11/20/18 Show feat. Kelsey Ockert on the Re-Origin of Species: Reversing Extinction with Science

Featured image: A rare image of the po’ouli, a now-extinct species of Hawaiian songbird last seen in 2004. The last known male failed to breed in captivity, but its body and genes have been cryogenically preserved in California. (Courtesy U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

The quest to bring back extinct species isn’t all about reviving mammoths 11,000 years after the Ice Age. Humans are causing a massive global extinction, affecting thousands of species due to habitat loss and changing climate, so it’s all we can do to stem the tide by preserving species in any way we can. Right now, a multifaceted band of scientists are gathering DNA of endangered creatures and using science to revive previously dead branches of the tree of life.

All of this comes forward in the great new book, “The Re-Origin of Species” by Torill Kornfeldt. Just translated from Swedish, the chapters chronicle different scientists’ quests to preserve life as we know it, covering the unbelievable possibilities already in play, as well as the moral dilemmas imposed by destroying and reanimating life. Thanks to Kelsey Ockert of the Princeton Public Library for the book review and giveaway!

In other news:

The playlist can be found online at WPRB.com or below.

Screenshot from 2018-12-13 16-57-31.png

Advertisements

10/30/18 Show feat. Kelsey Ockert on Black Hole Photography and the Event Horizon Telescope

Featured image: A simulated image of the dynamic region surrounding a black hole, showing off a “bump” that builds up due to magnetohydrodynamic motion. (Courtesy Dexter et al., Astrophysics Journal 2010)

How do we know what a black hole looks like? We have many theories about these ominous objects that are backed up by evidence, but one thing we haven’t done is seen a black hole—due to their tiny size and total darkness, nobody has been able to take a picture of one. We haven’t had a telescope sharp enough to see the black hole, until now: and it’s only a small and determined band of scientists, currently developing a telescope the size of the Earth, to break through the barrier and image a black hole for the first time. This week, we focus on the story of the Event Horizon Telescope, a massive undertaking whose results are due in the near future.

Kelsey Ockert is back on These Vibes for a book giveaway about this phenomenal scientific project. Check out “Einstein’s Shadow: A Black Hole, a Band of Astronomers, and the Quest to See the Unseeable” by Seth Fletcher! Thanks to the Princeton Public Library for the free book.

In other news:

The playlist is online at WPRB.com or below.

Screenshot from 2018-12-09 16-42-16.png

 

10/23/18 Show feat. Kelsey Ockert on Lidar: The Future of Laser Imaging

Featured image: Todd Neff’s new book shows how Lidar has, for example, revolutionized Aztec archeology by making it possible to map the rainforest floor underneath the trees. (courtesy Todd Neff)

This week is the first of a series of book giveaways we are bringing to our show (look out for more in coming weeks), thanks to Kelsey Ockert of the Princeton Public Library! Kelsey describes to us the history and future of Lidar, a laser imaging technology that’s enabling new research and technology in many unexpected ways. The book we discuss is “The Laser That’s Changing the World: The Amazing Stories behind Lidar, from 3D Mapping to Self-Driving Cars” by Todd Neff.

In other news:

Thanks for listening! The playlist can be found online at WPRB.com or below.

Screenshot from 2018-12-01 20-03-08