Tag: space

  • Moon Trees and Watching Memories Form

    One of the Apollo 14 astronauts took a bag of tree seeds to the moon. A few years after the astronauts returned home, some of the seeds were planted across the United States... and then forgotten. Anthony and Jeff discuss the effort to track down these Moon Trees, and if they really mean something. Then, researchers have directly observed what happens inside the brain of a zebra fish when it is being traumatized. Jeff and Anthony talk about what this breakthrough means, and how exactly the scientists traumatized those fish. [more]

  • Houdini Birds and the Space Dagger

    Researchers in Australia have been trying to track magpies using tiny, featherweight transmitters, but the birds have banded together to escape the magnetic backpacks that house the signal. This kind of cooperation has never been observed among this species and it raises a whole bunch of new questions. Anthony and Jeff take a look at those wily birds, and what this could mean for their incessant pranks. Then, new analysis of a dagger found in King Tut's tomb reveal that it is made out of iron from a meteorite. Jeff and Anthony step through the incredible process used to make that discovery. [more]

  • Movies in Space and Shared Creativity

    The company co-producing Tom Cruise’s upcoming space movie, has unveiled plans to build a space station module that contains a sports and entertainment arena as well as a content studio by December 2024. Jeff and Anthony discuss the feasibility and application of such a project. Then, a new article in the Academy of Management Journal, finds that handing a mature idea to somebody else for execution harms the creativity of the final product. Anthony and Jeff discuss their own creative ventures, and look at the how data can inform creativity. [more]

  • Lightning Seen and Lightning Round

    Scientists have never been able to adequately explain where lightning comes from. Now the first detailed observations of its emergence inside a cloud have exposed how electric fields grow strong enough to create bolts. Jeff and Anthony step through how scientists have been able to record the spark of lightning. Then, Anthony starts his own lightning - a lightning round of headlines! Paralyzing rats, happiness from marriage, celebrity worship, sleeping in space, and more! [more]

  • Xenobots and Space Crime

    The US scientists who created the first living robots say the life forms, known as xenobots, can now reproduce in a way not seen in plants and animals. Anthony and Jeff step through this discovery and what it could mean for humanity. Then, it appears NASA is investigating first allegation of crime in space. Jeff and Anthony speculate on how this might play out, and what the future of intergalactic criminality could look like. [more]

  • Shock Therapy and Space Mummies

    Researchers claim, for the first time, to have used custom-fitted deep brain stimulation to substantially alleviate a patient’s decades-long bout with severe depression. Anthony and Jeff discuss the scientific and ethical ramifications of re-wiring the brain with actual wires. Then, what happens to dead bodies on Mars? If humans are gonna go there, then we better be thinking about it! Luckily, scientists are, and Jeff and Anthony might not like the conclusions. [more]

  • Working for Food and Space Pizza

    Many animals prefer performing tasks to get food — called "contrafreeloading" - over just getting food for free. But there are two major mammals that buck that trend. Can you guess what they are? Jeff and Anthony discuss effort and sustenance. Then, is eating in space boring? No anymore! NASA has been experimenting with oven on the ISS, allowing astronauts to bake pizza and cookies! Anthony and Jeff dive into the science behind space baking. [more]

  • Buying Happiness and Getting Ceres-ous

    The old adage is that money can't buy happiness. But what if it can? Anthony and Jeff take a look at new studies that attempt to put that notion to the test, scientifically. The answer might surprise you. Then, a Finnish astrophysicist has written a paper detailing a plan for a human colony, not on Mars or the Moon, but in a floating satellite orbiting the dwarf planet Ceres, between Mars and Jupiter. Jeff and Anthony discuss the feasibility of such a plan, and whether they see themselves living on a discworld in 20 years. [more]

  • Light in Space and New Laws for Robots

    If you could look at the night sky without stars, galaxies and everything else known to give off visible light, does the universe itself put out a glow? That's a question being addressed by the NOIRLab in Arizona, and the answer may surprise you. It certainly surprises Anthony and Jeff, who try to wrap their brains around new findings about light in the darkness. Then, Isaac Asimov's Three Laws for Robotics have been a part of science fiction and popular culture for decades. But now a new book proposes 4 additional laws to govern the creation of robots and AI. Jeff and Anthony take a look at these new laws to decide if they are a good idea. [more]

  • Civilization 36 and Bubblebees

    Using new calculations, scientists theorize that there are likely 36 intelligent civilizations in our galaxy today capable of communicating with others. How did they get to that precise number? Anthony and Jeff dig into the data, and what it means for sci-fi dreams. Then, the problem of dying bees has forced researchers to find new ways to pollinate crops. The newest? Using bubbles! Jeff and Anthony discuss the whimsical approach to a very worrisome problem. [more]

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