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It's hard to believe, but The Matrix is 20 years old this year. And its influence is all over the culture with bullet time and red pills and the "woah" meme and so much more.

Dr. Henry C. Lee speaking to reporters at at the Henry Lee Institute of Forensic Science
Lori Mack / Connecticut Public Radio

Eminent forensics expert Dr. Henry Lee is defending his reputation, after the Connecticut Supreme Court last week ordered a new trial in a decades-old murder case. The decision was largely based on what the court said was incorrect testimony given by Lee.

The nation's first off-shore wind farm off the coast of Block Island, Rhode Island in October 2016.
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

This hour we take a look at some of the environmental bills the Connecticut General Assembly passed this legislative session, including a new commitment to offshore wind power. We learn what this renewable energy source means for the state’s power grid—and its economy.

And we take a look at one essential component behind offshore wind power, a group of special metals called “rare earth elements”. What does the availability—and environmental impact—of harvesting these materials mean for our energy future?

6eo tech / Flickr Creative Commons

Sometimes new technology, like the iPhone, comes to us in flashy, attention-grabbing presentations. But other times, it creeps up and changes our world... without us noticing!

One technology that’s made its way into the headlines is artificial intelligence (AI). For some, those two words might stir up images of Ultron or HAL 9000. But AI's role goes well beyond movies or books. In fact, it's been in the real world for decades. And it's becoming more and more prevalent in our daily lives.

Jessse Yuen / Flickr, Creative Commons

In early 2017, The New York Times uncovered a program at the Defense Department which investigated unidentified flying objects. Then, at the end of May, the reporters published another article, getting navy pilots to talk on the record about their encounters with unidentified flying objects. 

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

What if you just don't really enjoy food very much? What if you're totally fine eating the same thing every single day? What if you think food is an inefficient way to get what you need to survive?

What if, rather than eating "food," you just mixed a white powder (that is definitely not made of people because it's made of soy protein isolate instead) with water and drank that in food's place?

This hour: a look at what you might call the non-foodie movement and the "powdered food" meal replacement product that is Soylent.

David DesRoches / Connecticut Public Radio

A textbook being used in Hartford middle schools gives equal weight to an argument against climate change, despite the vast majority of scientists who say the planet is warming and human activity is a contributing factor.

John Draper and I are sitting in the cab of a tractor on the research farm he manages for the University of Maryland, alongside the Chesapeake Bay. Behind us, there's a sprayer.

"So, away we go!" Draper says. He pushes a button, and we start to move. A fine mist emerges from nozzles on the arms of the sprayer.

We're spraying glyphosate, killing off this field's soil-saving "cover crop" of rye before planting soybeans.

Farmers have been using this chemical, often under the trade name Roundup, for about four decades now.

The Truth About Lies

May 29, 2019
Mike Roberts / Flickr Creative Commons

Laszlo Ratesic is a nineteen-year veteran of the Speculative Service. He lives in the Golden State, the only place left in what was once America. Laszlo's job is to bring the worst criminals to justice, those who tell lies. In his new novel, Ben Winters creates a world which might sound Eden-esque in our era of misinformation. 

Mark Mirko / The Hartford Courant

A Connecticut couple once decided to create and cryogenically freeze human embryos so that they could expand their family. But then their marriage ended, and a question remained: what should happen to a remaining frozen embryo?

Peter Marteka / Hartford Courant

Searching for a majestic waterfall? There's no need to travel very far. Many are right here in Connecticut.

There's gushers like Great Falls along the Housatonic River at Falls Village in the town of Canaan on the western side of the state. In the spring when it's at full power, it's been touted as the "Niagara of New England."

Others, like Sages Ravine in Salisbury, are more pristine, but a little harder to get to. For those willing to trek through the woods a bit, they may have it all to themselves.

Today we take a tour of the best cascading waters the state has to offer.

Suzanne Proulx / http://www.suzanneproulx.com/

Dust is a fascinating substance. Our bodies are always shedding dust from our skin, hair, and nails, leaving little bits of DNA wherever we roam. Dust floats unseen through the air around us. It's light. It's hard to see unless it lands on a contrasting surface or crosses the path of a ray of sunshine. It can travel far and wide.  

6eo tech / Creative Commons

Sometimes new technology, like the iPhone, comes to us in flashy, attention-grabbing presentations. But other times, it creeps up and changes our world... without us noticing!

One technology that’s made its way into the headlines is artificial intelligence (AI). For some, those two words might stir up images of Ultron or HAL 9000. But AI's role goes well beyond movies or books. In fact, it's been in the real world for decades. And it's becoming more and more prevalent in our daily lives.

Wikimedia Commons

Have you ever watched footage of Usain Bolt with a stupefied look on your face, wondering how one man could run... so fast? You're not alone.

This hour, we consider the science behind high-speed running with a researcher at Southern Methodist University.

We also check in with a couple of local runners, including Kiran Majmudar, who ran his first Hartford Marathon at... get this... age 65. 

José Francisco Salgado / Flickr Creative Commons

It could be argued that you will never understand yourself if you don’t understand the universe. And the universe is full of both beautiful and scary things. At least once, something has come roaring out of the skies to reconfigure completely life on earth. So it might be a good idea to study the heavens.

Betsy Kaplan

Women scientists and inventors have been making ground-breaking discoveries since Agnodike pretended to be a man in order to become the first female anatomist in ancient Greece. Yet, women's scientific contributions have historically been hidden in the footnotes of the work men claimed as their own. 

Joseph Francis / Flickr

In case you haven't heard, our planet is as flat as a pancake. Sound crazy? Perhaps. But around the globe (disc?) a flat Earth movement is steadily on the rise. More and more people, educated and not, from all walks of life, are posting videos, attending conferences, and publishing books embracing this seemingly radical notion.

 

Pixabay

Today, there are 5.8 million Americans who are impacted by Alzheimer’s disease. That number is expected to grow by more than half.

Yet how do we know the right questions to ask to get a timely diagnosis in order to plan for the future? We hear from advocates who want to see additional training for primary care physicians so they recognize the signs of dementia earlier.

The Truth About Lies

Mar 7, 2019
Mike Roberts / Creative Commons

Laszlo Ratesic is a nineteen-year veteran of the Speculative Service. He lives in the Golden State, the only place left in what was once America. Laszlo's job is to bring the worst criminals to justice, those who tell lies. In his new novel, Ben Winters creates a world which might sound Eden-esque in our era of misinformation. 

Alex Guerrero / Creative Commons

You have pain that wakes you up at night and distracts you during the day. You go to the doctor, who asks you to grade your pain on a scale of 1-10. The doctor can't find anything wrong with you; it may be stress or anxiety or that you need more exercise or sleep. You're confused. You feel pain but nothing seems to be wrong. Does this sound familiar?

Sarah McAnulty

Have you ever looked closely at a squid? No, the calamari on your plate doesn’t count.

A live squid?

Sure, it might seem to have come from the pages of a science fiction novel. But squid are far from fictional. 

Terri D'Arcangelo

How do you make a 100-meter telescope that folds down to three meters so you can tuck it inside a space vehicle? How do you make a heart stent that folds out inside the human body? In each case, researchers have turned to masters of origami, the thousand-year-old art of paper folding.

Robert Huffstutter / Wikimedia Commons

Wilhelm Reich was a once-promising psychoanalyst and scientist under the guidance of Freud in pre-World War II Europe. He promoted the "sexual revolution" to support his belief that sexual repression was linked to the bodily and societal ills of neurosis and fascism.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Forensic scientist Dr. Henry C. Lee has been a well-known figure in Connecticut courtrooms for decades. His expertise led to high-profile work investigating famous crimes from the O.J. Simpson trial to investigating the murder of child beauty queen, JonBenét Ramsey.

Lori Mack / Connecticut Public Radio

A startup biotechnology company out of Yale University is concerned that the government shutdown will have an impact on a new drug they’ve been working on. 

Suzanne Proulx / http://www.suzanneproulx.com/

Dust is a fascinating substance. Our bodies are always shedding dust from our skin, hair, and nails, leaving little bits of DNA wherever we roam. Dust floats unseen through the air around us. It's light. It's hard to see unless it lands on a contrasting surface or crosses the path of a ray of sunshine. It can travel far and wide.  

Sarah McAnulty

Have you ever looked closely at a squid? No, the calamari on your plate doesn’t count.

A live squid?

Sure, it might seem to have come from the pages of a science fiction novel. But squid are far from fictional. 

Patrick Skahill / Connecticut Public Radio

A powerful purple protein that could help cure certain types of blindness has made its way from a tiny Farmington laboratory all the way up to the International Space Station.

2018 was a hot year — in fact, the fourth warmest on record. The only years that were, on average, warmer were the past three, according to the World Meteorological Organization.

It has been warming for decades now. But 2018 brought several major new and markedly more precise reports from scientists about what climate change is doing to the weather and how dire they expect the consequences to be.

That didn't stop President Trump and others from continuing to question the evidence.

Chion Wolf / WNPR/Connecticut Public Radio

Forensic scientist Dr. Henry C. Lee has been a well-known figure in Connecticut courtrooms for decades. His expertise led to high-profile work investigating famous crimes from the O.J. Simpson trial to investigating the murder of child beauty queen, JonBenét Ramsey.

But in addition to his testimony on famous cases, Dr. Lee has been a staple of forensic science in Connecticut for the past 40 years--from serving as the state’s chief criminalist to helping found the Connecticut Forensic Science Laboratory.

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