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Aug. 25, 2011

Feynman: The Graphic Novel

by Katherine

Step aside, superheroes: Richard Feynman is getting his own graphic novel. The graphic biography Feynman, out next week, follows the scientist from his early years as a curious student to the Manhattan Project, the Nobel Prize, and his his famous … Continue reading →

books, comics, History, physics, Richard Feynman
Aug. 24, 2011

PBS Series Looks at Online Culture

by Katherine

Is it just me or has the pace of culture-memorializing been rapidly increasing? One day your friend sends you a link to a hilarious new video; the next day, it’s on a list of “the top 10 videos of yesterday”; … Continue reading →

television, culture, internet, Recent History, TV
Aug. 23, 2011

X-rayed Singing

by Katherine

This clip shows what happens inside the body when we sing. The clip, from Swiss director Pierre-Yves Borgeaud’s 2002 film Inland, was created with the radiology department at the hospital in Lausanne, Switzerland. Inland is an abstract film about the … Continue reading →

music, Film, music
Aug. 23, 2011

Storytelling Scientists

by Katherine

Scientists are often lambasted for being bad communicators, too technical or condescending. But a new storytelling project aims to change that. The Brooklyn-based Story Collider is a live event in the tradition of The Moth where people tell true stories … Continue reading →

theater, discovery, neuroscience, Storytelling
Aug. 19, 2011

Intel Commissions Science Fiction

by Katherine

Because Intel has to design its technology 5 or 10 years in advance of consumer use, part of its job is essentially to predict the future. It needs to know what kinds of technology will be useful and marketable many … Continue reading →

books, Futurism, Literature, science fiction, the future
Aug. 18, 2011

The Neglected Cockroach

by Katherine

With all the hype about bedbugs and stink bugs lately, you’d think they were the first pests to ever invade our homes. But what about that old standby, the cockroach? I’m guessing he may feel a little neglected with these … Continue reading →

books, bugs, illustration
Aug. 17, 2011

The Story of Charlotte’s Web

by Katherine

This week on Science Friday, we’ll be talking with Michael Sims, author of the new book, The Story of Charlotte’s Web: E. B. White’s Eccentric Life in Nature and the Birth of an American Classic. The story behind that iconic … Continue reading →

books, History, Literature, Nature
Aug. 16, 2011

Neurological Disorders as Thriller Fodder

by Katherine

Last time neurologist Oliver Sacks stopped by Science Friday, we talked with him about visual disorders, including one he has called prosopagnosia. People with prosopagnosia, or face blindness, have difficulty recognizing faces — even those of close friends or family … Continue reading →

Film, Film, neurology, Oliver Sacks, science fiction
Aug. 16, 2011

The Future is Now: Vincent Fournier’s Space Project

by Katherine

Belgium-based photographer Vincent Fournier is drawn to the contrast between rough, primal landscapes and sleek high technology. His “Space Project” series focuses on national space programs, which often do high-tech research in extreme geographic locations. He’s traveled around the world … Continue reading →

Visual Art, NASA, Photography, science fiction, space
Aug. 04, 2011

The Juno Mission’s Tiny Stowaways

by Katherine

On last week’s show, we talked about NASA’s Juno mission to Jupiter, set to launch tomorrow (audio here). But we neglected to mention one terribly important detail. In addition to loads of technical equipment to analyze Jupiter’s atmosphere and magnetic … Continue reading →

Visual Art, NASA, space, toys
Aug. 03, 2011

Beluga Whales: Great Dancers

by Katherine

We knew whales could sing. Now it turns out they dance, too? This Beluga whale at Mystic Marinelife Aquarium is partial to mariachi.

Dance, biology, Dance, Whale songs
Aug. 02, 2011

Bjork’s Latest Project: Biophilia

by Katherine

Icelandic musician Bjork has often been called “otherworldly.” Her latest creative project builds a whole new world of weird combining science, music, and technology.

Film, music, cosmology, music, Technology
Aug. 02, 2011

How to Make a Pinhole Camera

by Katherine

Are you experiencing summer doldrums this August? Get creative! Do a craft. A science craft. Back in April, we celebrated Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day by posting a few pics we took with a matchbox pinhole camera. I promised a how-to … Continue reading →

Frontpage, Visual Art, Photography, Retro, Technology
Jun. 30, 2011

The Art and Science of High-Tech Cuisine

by Katherine

Features, Visual Art, art, cooking, cuisine, Photography
Jun. 22, 2011

Machines of Loving Grace

by Katherine

On Science Friday this week, we’re talking with the author of Robopocalypse, a new science fiction thriller about, well, the robot apocalypse. Interspersed throughout the novel are short epigraphs drawn from literature and history, and one in particular caught my … Continue reading →

Literature, Poetry, robots, science fiction
Jun. 22, 2011

The Robots Are Coming

by Katherine

Are you prepared for the robot apocalypse? This week on Science Friday, we’ll be talking with Daniel H. Wilson, a Ph.D. in robotics who has just released the science fiction thriller Robopocalypse. In the book, the technology we rely on … Continue reading →

books, Radio Segments, robots, science fiction
Jun. 16, 2011

The Quark’s Literary Origins

by Katherine

Happy Bloomsday! Each year on June 16, literary geeks worldwide honor the life and work of Irish writer James Joyce (Ulysses, Finnegans Wake, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man). In celebration, artist and writer Jonathon Keats shares … Continue reading →

Features, Frontpage, History, Literature, History, language, Literature, physics, Quantum Physics
Jun. 15, 2011

Art at the Air and Space Museum

by Katherine

Over the last 50 years, NASA has invited artists such as Norman Rockwell, Andy Warhol, and Annie Leibovitz to create work inspired by space exploration. A new exhibit at the National Air and Space Museum showcases that work and captures … Continue reading →

music, Visual Art, art, music, NASA, space
Jun. 09, 2011

Chris Adrian on Writing About Hospitals

by Katherine

Last week on Science Friday, we sat down for a chat on writing and medicine with doctor-novelist Chris Adrian. In his fiction, the worlds of the magical and the medical collide. Often set in dreary hospitals, fumbling doctors are accompanied … Continue reading →

Literature, fiction, hospitals, Literature, Medicine, oncology
Jun. 07, 2011

Anatomy Minute: The Mysterious Stomach

by Katherine

Los Angeles experimental theater troupe Art of Bleeding is back with another “Anatomy Minute” video, exploring the interior lives of bodily organs. This episode tells us about the mysterious, shapeshifting stomach. Much like the reclusive esophagus covered earlier, this organ … Continue reading →

Video, Anatomy, theater
Jun. 07, 2011

Why Robots Should Dance

by Katherine

Singing, dancing robots range from the charming to the inept to the creepy to the inexplicable. They’re all fun to watch. But, I’ve always wondered: what’s the fascination? Why do humans want robots to dance? And what are we trying … Continue reading →

Dance, Frontpage, music, Dance, music, robots, Technology
Jun. 06, 2011

You Call Yourself a Museum

by Katherine

In the perennial art versus science debate, mark young Annabelle down in favor of science. The Museum of Modern Art has been posting visitor feedback, including much from kids, on its website. This particular one seems relevant to our blog … Continue reading →

Visual Art, dinosaurs, kids, Museums
May. 27, 2011

Star Trek Remix: Data Raps About the Biology of his Cat

by Katherine

This is why the internet is great.

music, biology, music, music video, Remix, Star Trek
May. 26, 2011

Afraid of Commitment? Try Quantum Entanglement.

by Katherine

Jonathon Keats calls himself an “experimental philosopher.” His strange and surprising thought experiments are often based on scientific ideas. He established a temple for the worship of science; he collaborated with geneticists in an attempt to determine the DNA of … Continue reading →

Features, Frontpage, Video, Conceptual Art, physics, Quantum Physics, thought experiment
May. 24, 2011

Lady Gaga, Played by Lightning

by Katherine

Finally, someone beat Lady Gaga at her own game: they’ve out-weirded her. The Open Spark Project has taken her music, along with many other musicians’ including mashup artist Girl Talk, and turned it into lightning. Let me explain. The Open … Continue reading →

music, Electricity, music, Power
May. 20, 2011

Antique Anatomy Lessons

by Katherine

A new exhibit at Duke University Library, “Animated Anatomies,” takes a look at anatomical flap books. What’s a flap book? These publications invite the viewer to participate in virtual autopsies, through the process of unfolding their movable leaves, simulating the … Continue reading →

Visual Art, Anatomy, books, History, Visual Art
May. 20, 2011

Office Hours with Michio Kaku

by Katherine

In the latest Desktop Diaries video, we take a trip to the office of theoretical physicist and futurist Michio Kaku. Kaku’s office is full of decades’ worth of books, awards, and bygone technology. He says, “it’s pointless to have a … Continue reading →

Features, Video, Desktop Diaries, Futurism, Michio Kaku, physics
May. 19, 2011

Fracking, the Musical

by Katherine

Last week on Science Friday, Ira and guests discussed a new study linking natural gas fracking to methane in water supplies. (Audio: ) But if you, like me, can’t understand any scientific concepts without the aid of a musical number, … Continue reading →

music, Radio Segments, Video, Energy, Fracking, music videos
May. 09, 2011

Science Graffiti

by Katherine

My morning commute today was made more pleasant by this: Vandals love space! Which reminds me of one of the craziest stop-motion videos I’ve ever seen, in which street artist Blu draws the evolution of life since the Big Bang … Continue reading →

Frontpage, Visual Art, evolution, graffiti, Stop-Motion, street art
May. 04, 2011

Prepare to be Blinded

by Katherine

Get excited: on this week’s show, musician Thomas Dolby — the man behind the inarguably awesome song “She Blinded Me With Science” — joins us to talk about music and technology. After becoming an MTV star in the ’80s (and … Continue reading →

music, music, pop, Recent History, Technology
Apr. 22, 2011

Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day (Yes, This Exists)

by Katherine

This Sunday is one of the most important of the whole year. It’s a day when people worldwide gather to celebrate the magic of the earth, the wonder of human progress, et cetera. Of course I’m talking about Pinhole Day. … Continue reading →

Frontpage, Visual Art, Anachronisms, DIY, Photography
Apr. 21, 2011

Playwright First Invented Robot

by Katherine

The word, that is. Czech playwright, novelist and journalist Karel Čapek didn’t invent an actual working robot, but he did invent “robot” — from the Czech robota, meaning “work.” He introduced the word in his 1920 hit play, R.U.R., or … Continue reading →

Radio Segments, theater, History, robots, theater
Apr. 21, 2011

Peer Pressure: Not Just For Humans

by Katherine

“Each wants to one-up the next to it but still feels pressure to conform enough that it doesn’t stand out as an oddball.” This quote, from an article in Science, describes the social behaviors of males. Humpback whale males, … Continue reading →

music, marine biology, music, pop, Whale songs
Apr. 20, 2011

The Most Complicated Rube Goldberg Machine Ever?

by Katherine

This Rube Goldberg machine, awaiting verification by Guinness Records as the world’s most complicated, waters a flower in 244 simple steps. Along the way, it takes us from the Big Bang through key moments in history, ending with the impending … Continue reading →

Video, engineering, History, rube goldberg
Apr. 19, 2011

A Look Back at the Space Shuttle

by Katherine

Fact A: The space shuttle is awesome. Fact B: Just about everything is better when it’s read by William Shatner. Given these facts, it’s probably worth 14 minutes of your time to check out this NASA video about the space … Continue reading →

Video, Exploration, NASA, space shuttle, William Shatner
Apr. 18, 2011

Health for Sale: Medicine Meets Advertising

by Katherine

As a chemical engineering student in the mid-1950s, Bill Helfand enrolled in an art appreciation course to expand his educational horizons. He was so taken with it that he would skip engineering courses to attend the art class instead, and … Continue reading →

Features, Frontpage, Visual Art, Advertising, art history, Health, Medicine
Apr. 15, 2011

Learn Anatomy, Feel Weird About It: Part 2

by Katherine

Last month, I posted a link to theater troupe The Art of Bleeding’s faux educational video about the esophagus. Due to the video’s uncomfortable insinuations about my esophagus’ social life, I wrote: Do I get it? No. Do I like … Continue reading →

Video, Anatomy, education, Medicine, Retro, theater
Apr. 11, 2011

Space Flute Duet

by Katherine

One of my favorite science-related Jerry Seinfeld bits goes like this: What the hell were they doing with a car on the god**** moon? You’re on the moon already! Isn’t that far enough? There is no more male idea in … Continue reading →

music, Astronauts, International Space Station, music, space
Apr. 06, 2011

McCarthy and Herzog Talk Science

by Katherine

“Study the science of art. Study the art of science. Realize that everything connects to everything else.” – Leonardo da Vinci This week on Science Friday, we’re talking about the connection between science and art with three exciting guests: novelist … Continue reading →

Film, Literature, Radio Segments, art, Documentary, Film, Literature
Mar. 31, 2011

Symphony of Science: Ode to the Brain

by Katherine

As a longtime fan of composer John Boswell’s auto-tuned science masterpieces, I dutifully post the latest: “Ode to the Brain.” How does he make neuroscience so catchy? For more on the Symphony of Science series, check out our interview with … Continue reading →

music, Video, Carl Sagan, Cosmos, John Boswell, neuroscience, Symphony of Science
Mar. 31, 2011

Evidence: Forensic Photography as Art

by Katherine

Artist Angela Strassheim began her career as a forensic photographer in a crime lab. She soon left to focus on art full-time, but she didn’t entirely leave the field behind. Her body of work, Evidence, is a documentary art project … Continue reading →

Features, Frontpage, Visual Art, Forensics, Photography
Mar. 25, 2011

Richard Feynman, Famed Bongo-ist

by Katherine

Today on Science Friday, we’re talking about noted bongo player Richard Feynman. There’s a new book out by Lawrence Krauss about him — apparently Feynman did some stuff with science, too. Tune in.

music, Radio Segments, Video, music, Nobel Prize, physics, Richard Feynman
Mar. 25, 2011

A Spacesuit Ballet

by Katherine

Of the spacesuit he wore on the moon, Neil Armstrong wrote, “it was tough, reliable, and almost cuddly.” But that cuddly suit, made by the company Playtex (yes, that Playtex), had some stiff competition (literally) from rival rigid, metal designs. … Continue reading →

Features, Radio Segments, Video, Apollo, Fashion, music, NASA, space, videos
Mar. 22, 2011

Water Sculptures for World Water Day

by Katherine

Today is World Water Day, an international day of observance designed to draw attention to worldwide freshwater issues. In celebration of the day, check out this video by artist Shinichi Maruyama, who makes beautiful temporary sculptures using only water and … Continue reading →

Video, Visual Art, Sculpture, UN, water
Mar. 17, 2011

Learn Anatomy, Feel Weird About It

by Katherine

The Art of Bleeding is a Los Angeles theater troupe that, according to its founder Al Ridenour, is a “combination first-aid vaudeville-variety show and educational foundation teaching the unconscious.” Your guess is as good as mine on what that means, … Continue reading →

theater, Video, Anatomy, Medicine, Performance Art, theater
Mar. 16, 2011

Pi in the Face

by Katherine

So, you’ll notice that the charming video we linked to on Monday in honor of Pi Day is “no longer available due to a copyright claim by Lars Erickson.” It turns out Lars Erickson wrote a song called the “Pi Symphony” … Continue reading →

music, Copyright, math, music, Pi
Mar. 14, 2011

Happy Pi Day

by Katherine

Happy Pi Day! Celebrate by listening to this song based on the famous number, performed by musician Michael John Blake. Blake assigned numbers to keys on the major C scale, and created a song based on pi to 31 decimal … Continue reading →

music, Video, math, music, Pi
Mar. 09, 2011

This Week on SciFri: Tod Machover and his Legion of Operabots

by Katherine

On this week’s show, we’re talking to composer and inventor Tod Machover about his newest project, an opera featuring specially-designed “operabots” acting, singing, and dancing along with human performers (program audio here). And lest you think robots are cold and … Continue reading →

music, Radio Segments, theater, Disability, Health, music, opera, Performance, Technology, theater
Mar. 04, 2011

Desktop Diaries: Brian Greene

by Katherine

Desktop Diaries is back! Starting with the premise that we spend more time at our desks than almost anywhere else, this series take trips to workspaces of brilliant minds. This time, we visit the tidy office of string theorist Brian … Continue reading →

Features, Radio Segments, Brian Greene, Desktop Diaries, physics, String Theory
Mar. 04, 2011

Double-Slit Experiment Recreated in Minecraft

by Katherine

Who says video games can’t be educational? YouTube user spoonmonkeyuk recreated the double-slit experiment in the building game Minecraft, finally proving the dual wave/particle nature of the virtual chicken. And, for good measure, here’s the Large Hadron Collider built out … Continue reading →

Video, Experiments, Video Games

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