Self-described ‘professional space history nerd’ Amy Shira Teitel joins Dr Karl to talk about spaceflight before NASA in her book ‘Breaking the Chains of Gravity’. Hear about cutting edge rocket planes like the X-15 (and its surprising link with tractor seats), the team of seamstresses behind the launch of high-altitude balloons to the edge of space, and how paper plates inspired the engineering of early spacecraft. Tune in for extraordinary, intimate stories from a time that is often forgotten in space-age literature.
Dr Alice has been shark hunting in the Arctic waters (i.e. through scientific papers) and discovered the oldest vertebrate in the world is at least 272 years old. Meanwhile, back on the land, why are two scientists riding a roller coaster holding a bag with an artificial kidney and stones? Dr Karl is considering a ‘fusion’ breakfast after hearing that spicy food may be good for your health. Fruit salad with chilli anyone? And why does the Zebra finch sing a different song to its eggs just before they hatch?
Marine biologist, diver and author Dr Helen Scales takes Dr Karl deep beneath the waves to share her passion for life in the ocean. Helen talks about her new book ‘Spirals in Time’ on the secret life of shells. Hear about ‘clacking’ oysters, the legend of the Golden Fleece (sea silk) and a creature resembling a pinecone crossbred with a slug. There’s mathematics in the spirals of shells, slave trading in the history of the cowrie shell and just imagine a Harry Potter golden snitch of the sea… it’s real and has an incredibly important role to play in ocean life.
Dr Alice is back in the house for science chat and she’s got popcorn for Dr Karl! But wait, why? They are talking movies and the science behind knowing what’s going on in a film by measuring the chemicals released by the audience. Who knew there could be a link between ‘The Hunger Games’, the Amazon rainforest and being able to diagnose medical conditions? Find out what happened in the case of the ‘poisoned pants’ and what’s the best time to exercise to lose weight? They ask the big questions about coffee – good or bad – and, should you really have a hot cup of tea to cool you down?