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Kathea Pinto / flickr creative commons

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Humans have been using soap for literally millennia -- nearly five of them... at least.

And while there's a run on alcohol-based hand sanitizers, it turns out that good, old-fashioned soap is a simpler, more-reliable way to destroy all that coronavirus that might be all over your gross, dirty hands.

Erich Ferdinand / Creative Commons

Did you get enough sleep last night? If you're like most Americans, probably not. You might feel pretty good after six hours of sleep and a strong cup of coffee, but the physical and mental toll of sleep deprivation is high.

We become more impulsive and less mentally agile, and we make more mistakes. Long term, lack of sleep (six hours or less per night) can mess with mood, hormones, and immune systems, and it can increase our risk for diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

America got (more) serious last week about COVID-19. Schools and colleges closed, workers went remote, professional sports teams canceled their seasons, theaters and restaurants closed their doors, and Americans hunkered down at home to reckon with the fragility of life as we know it.

We want to hear from you. Colin and an epidemiologist answer your questions.

Fossil conservator Amber Favreau works on disassembling the  museum’s Brontosaurus skeleton.
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

This hour, we take a trip to the Yale Peabody Museum, where a renovation is giving the museum a chance to update its famous dinosaur skeletons to reflect 21st century scientific knowledge.

The museum has disassembled all of its large fossil skeletons, which have been shipped to a facility in Canada to be remounted. When they return to the Peabody in 2023, dinosaurs like the museum's Brontosaurus will be standing in jauntier--and more scientifically accurate--poses.

NIH Clinical Center / Creative Commons

Lionsgate

Quarantine culture is coming. Maybe. So we start with a look at the coronavirus in comedy, COVID in culture, etc.

And then: Knives Out is Rian Johnson's fifth feature film as writer and director. It's mostly a howcatchem in the vein of Columbo and an all-star ensemble cast murder mystery in the tradition of Agatha Christie adaptations like Murder on the Orient Express. It was nominated for three Golden Globes, including Best Picture (Musical or Comedy), and Johnson's screenplay was nominated for an Oscar. It's out on DVD/Blu-ray/4K and for rental on iTunes/Amazon/etc. this week.

Giuseppe Milo / Flickr

Nyctophiliacs rejoice! The color you know and love (black) is now blacker than ever before.  And nevermind that black is not technically a color. The point is that as you were traipsing through graveyards and reveling under the night sky, scientists were busy inventing two new shades which are so dark they'd make Wednesday Adams reach for a flashlight.

Publicdomainpictures.net

The death of a pet can be devastating --yet when you lose an animal companion--you’re sometimes expected to “just get over it.”  This hour, we talk about human attachment to pets. Have you experienced the death of a beloved animal? How comfortable were you talking about your grief with others?

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

Wanjiku Gatheru is the daughter of Kenyan immigrants and a first-generation American. Now, the UConn senior has made university history as the school’s first-ever Rhodes Scholar.

Rob Russell / Wikimedia Commons

Scientists estimate bush fires in Southeastern Australia have killed hundreds of millions of animals. This hour, we talk about the fires’ impact on biodiversity.

And we learn about how climate change is shaping wildfire patterns around the globe. Are severe natural disasters becoming the “new normal”?

Credit Kenneth Catania

They might look like something out of science fiction, but star-nosed moles are real-life creatures that can be found along the East Coast, including in Connecticut. These small, furry mammals are a bit larger than a house mouse and live underground in wetlands, digging tunnels with their enormous claws.

But their most distinctive feature is their pink, star-shaped nose.

MrHarvard / Flickr Creative Commons

Over the years, our government has been involved in some pretty shady affairs. After eugenics and internment camps but before Watergate and Iran-Contra, came mind control. And just like the other ethically dubious projects mentioned, your tax dollars paid for it.

Jonathan Grado / Flickr Creative Commons

Life after death, in one form or another,  has been examined by multiple disciplines for centuries: From theology, to physics, to philosophy, to medicine and more. But while the topic is taken seriously by some, it remains a focus of ridicule and skepticism by others.

Xiaphias / Wikimedia Commons

Spend just a few minutes with young children and you’ll marvel at their imagination. Maybe they’re pretending to be a dragon running a bakery, or they’re coloring the sky purple instead of blue. But somewhere along the way, most of those kids turn into adults who say, “I’m just not a creative person!”

This hour, we ask: how can we foster children’s imaginations? What is creativity, anyway? We talk with psychologists and art teachers to explore what we can do to keep our kids, families, and society inspired by a lifelong curiosity for the arts.

Tom Hilton / Flickr Creative Commons

There is perhaps no figure more emblematic of the paranormal than the psychic. Able to predict the future, see into the past, and even communicate with the dead, the psychic's awesome gifts are matched only by his or her ability to withstand skepticism and ridicule.

rbeard113 / Creative Commons

Private weather companies are cropping up to produce weather and climate models that have historically been provided by the government. Private weather forecasting is a $7 billion industry that threatens the dominance of the National Weather Service and could lead to a tiered system of access.

images of Giant ground sloth (Megatherium americanum), Moa (Megalapteryx didinus), Blue Whale (Balaenoptera musculus)
Ballista, George Edward Lodge, Michael L. Baird / Wikimedia Commons

What would it have been like to see a huge, elephant-like mastodon roaming our state? 

The earth has been home to some spectacularly large animals. A few of them still roam or swim our world today. This hour, we take a look at the biology of these giants. 

From chunky island-dwelling birds to the enormous blue whale, what do we know about why these creatures evolved to be so big? And why don’t we see more of them today? 

Plus, with a UN report warning that a million species are at risk of extinction in coming years, are we at risk of losing those big creatures we still have?

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.

Terry Gross / Wikimedia Commons

Fear of sharks spiked last summer after a great white fatally bit a 26-year-old surfer off the coast of Cape Cod. The fever still runs high as reports of great white sightings coincide with people heading to the beach.

Are We Ready To Accept That UFOs Are Real?

Sep 10, 2019
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. 

Sarah / Flickr

It's your turn to speak. You're called to the front of the room. Your heart starts racing, you're sweating, your mouth has gone dry, your hands are shaking. Your chest feels heavy. You feel like you're having a heart attack! But, you're not. 

Have you ever had a panic attack? If so, you're not alone. About 1 in 4 people have experienced a panic attack at some point in their life. About 1 in 100 people have repeated attacks that can feel like they come out of nowhere. 

Ryan Caron King / WNPR/Creative Commons

We want to hear your thoughts on what it's like to be "living in a Trump salad," on this all-call Monday. (Colin coined the term.)

First, there's #sharpiegate. Last week, President Trump unleashed on the media for reporting his error tweeting  a warning about Hurricane Dorian that included the state of Alabama. To prevent mass evacuation, the National Weather Service corrected his error. Alabama was not in danger. 

Warner Bros

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.

CucombreLibre / flickr creative commons

This week, we've started our second decade on the air.

Over the first ten years, we did some number north of 2,000 shows. And every one of those shows was intended, more or less, to be about some... thing. Towels or Trump or toast or television or whatever.

This hour we do the opposite thing: a show not about a specific something -- tapirs.

images of Giant ground sloth (Megatherium americanum), Moa (Megalapteryx didinus), Blue Whale (Balaenoptera musculus)
Ballista, George Edward Lodge, Michael L. Baird / Wikimedia Commons

What would it have been like to see a huge, elephant-like mastodon roaming our state? 

The earth has been home to some spectacularly large animals. A few of them still roam or swim our world today.

This hour, we take a look at the biology of these giants. 

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

There’s a new initiative in Hartford aimed at exposing area teenagers to careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Seth Rogen. Er, no. That's not right. Carlos Mejia, I meant. / Connecticut Public Radio

Two things arrived this week that the world probably didn't previously know it needed: The Impossible Whopper and "the definitive Nicolas Cage interview." The Nose taste tests one of them live on the air and discusses both. I'll leave it a mystery which is which.

Plus, a look at two movies: the Charlize Theron-Seth Rogen rom-com Long Shot (now available on iTunes/Amazon/DVD/Blu-ray/etc.) and the Cambridge Analytica documentary The Great Hack (out now on Netflix).

Flowcharts of algorithms
Somepics/Wvbailey/Sakurambo / Wikimedia Commons

They are the force behind big companies like Google, Facebook, and Amazon. Often hidden or misunderstood, these chunks of computer code drive pretty much everything we do online.

This hour: algorithms. They permeate throughout our lives, from credit scores to GPS driving directions. But how do algorithms work?

We talk about algorithms, machine learning, and the ethics of computer-problem solving.

Jess Gambel / Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station

This hour, we take a look at bees. From the famous animals that make the honey we eat to lesser-known native “solitary bees” that nest in holes in the ground, there are thousands of species of bees, and hundreds of them have been found right here in Connecticut!

We'll talk about the critical role these pollinators play in agriculture and learn about the threats they face.

Later, we talk about another iconic pollinator: the monarch butterfly. Have you spotted one of these rare and magnificent creatures near your home?

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

There's kind of a lot going on this week: There's rumored to be a new 007. The Emmy nominations are out. There's a new dating trend called 'Caspering.' Farhad Manjoo thinks we should all use the singular 'they.' 1.7 million people want to raid Area 51. Anthony Fantano (or an animated version of Anthony Fantano, really) is in the new "Old Town Road" video. During the New York City blackout, Star Wars fans helped direct traffic... with their lightsabers. And: The Cats trailer is out, and it's maybe kind of, uh, horrifying?

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