Einstein, Niels Bohr and Grandmothers…a Fairy Tale!

PrintAn educator and perfomer, Len Barron first developed a piece about Einsteina and Bohr as a one man show, but then decided to evolve the project by enlist the help of 8 grandmothers to tell the story with their own added pizazz.  Not only was lively performance produced, but a process and experience was shared.  This process was captured by documentary film maker Robin Truesdale in a film coming to the Dairy Center this weekend entitled A Beautiful Equation.  Both Robin and Len have joined us today in the studio to tell us more about the film, the process, the scientists and the grandmothers.

4:30pm and 7:30pm Sunday May 31st at The Dairy Center for the Arts in Boulder, CO

More information at abeautifulequation.com

and tickets available at thedairy.org

 

Executive Producer: Susan Moran

Producer, Co-host, Engineer: Kendra Krueger

Cohost: Beth Bennett

Additional Contributions: Susan Moran, Shelley Schlender, Beth Bennett

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Birds v. Cats // Humor Science

robin-male-and-fledgling

Robin male and fledgling chick. Photo courtesy Jon Erickson, Creative Commons

Birds v. Cats (start time 4:35): Spring is in full bloom on Colorado’s Front Range. Robins and other birds wake us up before the crack of dawn with their choruses.  This is also a time when many chicks will hatch and then fledge — a time when they are most vulnerable to predators. The biggest single threat to birds is a favorite household pet – yes, cats. Actually, feral and pet cats alike.  Dr. Amanda Rodewald, an ecologist and director of conservation science at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology at Cornell University, discusses with host Susan Moran the various threats to birds and their habitat, and how humans can be part of the solution. Spoiler alert: Keep Felix inside, at least during nesting season. For more info on how you can get involved, go to the American Bird Conservancy‘s Cats Indoors program.

Humor CodeThe Science of Humor (start time: 14:32): Have you ever laughed at something you know you shouldn’t have? Like when someone you know falls down the stairs? Dr. Peter McGraw discusses with How On Earth contributor Daniel Strain the roots of humor — why we find some things funny, and other things not. He’s a quantitative psychologist at the University of Colorado, Boulder where he heads up the Humor Research Laboratory, or HuRL. Yup, HuRL.  He’s also coauthor of the book The Humor Code: A Global Search for What Makes Things Funny. And he will be speaking this Thursday, May 21, at The Science Lounge, a monthly event at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.

Hosts: Susan Moran, Daniel Strain
Producer: Susan Moran
Engineer: Beth Bennett
Executive Producer: Susan Moran
Headline contributions: Daniel Strain

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Gold Lab Symposium//Mapping Pain in the Brain

 

"The Tug of War for Better Healthcare" courtesy Gold Lab Foundation

“The Tug of War of Healthcare” courtesy Gold Lab Foundation

GOLD LAB SYMPOSIUM (start time: 4:26) We talk with Larry Gold, Founder of the Gold Lab Symposium, about this Friday/Saturday, free symposium at CU Boulder.  (check the website for previous talks, or to register for this weekend’s seminar).

 

 

 

 

 

 

Boulder Chronic Pain Counsellor Charles Horowitz

Boulder Chronic Pain Counsellor Charles Horowitz

MAPPING CHRONIC PAIN   (start time: 15:56)  We visit a Chronic Pain Support group led by Boulder therapist Charles Horowitz, and we talk about “mapping pain” with Harvard Scientist Clas Linnman and CU-Boulder Scientist Tor Wager, who are uncovering new techniques for mapping pain in the brain that are helping to validate chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.

 

 

HEADLINES   (start time: 1:00)  Bats use “telephoto” sound, new pathway for blocking malaria, Fiske Planetarium Events, CU Boulder Tree WalkIntel Science Finalist from Boulder’s Fairview High.

Hosts: Beth Bennett, Kendra Krueger
Producer: Shelley Schlender
Engineer: Shelley Schlender
Executive Producer: Susan Moran
Headline contributions: Daniel Strain, Beth Bennet

 

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Sage Grouse Saga // Ocean Health

grouse-med-8592919590_620829867e_z

Male greater sage grouse courting females on a lek.
Photo credit: US Fish & Wildlife Service

Sage Grouse Saga (start time: 4:04): One of the most spectacular and flamboyant rites of spring is, arguably, the mating ritual of a the greater sage grouse, a chicken-like bird with a long tail, with spiky tail feathers.  Its historic range spans 11 Western states, including Colorado. But that sagebrush-dominated habitat has been chopped up and degraded by oil and gas development, mining operations, cattle grazing and even wind farms–causing grouse populations to plunge. Since 2010 the bird has waited for a milestone decision, due by Sept. 30, by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to list it as threatened or endangered.  Biologist Noreen Walsh, director of the  Service’s Mountain-Prairie Region, discusses with How On Earth host Susan Moran the biology of this curious bird and a range-wide collaborative conservation initiative aimed at preserving the grouse and its habitat. Oh, check out this live “lek-cam,” from The Nature Conservancy.

Saved By SeaFragile Ocean (start time: 17:21) David Helvarg, a journalist and author of several books focusing on the ocean—its magnificent and imperiled creatures–discusses his books Saved By the Sea: Hope, Heartbreak and Wonder in the Blue World, and 50 Ways To Save the Ocean.   Founder and executive director of Blue Frontier Campaign, Helvarg shows how residents of land-locked Colorado depend on and affect the ocean. He will speaking in Boulder this Thursday, April 30, at 6:30 p.m. at Ocean First Divers. It’s a “Blue Drinks” event put on by the Boulder-based nonprofit, Colorado Ocean Coalition.

Hosts: Susan Moran, Kendra Krueger
Producer: Susan Moran
Engineer: Kendra Krueger
Executive Producer: Susan Moran
Headline contributions: Beth Bennett

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Are Ketones the Key?

Steve-Phinney-Portrait_Ketones (start time 6:40) A growing body of scientific research demonstrates health benefits for many people with a diet that’s lower in carbohydrates, and higher in fats.  In fact, some of this research indicates great therapeutic benefits,.  One reason why may be that, when carbohydrate consumption is low enough, the body enters a state of “nutritional ketosis,” where it transforms fats into a molecule called, beta-hydroxy-butyrate, or  “ketones”.  In the absence of sugar and carbs, the body can use ketones as its primary fuel.

One of the scientists who has pioneered research into nutritional ketosis is Dr. Steve Phinney, and one of the populations who he believes gets special benefits from a ketone-producing diet is endurance athletes.  For 30 years, Phinney has studied nutritional ketosis and athletic performance — including performance among bicycle racers, the winners of 100-mile ultra-marathons, and recently, a two-person rowing team that was among the top finishers in a rowing race that went from California to the Hawaiian Islands – rowing the whole way on a very low-carb, high fat, ketone-producing diet.

Hosts, Producer, & Engineer: Joel Parker
Executive Producer: Susan Moran
Additional Contributions: Beth Bennett

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Biomimicry: A New lens on Technology and Innovation

 

Farnsworth2015Institute_logo_bannerToday’s special edition of How on Earth, brought to you in conjunction with this week’s Conference on World Affairs is a conversation on Biomimicy as a new lens to view science and technology with Margo Farnsworth. 

Margo has coached two Top Twelve graduate teams for the International Student Biomimicry Challenge and currently serves as a Biomimicry Institute education fellow. She is also on the board of both the Missouri Prairie Foundation and South Carolina’s Experience Green. She has worked as a park ranger, science teacher, and mammalogist. With degrees in science education and parks administration, her professional accomplishments include research in environmental education, qualitative mammal studies, and involvement in numerous local and state environmental boards and committees. Farnsworth has written pieces for the Center for Humans and Nature as well as Treehugger, and has two biomimicry book projects pending.  She joins us live for an in-depth talk about how Biomimicry has the potential for changing scientific culture.

Moderated, Produced, Engineered by Kendra Krueger
Executive Producer: Susan Moran

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Island On Fire: The Story of Laki

Island On Fire book coverIsland on Fire (04:45): In 1783, a crack opened up in the Earth, began to spew out lava and ash and poisonous gases, and didn’t stop for eight months. The volcano was Laki, one of many volcanoes in Iceland, and the effects of the eruption went global. Laki’s story is one of geology, chemistry, atmospheric science, and biology. Co-host Beth Bartel talks with long-time science writers and co-authors Alexandra Witze and Jeff Kanipe about what we’ve learned from Laki and how we can apply the lessons of Laki today.

For more on the book, check out the Island on Fire website.

Hosts: Jane Palmer and Beth Bartel
Producer: Beth Bartel
Engineer: Shelley Schlender
Executive Producer: Kendra Krueger

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Polar Bears // Climate Scientists

Climate Scientists (starts at 1:00): Climate scientists (scientists in general)  tend to steer clear of speaking out as activists about concerns that are politically volatile.  But that’s changing. Many climate scientists are stepping out of their research comfort zone to offer personal stories of why they care and what we all can do about the crisis.  A group of scientists launched a video campaign last week. It’s called More Than Scientists.  We speak with Dr. Josh Lawler (University of Washington), who one of the founders of the campaign.

StevenAmstrupPolar Bears (starts at 6:30):  It is well known that, right now, life for polar bears looks bleak.  Warming temperatures mean the season for sea ice cover in the Arctic has become shorter and shorter. As sea ice provides a home and hunting ground for polar bears, both the number of bears and their health has suffered.  There is even talk of them becoming extinct.  But is this something that we should worry about in Colorado and other non-arctic regions around the world? We don’t have bears, right now we don’t have ice, and we have plenty of other concerns.  Dr. Steven Amstrup, the Chief scientist for Polar Bears International, joins us on How on Earth to explain why we should care.  He thinks that polar bears are the sentinels of global health and that they provide advance warning of some of the challenges coming to all species. That includes us humans. But he thinks if we act soon, we can save both the bears and ourselves. 

Dr. Amstrup also will be giving a talk in the Old Main auditorium on the CU Boulder campus on Friday, April 3rd at 4:00 pm.  His talk is titled: “Why Should We Care About Polar Bears?”  More details about the talk can be found at:
http://cires.colorado.edu/news/events/events/dr-steve-amstrup/?eID=163

Hosts: Jane Palmer and Joel Parker
Producer and Engineer: Joel Parker
Additional Contributions: Susan Moran
Executive Producer: Kendra Krueger

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Using Worms to Study Neurodegenerative Diseases

C. elegans worm

Nematode worms for studying Alzheimer’s (start time 4:57). Beth Bennett interviews Dr Chris Link from CU Boulder on his research into the genetic basis of Alzheimer’s Disease, ALS, and other neurodegenerative disorders.

Hosts: Kendra Krueger, Beth Bennett
Producer: Beth Bennett
Engineer: Kendra Krueger
Executive Producer: Kendra Krueger

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Rust: The Longest War // The Moral Arc

rust-9781451691597_lgOn today’s spring pledge-drive show we offer segments of two feature interviews. See extended versions also below. Both books are available to those who pledge at least $60 to KGNU. Call 303.449.4885 today.

Rust: The Longest War (start time: 4:25) It is arguably the most destructive natural disaster in the modern world. And it’s the topic of local journalist Jonathan Waldman’s debut book, which has just been published. It’s called Rust: The Longest War. Jonathan talks with How On Earth host Susan Moran about the book, which included fascinating tales of the “smart pig” that inspects the Alaska pipeline, as well as Ball Corp’s Can School in Golden, Colo. Catch Jonathan tonight  7:30 at the Boulder Book Store.

bc_moral_arc_coverThe Moral Arc (start time: 13:21) Author and renowned skeptic Michael Shermer talks with How On Earth contributor Shelley Schlender about his The Moral Arc: How Science and Reason Lead Humanity toward Truth, Justice, and Freedom. The book addresses a wide range of modern issues, including just how science and reasons can help to pave the way toward further reductions in nuclear warheads, toward greater equality for people with different gender and sexual orientations, and toward the abolishment of the death penalty. That’s pretty optimistic for the nation’s best known skeptic!

Hosts: Kendra Krueger, Susan Moran
Producer: Susan Moran
Engineer: Kendra Krueger
Executive Producer: Kendra Krueger

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