8/15/17 Show on Supernovae in Real Time, Hallucinations and Auditory Levitation

Featured image:  An artist’s rendition of a dwarf star, delicately balancing the forces of gravity and electron degeneracy pressure. (courtesy Montgomery College)

This week, we’ll cover a swath of new science stories: What happens when supernova swallow up stars, and what enables us to watch this process evolve in real time? How are Americans’ opinions on gene editing evolving? Is baldness over?

In other news:

The playlist for the show can be found at WPRB.com or below.

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08/01/2017 Show feat. Prof Chris Tully on Measuring Neutrinos from the Early Universe & Ingrid Ockert on learning with “Mindstorms”

In this episode of These Vibes, Stevie discusses measuring neutrino that were produced just one second after the Big Bang singularity in our early universe with Princeton University professor and high energy physicist, Chris Tully. In the interview, Professor Tully explains what a neutrino is, why they’re so difficult to measure, and why we should have a bath of neutrinos sitting at just a couple of degrees above absolute zero all around us today. Then, he tells us about the early universe when that bath of neutrinos, called the Cosmic Neutrino Background, were produced, and how he plans to measure them with his instrument PTOLEMY (Princeton Tritium Observatory for Light, Early-universe, Massive-neutrino Yield – currently in the prototype stage).

Additionally, Ingrid Ockert tells us about the 1980s book “Mindstorms” by Seymour Papert, which outlines Papert’s ideas on how computers can help unlock people’s ability to learn through play.

Science News:

  • “Mystery of Greek Amphitheater’s Amazing Sound Finally Solved.” An older piece of news that describes research discovering how a 4th century BC theater in Greece  could seat 14,000 people such that even those in the back row of the architectural masterpiece could hear actors and musicians — unamplified.
  • “First Human Embryos Edited in the US.” A piece in MIT Technology Review describes the first known attempt at creating genetically modified human embryos in the United States. It has been carried out by a team of researchers in Portland, Oregon led by Shoukhrat Mitalipov of Oregon Health and Science University. The procedure involved changing the DNA of a large number of one-cell embryos with the gene-editing technique CRISPR.

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7/25/17 Show feat. Dr. Kate Riestenberg on linguistics and endangered languages and Kristin Guest on speech language pathology and bilingualism in schools

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Dr. Katherine Riestenberg, Linguist

This episode of These Vibes was all about language.

In the first part, Stevie spoke with Dr. Kate Riestenberg, linguist and postdoctoral fellow at the Smithsonian Institution and visiting scholar at Truman State University in Missouri, about the varied and far-reaching work of linguists. Then, they took a deep dive in to the topic of endangered languages — how they’re defined, how a language becomes endangered, and why we should care.

 

 

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Kristin Guest, Bilingual Speech Language Pathologist

In the second portion, Kristin Guest, Bilingual Speech Language Pathologist (SLP), discussed her work in SLP and working with kids in (primarily New York City) public schools. She described the differences between learning, language, and speech disabilities, as well as how you determine if a student has a disability in one of these three categories. Next Kristin gets in to the linguistically and culturally biased assessment practices in schools, and how they should change.

 

 

Mentioned Links:

 


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7/18/17 Show feat. Betsy Levy Paluck on Social Norms, Radio and Reducing Conflict

Today’s show features Betsy Levy Paluck, Professor of Psychology and Public Affairs, expert on the dynamics of social networks and behavioral norms. We discuss how groups normalize behaviors in a variety of contexts, and what we know about intervening to change behaviors. How much do we really know about the effectiveness of diversity training and media campaigns? What is the role of the mass media in creating or reducing prejudice? Listen for all this and a broader discussion on large-scale conflict resolution and how personal relationships feed into cultural trends.

In other news:

  • According to newly analyzed DNA from ancient dogs, humans domesticated wolves just once in history–about 20,000 years ago in Asia.
  • The early solar system may have been swarming not with rocky meteors, but with giant balls of mud, solving a longstanding paradox in understanding old space debris.

The full playlist is available at WPRB’s website or below.

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7/11/17 Show on Melting Rocks, Alzheimer’s and Measuring Coal Impacts in Nature

Featured image: Even in a quartzite countertop, evidence of rock melting and distortion is apparent. How do earthquakes heat up these rocks so much that they liquify?

This week’s episode focuses on some of the newest stories in science. Listen and hear about earthquake physics: what makes rocks melt when tectonic plates rub against each other? Also featured are stories on nuclear analysis of coral, the reflectivity of the Antarctic and why sleep may prevent Alzheimer’s-linked proteins from mucking up your brain.

In other news:

  • Juno has delivered us images of the Great Red Spot from only 9,000 km away–unimaginably close in Jupiter terms. Check out these images from NASA!
  • If anyone in the New York / New Jersey / Philadelphia area knows about a bus or group venture down to the eclipse on August 21st, please let us know! Going alone may be difficult on short notice, so maybe grouping together would make the logistics easier.

The playlist can be found on WPRB’s website or below.

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6/27/17 Show feat. Alex Todorov on the psychology of first impressions + Ingrid Ockert on “Programmed Inequality” in Britain

In this installment of These Vibes, Stevie spoke with Alexander Todorov, psychology face_value_bookprofessor at Princeton and author of the new book “Face Value: The Irresistible Influence of First Impressions,” which just came out in hardcover earlier this month. The book dives in to his research on first impressions — the very human way we make character judgments after only a glance at another person’s face. These impressions are often incorrect, but can affect important decisions we make, like elections and criminality. In this interview we take a deep dive in to the history of the pseudoscience of physiognomy, as well as current research in psychology and the effect of first impressions on elections, criminal justice, and more.

Additionally, science historian Ingrid Ockert joins us to discuss the text “Programmed Inequality: How Britain Discarded Women Technologists and Lost Its Edge in Computing.”

Science News:


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6/20/17 Show feat. Tamas Prileszky on Engineering Fluids and Food Science

Featured image: The late Professor Mainstone with his famous tar drip experiment, which has produced about a drop a decade since 1930. The idea: everything flows.

In this episode, we’re investigating the intersecting worlds of colloids, fluid properties, and food science with Tamás Prileszky, a University of Delaware graduate student in chemical engineering. What governs the diverse behavior of liquids as different as oil and mayonnaise? How can engineers tweak the concoctions they develop? Tamás will share his expertise in droplets, which float around in liquids and drastically affect their properties, and explain what tools and methods scientists use to develop new chemical technologies. Finally, we’ll connect all this with our diets: how do we engineer food, and why is it that we put so many additives in grocery store products?

In other news:

  • CRISPR, the gene editing technology that’s taking biology by storm, recently made big gains against Huntingdon’s disease in mice.
  • Eclipses (discussed on TVR2C recently) are still a huge opportunity for solar research, as shown by this group from Hawaii studying the temperature of coronal mass ejections.
  • A widely-publicized Tesla crash can be blamed on the driver, not the self-driving car, say new findings by the company.
  • Wild felines became cats and spread all around the ancient world, mostly through two big human-induced migrations. Or at least that’s what scientists can tell from new analyses of ancient cat DNA.
  • Airborne germs survive for a long time after a sneeze or a cough, according to Australian scientists. So long, dreams of cleanliness.

The full playlist of the show is available on WPRB’s website or below.

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6/13/17 Show feat. Dorit Aviv on Building and Optimizing Buildings + the UN Nuclear Ban Treaty

Featured image: Adlinger Center at Princeton University.

In this installment of These Vibes, graduate researcher in the Computation and Energy track in Princeton University’s School of Architecture, Dorit Aviv, joined us on the mic to discuss her work designing and optimizing buildings. In the image next to the stream you can see Dorit Aviv with her Cool Oculus, discussed in the show.

At the start of the show, Tamara Patton and Sébastien Philippe*, doctoral researchers in mechanical engineering and Science & Global Security, explained the UN Nuclear Ban Treaty, currently in negotiations at the UN as well as the upcoming Women’s March to Ban the Bomb.

*Tamara Patton and Sébastien Philippe were both past guests on this show. Learn more about Tamara’s research on emergent technologies being used for nuclear disarmament and Sébastien on nuclear arms verification in their interview.


Playlist:

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6/6/17 Show feat. Doug Massey on Undocumented Immigration and Border Militarization

Featured image: Workers in the bracero program in the 1950s. Seasonal migrants like these men circulated from Mexico to the US and back yearly until the border became too dangerous to do so. (courtesy Emory University)

This episode, listen to hear Professor of Sociology Doug Massey in an intensely topical conversation: what happens when borders are militarized? What are the impacts of US immigration policy, and how might a border wall affect our country’s population of immigrants? In this interview, we dig into the xenophobia of our politics and media, and see how sociologists view macroscopic trends in migration in the light of baseless misinformation propagated by our news and in our culture.

In other news:

The full playlist can be found on WPRB.com or below.

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5/30/17 Show feat. Edward Felten on Policy and Technology

In this installment of These Vibes, Professor Edward Felten, director of Princeton’s Center for Information Technology Policy (CITP) and blogger at Freedom to Tinker. Throughout the show we discussed various interactions between policy and technology. Specifically, we dove in to the current state of the technology behind self-driving cars and their prospective impact on several aspects of our society, but specifically jobs. Next, Professor Felten described the use of a form of AI, predictive analytics, in the criminal justice system. Judges in some states use predictive analytics to determine, for example, bail. There is a potential Supreme Court case (it is being considered) on this topic coming up in the next term. And in the last part, Professor Felton gave us a primer on net neutrality and updated us as to the current state of the debate on the topic.

Science news:

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