For anybody who has struggled through a class on calculus, you probably think that the devil invented mathematics. But is “mathematics” something created by human minds or does mathematics exist separate from us, like the galaxies, moons and stars? This is not just a philosophical question because the most complex and abstract discoveries in pure mathematics seem to end up having practical applications in the real world. As Max Tegmark of M.I.T. has said: “the universe IS mathematics.” Tonight on Inquiry we attempt to answer these heady questions when we talk with MARIO LIVIO, Senior Astrophysicist and head of the Office of Public Relations at the Hubble Space Telescope Science Institute about his thought provoking book IS GOD A MATHEMATICIAN?
It may seem to fly in the face of everything you have experienced in school, but mathematics CAN be fun. Really! Our guest tonight is IAN STEWART, Professor of Mathematics at the University of Warwick. He has spent his life collecting logic puzzles, odd math problems, brainteasers and even jokes mathematicians tell each other and collected it in the miscellany PROFESSOR STEWART’S CABINET OF MATHEMATICAL CURIOSITIES. Tune in and learn about how to color maps; how large a Prime Number can get (hint: ridiculously large) and what state legislature tried to pass a law declaring the “correct” value of pi”.
In the interview, Professor Stewart states a logic problem, reproduced below. Send the correct answer to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will add you the Inquiry Honor Roll listed under this description.
I won’t eat my hat.
If hippos don’t eat acorns, then oak trees will grow in Africa.
If oak trees don’t grow in Africa, then squirrels hibernate in winter.
If hippos eat acorns and squirrels hibernate in winter, then I’ll eat my hat.
Therefore—what? From pp.140 Professor Stewart’s Cabinet of Mathematical Curiosities.
In 1948, Ambassador James D. Zellerbach acquired 200 acres in the Mayacamas Mountains one mile
north of the Sonoma plaza. The Ambassador's ambition was to create a small vineyard and winery dedicated to the best traditions of Grand Cru Burgundy: Pinot Noir and Chardonnay of extraordinary quality and great longevity. The Zellerbachs planted 6 acres in 1953 (now the oldest Pinot Noir vineyard in America) and created the first vintage in 1957. They named their winery Hanzell, a contraction of Mrs. Hana Zellerbach's name, and embarked on what would become recognized as one of California's most enduring and historically important wine estates. The Zellerbachs' achievement passed to the Day family in 1965 and then in 1975 the de Brye family acquired the estate.
Alexander de Brye has presided over Hanzell for the longest period of Hanzell's considerable history and with his patronage the historical property and deep traditions of Hanzell have been honored, protected and promoted.
The original 6 acre vineyard has grown to 42 acres today, allowing Hanzell to produce 6,000 cases annually: three-quarters Chardonnay and one-quarter Pinot Noir. Through five decades Hanzell has pursued empirical winemaking and established traditions on which great cellar-worthy winemaking is predicated. The Hanzell wines honor Ambassador Zellerbach's vision and carry forward one of the greatest legacies of winemaking in the New World.
There are millions of ardent fans of “Regency Romances” and no author of the period is more beloved than Jane Austen. Just look at all the films made for the BBC and PBS of Austen’s novels. But a few people have always felt that these literary classics have lacked a certain “something”. Who would have believed that “something” was a large dollop of the walking dead? Tonight on Inquiry, we speak with columnist, writer SETH GRAHAME-SMITH about his latest novel, (amazingly co-authored with Jane Austen), PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES. Seth has taken this period comedy of manners and spiced it up a bit with zombie hordes, lots or martial arts, and, well, gore, but “period appropriate” gore mind you. Tune in and find out how Elizabeth Bennett fights ninjas and beheads masses of “unmentionables” all the while searching for romance in early 19th Century England.
Sand is one of the most common substances on earth. We have beaches and deserts full of the grainy dry stuff, but what is sand really? Tonight on Inquiry, we speak with MICHAEL WELLAND, Founder and Director of Orogen Limited and Fellow of the Geological Society (London). Welland has written an endlessly fascinating book about sand, where it comes from and how it “works”. Did you know salt and sugar are “sands”? Tune in and learn about beaches of garnets and olivine; how high you can pile sand for a castle before it falls over and if there really is quicksand. Michael Welland’s wonderful book is titled: SAND: THE NEVER-ENDING STORY.
Inquiry welcomes back DONALD KROODSMA, who has been called “the reigning authority on the biology of avian vocal behavior.” Tonight Don talks about just a few of the discoveries found in his latest book BIRDSONG BY THE SEASONS: A YEAR OF LISTENING TO BIRDS. This thoroughly enjoyable book takes the reader out into the field from January through December, as Dr. Kroodsma unravels some of the mysteries of why birds sing. Whether it’s a nighttime vigil at a noisy January roost of many thousands of robins or pondering why waxwings seem to have no song at all, Dr. Kroodsma’s investigations will inspire you to listen more closely to even the common birds all around you. Join us tonight for an always-fascinating conversation with one of the world’s great ethologists and natural historians.
It was 1986 when Washington native Tom Hedges found his first employment in the wine industry marketing American wines in Taiwan. From that humble beginning, Hedges Cellars, then a "virtual" winery, found its first customer: the government of Sweden. Tom and his wife Anne-Marie marketed their Cabernet/Merlot blend to foreign buyers exclusively for two years before going domestic and opening up North American distribution. Still without their own winery, they took a chance buying acreage on an obscure little hill called Red Mountain.
The Hedges have concentrated their efforts on Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, and the concept of terroir since their first vintage in 1987. With Anne-Marie Hedges' roots and childhood in the Champagne region of France, it was only natural that a French-style chateau would be built
on the slopes of Red Mountain amongst their vines.
Brother Pete Hedges joined the winery as General Manager, becoming head Winemaker in 2002. Son Christophe and his wife Maggie began working for the winery soon thereafter and Hedges Cellars became Hedges Family Estate.
Our future direction is clear: we will continue to work as a family to unite farming, winemaking, and the promotion of our wines and the Red Mountain AVA.
Bruce Gaultney, publisher, and Leah Lamson, incoming executive editor of the Telegram & Gazette.
WE'LL TALK ABOUT: The death and life of America’s newspapers.
You can tell a lot about a person by looking at their library, the books a person cherishes and spends time reading. TIMOTHY W. RYBACK, author, journalist and cofounder and co director of the Institute For Historical Justice and Reconciliation decided to look closely at the books owned by one of the most inscrutable figures of the Twentieth Century: Adolf Hitler!!! What can Hitler’s library tell us about his inner life, and what inspired his twisted and virulent anti-Semitism and his perverse notions of German society? Tune in for an intimate, frightening and fascinating peek into the monstrous mind of the architect of National Socialism. Ryback’s book is titled: HITLER’S PRIVATE LIBRARY: THE BOOKS THAT SHAPED HIS LIFE.
In 1992 a tiny and virtually unheard of publishing firm based in Catalonia began on of the most ambitious projects in natural history: to publish a series of 16 high quality volumes that would illustrate and describe in detail every bird on the face of the planet! Nothing on this international scope had ever been attempted before. Today, the end of the landmark series THE HANDBOOK OF THE BIRDS OF THE WORLD is in sight, and Lynx Edicions is launching another equally ambitious and mind-blowing project: THE HANDBOOK OF THE MAMMALS OF THE WORLD. Tonight on Inquiry we talk with JOSEP DEL HOYO, Series Editor of the Handbooks, co-founder of Lynx Edicions and member of the Global Council of Birdlife International. Josep discusses how Lynx became such a force in conservation and environmental education around the world and what it takes to produce a truly state of the art natural history book. To visit Lynx, go to: http://www.hbw.com/
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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.