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Recent Audio Podcasts

Airplane Contrails

airplane contrails

Have you ever seen a perfectly cloudless sky?  Cloudless--that is--except for two or three long white lines smeared across the perfect blue sky by airplanes like smudges on a pane of glass.

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How Cold Does It Feel?

snowy street

If you're lucky enough to live where it's sometimes windy and cold, you've probably heard your weatherperson give out two temperatures:  the actual temperature outside, and a temperature based on the wind-chill temperature index.

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Trees Know When Something's Eating Them

maple tree

German scientists studying young beeches and maples knew plants responded to predation, but they wanted to know if plants could tell the difference between a deer chewing their leaves verus being damaged by other factors like storms, or being trampled upon.

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Sunrise, Sunset

Monet sunrise

Why does the sunset take more time than the sunrise? It takes much less time for the sun to light up the sky at dawn than it does for all the light to disappear after the sun sets at dusk.

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Parenting Styles And Bullying

children playing

Why do some kids become bullies or the victims of bullies? How closely is this linked to how their parents raised them?

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A Moment of Science Blog

Exercising While Under The Weather

Treadmill.

There is an old saying that you should “sweat out a cold,” but that’s just folk wisdom, not science. If you just have a runny nose or sore throat, it may be fine to do some moderate exercise for a half hour or so. But if you're achey and have a fever, then it's better to rest.

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Ancient Science Part 2b - The History Of Quarantine

Medieval painting of the Justinian plague.

Right now, billions of people, over half the human population on Earth, are living in areas with orders to stay at home. The scale of the current pandemic is unique, but the existence of pandemics and our use of isolation to combat them is not.

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Ancient Science Part 2 - Who Was Hippocrates?

Printed edition of the Hippocratic oath.

The phrase "do no harm" famously comes from the Hippocratic Oath, a piece of writing from ancient Greece, and is still a core aspect of medical ethics today. As its name suggests, the oath was ascribed to a doctor named Hippocrates early on, along with a sizable collection of other writings called the Hippocratic corpus.

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How Measles Wipes Out Immunity

Child receiving measles vaccine.

Although the coronavirus is the most serious public health concern at the moment, there has also been an increase in the number of measles cases this year. The best precaution against measles is the MMR vaccine, which can also protect against other infections over time.

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Ancient Science Part 1 - Astronomy And Medicine In The Ancient Middle East

Relief of Ashurbanipal killing a lion.

While our understanding of things like epilepsy, the stars, and the shape of the Earth has changed dramatically over the centuries, ancient cultures confronted the same universe as we do. Even though their ideas about that universe are often very different from ours, there are also countless insights hidden in scientific writings from over 2,000 years ago.

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