MARCUS CHOWN, cosmologist, astronomer and writer returns to Inquiry to talk about his latest book THE MATCHBOX THAT ATE A FORTY-TON TRUCK: WHAT EVERYDAY THINGS TELL US ABOUT THE UNIVERSE. In every chapter, Chown takes a common experience and reveals how this small event actually reveals basics about cosmology, particle physics and quantum dynamics. Tonight we talk about how breaking a tea cup can subtly tell us how the universe expanded after the Big Bang! This is science at its most entertaining and informative. Be sure to tune in! To access an video interview of Marcus Chown talking with Prof Paul Halpern on bloggingheads.tv.: http://brainwaveweb.com/diavlogs/29246
SHAWN CAREY is a Massachusetts birder, photographer, teacher and co-founder of Migration Productions. He has has just returned from the Gulf Coast of Louisiana to photo-document what is really happening with the “BP oil disaster”. Not content to sit back and get his information filtered through the usual news sources, Shawn headed to the heart of the action to see what was going on for himself. Tune in tonight and hear a different view of how the clean-up is progressing, what it looks like on the ground and in the air, how people are dealing with this unprecedented environmental disaster. Shawn Carey’s website: www.migrationproductions.com
Before there was Star Trek, there was Dr. Who and today Dr. Who is still on the air. Dr. Who is the longest running science fiction series on television. But could any of the wild creations of this much beloved series have any scientific precedent? Can you actually have a Tardis that is larger on the inside than is on the outside? Is time travel possible? Could we ever create a sonic screwdriver? The answers may surprise you. If you are a fan of that Doctor from Gallifrey, be sure to tune into tonight to Inquiry when we speak with scientist and journalist PAUL PARSONS about his wild and endlessly entertaining new book THE SCIENCE OF DR. WHO.
Parasites! Most people shudder just thinking about some arcane invertebrate feeding off our body, but in fact these are fascinating creatures, each and every one. We almost all have some form of parasites, it’s just that some parasites are more destructive to the human body than others. But more than just being a health issue, did you know that a parasitic infestation could also change your personality, change who you are? Parasites have even changed the course of human history. Tune in tonight for a lively discussion about Sleeping Sickness, Malaria, Cyclospora and a host of other parasites when we speak with clinical parasitologist ROSEMARY DRISDELLE about her fascinating book PARASITES: TALES OF HUMANITY’S MOST UNWATED GUESTS.
Have you ever sat in a bar just staring, fascinated, at the bubbles in your beer wondering why some are going up and some are going down? Where do they come from? Well, tonight on Inquiry we will provide some answers to your Pilsner ponderings when we interview physicist, researcher and writer MARK DENNY about his new book FROTH! THE SCIENCE OF BEER. Not only will you learn about how the head of a beer is formed and decays, but you will also learn about the evolution of beer from moldy bread in Ancient Egypt to contemporary Macro-swill and Microbreweries. Sit back, open a frosty one and join us for a truly unique discussion about the most popular alcoholic beverage in the world.
About 365 million years ago the first vertebrates left the water and walked on land on four legs. But why leave the warm and bountiful seas? Was it safer on land? Was there more food? What were these early tetrapods like and were they related to the frogs and salamanders were are familiar with today. What can the fossil record tell us about how these creatures lived? Tune in tonight to Inquiry when we welcome ROBERT CARROLL, among the most highly regarded experts on the evolution of amphibians and reptiles, Professor Emeritus at McGill University, longtime Director of the Redpath Museum and Chairman of the Department of Biology. Professor Carroll talks about one of the most fascinating developments in vertebrate evolution: becoming terrestrial. Professor Carroll’s book monumental book is titled THE RISE OF AMPHIBIANS: 365 MILLION YEARS OF EVOLUTION.
Don’t swim! Don’t hike! And for goodness sake don’t hold hands with boys! There was a time, and it wasn’t that long ago, when having your period was something shameful and embarrassing. It didn’t help that numerous medical texts, right up to the 1930s, promoted the worst erroneous notions about menstruation. Many girls born in the early decades of the 20th Century could not even rely on their mothers or older sisters to inform them about what was happening to their bodies. But then a dramatic change happened in the way women viewed having their periods and this was inspired by new products, text books, pamphlets, educational films and an interest in adopting a more ‘modern” scientific view of their bodies. Tonight on Inquiry, we talk with LARA FREIDENFELDS, historian of women’s health, on her revealing and interesting book THE MODERN PERIOD: MENSTRUATION IN TWENTIETH-CENTURY AMERICA.
How many of you read plenty of books and periodicals but still find spelling difficult? Why do we need to get spelling right anyway? These are just some of the fascinating topics we talk about tonight in our conversation with DAVID CRYSTAL, one of the world’s pre-eminent language specialists. Tune in tonight and learn why half of the world’s languages will be extinct in a hundred years, what the difference is between a dialect and an accent, and why Received Pronunciation British is the preferred accent for BBC announcers, The Queen and stuffy upper crusters all over. David Crystal’s entertaining book is titled modestly A LITTLE BOOK OF LANGUAGE.
Noise is a political and social issue that affects all of us. Though many of us seek a quieter existence, others declare their ability to make loud noises an all American right. To the bikers at Sturgis’s massive rally, noise is a celebration of their way of life, but for the nearby Native Americans on their sacred land at Bear Butte, that noise is deeply profane. Who is right? Whether it is bikes, ATVs, blasting your radio or even just using leaf blowers, many times the creation of noise is about what we want, but not necessarily what the community needs. How and where do you draw the line? Tune in tonight for an insightful discussion of noise in our lives when Inquiry speaks with writer, editor and recent Guggenheim Fellow GARRET KEIZER about his wide ranging and thoughtful book THE UNWANTED SOUND OF EVERYTHING WE WANT: A BOOK ABOUT NOISE. Garret Keizer's website is: http://garretkeizer.com/
Can animals like chimpanzees, elephants or dogs have a kind of moral intelligence? Do some animals act altruistically and have the capacity for empathy, forgiveness and trust? Can animals be immoral? Tune in tonight to Inquiry for a fascinating conversation with cognitive ethologist MARC BEKOFF. Bekoff, with philosophy writer Jessica Piece, has written a controversial and thought provoking book which may change the way you look at the other inhabitants of this planet: WILD JUSTICE: THE MORAL LIVES OF ANIMALS.
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Arts, sciences and humanities build healthier, more livable, vital communities. They are essential to a strong education system. They contribute enormously to our economy.