Big Picture Science – Moving Right Along

by Gary Niederhoff on August 18, 2014


Big Picture Science – Moving Right Along
click to listen!

You think your life is fast-paced, but have you ever seen a bacterium swim across your countertop? You’d be surprised how fast they can move.

Find out why modeling the swirl of hurricanes takes a roomful of mathematicians and supercomputers, and how galaxies can move away from us faster than the speed of light.

Also, what happens when we try to stop the dance of atoms, cooling things down to the rock bottom temperature known as absolute zero.

And why your watch doesn’t keep the same time when you’re in a jet as when you’re at the airport. It’s all due to the fact that motion is relative, says Al Einstein.

Listen to individual segments here:
Part 1: Mike Smith – Hurricane Tracking
Part 2: Bob Berman – Small Scale Movement
Part 3: Seth Shostak – Relative Motion
Part 4: Bill Phillips – Absolute Zero
Part 5: Bob Berman – Large Scale Movement

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Big Picture Science – Eye Spy

by Gary Niederhoff on August 4, 2014


Big Picture Science – Eye Spy
click to listen!

Who’s watching you? Could be anyone, really. Social media sites, webcams, CCTV cameras and smartphones have made keeping tabs on you as easy as tapping “refresh” on a tablet. And who knows what your cell phone records are telling the NSA?

Surveillance technology has privacy on the run, as we navigate between big data benefits and Big Brother intrusion.

Find out why wearing Google Glass could make everything you see the property of its creator, and which Orwellian technologies are with us today. But just how worried should we be? A cyber security expert weighs in.

Also, the benefits of an eye in the sky. A startup company claims that their suite of microsatellites will help protect Earth’s fragile environment.

And Gary catches a cat burglar!

Listen to individual segments here:
Part 1: Robert Gehl – Google Glass
Part 2: Hal Rappaport – Orwell’s 1984
Part 3: Susan Landau – Surveillance or Security?
Part 4: Gary Niederhoff – Cat Burglars
Part 5: William Marshall – Surveillance from Space

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Big Picture Science – Replace What Ails You

July 28, 2014

Big Picture Science – Replace What Ails Youclick to listen! Germs can make us sick, but we didn’t know about these puny pathogens prior to the end of the 19th century. Just the suggestion that a tiny bug could spread disease made eyes roll. Then came germ theory, sterilization, and antibiotics. It was a revolution […]

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Big Picture Science – Stellar Job

July 19, 2014

Big Picture Science – Stellar Jobclick to listen! The stars are out tonight. And they do more than just twinkle. These boiling balls of hot plasma can tell us something about other celestial phenomena. They betray the hiding places of black holes, for one. But they can also fool us. Find out why one of […]

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Face to Face

July 14, 2014

In our recent show Skeptic Check: About Face, we interviewed creative technologist Greg Borenstein, who uses FaceTracker software to find the “faces” we often see thanks to a psychological phenomenon called pareidolia. In the above image, you can see the “smiley face” in the key, overlaid with the vectored “face” detected by the software. In […]

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Big Picture Science – What Do You Make Of It?

June 23, 2014

Big Picture Science – What Do You Make Of It? You are surrounded by products. Most of them, factory-made. Yet there was a time when building things by hand was commonplace, and if something stopped working, well, you jumped into the garage and fixed it, rather than tossing it into the circular file. Participants at […]

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Big Picture Science – Skeptic Check: Check the Skeptics

June 16, 2014

Big Picture Science – Skeptic Check: Check the Skeptics One day, coffee is good for you; the next, it’s not. And it seems that everything you eat is linked to cancer, according to research. But scientific studies are not always accurate. Insufficient data, biased measurements, or a faulty analysis can trip them up. And that’s […]

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Big Picture Science – Apt To Adapt

June 8, 2014

Big Picture Science – Apt To Adapt If you move with the times, you might stick around long enough to pass on your genes. And that is adaptation and evolution, in a nutshell. But humans are changing their environment faster than their genes can keep pace. This has led to a slew of diseases – […]

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Big Picture Science – A New Hope For Life In Space

June 1, 2014

Big Picture Science – A New Hope For Life In Space Alien life. A flurry of recent discoveries has shifted the odds of finding it. Scientists use the Kepler telescope to spot a planet the same size and temperature as Earth … and announce that there could be tens of billions of similar worlds, just […]

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Big Picture Science – Just For The Fund Of It

May 25, 2014

Big Picture Science – Just For The Fund Of It Get ready for déjà vu as you listen to some of our favorite interviews in the past year. It’s our annual fundraising podcast. Come for the great interviews, stay for the great interviews. Lend us your support along the way. What’s for dinner? Maybe fried […]

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