blonde, and it's available as a 2-CD sampler, a reasonable 6-CD version, and an […]

Ep. 397: A Universe From Nothing

One of the biggest, most basic questions you can ask is: “why is there something and not nothing?” The reality is that we don’t know the answer, we might never know the answer. Today we’ll investigate this mystery, recently covered by the physicist Lawrence Krauss in his book of the same name.

Ep. 396: Family Astronomy for the Holidays

Every year, it’s the same dilemma: what gift should you get for the super space nerd in the family? And if someone has a budding interest in space and astronomy, what can you do to feed their hunger for knowledge? Today we’ll talk telescopes, books and planispheres. Everything you need to avoid a holiday gift disaster.

Update: listen to the Tintignac Carnyx

In 2004, archaeologists discovered a hoard of ritually destroyed weapons — a dozen swords, scabbards, spearheads, a shield, bronze helmets, an iron helmet shaped like a swan — a cauldron, animal remains and seven carnyces. Before then, the remains of only five examples of the Celtic man-sized wind musical instrument that was widely used as [...]

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