April 3, 2014 – You Are Here

Thursday, 3 April 2014

On this show, we explore the history of exploring – the effort of mankind to find itself. Our guest is Hiawatha Bray, a technology reporter for the Boston Globe. His new book is called “You Are Here.” He talked with PNM producer Jim Carrier. more »

March 20, 2014 – Dr. Harry Greene

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Tonight’s show is produced by Kaitlin Stack Whitney and engineered by Matthew Zmudka. Our guest tonight is Dr. Harry Greene of Cornell University. His research is on the behavior, ecology, evolution, and conservation biology of vertebrates and is especially interested in snakes. He talked about snakes, outreach, critical anthropomorphism, his path to a science career, and why natural history has all the cool questions (and genomics can help answer them) — among many other things! He’s an inspiration and was great fun to interview.   Check out his fantastic new book, Tracks and Shadows: Field Biology as Art. It’s in the UW library already and can be on your bookshelf ASAP. And his previous book: Snakes: The Evolution of Mystery in Nature.   We’ll put permanent streaming audio link (embedded soundcloud file) up here in a few days; in the meantime download or stream the show via the WORT archives here: more »

February 20, 2014 – IceCube Neutrino Observatory

Thursday, 20 February 2014

In this episode, reporter Matthew Zmudka talks to Michael DuVernois, a scientist with the IceCube Neutrino Observatory. A University of Wisconsin-Madison-led research center at the South Pole, IceCube is a large, under-ice telescope that detects neutrinos (small particles) and uses this data to answer questions about the nature of matter. This is also our pledge drive episode, so tune in for heart-felt calls to donate to keep WORT-FM alive as Your Only Sound Alternative. more »

January 30, 2014 – The End of Night

Thursday, 30 January 2014
Light pollution in North America (David Lorenz, UW Madison)

Tonight, we look at one of the rarest things on earth — the dark of night — and learn that without it, earth is not only less beautiful, it is less healthy as well. Creatures from babies in their cribs, to turtles in the sea, require dark to live. But, for reasons ranging from security fears to 24-hour gas stations, we have increasingly lit up our nights, to the point where most stars are now invisible to the naked eye. At the end of the show, we’ll tell you how Madison rates for darkness. Paul Bogard, is the author of The End of Night – Searching for Natural Darkness in an age of artificial Light. He was interviewed by PNM producer Jim Carrier. We checked with David Lorenz of the University of Wisconsin, who reports that, on the Bortle scale from 1 to 9 – one being the darkest – Madison rates 6. Because of our light pollution, very little of the Milky Way can be seen on clear nights.   Here is a map of the World Atlas of Artificial Night Sky Brightness. Here is a link to David Lorenz’s updated world map of North America. Here is a link to Paul Bogard’s book, THE END OF NIGHT. more »

January 16, 2014 – Science Writing & Discover Magazine

Thursday, 16 January 2014
siri carpenter

On their January 16 show, Perpetual Notion Machine hosts delved into the mystery of science journalism. PNM reporter Dennis Shaffer talks with Siri Carpenter, an award-winning science writer, who spent 12 years freelancing stories for such publications as “The New York Times”, the “Los Angeles Times”, “Science”, “Science Careers”, “Scientific American Mind”, “Oprah Magazine”, and many others. She’s currently Features Editor at Discover magazine. And last Fall, she was on the UW-Madison campus as the Science Writer in Residence. She discusses her experience on campus, what it’s like writing about science, her responsibilities at Discover magazine, and a couple of the Top 100 science stores of 2013 that appear in the current issue of Discover. Enjoy! more »

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