Natural Gas Boom//BP Oil Spill’s Human Toll

We discuss the environmental and human costs of natural gas drilling practices, and then the human toll of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico one year after the disaster.

On natural gas drilling practices, Susan Moran interviews Steve Torbit, regional executive director of the National Wildlife Federation’s Rocky Mountain Center; and Steven Hall, communications director for the Colorado Bureau of Land Management.

Ted Burnham interviews Liesel Ritchie, assistant director for research at the Natural Hazards Center, about the BP oil disaster’s social costs. Click here for details of the study.

Producer: Tom McKinnon
Co-hosts
: Tom McKinnon and Susan Moran
Engineer: Ted Burnham
Headlines: Breanna Draxler

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Extended interview with Anjali Bhatara

Here’s a longer version of my interview with Anjali Bhatara, which aired on today’s program. Dr. Bhatara is with the Laboratory of the Psychology of Perception at the University of Paris, where she studies the interactions between music and the brain, the mind and the emotions. She has published several papers on music perception in people with autism—especially their ability to pick up on the emotional cues in a song, and how it might be related to their ability to detect emotional cues in speech. I began by asking her which aspects of sound are relevant to musical perception.

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Theme Song Contest // Science of Music

Image courtesy of Flickr user davdenic

Today we announce a contest to find new theme music for How On Earth! Our current theme has served us well for more than 20 years, but we feel it’s time to change our tune. We’re looking to local musicians for that new “How On Earth” sound. Check out our Contest Page for more information, and to listen to and comment on submitted music.

Joining us in the studio today is Tom Wasinger, the Grammy-winning producer of our long-standing theme. We talk with him about the history and creation of that theme, and about his hopes for this new theme music contest. We also hear from Anjali Bhatara, of the Laboratory of the Psychology of Perception in Paris. She studies the way music affects the brain, the mind, and the emotions (hear an extended version of this interview). And we’ll get some advice on selecting a memorable new theme from music expert Don Campbell, author of The Mozart Effect and founder of the Institute for Music, Health, and Education here in Boulder.

Hosts: Ted Burnham and Tom Yulsman

Engineer: Shelley Schlender

Producer: Ted Burnham

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Pseudoscience // Conservation

Welcome to a special edition of How on Earth, done in conjunction with the Conference on World Affairs, which is being held this week on the University of Colorado’s Boulder campus.  Our two guests are participants in the Conference on World Affairs.  This first part of the show is Conference Panel 2051 titled “Pseudoscience”, with guest Seth Shostak.  Dr. Shostak is a Senior Astronomer at the SETI Institute, in Mountain View, California.  Our second guest is Larry Schweiger is president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation, the largest conservation organization in the U.S.  We talk with him about conservation and environmental policy.

Hosts: Joel Parker and Susan Moran
Producer and Engineer: Joel Parker

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Ocean thermal energy//Climate and drought in the Rockies

Ocean Thermal Energy Plant Schematic

Our live guests are consultant Dr. Robert Cohen and CU scientist Kristen Averyt.  Dr. Cohen discusses ocean thermal energy — a method to harvest some of the almost limitless solar energy captured daily by the oceans.  Dr. Averyt surveys the future of the Intermountain West as we increase temperature and put increasing population pressure on a dwindling water supply.

Producer: Tom McKinnon
Co-hosts: Tom McKinnon and Susan Moran
Engineer: Breanna Draxler
Headlines: Ted Burnham and Breanna Draxler

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Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Reactor Accident

Fukushima Dai-ichi reactor schematic drawing

In-studio guests Jeff King, Director of the Nuclear Science and Engineering Program at the Colorado School of Mines, and Len Ackland, Co-Director of the Center for Environmental Journalism at the University of Colorado, discuss the recent nuclear accident in Fukushima, Japan.  We look at the accident itself and how it might impact the future of nuclear power in the United States.

Producer: Tom McKinnon
Co-hosts
: Tom McKinnon and Tom Yulsman
Engineer
: Ted Burnham

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Moonwalking with Einstein // Pledge Drive Show

In this Spring Pledge Drive Show, we share an update on the crisis in Japan from Kathleen Tierney of CU-Boulder’s Natural Hazards  Center, and then Joel Parker interviews Joshua Foer, author of the runaway bestseller, Moonwalking with Einstein:  The Art and Science of Remembering Everything. (the full interview can be found here)

Hosts: Joel Parker, Ted Burnham, Breanna Draxler, Tom McKinnon, Shelley Schlender

Show Producer:  Joel Parker & Shelley Schlender

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Scientific Citizen Astronauts // Scientific Performance Art

Scientists may soon ride along on "tourist" suborbital flights to do research.

This week on How On Earth, we talk with two Boulder researchers, Dan Durda and Cathy Olkin, who are training to become “scientist astronauts” on some of the first suborbital space flights provided by private companies in the post-shuttle era (extended interview available here).  We also hear about a show performed by Michelle Ellsworth, and developed in collaboration with scientist Rob Guralnick,that presents science using dance and theater performance art.

 

Hosts: Joel Parker, Breanna Draxler

Producer: Joel Parker

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Colorado Growth Model is Replacing CSAPs // Boulder Valley Science Fair

Boulder Math Scores - How they rank statewide (from schoolview.org)

In honor of KGNU’s Kid’s Week, we go to the Boulder County Science Fair with How on Earth’s Tom McKinnon.  In turns out three of the five students Tom interviewed before the judging began ended up as winners at the science show!  Then, we look at CSAPs-Colorado’s Student Assessment Program.  That style of standardized test for Reading, Writing, Math and Science is being phased out, in favor of The Colorado Growth Model that’s so innovative, it’s being adopted in several other states.  How on Earth’s Shelley Schlender interviews cognitive scientist Bill Bonk, who’s on the team developing the Colorado Growth Model, which you can see at schoolview.org.

Hosts: Joel Parker and Tom McKinnon

Producer: Shelley Schlender

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Bioastronautics at CU Bioserve // Boulder County EnergySmart energy efficiency service

Ted Burnham inteviews CU PhD student Christine Fanchiang on her role in helping the BioServe  program prepare experiments for a ride on the Space Shuttle.

Tom McKinnon talks to Beth Beckel, an Energy Efficiency and Sustainability Specialist with Boulder County EnergySmart Service. Beth tells us how this new county program can help homeowners and renters save money, increase indoor comfort, and help the environment.  Click here for the EnergySmart portion of HOE.

Hosts: Ted Burnham and Tom McKinnon

Producer: Tom McKinnon

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