Sunday, December 28, 2008

Are We Alone for 12/29/08 - Nerds


Are We Alone

Are We Alone - Encore Presentation "Nerds"
There are two kinds of people: those who are unstylish, socially inept, yet academically gifted, and those who tease them. Being a nerd is rough; it's no fun to sit alone in the cafeteria or be forced to dine on beach sandwiches. But revenge is sweet: the world depends more than ever on the witty and gifted to keep it technologically and scientifically turning. So who gets the last laugh? Just ask Bill Gates. Then again, have attitudes towards eggheads really matured? Just ask Al Gore.

Hear why America has contempt for nerds, while other countries treat them as rock stars. Also, how to solve a Rubik's Cube in seconds, and a Geeksta Rap sing-along.
Guests:
You can listen to this and other episodes at http://radio.seti.org/, and be sure to check out Are We A Blog?, the companion blog to the radio show.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Are We Alone for 12/22/08 - Science and Art: Worlds Apart?


Are We Alone

Are We Alone - Encore Presentation "Science and Art: Worlds Apart?"
Leonardo da Vinci is considered a genius for combining art and science. But how usual is this for us mere mortals? Can science and art sucessfully inform each other?

We'll hear how the insights of French writer Marcel Proust anticipated modern neuroscience. Also, a debate over the evolutionary function of art. Does it have survival value? We meet a robot whose painting talents have garnered it a job in one of America's top museums. And, hear - or don't hear - why some of our relatives don't monkey around with music.
Guests:
Find out more about RAP, including a picture, at the American Museum of Natural History website! Whip up some madeleines (click here for a recipe) and savor your own remembrance of things past.

You can listen to this and other episodes at: http://radio.seti.org/ and be sure to check the Are We Alone Profile and Blog on MySpace.
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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Are We Alone for 12/15/08 - Skeptical Sunday: Ghost of a Chance


Are We Alone

Are We Alone - "Skeptical Sunday: Ghost of a Chance"
Half of all Americans believe in ghosts - despite any compelling evidence of their existence. Find out why we believe in what we can't see, and why loneliness may increase our chances of a poltergeist experience. Hear the tale of the Toys R Us ghost, and scope out the latest in haunted real estate.

Also, why our Hollywood skeptic is tired of wild ghost chases and Phil Plait speaks out on lapses in critical thinking. This week: vaccination and autism.

It's Skeptical Sunday... but don't take our word for it!


Guests:
You can listen to this and other episodes at: http://radio.seti.org/ and be sure to check the Are We Alone Profile and Blog on MySpace.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Are We Alone for 12/08/08 - That's Cosmic!


Are We Alone

Are We Alone - That's Cosmic!
What makes up the universe? Lots of tiny particles with strange names: bosons, leptons, quarks and neutrinos. But physicists think there are more members to be discovered in this particle zoo.
From strange particles to dark matter to vibrating strings, find out why you have to think small to understand the physics of the universe. Plus, other cosmic connections: is SETI a religion?

Guests:
You can listen to this and other episodes at: http://radio.seti.org/ and be sure to check the Are We Alone Profile and Blog on MySpace.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Are We Alone for 12/01/08 - Got Life?

Are We Alone

Are We Alone - "Got Life?"
"Spore" is the ultimate game of life. Play it wisely and you can evolve from a single-celled organism, swimming in salt water, to an intelligent being rocketing through the galaxy. It's survival of the cleverest - are you game?

Join us as we attend the "Spore" launch party. Hear how the game's primary author, Will Wright (of "SimCity" fame) simulated the arc of evolution; whether complex life is inevitable; and how SETI scientists inspired one of the most anticipated video games in history.

Also, why real human evolution is picking up the pace (did you know that blue eyes are relatively new?)... and a doctor's film about the meaning of life.
Click here to become a Spore-TeamSETI Member!

Guests:
You can listen to this and other episodes at: http://radio.seti.org/ and be sure to check the Are We Alone Profile and Blog on MySpace.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Runaway ISS Toolbag Sighted and Filmed

Source - Space Weather News for Nov. 25th: http://spaceweather.com

ISS TOOLBAG: A backpack-sized tool bag inadvertently dropped from the International Space Station last week is orbiting Earth and has been sighted from the ground. The tool bag is surprisingly bright, about 6th or 7th magnitude, which makes it an easy target for binoculars or a small telescope. Today's edition of http://spaceweather.com offers observing tips, sighting reports and a movie of the bag in orbit.

AURORA WATCH: High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras tonight and tomorrow. Earth is entering a solar wind stream and this could trigger geomagnetic storms around the Arctic Circle.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Are We Alone for 11/24/08 - First Contact!




Are We Alone - First Contact! (Encore Presentation)
From human settlers to alien visitors - when one society meets another, the results can be messy.

The Jamestown settlement may have kicked off the colonization of the New World. But, you'll hear how it also left an indelible mark on its ecosystem and the human landscape. Plus, why the Galapagos Islands haven't been the same since their most celebrated visitor set foot on their rocky shores more than a century ago.

Also: how a spider led the re-population of Krakatau after a devastating volcanic eruption... the "raining" threat of alien microbes... and one man's emergency plan for when Mars attacks.
Guests:
You can listen to this and other episodes at: http://radio.seti.org/ and be sure to check the Are We Alone Profile and Blog on MySpace.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Are We Alone for 11/17/08 - Skeptical Sunday: I'll Buy That!

I'll Buy That!

Are We Alone -
Skeptical Sunday: I'll Buy That!
Smoking is good for you! Doctors want you to light up! Discover how cigarette companies of the 1950s manipulated the media to peddle their tobacco - and why not much has changed since then. Also, what goes on in our brain when we buy; the results of a global neuroscience study. Plus, our Hollywood Skeptic tests the purifying claims of Kinoki pads and Brains on Vacation debunks Carl Sagan ufology.

Guests:
You can listen to this and other episodes at: http://radio.seti.org/ and be sure to check the Are We Alone Profile and Blog on MySpace.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Converging Planets and Leonid Meteors


Source - Space Weather News for Nov. 16, 2008: http://spaceweather.com

EVENING PLANETS: When the sun goes down tonight, step outside and look southwest. The two brightest planets, Venus and Jupiter, are shining through the twilight side by side. You'll want to keep an eye on these two because they are drawing noticeably closer together every night. Venus and Jupiter are converging on a patch of sky in Sagittarius where they will have a spectacular double-conjunction with the Moon at the end of the month. Don't wait until then, though. Visit http://spaceweather.com for sky maps and start watching now.

LEONID METEOR WATCH: The Leonid meteor shower peaks this year on Nov. 17th and 18th. Bright moonlight will probably spoil the show, but not necessarily. Researchers who study Comet 55P/Tempel-Tuttle, the source of the Leonids, say Earth is going to pass through one or two of the comet's dusty filaments. Peak rates of 20 to 100 meteors per hour are possible during the early hours of Nov. 17th (especially 0000-0200 UT) and again during the waning hours of Nov. 18th (around 2130 UT). These times favor sky watchers in Europe, Africa, and Asia. Smaller numbers of Leonids could appear between the anticipated peak times. Meteor enthusiasts everywhere should monitor the sky on Nov. 17th and 18th; the hours before local dawn are usually best.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Are We Alone for 11/10/08 - Time's Mysteries Part II: Warping Time


Marking Time

Are We Alone - Time's Mysteries Part II: Warping Time

Ever since Einstein, we've known that time doesn't barrel willy-nilly into the future. Moving clocks tick at a different rates, and by riding a fast rocket, we can slow time to a crawl. Such tricks may give you a way to see the distant future, but can you go back in time?

Discover one man's quest to build a time machine. Also learn how to put the brakes on aging by getting near a black hole. Plus, does your entire life really pass before your eyes if you jump off the Brooklyn Bridge? Our perception of time.

Guests: You can listen to this and other episodes at: http://radio.seti.org/ and be sure to check the Are We Alone Profile and Blog on MySpace.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Are We Alone for 11/03/08 - "Time's Mysteries Part I: Marking Time"


Marking Time

Are We Alone - "Time's Mysteries Part I: Marking Time"

Time's a mystery, yet we've invented clever ways to capture it. From sundials to atomic clocks, trace the history of time-keeping. Also, discover the surprising accuracy of nature's dating schemes - from the decay of carbon to laying down tree rings. Plus, why the "New York minute," stretches to hours in Rio de Janeiro: cultural differences in the perception of time.

Guests:
You can listen to this and other episodes at: http://radio.seti.org/ and be sure to check the Are We Alone Profile and Blog on MySpace.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Are We Alone for 10/27/08 - "War of the Worlds: Happy Anniversary!"


War of the Worlds

Are We Alone - "War of the Worlds: Happy Anniversary!"
It's been 70 years since malevolent Martians landed in Grover's Mill, New Jersey. Orson Welles described the dramatic events as they unfolded on CBS's Mercury Theater On The Air. Some listeners were so frightened, they became hysterical and fled their homes.
We revisit the famous radio adaptation of H.G. Well's novel and examine its cultural legacy. Also, what do modern invasion movies say about today's public fears?
Plus, the religious response to an alien invasion... how to protect Earth from Martian microbes... and, what Percival Lowell thought he saw on Mars.

Guests:
You can listen to this and other episodes at: http://radio.seti.org/ and be sure to check the Are We Alone Profile and Blog on MySpace.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Are We Alone for 10/20/08 - "What Were You Thinking?"


Thinker

Are We Alone - "What Were You Thinking?"
Say what you mean. That's difficult, if you don't know what you're thinking. But the neuromarketers do, and they'll be happy to tell Madison Avenue what's on your mind. Discover why this marketing strategy is wired for success.

Also, Steven Pinker on how language reveals private thoughts as well as why the big-brained Homo neanderthalensis couldn't out-compete Homo sapiens. And, we tease your gray matter with the "Monty Hall Problem."
Guests:
You can listen to this and other episodes at: http://radio.seti.org/ and be sure to check the Are We Alone Profile and Blog on MySpace.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Are We Alone for 10/13/08 - "Senses Census"


Senses

Are We Alone - "Senses Census" (Encore Presentation)
Don't worry if you've lost your senses - we've found them. Find out why we've evolved taste, sight, hearing, touch, and smell the way we have, and why we don't sense our world through antennae or echolocation. Discover what part of the tongue recognizes anchovies and why cats can't taste candy. And, in need of some virtual surgery? Visit the robotics lab where computers are wired with the sense of touch.

Also, release yourself from the limits of your biology: from bionic limbs to infrared vision; join humans of the future who are enhanced with super-senses.
Now that you have a feel for the taste of this show by nosing about this blurb, you can see that it's worth a listen. Make sense?

Guests:
  • Tom Finger - Cell and Developmental Biologist at University of Colorado Medical School and Co-Director of the Rocky Mountain Taste and Smell Center.
  • Ken Salisbury - Computer Scientist in the Bio-Robotics Laboratory, Stanford.
  • James Hughes - Sociologist and Bioethicist at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut and Executive Director of the Institute of Ethics and Emerging Technologies.
  • Nina Jablonski - Anthropologist at Penn State University and author of Skin: A Natural History.
You can listen to this and other episodes at: http://radio.seti.org/ and be sure to check the Are We Alone Profile and Blog on MySpace.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Are We Alone for 10/06/08 - "Humans in Space... ace... ace"


Humans in Space

Are We Alone -
"Humans in Space... ace... ace"
When the economy's down, will humans still be going up - into space, that is? We investigate the future of human spaceflight at the International Astronautical Congress in Glasgow, Scotland and find out whether sending Homo sapiens to the Moon and Mars is still a good idea. Also, the chief of Virgin Galactic is happy to send you into space on a private flight - but it may max out your credit card.
Plus, an Apollo astronaut's view from orbit... dining with South Korea's first astronaut... and one of Britain's great science fiction authors on how space science fuels the imagination.

Guests:
  • Rusty Schweickart - Former NASA astronaut and Chairman of the Board of the B612 Foundation
  • John Mankins - 25-year NASA veteran who managed the Agency's exploration technology activities
  • Sanjoy Som - Planetary scientist at the University of Washington, Seattle
  • Will Whitehorn - President of Virgin Galactic
  • Yi So-yeon - Biomechanical engineer and South Korean astronaut
  • Stephen Baxter - Science fiction author, most recently of Weaver
You can listen to this and other episodes at: http://radio.seti.org/ and be sure to check the Are We Alone Profile and Blog on MySpace.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Are We Alone for 09/29/08 - "Formula One: The Drake Equation"


Frank Drake

Are We Alone - Next show available September 29, 2008: Formula One: The Drake Equation (Encore Performance)

Show description:

When it comes to contacting ET, SETI scientists do the math. They've been filling in values for the Drake Equation ever since 1961. That's when Frank Drake proposed his simple formula for estimating the number of communicating civilizations in the galaxy. It's one equation that everyone can understand.
We'll talk about the current best estimates for the terms in Drake's famous formulation - from the number of Earth-size planets to the life expectancy of advanced civilizations. Also, with all this number crunching, why haven't we yet heard from ET?
Guests:
You can listen to this and other episodes at: http://radio.seti.org/ and be sure to check the Are We Alone Profile and Blog on MySpace.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Are We Alone for 09/22/08 - "Get Your Boson"


Hadron Collider

Are We Alone - Encore Performance September 22, 2008 "Get Your Boson"

What happens when particles collide? The answer may tell us the dark secrets of the cosmos. At least, that's the hope for the Large Hadron Collider, the world's largest particle accelerator. When it fires up this summer, colliding protons may produce the elusive Higgs Boson - the so-called God particle - and reveal the building blocks of the universe.

We talk to the Director of CERN, home of this massive device, about what happens when they throw the big switch. Also, what if black holes happen? Find out how these weird gravity pits are created, and whether they're actually two-way streets that allow information to escape after all.

Also, plans are already underway for the next particle accelerator, and playing with fire: a new fusion reactor in France.

Guests: You can listen to this and other episodes at: http://radio.seti.org/ and be sure to check the Are We Alone Profile and Blog on MySpace.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Skeptical Sunday: Bear Right in a Bull Market

TXT MSG

Are We Alone - Skeptical Sunday: Bear Right in a Bull Market
When we're in love, we do some crazy things. And that's OK. But when we merge lanes on the highway, sign up for a credit card, or just order a book, we're as irrational as a teenager who's got a crush.

Find out why we're mad in money matters, why we're suckers for designer aspirin, are willing to believe in the paranormal, and anything but logical in traffic. It's Skeptical Sunday, but be rational - don't take our word for it! Guests:

You can listen to this and other episodes at: http://radio.seti.org/ and be sure to check the Are We Alone Profile and Blog on MySpace.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Are We Alone - TXT MSG: Behavior

TXT MSG
Are We Alone - TXT MSG: Behavior
From iPods to Google to Facebook - information swims at our fingertips and friends are just a txt msg away. Digital devices have re-defined what it means to be connected - but how else are they shaping behavior? Join us for the second of a two-part series on how the network is changing how we think and act.

Part II: Behavior: how computers compel us to interact with them... why your iPod may improve your health... why Facebook may leave you friendless... the unintended consequences of past innovation... and the growing threat of "videophilia." Guests:

You can listen to this and other episodes at: http://radio.seti.org/ and be sure to check the Are We Alone Profile and Blog on MySpace.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Are We Alone - Next show available Sept. 1, 2008

TXT MSG
Are We Alone - Next show available September 1, 2008 TXT MSG: Thought
From iPods to Google to Facebook - information swims at our fingertips and friends are just a txt msg away. Digital devices have re-defined what it means to be connected - but how else are they shaping behavior? Join us for the first of a two-part series on how the network is changing how we think and act.

Part I: Thought: whether Google is making us stupid... how the Internet is curtailing creativity... and the future of a hyper-networked world that does all our thinking for us.
Guests: You can listen to this and other episodes at: http://radio.seti.org/ and be sure to check the Are We Alone Profile and Blog on MySpace.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Are We Alone - Next show available Aug. 25, 2008

Bigfoot

Are We Alone - Next show available August 25, 2008: Skeptical Sunday: Bigfoot Press Conference
Finally, Bigfoot meets habeus corpus: three men claim they have the body of the elusive hirsute creature on ice, and throw a big press conference to prove it. Lots of journalists show up, as do the Bigfoot baggers.

Days later the purported historic discovery turned out to be - gasp! - a hairy hoax. How did these men perpetuate the con - and why did the media, including Are We Alone?, bother to cover it?


Join us front row and center at this peculiar press event and for the post-mortem (sans body) of the latest chapter in the ongoing mythology that is Bigfoot.


Guests for this episode are:

  • Lori Marino - Behavioral Biologist at Emory University
  • James Underdown - Executive Director of the Center for Inquiry West in Los Angeles
You can listen to this and other episodes at: http://radio.seti.org/ and be sure to check the Are We Alone Profile and Blog on MySpace.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Are We Alone - Next show available Aug. 11, 2008


Mars to Infinity

Are We Alone - Next show available August 11, 2008 From Mars to Eternity

The discovery of water on Mars has scientists asking whether they're could have once been life on the Red Planet. It's a big question - and it's prompted us to follow up with a few of our own, such as: what is our relationship to the cosmos? How do we find meaning in a universe that is destined to end? Plus, in response to Seth's appearance on Larry King Live: have aliens visited Earth?
Any questions? If you missed Seth on Larry King Live, check out our blog and watch the videos. You can read Seth's article about the experience here.
Guests:
  • Janice Bishop - Planetary Scientist at the SETI Institute and at NASA Ames Research Center
  • Roy Gould - Education Analyst at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
You can listen to this and other episodes at: http://radio.seti.org/ and be sure to check the Are We Alone Profile and Blog on MySpace.

Science News & Blog Updates: Aug. 10, 2008

Science News:
MSNBC: Amateur astronomer spots gassy ‘cosmic ghost’: There have been quite a few articles about the recently discovered "cosmic ghost", and here is another one from MSNBC. Congrats to Hanny van Arkel, the Dutch amateur astronomer who discovered the object as part of the Galaxy Zoo Project. You have to love the nickname: "Hanny's Voorwerp"!

Moses Lake doubles for the Moon: KOMONews.Com posted this article a while back about NASA conducting tests with prototype space suits and vehicles in Moses Lake WA. According to the article "The tests started in late May in the Moses Lake Sand Dunes, a 3,000-acre off-road vehicle park." The article is fairly detailed and has some great shots of the spaces suits and vehicles. One thing I didn't know about Moses Lake is that there is a closed B-52 base there that NASA has designated as an emergency landing site for the space shuttle. Hopefully NASA will come back for more tests, and if they do it might be worth a trip out to Moses Lake to maybe catch a glimpse of the new Lunar hardware.

Science Blogs:
*****
Bad Astronomy:
*****
The Daily Galaxy:

Friday, August 8, 2008

Science News & Blog Updates: Aug. 07, 2008

Science News:
  • Are We Alone - This weeks episode: "Why We Do What We Shoo Be Do Be Do"
Science Blogs:
*****
Are We A Blog?: Uncivilized Behavior

*****
Bad Astronomy:
*****
The Daily Galaxy:
*****
What's New At Pacific Science Center:

Countdown to the Perseid Meteor Shower

The following notice was recived from Space Weather - http://spaceweather.com

Countdown to the Perseid Meteor Shower - Space Weather News for August 5, 2008

COUNTDOWN TO THE PERSEIDS: The annual Perseid meteor shower peaks one week from today, on Tuesday, August 12th. The best time to look is during the dark hours before dawn on Tuesday morning when forecasters expect 50 to 100 meteors per hour. Get away from city lights if you can; plan a camping trip! The darker the sky, the more meteors you will see.

The source of the Perseids is Comet Swift-Tuttle, which has littered the August portion of Earth's orbit with space dust. The dusty zone is broad and Earth is already in its outskirts. As a result, even before the peak on August 12th, you may see some "early Perseids" streaking across the night sky. Photos of these early arrivals will be featured in the days ahead on http://Spaceweather.com as part of our full coverage of the Perseid meteor shower.

BONUS: Last Friday's total solar eclipse is history, but new pictures continue to appear in our photo gallery. Start browsing at this URL: http://spaceweather.com/eclipses/gallery_01aug08_page3.htm

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Are We Alone - Next show available August 4, 2008

Are We Alone - Next show available August 4, 2008: "Why We Do What We Shoo Be Do Be Do"
Risk
We see a man laughing and we smile in response. Our heart goes out to the sad-looking woman on the train. Humans are empathetic creatures - we feel what others feel, even the emotions of strangers. And it may be due to brain cells that researchers have only recently discovered: mirror neurons. Find out how these mimicking cells help us survive cocktail parties, keep society humming, and even give rise to the concept of self.
Also, are humans born with a moral code? And, if human behavior is hard-wired - whatever becomes of free will?
Guests:
You can listen to this and other episodes at: http://radio.seti.org/ and be sure to check the Are We Alone Profile and Blog on MySpace.

Science News & Blog Updates: Aug. 03, 2008

Science News:
  • Are We Alone - Next show available August 4, 2008: "Why We Do What We Shoo Be Do Be Do"
Science Blogs:
*****
Bad Astronomy:
*****
The Daily Galaxy: