Perpetual Notion Machine

Earth Day: Thoughts and Ideas on Sustaining our Planet – April 18th

05/2/13 7:21 PM | Science

PNM’s Earth Day special. This week PNM reporter Arthur Aiken had the pleasure to speak with the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies director, Paul Robbins. Who founded Earth Day and the Nelson Institute? Who makes up the Institute? What can we do to help sustain a healthy planet for all living creatures? Listen in to hear these questions answered and also for our geek of the week quiz!

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Bats! And the latest on white-nose syndrome – April 4

04/1/13 5:21 PM | Science

What’s the latest research on white-nose syndrome in bats? Has it reached Wisconsin yet? David Blehert with the USGS National Wildlife Health Center tells where this fungal disease may have come from, how it’s spreading, and what scientists are studying to try to understand and perhaps slow it’s deadly progress. Then Carol Meteyer, also with USGS, connects the immune response in infected bats to that of AIDS patients treated with anti-retroviral drugs. Finally, Paul White with the Wisconsin DNR shares what our state is doing to prevent the spread of this deadly disease and how you can get involved.

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Autonomous vehicles and more – March 21

03/21/13 3:40 PM | Science

Tonight, PNM reporter Hayden Marx brings you 3 eclectic stories from the past, present, and future. We start in the future where State Senator Fred Risser talks about a bill he has written authorizing the use of autonomous (driver-less) vehicles in Wisconsin. These cars are not commercially available yet, but are currently being tested and modified. Risser says that putting rules and regulations in place now would help ease the transition when they do become available in the near future and provide the next level of safety on the roads. Next, we head to the past with a short edited clip that aired in 2010 about CERN and the Large Hadron Collider. Joining us is Joe Incandela, deputy head of the CMS experiment and UW-Madison physicist Sau Lan Wu. Finally, we head to the present, or actually the near present. Hayden talks with Tom Zinnen about a preview of this year’s UW-Madison Science Expeditions which begin April 5th.

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Psychology and Technology – March 7

03/4/13 8:57 PM | Science

Updated with podcast! See bottom of post. How do people interact with and understand new technology, from computers to robots? This week’s episode features Matthew Zmudka talking to two scientists working at the intersection of psychology and technology. First, he’ll talk to Dominique Brossard, professor in Life Sciences Communication at University of Wisconsin-Madison, about her work on perceptions of new technology as influenced by Internet comments. Then, we’ll hear from Bilge Mutlu, an assistant professor of Computer Science, Psychology, and Industrial Engineering at UW-Madison, about his work on human-computer interaction and development of new robotic technologies. As always, listen in on Thursday at 7pm CST on 89.9 FM or online anywhere here on the WORT website.

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Pledge Drive: From Pole to Pole – February 21

02/21/13 7:30 AM | Science

This week we spoke to three different guests about the arctic, equator, and antarctic, and asked for your pledge for listener-supported, community-powered radio. Kaitlin talked with Andrew Stuhl, a PHD candidate in the University of Wisconsin-Madison History of Science department and a Nelson Institute CHANGE Fellow. He studies a mix of history of science, environmental history and environmental studies. His dissertation is entitled “Empires on Ice: Science, Nature, and the Making of the Modern Arctic.” Matthew spoke to Stefan Hastenrath, emeritus professor in the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at UW-Madison, to learn about some of the characteristics of equatorial glaciers. Steven interviewed Nathan Whitehorn of the IceCube Neutrino Observatory¬†about living and working in Antarctica and the South Pole.

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African-American Inventors – February 7th

02/3/13 5:14 PM | Science

George Crum invented potato chips in the 1850′s. Granville T. Woods invented the induction telegraph in 1887, and was known as the “Black Edison.” And Dr. Mark Dean worked for IBM and developed the hardware engineering for computers to “talk” to peripheral equipment like printers. Tune in to the Perpetual Notion Machine this Thursday, February 7th to learn more about these resourceful inventors. Our guest is Raymond Obstfeld, co-author of the children’s book What Color is My World?: The Lost History of African-American Inventors. He co-wrote the book with basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. And on February 1, the book was named the Best Literary Work for Children at the 44th NAACP Image Awards. And if you tune in, you have a chance to win the book by correctly answering our Geek-of-the-Week quiz question. The name of the winner will be posted back here at this post on Friday, February 8. I hope you listened to the show on February 7th. Our guest, Raymond Obstfeld, gave us some insight into the writing of his book. We learned how dedicated and ingenious these inventors were, despite some tremendous hardships. We gave you a chance to win Raymond’s book by answering our Geek-of-the-Week quiz question. What famous African-American invented peanut butter, among many other uses for peanuts? Of course, that would be George Washington Carver. We didn’t get very many callers. But the winner of the book is RUSS KUCERH. Congratulations Russ! You can pick up the book by coming to the WORT studios at 118 S. Bedford St. during normal business hours. Just come in and see the receptionist.

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Dr. Aileen Yingst on the Curiosity Mission – January 17

01/18/13 8:31 AM | Science

The rover's self-portrait, taken using the MAHLI instrument. This week we interviewed Dr. Aileen Yingst of the Planetary Science Institute. Dr. Yingst is the Deputy Project Scientist for the Mars Hand Lens Imager instrument, or MAHLI, and Co-Investigator for the combined Mastcam, MAHLI, and MARDI (Mars Descent Imager) science team. The MAHLI instrument is responsible for Curiosity’s “self-portrait,” pictured at the left. The video we mention of Curiosity’s “tai chi” can be found at the JPL website.

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Revisiting 3 topics: CCD, wolves, and mining – Jan 3

12/29/12 10:34 PM | Science

The first PNM show of 2013 revisits three topics that our intrepid crew has covered in 2012: honeybees and colony collapse, wolf management and hunting, and mining in Wisconsin.   Our guests were: Dr. Timothy Van Deelen, University of Wisconsin-Madison¬† Forest and Wildlife Ecology Department

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New Year! 2013

12/28/12 6:47 PM | Science

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Tribute to PNM’er Mark Young – December 6

12/6/12 12:53 AM | Science

On November 19th the PNM family and the WORT community lost a dear colleague and friend, Mark Young. The show on Thursday, Dec. 6th, at 7:00 pm, will be dedicated and pay tribute to Mark. Some of us PNM’ers and others from WORT will express our feelings for Mark and the contributions he’s made, not just for our show, but for society as well. Some of our loyal listeners may be aware that Mark suffered from schizophrenia. So, he was a staunch advocate for the mentally ill and fighter on behalf of mental health issues. Since Mark was an astronomy fanatic, UW-Madison astronomer Bob Benjamin and Jim Lattis from the UW Space Place will be on hand. And Bonnie Loughran from NAMI Dane will join us too. And we’ll play a few clips of some of Mark’s old shows. So, please tune in Dec. 6 at 7:00 pm to help us celebrate his life and mourn his passing.

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Perpetual Notion Machine
Perpetual Notion Machine
News & Culture
Thursdays @ 7:00 pm
Various Hosts
1st, 3rd, and 5th Thursday evenings of each month. A look at contemporary scientific issues and discoveries in a way that is accessible, understandable and entertaining to the non-scientists of the listening community.
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