|Podcasts||Community||Create a Podcast|
Science Cabaret on Air
An eclectic mix of science, art and entertainment at 7PM Sundays on WICB 91.7 Ithaca
August 19, 2012 -- Why the Science of Matter Matters: Chemistry, Art, and You -- Guest: Mike Haaf
August 24, 2012 01:37 PM PDT
What’s the first thing that pops into your mind when I say the words “organic chemistry”? I bet it’s not art! It’s probably something like “premed” or “long nights of studying,” but art is definitely not the first thing you think of in relation to organic chemistry. But they do indeed have some things in common. Like a chef needs to understand his ingredients, artists need to understand their materials – and that’s where chemistry comes into play. Mike Haaf, professor of chemistry at Ithaca College and co-instructor of a popular course called Chemistry and Art, joins host Jenny Nelson to talk about how he makes chemistry interesting and fun.
August 12, 2012 -- Putting the 'Fun' in Fungi -- Guest: Kathie Hodge
August 13, 2012 11:28 AM PDT
One of my favorite guests I’ve had on this show is Kathie Hodge, Professor of Mycology in the Department of Plant Pathology & Plant-Microbe Biology at Cornell University, and she joins me again to talk about her favorite thing: fungi. She’s an expert on mushrooms and other members of the fungi kingdom, and her infectious curiosity about the world around us inspires students and regular folks alike.
August 5, 2012 -- Tell me a story! -- Guests: Eliud and Meredith Nieves
August 02, 2012 11:09 PM PDT
Storytelling is one of the oldest and most basic forms of communication and teaching. In the sciences, however, storytelling is often jettisoned for the cold, hard facts. What could scientists learn from storytellers, and how can the teaching of science be improved through the art of storytelling? Our guests today, here to help us explore these questions, are Eliud and Merideth Nieves, professional storytellers in the Ithaca area. Listen all the way to the end to hear one of Eliud's signature stories, The King of the Jungle!
June 24, 2012 -- The Art of Mixology -- Guest: Roland Coggin
August 03, 2012 02:39 PM PDT
For the last year, the live Science Cabaret that takes place in downtown Ithaca at Lot 10 on Cayuga Street has been graced by the amazing cocktail stylings of one Mr. Roland Coggin. For each event, he whips up a tasty topical beverage. He’s got catchy names for them, but he also goes above and beyond, researching the Science Cabaret topic and developing a drink that incorporates ingredients that relate to the science on display at the evening event. For instance, when Science Cabaret hosted an event about creative robots, Roland cooked up the HAL9000 cocktail and wrote a delightful introduction for imbibers. The ingredients in the HAL9000 playfully fit the acronym: Hendrick’s Gin, Aperol, and lemon juice, along with simple syrup, soda, and a hand-carved cucumber robot. Roland shares his philosophy on the art of tending bar, his favorite alcoholic concoctions, and the sensitive job of lending an ear to contemplative drinkers.
June 17, 2012 -- Slime! It's so much cooler than you think -- Guest: Andy Smith
June 15, 2012 01:11 PM PDT
Snails and slugs are perhaps best known for their slowness and their slime. Those silver trails snails leave all over your yard: that's slime. That sticky stuff that slugs have coating their body: that's slime. Snail and slug lime has some pretty amazing properties -- it's 97% water, and it can serve as either a lubricant for the slippery suckers to get from one place to another, or as a glue for them to hang out in one spot for a while. Slugs also use their slime as a defense mechanism, secreting buckets of it when attacked. The defensive slime is unusually sticky, and any predator that gets a mouthful of it may have trouble opening its mouth for some time. Andy Smith, Ithaca College professor of biology and self-professed snail lover, talks with host Jenny Nelson about why these slime machines are so interesting.
April 8, 2012 -- I <3 Hyenas -- Guest: Sarah Benson-Amram
April 08, 2012 12:59 PM PDT
One of the lessons we're learning during our month of focusing on sustainability is how important even the most deplored of creatures -- such as mosquitoes, or hyenas -- are to the health of our global ecosystem. We can also learn from the complex societies of hyenas about how humans evolved intelligence. Hyenas get a bad rap, but they're actually very interesting and, surprisingly, loving animals. Our guest, Sarah Benson-Amram, postdoctoral research in zoology and ecology at Michigan State University, studied hyenas for 2 years in the Masai Mara of Kenya, challenging them with "puzzles" to better understand how these highly social creatures figure out problems and learn from each other.
April 1, 2012 -- Caring for our gardens and trees in the face of climate change -- Guest: Nina Bassuk
April 08, 2012 12:46 PM PDT
April is Sustainability Month, and we're celebrating at Science Cabaret on Air with shows about topics related to sustainability -- which, luckily, spans a wide range of disciplines! -- every Sunday this month. Our first interview is with Nina Bassuk, professor of horticulture at Cornell University and program leader of the Urban Horticulture Institute at Cornell.
March 25, 2012 -- 12 in 12 for 12 -- Guest: Gabby Wild
April 08, 2012 12:48 PM PDT
March 11, 2012 -- Getting SMART Around the World -- Guests: Jenny Nelson, Hunter Gradie and Morgann Ross
March 25, 2012 09:32 AM PDT
CIIFAD's Student Multidisciplinary Applied Research Team (SMART) Program brings together teams of students and faculty from diverse disciplines and pairs them with firms, organizations, or community groups located in developing countries for short-term consulting projects. In this episode of Science Cabaret On Air, Jenny Nelson, the SMART Program Coordinator, and two former team members talk with host Joanna Drivalas about their experiences on their international adventures and what it means to bring that information back home.
February 19, 2012 -- Do You Belive in Magic? -- Guest: Alex Stone
February 21, 2012 09:00 AM PST
Magicians can make us see things that aren't there, and can hide things from us in plain view. How do they DO that? Are we so easily duped, or is there something truly supernatural in their abilities? Alex Stone, author of the new book Fooling Houdini: Magicians, Mentalists, Math Geeks and the Hidden Powers of the Mind, joins host Jenny Nelson to talk about how magicians learn the tricks of their trade, why magic is so addictive, and how he managed to get kicked out of his local chapter of the Society of American Magicians.
February 5, 2012 -- It's About Time: How Biological Clocks Keep the World Ticking -- Guest: Dan Fergus
February 06, 2012 09:31 AM PST
How do our bodies know when it's time to go to sleep and when it's time to wake up? How come crickets chirp at night? Why is jet lag such a bummer? These seemingly unrelated phenomena are actually all topics of interest in the field of 'chronobiology,' the scientific study of the effect of time on living systems and of biological rhythms. Our guest on this episode of Science Cabaret, Dan Fergus, talks with host Jenny Nelson about how our biological clocks work, how can they can get out of whack, and how we're starting to use knowledge of our biological clocks to help tailor medical treatments.
December 12, 2011 -- Lighting the Future: Nanophotonics and the Technological Revolution -- Guest: Nicholas Sherwood
December 12, 2011 07:59 AM PST
"The speed of light does not merely transform the world. It becomes the world. Globalization is the speed of light." -- Paul Virilio
Continuing our conversation about nanotechnology, host Jenny Nelson talks with Nicholas Sherwood about light at its essence: nanophotonics. Dr. Sherwood completed his PhD in electrical engineering at Cornell University, where he specialized in developing optical interconnect devices and networks for hybrid multi-core processors.
November 27, 2011 -- Got Ink? Scientists and Their Magnificent Tattoos -- Guest: Carl Zimmer
November 27, 2011 07:12 PM PST
Carl Zimmer, renowned science writer, blogger and frequent contributor to the New York Times, National Geographic, Time magazine, and Scientific American, joins host Jenny Nelson to talk about his newest book, Science Ink: Tattoos of the Science Obsessed .
November 6, 2011 -- Is Science Up to the Challenge? -- Guest: Dr. Jai Ranganathan
November 06, 2011 06:34 PM PST
If the arts, journalism and NPR can do it, why can’t science? So thought our guest Dr. Jai Ranganathan about the fund-raising strategy known as crowdfunding, where the small contributions of many are bundled together to fund a larger project or purpose. Together, Jai and a fellow ecologist Dr. Jarrett Byrnes co-founded the #SciFund Challenge, a 45-day grand experiment where 49 scientists have posted research proposals on-line to raise money for a diverse array of projects – from explosive duck penises to the soundscape of the Bornean rainforest. As Jai explains to host Holly Menninger, a crowdfunding campaign – which necessarily harnesses the power of social media and requires fundraisers to directly engage their funders – will help scientists get out of the ivory tower and directly connect to society in new ways. The #SciFund Challenge runs Nov 1 -Dec 15, check it out!
October 23, 2011 -- Solar Power to the People -- Guest: David Moore
October 28, 2011 03:16 PM PDT
Though we don’t see a lot of sun around these parts, solar energy has been touted as having enormous potential as a renewable energy source. But solar cells are expensive to make. The growing demand for renewable energy requires significant investment in the development of efficient and inexpensive materials that can convert solar radiation into direct electric current. The latest trends in photovoltaics, as solar energy is known, include the development of nanoscale materials such as semiconductor nanocrystals, or 'quantum dots,' which are promising candidates for photovoltaics due to their unique optical and electronic properties. Host Jenny Nelson talks with Cornell graduate student David Moore about the work he and his colleagues are doing in the Hanrath Energy Lab to advance seminconductor nanocrystals for use in capturing solar power.
An eclectic mix of science and art. Science Cabaret on Air at 7PM Sundays on WICB 91.7 Ithaca. Hosts Jenny Nelson and Holly Menninger.
Science cabaret on air's Friends
Subscribe to this Podcast