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...
Big Picture Science Show: “Going All to Species”

Big Picture Science Show: “Going All to Species”

Meet your new relatives.   The fossilized bones of Homo naledi are unique for their sheer number, but they may also be fill a special slot in our ancestry: the first of our genus Homo.   Sporting modern hands and feet but only a tiny brain, this creature may link us...
Big Picture Science Show: “Quantum: Why We Want ‘Em”

Big Picture Science Show: “Quantum: Why We Want ‘Em”

Einstein thought that quantum mechanics might be the end of physics, and most scientists felt sure it would never be useful.  Today, everything from cell phones to LED lighting is completely dependent on the weird behavior described by quantum mechanics. But the story...
Big Picture Science Show: “DIY Spaceflight”

Big Picture Science Show: “DIY Spaceflight”

For a half-century, space has been the playground of large, government agencies.  While everyone could dream of becoming an astronaut, few could actually do so. Things have changed.  We hear how a geeky son of immigrant parents incentivized the ground-breaking launch...
Big Picture Science Show: “Skeptic Check: Amelia Earhart”

Big Picture Science Show: “Skeptic Check: Amelia Earhart”

She’s among the most famous missing persons in history.  On the eightieth anniversary of Amelia Earhart’s disappearance, mystery still shrouds her fate.  What happened during the last leg of her round-the-world trek? Theories abound.  Perhaps she ran out of fuel, and...
Big Picture Science Show: “Geology is Destiny”

Big Picture Science Show: “Geology is Destiny”

The record of the rocks is not just the history of Earth; it’s your history too.  Geologists can learn about events going back billions of years that influenced – and even made possible – our present-day existence and shaped our society. If the last Ice Age had been a...
Big Picture Science Show: “No Face To Hide”

Big Picture Science Show: “No Face To Hide”

Face it – your mug is not entirely yours.  It’s routinely uploaded to social media pages and captured on CCTV cameras with – and without – your consent.  Sophisticated facial recognition technology can identify you and even make links to your personal data.  There are...
Big Picture Science Show: “Light Stuff”

Big Picture Science Show: “Light Stuff”

The light bulb needs changing.  Edison’s incandescent bulb, virtually unaltered for more than a century, is now being eclipsed by the LED.  The creative applications for these small and efficient devices are endless: on tape, on wallpaper, even in contact lenses. ...