Balloonacy

The words “balloonfest” and “disaster” don’t necessarily seem to go together – except in the case of the 1986 Cleveland Balloonfest, which really did end in disaster for the city. The Cleveland Balloonfest was a fundraiser that attempted to beat Disneyland’s previous record of most balloons released at once. Although the photos are beautiful, the results were disastrous for the environment and the city. On the bright side, Jeff and Anthony think that Cleveland will hold the record for quite a while.  More Details/Download MP3 →

Nowhere You Are

In a triumph of data collection and analysis, a team of researchers based at Oxford University has built the tools necessary to calculate how far any dot on a map is from a city — or anything else. The research allows us to pin down a question that has long evaded serious answers: Where is the middle of nowhere?  More Details/Download MP3 →

Smell Wishers

What are the ingredients of a good relationship? Trust? Communication? Compromise? How about a sense of smell? When researchers in the United Kingdom surveyed almost 500 people with anosmia (the loss of sense of smell), more than 50 percent of them reported feeling isolated, and blamed their relationship troubles on their affliction. Smell is important in social bonding, says psychologist Pamela Dalton, at the Monell Chemical Senses Center, in Philadelphia. When a mom smells her newborn baby, the scent activates brain regions associated with nurturing behavior. Smells might also trigger brain activity linked with affection, compassion, or romantic love. Jeff and Anthony give this story the sniff test.  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 →