Face/On

Last month, Motherboard reported on a Redditor using deep learning technology to map female celebrities’ faces onto pornographic performers, with startlingly lifelike results. By scanning a bunch of images of a celebrity’s face, the software was able to imagine what they’d look like grafted into a given video—a powerful technology being used in one of the worst possible ways. The technology also opens up the door to a very near future in which we won’t be able to trust video evidence—long the gold standard, at least in the court of public opinion. Someone decided to use this technology for it’s absolute worst use: superimposing Nicholas Cage into every film ever made.  More Details/Download MP3 →

Can a Peacock Fly?

Any animal could feasibly provide a human with emotional support, but it doesn’t mean that they all should. According to a report by the BBC, the concept artist Ventiko offered to buy a seat for her peacock, Dexter, but was denied by United Airlines because of the bird’s large size and weight. It was imperative he be on the flight because, she claimed, he’s her emotional support animal. Jeff and Anthony discuss the abuse of support animal laws and ruffle each other’s feathers.  More Details/Download MP3 →

Retro Virus

Inside the brain, proteins don’t stick around longer than a few minutes. And yet, our memories can hang on for our entire lifetime. Recently, an international collaboration of researchers discovered something strange about a protein called Arc. This is essential to long-term memory formation. What they found was that it has very similar properties to how a virus infects its host. Jeff and Anthony consider what life could have been like without the ability to remember.  More Details/Download MP3 →

Macaque of the Clones

For the first time, scientists say they created cloned primates using the same complicated cloning technique that made Dolly the sheep in 1996. Shanghai scientists created two genetically identical and adorable long-tailed macaques. Researchers used modern technology developed only in the last couple of years to enhance the technique used to clone Dolly, which is called somatic cell transfer. Jeff and Anthony giggle childishly at some of the funny sounding words.  More Details/Download MP3 →

Satellite Rodeo

When Rocket Lab’s Electron reached orbit for the first time on Jan. 21, space-pointed radar noticed a mysterious object in space alongside the three satellites it launched. Rocket Lab has launched the world’s first global strobe light. Called the Humanity Star, it’s a one-meter-tall carbon-fiber geodesic sphere made up of 65 highly-reflective panels. In space, it will spin, reflecting sun’s light back to earth and creating a flashing effect in the sky. The company claims it will be “the brightest object in the night sky,” Jeff and Anthony brainstorm other items enterprising minds might launch into space for all to see.  More Details/Download MP3 →

Deep Sea Thriver

It’s like having “an elephant stand on your thumb.” That’s how deep-sea physiologist and ecologist Mackenzie Gerringer describes the pressure squeezing down on the deepest known living fish, some 8 kilometers down. For animals that live in such extreme pressures and temperatures (1° or 2° Celsius), snailfish don’t look very robust, or armored; you can actually see the brain through the skull. Jeff and Anthony dive into how the snailfish survives.  More Details/Download MP3 →

Smite Angle

Hampshire’s Ipley Cross is a notorious crossroads where cyclists keep getting hit and even killed by motorists, despite the mostly level terrain around the place where two roads cross each other at a seemingly innocuous angle. A navigational hazard called “constant bearing, decreasing range” means that frequently, the first time a driver and a cyclist will see each other is a second or two before the car strikes the bicycle. Jeff and Anthony take the issue head on.  More Details/Download MP3 →

Black Bird Swinging in the Spread of Light

The mating dance of the male superb bird of paradise is like nothing else on Earth, thanks to their feathers, which absorb 99.95 percent of light. That’s nearly none more black, and virtually identical to what Vantablack, the world’s darkest artificial substance, can absorb. And it’s all thanks to black feathers structured like a forest of chaos. Jeff and Anthony wonder whether or not Anish Kapoor can sue a bird.  More Details/Download MP3 →

Big Skittle Lies

Do gummy bears really come in different flavors, or do we just think they taste different because they are different colors? While closing your eyes, your accuracy in differentiating flavors majorly declines. This phenomenon is something that scientists are studying- and something big candy companies have counted on for years. Jeff and Anthony investigate to see just how deep the gummy worm hole really goes.  More Details/Download MP3 →

The Hottest Fashion

The mid-19th century vogue for flowing, diaphanous women’s garments made from open-weave fabrics, combined with gas lighting, candles, and open fires meant that it was extremely common for women to literally burst into flames: on stage, at parties, at home. It wasn’t just the fabric, but also the shape of the dresses that caused women’s clothing to erupt in flames. The popular silhouette in the 1850s was a giant bell shape, like Scarlett O’Hara in her curtain dress. Jeff and Anthony discuss how this problem was eventually (and unintentionally) solved.  More Details/Download MP3 →