mr hankey

Your Sh@t Don’t Stink

By actually printing DNA, researchers are now able to create entirely new species.  They started with a glow-in-the-dark plant, and now have plans to design microbes that will live in your stomach and actually change the smell of your fecal matter. Even crazier, they may be able to associate particular gas odors with biological states, so you can effectively have an early warning system built inside you.  Anthony couldn’t be more excited, but Jeff wonders when our Frankenstein microbes will inevitably destroy us all in a flowery-smelling apocalypse.  More Details/Download MP3 →

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The Crystal Method

Researchers from the University of Southern Denmark have synthesized crystalline materials that can bind and store oxygen in high concentrations. That means that we may be able to use crystals to replace oxygen tanks or even allow divers to simply draw oxygen directly out of H2O through the crystal.  Anthony has always wanted to breathe underwater, but Jeff is worried about sucking on crystals for more than good vibes.  More Details/Download MP3 →

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Mouse Wheel Fun Run

Anthony and Jeff’s debate about the joy to be found in running and exercise contuinues.  This time, Jeff has an article from the New York Times about a study which showed that mice will spend time on a running wheel, even when they don’t have to.  When placed out in the woods, completely unattended, mice and other creatures would jump onto a wheel, and spend time running on it… for fun.  Is this the proof Jeff has always wanted, or are these just Anthony’s alpha Brock mice?  More Details/Download MP3 →

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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 →

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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 →

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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 →

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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 →

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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 →

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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 →

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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 →