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When Pigs Die

A team at Mississippi State University conducted an unusual ecological experiment with 3 actual tons of pig carcasses. Jeff and Anthony dig into the gory details to determine if it was worthwhile.  More Details/Download MP3 →

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Occupational Vehicle

In the mid-2000s, Amazon had a problem. Every year, the company scrambled to find temporary workers during the peak months of hectic commerce leading up to Christmas. In some areas of the country, reliable on-demand labor was so hard to come by that it resorted to busing in workers from three to five hours away. Then, in 2008, a staffing agency came up with something new: inviting a team of migrant RVers to work at the facility in Kansas. Pleased with the results, Amazon  expanded the program and gave the new initiative a name—Camper­Force—and a logo. Anthony and Jeff discuss the camper force and decide if it is a good thing.  More Details/Download MP3 →

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Slumber Partly

A trio of Caltech grad students noticed some laboratory jellyfish were acting differently when the lights were turned off, and set about determining if they were sleeping. If so, these are the first animals discovered who sleep and have no brain. Anthony and Jeff discuss why a brainless animal would need to sleep, and what that might mean for how we understand our basic human need for it.  More Details/Download MP3 →

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Cave Story

Indiana University freshman Lukas Cavar was on a spelunking trip to Sullivan Cave about 10 miles south of Bloomington when he became separated Sunday afternoon from 12 other members of the university’s Caving Club. When he eventually reached the cave entrance, Cavar found club members had padlocked its gate, unaware that he remained inside. He couldn’t get a cellphone signal and screamed for hours, hoping motorists passing on a nearby road might hear him. Jeff and Anthony discuss their fears of being left in a cave, and how best to survive.  More Details/Download MP3 →

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The Dark Night Returns

Researchers say 80 percent of North Americans live in areas where light pollution blots out the night sky.  Central Idaho officials are proposing the first International Dark Sky Reserve in the United States.  Anthony and Jeff discuss seeing stars, and whether it is worth curbing light pollution.  More Details/Download MP3 →

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Hawaii Survive-o

Six NASA-backed research subjects who have been cooped up in a Mars-like habitat on a remote Hawaii volcano since January emerged from isolation .The crew of four men and two women are part of a study designed to better understand the psychological impacts a long-term space mission would have on astronauts. Jeff and Anthony discuss the findings and whether they’d pretend to be on Mars for 8 months in Honolulu.  More Details/Download MP3 →

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Feint Praise

An international team of researchers reports that when children are praised for being smart not only are they quicker to give up in the face of obstacles they are also more likely to be dishonest and cheat. Kids as young as age 3 appear to behave differently when told “You are so smart” vs “You did very well this time.” Anthony and Jeff discuss this, especially in light of Jeff being a new dad.  More Details/Download MP3 →

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Cephal Oppidan

Octlantis is a just-discovered underwater city engineered by octopuses.  But that’s not all.  Octopolis also exists!  Ever vigilant to the alien threat that is cephalopods, Anthony and Jeff dig deep into this new development.  More Details/Download MP3 →

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Hardly Worker

Ants are cultural signifiers of busy industriousness, but a new paper in Plos One reveals that, across species, about 40% of “worker” ants spend most of their days doing nothing.  Jeff and Anthony discuss this revelation, asking whether lazy always exists in nature.  More Details/Download MP3 →

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Eat Me

There are a few animals that can survive being eaten, and the skill might help them spread and colonise new regions. Jeff and Anthony discuss a new article about these creatures and wonder why more animals don’t just evolve to be cool with it.  More Details/Download MP3 →