Nature’s Parasitic Hellscape

Anthony and Jeff delve into perhaps the most disturbing topic they have ever tackled.  An article in National Geographic features the top 5 most terrifying “zombie” creatures – parasites that get inside of other creatures and force them to change their behavior, malform, or otherwise serve the parasite’s procreation.  These are some of the most horrible organisms in the natural world.  This episode is not recommended for sensitive listeners.  More Details/Download MP3 →


200 PC

New analysis suggests that the bronze computing device known as the Antikythera, discovered at the bottom of the Aegean Sea in 1901 is even older than previously thought.  In fact, this computer dates back to 200 BC and represents a incredible feat of pre-historic human engineering.  Anthony and Jeff marvel at a people that could devise such a thing, and rail at the Dark Ages for stealing away so many awesome advancements.  More Details/Download MP3 →


Work the Planck

According to quantum physics, Planck’s Constant is the smallest unit of measure in the universe, beyond which nothing can be further divided.  Scientists at the Fermilab are building a Holographic Interferometer, or Holometer, with which they intend to test this theory.  If true, it could mean that our entire dimension is a hologram, projected into 3D space like a pixelized image on your computer screen.  Heavy stuff, but Jeff and Anthony wonder if it is cause for existential crisis or if it would even really matter.   Of course, that’s exactly what holograms would say.  More Details/Download MP3 →


Sound Shapes

Researchers at the University of Bristol are using ultrasound to create invisible objects in the air that you can reach out and touch.  Of course, Anthony and Jeff see this as the first step toward full holodeck technology, and and try to determine which industry can accelerate progress to that goal fastest. Hint: it’s porn.  More Details/Download MP3 →

kill tv

Must Seethe TV

An NPR story about NBC’s Peter Pan Live television event points out that a significant portion of the audience of major TV hits are people who self-identify as “hate-watching” the programming.  In fact, some networks are even programming to take advantage of these tendencies, embracing the live-tweeters who mock and add snide comments to the viewing experience.  Jeff and Anthony have a major problem with the idea of “hate-watching”, but also both enjoy a great bad movie.  Are they hypocrites, or is there a difference between ironic enjoyment and vicious mockery?  More Details/Download MP3 →


Cocoa Beware

We are consuming more chocolate than we produce, and at the current deficit we may soon be facing a global cocoa shortage.  As a fan of chocolatey goodies, Jeff is worried about a potential joyless chocolate-free future, while Anthony welcomes a forced worldwide dietary shift.  One thing’s for certain, this episode is totally sweet.  More Details/Download MP3 →

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 →


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 →


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 →

lego brain

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 →