megadrought

Ep 83: The West: On the Cusp of a MegaDrought – with guest Dr. Kasey Bolles

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With the wildfires in California, extreme insect infestations in forests, and the duration between rainstorms lengthening, the western United States is in the midst of a drought.  But this drought could be the part of something larger – a so-called “megadrought”, which the United States has not seen the likes of for four hundred years. […]

Origins of language

Ep 82 : The Origins of Language May Go Much Farther Back Than We Thought – with guests Dr. Chris Petkov and Dr. Ben Wilson

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When did language originate?  It’s a tricky question to answer.  We can’t go back in time.  We can’t even look at “fossilized brains” to see how they worked.  So how can we understand the origins of language? Scientists have a few ways to do this.  One way is to scan the brains of living animals […]

Feed The World

Ep 77: Yes, It’s Possible To Feed The World – with guest Prof. Dieter Gerten

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More than one million people live in poverty in this world, and many of those are malnourished.  Meanwhile, the population of the world keeps increasing.  Simply cutting down forests to make more farmland is not the solution to feed the world = as deforestation leads to increasing climate change and more and more species going […]

History of Meteor Showers

Ep 76: How We Found Out Meteors Are Actually Little Rocks From Space Burning Up In The Atmosphere

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It sounds crazy when you say it out loud.  Meteors are rocks from SPACE burning up in the atmosphere.  How did people ever figure THAT out?  Today, I’m talking about the history of meteor showers and discussing the fascinating journey of how people finally figured out what meteors were.   From those initial moments of terror […]

Self-driving car trust AI

Ep 75: From Self-Driving Cars to Autonomous Weapons Systems – Can We Trust AI? – with guest Dr. David Danks

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Are you looking forward to self-driving cars? Perhaps you love taking the curves of the road yourself, but more likely, you would relish a commute where you could read or catch up on the latest episode of “Mandalorian“.  But do you trust your self-driving car to get you to your destination safely?  What happens if […]

biodiversity

Ep 74: Is the Biodiversity of Earth Doomed? with guests Dr. Pamela McElwee, Dr. Kai Chan, and Dr. Alex Pfaff

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The statistics are staggering.  One million species are close to extinction.  No ecosystem is left untouched.  Corals in the sea, forests on a windy bluff, jungles, deserts.  The biodiversity of the Earth is declining at worrying rates. What is causing this decline? Is it due to climate change, pollution, over-exploitation of resources, or something else? […]