Lego Worm Brain

An open source group has recreated the brain of a worm, neuron for neuron, and recently programmed this data into the body of a Lego Mindspring robot.  Rather than dictating specific behavior into the software, the program simply fires each neural imulse exactly as a worm’s brain would.  The result is remarkably worm-like behavior in Lego form.  While Jeff can’t exactly pin down the size of this creation, he is excited about what it means, but Anthony is worried worm-behavior is a low bar for judging artificial brains.  More Details/Download MP3 →

28 Days Other

A British performance artist is raising money to live inside the Oculus Rift virtual environment nonstop for 28 days.  He will be connected at all times with another human being – someone he has never met – seeing what he sees, eating what he eats, sleeping and going to the bathroom only when he does.  Jeff and Anthony are fascinated by this idea, but wonder when and how this experience will break down.  Also the puking.  There’s got to be a lot of puking.  More Details/Download MP3 →

Let’s Clone a Mammoth

Scientists have found the most well preserved mammoth ever- so fresh they even took a bite of mammoth meat. Does its DNA contain enough complete information to clone it? If so, should we? What happens if we bring back exctinct species?  More Details/Download MP3 →

Tearable Information

Arizona schools are ripping pages about contraception out of text books and Anthony can’t believe it.  Jeff tries to figure out the motivation behind such a bonehead move, but both guys can’t understand why less knowledge is ever good.  It’s enough to make them jump off a roof without an inflatable helmet.  More Details/Download MP3 →

Time is a Cat Circle

Researchers have just created the world’s most precise atomic clock- but what do we get out of it? Isn’t time just a human construct? What does ‘precise’ even mean in a universe where time changes depending on where you are? All of this kinda freaks Jeff out. Anthony, for once, isn’t too worried about the nature of time.  More Details/Download MP3 →

You Art What You Eat

The Foodini is an example of the new wave of 3D printers for food.  Just fill it with fresh ingredients, and out pops meals like ravioli, pizza, and hamburgers, ready to cook.  Anthony detests the tyranny of food, and doesn’t have time for anything that stands in the way of productivity and effeciency.  Jeff, on the other hand, can’t wait to eat delicious meals shaped like all sorts of things, and sees a world where design and artful presentation is decoupled from a food’s original form.  More Details/Download MP3 →

Dress For Succession

Scientists studying the brain’s ability to make choices note that the fewer inconsequential decisions you put in front of yourself, the better you’ll do when it is time to face a really challenging one.  Armed with that knowledge, many prominent deciders like President Obama and Steve Jobs removed the decision of what to wear from their lives.  They simply wear the same clothes every day.  Anthony and Jeff wonder if wearing a uniform for life might be beneficial, what that outfit might look like, and how comfort fits into the equation.  More Details/Download MP3 →

The Prime Director

Jeff is intrigued by an interview he read about Nasa’s one and only Planetary Protection Officer.  Her job?  To protect OTHER planets from us and ensure the galaxy isn’t contaminated by microbes, particles, or other detritus that might ruin it.  Anthony hopes for the same attention to detail in his own life, and everybody hopes we don’t ever accidently create avacado creatures.  More Details/Download MP3 →

Grin and Bear It

Park Rangers are asking visitors to state park and forest areas to please stop taking #bearselfies. Anthony and Jeff try to figure out what would possess a person to approach a wild, deadly creature in the woods to snap a pic, decide which type of bears are the most dangerous, and discover the absolute worst clinic to attend when you’ve been mauled.  More Details/Download MP3 →

A Tough Pill to Swallow

Researchers at MIT have developed a new pill that is much more efficient at delivering medicine into the bloodstream. Instead of a simple spheroid, it is covered in a multitude of tiny spikes, which stick into the stomache lining and ensure the medicine is absorbed rather than passed through the body undigested. Jeff is fascinated by the evolution of the swallow-able tablet, from its roots thousands of years ago to the more common “friable” form introduced in the 19th century – but Anthony wants no part of swallowing spike-balls. Beware the Spike Lobby.  More Details/Download MP3 →