Big Picture Science Show: “Spacecraft Elegy”

Big Picture Science Show: “Spacecraft Elegy”

Exploration: It’s exciting, it’s novel, and you can’t always count on a round-trip ticket.  You can boldly go, but you might not come back.  That’s no showstopper for robotic explorers, though.  Spacecraft go everywhere. While humans have traveled no farther than the...
Big Picture Science Show: “Your Brain’s Reins”

Big Picture Science Show: “Your Brain’s Reins”

You are your brain.  But what happens when your brain changes for the worse – either by physical injury or experience?  Are you still responsible for your actions? We hear how the case of a New York man charged with murder was one of the first to introduce...
Big Picture Science Show: “Winging It”

Big Picture Science Show: “Winging It”

Ask anyone what extraordinary powers they’d love to have, and you’re sure to hear “be able to fly.”  We’ve kind of scratched that itch with airplanes.  But have we gone as far as we can go, or are better flying machines in our future?  And whatever happened to our...
Big Picture Science Show: “Shell on Earth”

Big Picture Science Show: “Shell on Earth”

We all may retreat to our protective shells, but evolution has perfected the calcite variety to give some critters permanent defense against predators.  So why did squids and octopuses lose their shells?  Find out what these cephalopods gained by giving up the shell...
Big Picture Science Show: “Born Legacy”

Big Picture Science Show: “Born Legacy”

We know how the stars shine, but how do you make a star?  We take an all-night ride on a high-flying jet – an airborne NASA observatory called SOFIA – to watch astronomers investigate how a star is born. (Listen to the show in the player above, and read our reporter...
Big Picture Science Show: “What Have You Got To Move?”

Big Picture Science Show: “What Have You Got To Move?”

Whether they swim, slither, jump, or fly, animal locomotion is more than just an urge to roam: it’s necessary for survival.  Evolution has come up with ingenious schemes to get from here to there.  Hear how backbones evolved as a consequence of fish needing to wag...
Big Picture Science Show: “Cosmic Conundra”

Big Picture Science Show: “Cosmic Conundra”

Admit it – the universe is cool, but weird. Just when you think you’ve tallied up all the peculiar phenomena that the cosmos has to offer – it throws more at you. We examine some of the recent perplexing finds. Could massive asteroid impacts be as predictable as...
Big Picture Science Show: “Skeptic Check: Not So Sweet”

Big Picture Science Show: “Skeptic Check: Not So Sweet”

Obesity, diabetes, heart disease … maybe even Alzheimer’s.  Could these modern scourges have a common denominator?  Some people believe they do: sugar. But is this accusation warranted?  We talk with a journalist who has spent two decades reporting on nutrition...
Big Picture Science Show: “Thinking About Thinking”

Big Picture Science Show: “Thinking About Thinking”

Congratulations, you have a big brain.  Evolution was good to Homo sapiens.  But make some room on the dais.  Research shows that other animals, such as crows, may not look smart, but can solve complex problems. Meanwhile human engineers are busily developing...