Sunday, May 31, 2009

Are We Alone for 06/01/09 - Robots Call the Shots

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Are We Alone - Robots Call the Shots
Dr. Robot, I presume? Your appendix may be removed by motor-driven, scalpel-wielding mechanical hands one day. Robots are debuting in the medical field… as well as on battlefields. And they’re increasingly making important decisions – on their own. But can we teach robots right from wrong? Find out why the onslaught of silicon intelligence has prompted a new field of robo-ethics.
Plus, robo-geologists: NASA’s vision for autonomous robots in space.
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.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Are We Alone for 05/25/09 - Skeptic Check: Playing Doctor

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Are We Alone - Skeptic Check: Playing Doctor
A new herbal supplements is on the shelf, and it claims to improve memory. Should you take it? It’s not easy to sort through the firehose of health and nutrition advice that comes at us daily. Find out how to get healthy about health advice, plus hear the story of Bernarr Macfadden, the eccentric who kicked off America’s fitness craze; he believed that eating less was good for you, but he didn’t believe germ theory.

Plus, our Hollywood skeptic spills his guts and other entrails for a phony class for nurses and Phil Plait gives us the latest lapse in critically-thinking brains.

It’s Skeptic Check… 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 out Are We A Blog?, the companion blog to the radio show.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Local Project Astro Star Party - May 23, 2009

Posted on behalf of David Dorais - Project Astro volunteer - http://www.astrosociety.org/education/astro/project_astro.html

The Room 9 Community School is planning to hold a Star Party on May 23rd, Saturday, weather permitting, from 5pm to 11pm (roughly). We will have two Dobs-8'',10", a C-8 and 10x50 binos. Any fellow Project Astro'gators' and any local amateurs are invited to add their 'scopes to the party. Especially any refractors-in honor of Galileo/400 yrs/IYA2009 will be very welcome.

The location is the north SAS monthly site at Paramount School Park in Shoreline, WA at 155th NE and 8th NE. Map of site is available on SAS website-- www.seattleastro.org .

If overcast or forecast is very unfriendly on Friday; we are planning an alternate date of May 30th which coincides with the regular SAS monthly SP event.

Parking lot is relatively small- parents and amateurs are encouraged to carpool and park their front headlights to the west to help with dark eye adaptation.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Are We Alone for 05/18/09 - Why We Do What We Shoo Be Do Be Do

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Are We Alone - Why We Do What We Shoo Be Do Be Do
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 out Are We A Blog?, the companion blog to the radio show.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Are We Alone for 05/11/09 - Seas the Moment

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Are We Alone - Seas the Moment
With more water than land on this planet, Earth is more aptly-named “Ocean” or “Water.” The oceans have been here for billions of years, and make all life possible. Yet, it’s taken less than a century for humans to deal some serious blows to the watery cradle of our existence. Discover how our oceans are changing and the worrisome increase in their acidity from the maker of the documentary film, A Sea Change

Also, hear how hope is bubbling up for ocean recovery from famed oceanographer Sylvia Earle. Learn about her record-breaking voyages underwater and how her reprimand to a Silicon Valley entrepreneur gave birth to Google Ocean. Plus, farming the seas for new antibiotics.

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.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Are We Alone for 05/04/09 - Genes That Fit

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Are We Alone - Genes That Fit
Encore: Remember Mr. Potato Head? You changed his look by snapping in plastic mustaches, googly eyes and feet. Now imagine doing the same with a living cell: inserting the genes you want to create the organism you want. Welcome to the world of synthetic biology. It has potential to create new bio-fuels and life-saving drugs. It also ushers in a host of ethical and safety concerns. We examine both when we discuss this emerging science of mix and match genes.
Plus, does doing an end run around Mother Nature challenge the essence of life itself?

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.