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

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.



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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5/3/16 Show feat. Cosmologist Colin Hill on the Universe as a Laboratory + Learning’s Physical Effect on the Brain

Featured image is of the Atacama Cosmology Telescope (of which Colin Hill is a collaborator) in the Atacama desert in Chile. Image credit: NASA

In this installment of These Vibes, cosmologist, musician and ex-WPRB DJ Colin Hill came in to the studio to chat with us about the cosmic microwave background (aka “the CMB”), using the early universe as a laboratory to probe fundamental physics, dark matter, and his Brooklyn-based band Memorial Gore.

colinhillColin walked us through his life as a theoretical astrophysicist that “lives close to the data,” and what that means. He explained how the Sunyaev-Zeldovich effect blurs the cosmic microwave background, and how that tells us about the matter distribution in the universe.

In part 2 of our interview we discussed what gravitational waves from the very early universe would do to the CMB: if theories are true, the gravitational waves would have imprinted a swirly polarization pattern in the radiation. Cosmologists are currently looking for this pattern (called “B-modes”), but there’s a big challenge. Dust – tiny particulates of carbon and silicon – in our galaxy can mimic this B-mode signal.  Continue reading “5/3/16 Show feat. Cosmologist Colin Hill on the Universe as a Laboratory + Learning’s Physical Effect on the Brain”

4/5/16 Show with Katerina Visnjic and Ingrid Ockert on Science Education Foundations and TV

In one of my favorite shows thus far, I discussed science education with one who practices it, and one who researches and documents the history of it. First, I spoke with Dr. Katerina Visnjic, senior lecturer in physics at Princeton University, and Ingrid Ockert, doctoral researcher in the history of science department. Ingrid’s research focuses on educational science television in the last century.

Dr. Katerina Visnjic
Ingrid Ockert

With Dr. Visnjic we went in to the philosophy of teaching and various methods, both successful and not so much. We spoke about preparing for a physics education and what it means to see the world more scientifically – and more. Kat referenced and recommended the book The Art of Changing the Brain: Enriching the Practice of Teaching by Exploring the Biology of Learningby James Zull.


Dovetailing our conversation with Dr. Visnjic, Ingrid and I went in to her research on science educational television in the last century, beginning with the first program, the Johns Hopkins Science Review which aired from 1948 to 1955. Here’s a clip that aired in March 20th, 1951.

We discussed Watch Mr. Wizard! at length, like this clip from 1954:

Ingrid then took us through the years of science television and how they changed up to Carl Sagan’s Cosmos and today. Among several suggestions, she recommends Emily Graslie’s The Brain Scoop:

And so much music!

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