Sleepless not just in Seattle

In this week’s show Beth speaks with author Annabel Abbs-Streets about her new book, SLEEPLESS: Unleashing the Subversive Power of the Night Self, in which she dives into both the science of sleep and sleeplessness, and a new perspective on life after midnight.
Executive Producer: Joel Parker
Show Producer: Beth Bennett

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Myths and Facts about Plastic Recycling

This week on How on Earth Beth speaks with Mattie Matsch, deputy director of Boulder’s Eco-Cycle. We spoke about the challenges of recycling plastics. As consumers, it’s vital to be aware of these challenges and the limitations they impose on the types of plastic we can toss in the barrel for pickup.

Executive Producer: Joel Parker
Show Producer: Beth Bennett
Engineer: Sam Fuqua

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John Weller – Saving Antarctica

c John Weller Photography

Boulder native and wildlife photographer John Weller talks about his efforts to save The Ross Sea in Antarctica.  The Ross Sea is the world’s largest Marine Protected Area.   Weller’s photobooks and documentary films have been a big part of explaining why this area is special, and why protecting it is a crucial part of restoring health of all world oceans.  This show also includes John Weller on a hike with Boulder Naturalist Steve Jones and the Boulder Audubon Teen Naturalists, and discussion about why recent CU-Bouldeer research about rising carbon dioxide, and how it increases ocean acidity warns of disaster ahead the small shrimp-like krill at the bottom of the food chain, as well as for whales, penguins . . . and people . . . at the food chain’s top.

Host/Producer: Shelley Schlender
Executive Producer: Joel Parker

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Air Pollution+Maternal Health

This week’s How On Earth features the following:

AI image credit: Tanya Alderete

How Environmental Toxins Harm Maternal Health (start time: 1:30)
Being exposed to wildfires and other forms of air pollution can wreak havoc on anyone’s health. If you’re pregnant, or  socioeconomically disadvantaged, you are particularly susceptible to the negative effects of airborne contaminants. How On Earth’s Susan Moran, and contributing host Kara Fox discuss these issues with our guests: Dr. Tanya Alderete, an assistant professor of integrative physiology at CU Boulder; and Zach Morgan, who earned his masters degree last year in integrative physiology at CU Boulder. He was the lead author on a 2023 study (with senior author Dr. Alderete and others) on how air pollution impairs brain development in infants and toddlers.
(Dr. Alderete and colleagues are seeking participants living in Boulder or Denver in a new study of how plastic exposure might affect the physical health of mothers and their infants. Read this screening survey.)

Hosts/Producers: Kara Fox, Susan Moran
Executive Producer/Engineer: Joel Parker

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Astronomy Highlights: Stellar Magnetic Fields, Zooniverse

This is the first episode of a series where we hear about recent research presented at the American Astronomical Society (AAS) January 2024 meeting.

(Credit: AIP/J. Fohlmeister)

Magnetic Braking in Old Stars (starts at 3:13)  Dr. Travis Metcalfe from the White Dwarf Research Corporation talks about studies of one particular star, 51 Peg, that has gone through magnetic braking. He discussed how studying magnetic fields around similarly middle-aged and older stars not oly can help us in our search for life on other planets, but also provide a clue of what might have impacted the evolution of life here on Earth.

Citizen Science with Zooniverse (starts at 13:21) Dr. Laura Trouille from the Adler Planetarium is the Principal Investigator of the Zooniverse project.  She explains how “citizen science” works, which crowd-sources science research in a wide range of projects not only in astronomy, but topics ranging from biology and physics to arts and literature.

Executive Producer: Joel Parker
Show Producer and Host: Joel Parker

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Traumatic Brain Injury & Ibogaine – Andrew Linares

Tabernath Iboga Plant – courtesy Marco Schmidt, Wiki Commons

Ibogaine for Traumatic Brain Injury – The Science journal Nature has published a small case study about Special Forces veterans who suffer from traumatic brain injury . . . they report good results from one single dose of the illegal psychedelic Ibogaine . . . with careful supervision.

Andrew Linares – Boulder Therapist

IbogaineHuberman Lab discussion with Nolan Williams (Starts 3:45)  Stanford scientists discuss therapeutic use of Ibogaine.

Ibogaine Boulder Therapist Andrew Linares  (Starts 7:00) shares his experiences working with special forces veterans who are taking Ibogaine at a clinic in Mexico, where it is a legal drug.

Lynx – from Endangered Species.org

Lynx Habitat battle this Wednesday (starts 1:00) Denver’s US 10th District Court of Appeals will hear a case about U.S. Forest Service plans for environmental rollbacks in southern Colorado’s Rio Grande National Forest.  They plan to log beetle-killed trees -which may disrupt old growth forest that the endangered lynx needs.  Environmentalists are pushing for more study about the impact of these plans.

Ibogaine Song by Lord Ekomy Ndong

Host/Producer/Engineer: Shelley Schlender
Executive Producer: Joel Parker
Contributors: Beth Bennett

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A New Year and the Same Old Environmental Issues

On this week’s show, we focus on the ongoing challenge of climate change. In addition to headlines about this issue, we replay an interview with author John Vaillant, who has written extensively about the natural world over his long career. In his new book, Fire Weather:A True Story from a Hotter World, he explores the phenomena of fire, the wildland urban interface, and climate change in the context of a precedent-shattering combustion in a modern city.This colossal wildfire in Alberta in 2016 almost consumed a city of nearly 100,000. In the process the fire blew up expectations and responses to wild fires. Vaillant gives an in depth exploration of the rapidly changing relationship between fire and humankind along with personal stories of loss and bravery on the front lines of this horrifying event.

Executive Producer: Joel Parker
Show Producer: Beth Bennett
Additional contribution: Susan Moran

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Science Stories from 2023

cc NOAA Science Graphic

 

We share the How on Earth team’s picks for of science stories of 2023:

    • Superconductor Hopes And Failures (starts at 1:47)
    • New Weight Loss Drugs (starts at 5:56)
    • Hot Temperatures (starts at 9:27)
    • Asteroid Autumn (starts at 12:29)
    • Bird Population Decline (starts at 16:51)
    • Sickle Cell Disease Treatment (starts at 22:29)

Executive Producer: Joel Parker
Show Producer and Host: Joel Parker
Additional Contributions: Shelley Schlender, Beth Bennett, Susan Moran

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STEM Ed: Improving access for the blind, etc.

Photo credit: National Science Foundation

STEM ed accessibility (start time: 2:03): It’s challenging enough learning science, technology, engineering and math when you can clearly see the physical models or images of neurons on a screen.  So, imagine the hurdles faced by students who are blind or otherwise visually impaired? In this week’s show, host Susan Moran interviews two chemists who are working on making STEM education  more accessible to people with visual and other impairments, and on making learning more interactive for everyone.  Dr. Hoby Wedler is an organic chemist, a sensory expert, and a product development consultant based in Petaluma, Calif. Blind since birth, he works with many companies in the food and beverage industries.  And he founded and directed a nonprofit organization that for several years led chemistry camps for blind or visually impaired students. Dr. Brett Fiedler is a physical chemist with the University of Colorado Boulder’s PhET Interactive Simulations project. The team has been researching and designing new multimodal features for interactive science simulations.

Host & Show Producer: Susan Moran
Engineer: Alexis Kenyon
Executive Producer: Susan Moran

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Chronic Pain: A New Approach

On this week’s show, Beth speaks with Dr Afton Hassett, psychologist and pain researcher about her book, Chronic Pain Reset: 30 Days of Activities, Practices, and Skills to Help You Thrive. Not just a guide for evaluating pain and its triggers, her book offers straightforward and often fun strategies to move past chronic pain. Dr. Hassett is Associate Professor and Director of Pain and Opioid Research in the Department of Anesthesiology at the University of Michigan, and a principal investigator at the Chronic Pain & Fatigue Research Center there. Her book and research explore the key role that your brain plays in processing pain and how small, simple actions can make profound changes in how you experience chronic pain. Chronic Pain Reset is written for people with chronic pain and those who care for them.

Executive Producer: Susan Moran
Show Producer:Beth Bennett

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