Science Friday http://ualrpublicradio.org en Reggie Watts Builds a Synthesizer, Bit by Bit http://ualrpublicradio.org/post/reggie-watts-builds-synthesizer-bit-bit Transcript <p>IRA FLATOW, HOST: <p>The synth stylings of Kraftwerk. When that song "Autobahn" came out 1974, and, yes, I was around to remember when it came out then, synthesizers were the cutting edge in music technology. It really were a rarity, but not so today. Synthesizers are everywhere. In pop music, from the top 40s, to indie synth pop, you definitely heard synthesizers, maybe you've even seen them in action. But do you know how they work? Yeah.<p>A toy company called littleBits wants to show you they've created a do-it-yourself synth kit, a tiny synthesizer you can make yourself. Mon, 16 Dec 2013 19:58:00 +0000 editor 16148 at http://ualrpublicradio.org In a New Play, Trusty Sidekick Is a Supercomputer http://ualrpublicradio.org/post/new-play-trusty-sidekick-supercomputer Transcript <p>IRA FLATOW, HOST: <p>This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. If you tuned into "Jeopardy!" in 2011, you might have heard an exchange like this.<p>(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "JEOPARDY!")<p>ALEX TREBEK: Watson, start us, please.<p>WATSON: The European Union for $200.<p>TREBEK: As of 2010, Croatia and Macedonia are candidates but this is the only former Yugoslav Republic in the EU. Brad.<p>BRAD: What is Bosnia?<p>TREBEK: No. Watson.<p>WATSON: What is Serbia?<p>TREBEK: No. That too is incorrect. The correct response is what is Slovenia. Mon, 16 Dec 2013 19:58:00 +0000 editor 16149 at http://ualrpublicradio.org Science Book Picks for 2013 http://ualrpublicradio.org/post/science-book-picks-2013 Transcript <p>IRA FLATOW, HOST: <p>This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow and you are invited to join our annual holiday club of the air. This week we'll be talking about some of the best science reads from 2013. I'm going to throw in my favorite one right at the beginning before Deborah and Maria get a chance to put a word in edgewise.<p>"Einstein and the Quantum: The Quest of the Valiant Swabian," by Douglas Stone. It gives a look at the lesser-known discoveries of Albert Einstein and a little peak about what physics was like at that time and all the great characters there. What's yours? Fri, 13 Dec 2013 17:21:00 +0000 editor 16027 at http://ualrpublicradio.org This Doc's Miracle Drug? Exercise http://ualrpublicradio.org/post/docs-miracle-drug-exercise Transcript <p>IRA FLATOW, HOST: <p>You know the old adage, an apple a day keeps the doctor away? Well, my next guest might add to that. How about a jog a day keeps the doctor away, or a set of pull-ups? His new book is a prescription pad for a variety of ailments from anxiety and depression to heart disease, diabetes, low libido, arthritis, even cancer. Fri, 13 Dec 2013 17:21:00 +0000 editor 16028 at http://ualrpublicradio.org Dissecting America's $3 Trillion Medical Bill http://ualrpublicradio.org/post/dissecting-americas-3-trillion-medical-bill Transcript <p>IRA FLATOW, HOST: <p>This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. Do you know that what the number one reason for people filing bankruptcy in this country is? What's the number one reason? Not a lost job. It's not damage from earthquakes or floods. It's medical bills. My next guest says our high-priced medical treatments are responsible for some 60 percent of personal bankruptcies. Fri, 06 Dec 2013 18:18:00 +0000 editor 15662 at http://ualrpublicradio.org Speech Science: Tongue Twisters and Valley Girls http://ualrpublicradio.org/post/speech-science-tongue-twisters-and-valley-girls Drawing from research presented at this year's Acoustical Society of America conference, psycholinguist Stefanie Shattuck-Hufnagel untangles tongue twisters to look at speech planning patterns, and professor Amalia Arvaniti discusses the "Valley Girl" dialect. Fri, 06 Dec 2013 18:18:00 +0000 editor 15663 at http://ualrpublicradio.org Would More Technology Mean Safer Trains? http://ualrpublicradio.org/post/would-more-technology-mean-safer-trains Transcript <p>IRA FLATOW, HOST: <p>This is SCIENCE FRIDAY, I'm Ira Flatow. For less than $100, you can buy a little gadget, a speedometer, that plugs into your car's cigarette lighter and it will let out a terrific scream when you exceed that speed limit that you preset into it. In fact, there's a 99-cent app for that too for your smartphone that tells you when you've exceeded the speed limit.<p>If such a simple device had been installed on the commuter train that derailed last Sunday, killing four people in New York, perhaps that accident might never had happened. Fri, 06 Dec 2013 18:18:00 +0000 editor 15664 at http://ualrpublicradio.org At STREB Action Lab, Dance and Physics Collide http://ualrpublicradio.org/post/streb-action-lab-dance-and-physics-collide Transcript <p>IRA FLATOW, HOST: <p>If you're headed to the ballet this season, chances are to hear something like the "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" from "The Nutcracker," this season's dance blockbuster as usual. But dance doesn't always sound this sweet. Sometimes it sounds more like this.<p>(SOUNDBITE OF PLEXIGLAS SLAMMING)<p>FLATOW: I'm sure you won't recognize that music. That's the sounds of dancers running at top speed and then slamming into a Plexiglas wall. Tue, 26 Nov 2013 20:21:00 +0000 editor 15272 at http://ualrpublicradio.org Eating 'Wilder' Foods for a Healthier Diet http://ualrpublicradio.org/post/eating-wilder-foods-healthier-diet Transcript <p>IRA FLATOW, HOST: <p>This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. Hope you had a good Thanksgiving, this being the day after. One of the best parts of Thanksgiving is, I think, the leftovers. Don't they always taste better? Well, my next guest is here to tell us how we can get the most flavor and nutrition out of those leftovers and our food all year round.<p>She says we've been breeding the nutrition out of our food for years, but if you choose the right variety of fruits and vegetables, and you prepare them correctly, you can reclaim the minerals and the taste. Tue, 26 Nov 2013 20:21:00 +0000 editor 15273 at http://ualrpublicradio.org Annual Prizes Honor the Stranger Side of Science http://ualrpublicradio.org/post/annual-prizes-honor-stranger-side-science Transcript <p>IRA FLATOW, HOST: <p>This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. There's research that tackles the really big questions like where did we come from? How did the universe form? How can people live longer, better lives? Today is probably not the day for that research. Instead, it's our annual salute to science that first makes you laugh and then makes you think.<p>Talking about highlights from the 23rd First Annual Ig Nobel Awards. Tue, 26 Nov 2013 20:21:00 +0000 editor 15274 at http://ualrpublicradio.org