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Silly Science Honored With Ig Nobel Prizes

November 26, 2010 7:44 am | by Science Friday Podcast Podcasts Comments

The winners of this year's Ig Nobel Prizes include work on the pain-relieving effects of swearing, researchers who studied techniques to collect whale snot, and more. The Igs honor research that "first, makes you laugh, then, makes you think," according to Marc Abrahams, the master of...

From The Vault: Discovering The Ozone Hole

November 26, 2010 7:43 am | by Science Friday Podcast Podcasts Comments

On Science Friday's first broadcast in 1991, Ira Flatow spoke with Michael Oppenheimer and F. Sherwood Rowland about what caused the ozone hole, and what should be done about it. Rowland went on to share a Nobel Prize for the research a few years later.

A Trip Back To The Future of The Internet

November 26, 2010 7:43 am | by Science Friday Podcast Podcasts Comments

Science Friday made history in 1993, when it became the first national radio show to be broadcast live over the Internet. Traffic on the 'net slowed that day, as listeners from around the world logged on to try to talk to Ira Flatow and guests Brewster Kahle and Carl Malamud.

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Remembering The Scent Of A Meal

November 26, 2010 7:43 am | by Science Friday Podcast Podcasts Comments

How does the way something smells influence the way it tastes? And why are smell memories more emotional than other types of memories? Brown University professor of psychiatry and human behavior Rachel Herz describes the relationship between the smell of food and its taste.

Futures in Biotech 71: Genomics, Proteomics, Cellular Immunity, And Anti-Matter

November 22, 2010 3:47 pm | by Futures in Biotech Podcast Podcasts Comments

Hosts: Marc Pelletier, Vincent Racaniello, Andre Nantel, and George Farr. The '1000 Genome Project', 'Billion Dollar Human Proteome', viral killing proteins, and capturing anti-matter. Guest: Mark Gerstein Ph.D. - Professor of Biomedical Informatics, Molecular Biophysics & Biochemistry,...

Computers And Babies, Listening Carefully

November 19, 2010 9:44 am | by Science Friday Podcast Podcasts Comments

The speech-recognition algorithms behind Google Voice Search analyze thousands of hours of human speech to pick out patterns. Babies may use the same technique. Google speech recognition guru Mike Cohen and linguist Sheila Blumstein discuss how humans and computers learn language.

How The X-Box Kinect Tracks Your Moves

November 19, 2010 9:44 am | by Science Friday Podcast Podcasts Comments

Kinect uses depth sensors, cameras and microphones to track the movements of players, and it's surprisingly good at weeding out distractions. Ira Flatow and guests discuss the development of the gaming technology -- and how movement can influence players' moods.

Science Diction: The Origin Of The Word 'Atom'

November 19, 2010 9:44 am | by Science Friday Podcast Podcasts Comments

The British poet and alchemist Thomas Norton used the word "attoms" in his 1477 poem, The Ordinal of Alchemy. Historian Howard Markel explains how Norton came to use the word, and points out earlier philosophers who raised the concept of indivisible units of matter.

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Are Airport Scanners Safe?

November 19, 2010 9:44 am | by Science Friday Podcast Podcasts Comments

Some airport body scanning machines use X-rays to generate images. How much radiation is a traveler exposed to? Should frequent fliers opt for a pat down instead? Radiation expert David Brenner explains the possible public health concerns of scanning millions of passengers.

From Bach To Beer Bottles, The Physics of Music

November 19, 2010 9:44 am | by Science Friday Podcast Podcasts Comments

Why does a saxophone sound different from an oboe? How do tiny flutes produce such loud sounds? Dr. John Powell, author of How Music Works: The Science and Psychology of Beautiful Sounds explains musical acoustics and more.

Locking Up Antimatter

November 19, 2010 9:44 am | by Science Friday Podcast Podcasts Comments

Scientists at CERN, the European nuclear research facility, say they have produced and trapped molecules of antihydrogen, a form of antimatter. Physicist Jeffrey Hangst explains how they were made and captured. Will trapping antimatter help scientists learn about the construction of the universe?

Untangling The Hairy Physics Of Rapunzel

November 19, 2010 9:43 am | by Science Friday Podcast Podcasts Comments

Kelly Ward, senior software engineer for Walt Disney Animation Studios, was tasked with bringing Rapunzel's locks to life in Disney's new movie, Tangled. The hair had to look realistic, but not too real -- otherwise Rapunzel would be towing 80 pounds of hair behind her.

Flying By A Small, Hyperactive Comet

November 12, 2010 10:43 am | by Science Friday Podcast Podcasts Comments

When it comes to comets, gassy is good, or at least informative, says astronomer Michael A'Hearn. NASA's Deep Impact probe has been snapping pictures of Hartley 2 -- a small comet that is spewing a lot of gas and dust for its size. What do researchers hope to learn from the comet?

How To Hunt For Lichens

November 12, 2010 10:43 am | by Science Friday Podcast Podcasts Comments

Lichens grow practically everywhere, but they have been neglected by scientists for years, says James Lendemer, a lichenologist with New York Botanical Garden. Lendemer took Science Friday on a trip to the Tannersville Cranberry Bog in Pennsylvania to explore the diversity of lichens living there.

The Spookiness Of Quantum Mechanics

November 12, 2010 10:43 am | by Science Friday Podcast Podcasts Comments

It's been 75 years since Albert Einstein decried the "spooky action at a distance" of quantum entanglement. Tom Siegfried, editor-in-chief of Science News, explains how quantum mechanics is being put to use, even though scientists still don't quite understand how it works.

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