Big Picture Science – Skeptic Check: Mummy Dearest

by Gary Niederhoff on January 25, 2015


Big Picture Science – Skeptic Check: Mummy Dearest
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Shh …mummy’s the word! We don’t want to provoke the curse of King Tut. Except that there are many curses associated with this fossilized pharaoh – from evil spirits to alien malevolence. So it’s hard to keep know which one we’d face.

We’ll unravel secrets about the famous young pharaoh, including the bizarre events that transpired after the discovery of his tomb in the Valley of the Kings, and learn what modern imaging reveals about life 3,000 years ago.

Plus, we dispel myths about how to make a mummy, while learning the origin of that notorious mummy curse. Also, discover why superstitions have survival value.

Listen to individual segments here:
Part 1: Jo Marchant / Tut’s Mummy
Part 2: Andrew Wade / Mummification
Part 3: Salim Ikram / Mummy’s Curse
Part 4: F. DeWolfe Miller / Ancient Pathogen
Part 5: Stuart Vyse / Superstition

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Big Picture Science – Big Questions Somewhat Answered

by Gary Niederhoff on January 19, 2015


Big Picture Science – Big Questions Somewhat Answered

Here are questions that give a cosmologist – and maybe even you – insomnia: What happened after the Big Bang? What is dark matter? Will dark energy tear the universe apart?

Let us help you catch those zzzzs. We’re going to provide answers to the biggest cosmic puzzlers of our time. Somewhat. Each question is the focus of new experiments that are either underway or in the queue.

Hear the latest results in the search for gravitational waves that would be evidence for cosmic inflation, as well as the hunt for dark matter and dark energy. And because these questions are bigger than big, we’ve enlisted cosmologist Sean Carroll as our guide to what these experiments might reveal and what it all means.

Listen to individual segments here:
Part 1: The Big Bang
Part 2: Cosmic Inflation
Part 3: SPIDER!
Part 4: Dark Matter
Part 5: Dark Energy
Part 6: WFIRST
Part 7: Cosmology Summary

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Big Picture Science – How To Talk To Aliens

January 11, 2015

Big Picture Science – How To Talk To Aliens “Dear E.T. …” So far, so good. But now what? Writing is never easy, but what if your task was to craft a message to aliens living elsewhere in the universe, and your prose would represent all humankind? Got writer’s block yet? What to say to […]

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Big Picture Science – Meet Your Replacements

January 4, 2015

Big Picture Science – Meet Your Replacements There’s no one like you. At least, not yet. But in some visions of the future, androids can do just about everything, computers will hook directly into your brain, and genetic human-hybrids with exotic traits will be walking the streets. So could humans become an endangered species? Be […]

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Big Picture Science – Skeptic Check: Got a Sweet Truth?

December 28, 2014

Big Picture Science – Got a Sweet Truth? The sweet stuff is getting sour press. Some researchers say sugar is toxic. A new study seems to support that idea: mice fed the human equivalent of an extra three sodas a day become infertile or die. But should cupcakes be regulated like alcohol? Hear both sides […]

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Big Picture Science – Science Fiction True

December 21, 2014

Big Picture Science – Science Fiction True Don’t believe everything you see on TV or the movies. Science fiction is just a guide to how our future might unfold. It can be misleading, as anyone who yearns for a flying car can tell you. And yet, sometimes fantasy becomes fact. Think of the prototype cellphones […]

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Big Picture Science – Shocking Ideas

December 15, 2014

Big Picture Science – Shocking Ideas Electricity is so 19th century. Most of the uses for it were established by the 1920s. So there’s nothing innovative left to do, right? That’s not the opinion of the Nobel committee that awarded its 2014 physics prize to scientists who invented the blue LED. Find out why this […]

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Big Picture Science – Living Computers

December 8, 2014

Big Picture Science – Living Computers It’s the most dramatic technical development of recent times: Teams of people working for decades to produce a slow-motion revolution we call computing. As these devices become increasingly powerful, we recall that a pioneer from the nineteenth century – Ada Lovelace, a mathematician and Lord Byron’s daughter – said […]

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Big Picture Science – Surfeit of the Vitalest

November 16, 2014

Big Picture Science – Surfeit of the Vitalest In the century and a half since Charles Darwin wrote his seminal On the Origin of the Species, our understanding of evolution has changed quite a bit. For one, we have not only identified the inheritance molecule DNA, but have determined its sequence in many animals and […]

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Big Picture Science – Skeptic Check: Are You Sure You’re Sure?

November 10, 2014

Big Picture Science – Are You Sure You’re Sure? Nuclear fission powers the Sun, right? Or is it fusion? At any rate, helium is burned in the process, of that you’re certain. After all, you took astronomy in college. You know what you know. But you probably don’t know what you don’t know. Few of […]

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