We all talk about the weather. And now scientists are doing something about it: providing more accurate warnings before big storms hit. Discover how smart technology –“ with an eye on the sky –“ is taking monster weather events by storm.
Plus, why severe weather events caused by a warming planet may trigger social and economic chaos.
Also, meet the storm chaser who runs toward tornadoes as everyone else flees... and why your cell phone goes haywire when the sun kicks up a storm of its own.
Anyone who does gardening knows that life is tough. It´s also ancient –“ the first living things appeared on this planet nearly as soon as our world was habitable. We consider life on real worlds –“ like Earth and Mars –“ as well as fictional ones, such as the desert planet from the movie "Dune". We´ll hear about a new scheme to find Martians, and practical approaches to coping with climate change.
And is Pluto seeking revenge? The unmasking of a fourth moon around this former planet!
We´re making some lively discoveries in Seth´s Tool Shed on Big Picture Science.
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During the great age of exploration men risked their lives to set foot upon unknown lands, whether in the humid jungles of Peru or on the barren ice cap of the South Pole. We´ll hear those dramatic tales...
... but also where modern exploration is taking us. Could it be to the deepest, darkest part of the sea?
Or to space? Discover how to build a space suit that will let you move like an athlete on Mars. Also, why some say that the ultimate frontier requires no packing and no travel: voyages into the human brain.
It´s been ten years since the fall of the Twin Towers, but some still believe that the attack was an inside job. They´re not the only ones to buy into a conspiratorial view of world events. Others deny President Obama´s American birth... link autism with vaccines... and even claim that the fluo
ride in our drinking water is there to control our minds. Is it the truth –“ or the fringe groups –“ that are "out there?"
Find out why some tinfoil hat ideas never go away. Also, the roots of rational argument: did our brains evolve to seek the truth... or just win arguments?
It´s Skeptic Check... but don´t take our word for it!
Water, water everywhere. But most of it is sea water –“ you can´t drink it. Discover the most promising technologies for desalination and why solar cells are key. Also, how astronauts filter "water-closet water" to drink it, and how to turn a salt pond back to a wetland.
Plus, from Roman aqueducts to modern-day pumps: a history of quenching human thirst. And, why NASA strives to "follow the water."
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. It´s nearly impossible to fake a laugh. Yet, humans will laugh even if something isn´t funny. Discover the evolutionary function of cracking up and meet the other species that love to giggle (and monkey around).
Also, hilarious science comedy. Yes, science comedy. Plus, teaching machines to write punch lines... and stretching –“ and splitting –“ your sides with laughter yoga.
How did life begin? What´s the universe made of, and what´s the nature of consciousness?
These are truly some of the biggest puzzlers in science, but answers are in the offing.
We consider the modern-day hunt for life beyond Earth, as well as a new theory of consciousness: could it be merely an illusion to entertain us and make our lives more worthwhile?
Also, after thousands of years of examining the heavens, are we finally learning the true nature of the cosmos?
Imagine moving things with your mind. Not with telekinesis, but with the future tools of brain science. Meet a pioneer in the field of computer-to-brain connection and discover the blurry boundary where the mind ends and the machine begins.
Plus, how new technology is sharpening the "real" in virtual reality. And, whether our devotion to digital devices is changing what it means to be human.
Could you have had a past life? Is it possible that some part of you is the reincarnation of a person –“ or maybe an animal –“ that lived long ago?
We´ll hear the story of a young boy who started having nightmares about a plane crash. His parents thought he was the reincarnation of a downed, World War II fighter pilot. But his story might not fly.
Also ... is there any biological basis for reincarnation? Animals that indulge in the big sleep.
Suspended animation is Hollywood´s favorite device for interstellar travel ... But could we really put a dimmer switch on human metabolism? Learn how techniques for hitting the hold button for humans might be just around the corner.