Humans love fire, in the form of BBQ or combustion engines. A raging forest fire, however, can be devastating for our flimsy wooden human houses. Why then, is it so important that we let them burn? In this episode, the Science Ladies uncover:
How fire has been shaping ecosystems since long before any human ever lit a match
The forest-dwelling pyromaniacs that thrive in the flames, and why these species need fire to survive
What fire really is, and how it burns
The science behind putting out a fire (or, “How to not burn down your kitchen”)
It’s not just conjecture: placebos work. The question is… how? Why is it that many diseases and physical ailments can be cured just as well with a sugar pill as they can with clinically tested medicine? K+K examine a case of mysteriously healed Parkinson’s Disease, talk about a doctor curing chronic pain with peppermint candies, and take a look at what happens in a person’s brain when they believe they’re receiving medical treatment… but aren’t.
In a special “Listener Question” episode of Everything is Interesting, K+K answer some excellent inquisitions, sent in by the kids from Mrs. Pace’s 6th grade class at Pleasant Valley Middle school in Vancouver, Washington. The question writers brought up some super interesting topics, and we wanted to answer them all, so we broke this one up into 2 separate episodes. On today’s show the science ladies tackle:
-Geese vs. Swift formations
-Why we have droughts
-How Magnetic Levitation works
-How much gasoline humans use
-How trees make Oxygen
-How moss reproduces
Are you suffering from a stuffy nose? Itchy eyes? Endless sneezing? Overall-dear-god-why-won’t-it-stop-misery? It could be the flu… or it could be allergies! On today’s show, K+K explore our immune system’s response to airborne pollen, the specific mechanisms inside the body that make those of us with allergies feel so awful, and just why the immune system attacks innocent little pollen in the first place.
Have you been feeling like ,homes in Portland are becoming too expensive to afford? Well, good news! There’s plenty of available real estate… under the sea! If, of course, you don’t mind adopting some of the necessary physical adaptations needed to survive there. If fact, the deeper down you go, the stranger your characteristics will have to be. That’s because the deeper down you go, the more extreme conditions like temperature and pressure become. Just ask the creatures that live there!
Think you could hack it as a deep sea creature? Listen in to today’s episode and see what it would take!
What’s going on inside a nautilus’s shell? Is it true that cephalopods can edit their own genes? An octopus has how many brains?
Join Keera & Kira, plus coordinators of the Portland branch of the March for Science and test your Octo-knowledge in today’s quiz, “Science Fact or Science Fiction: Cephalopod Edition.”
We hope to see you at the Portland March for Science, taking place on Saturday, April 22nd, 2017! Kira & Keera will be there, with their nonprofit educational organization, Science Project. From 10am until 3pm, the Science Project’s exhibit, “Oceans: Dive Deeper!” will provide lots of exciting hands-on experiments that will give you a better understanding of the many layers of our oceans. Plus we’ll be unveiling our very first edition Everything Is Interesting t-shirt!! Come by and visit us, and get your very own!
A healthy stream ecosystem is an intricate fabric, where pulling one thread could cause the whole system to unravel. Furthermore, each aspect of this ecosystem may provide a service to you directly, but in ways you probably often overlook. You eat the salmon, but the Aquatic Reed Sweetgrass makes your oxygen, the Western Pearlshell Mussel filters the toxins out of your drinking water, and the stable riverbanks supply nutrients that eventually end up in the food you eat.
On this episode, Keera and Kira talk with Jack Williams of Trout Unlimited and Matt Sloat of the Wild Salmon Center, 2 of Oregon’s premiere experts on fishery science and aquatic ecosystems, about our streams, why they matter, and what’s threatening them.
Ah, the banana. Cornerstone of Snack Time, foundation of the banana split… and genetically identical to every other banana you’ve ever eaten (in the US, anyway). How did we end up with a banana monoculture? What’s the difference between the DNA of a naturally evolved banana plant and a banana plant clone? And what’s the connection between bananas, Big Mike the rapper, and 100 unicorns? Find out, on today’s episode.
What goes through the mind of a bee? Does it have its own thoughts, or is being part of a hive-minded collective like being a part of the Borg? Can an organism with swarm intelligence have a private identity, or does the community simply add each individual’s biological and technological distinctiveness to its own?
On this episode, Keera and Kira examine the decision making process in communities of bees, birds, neurons, and slime mold, and discover what life is like as part of a hive mind.
Every now and then, Keera and Kira hang out and do stuff OTHER than talk about science. Like, sometimes they reminisce about growing up in the 90’s, and the strange toys and commercials and fashion that shaped their impressionable little minds.
That’s how K+K stumbled upon the Amazing Live SEA MONKEYS! Remember getting those eggs in the mail, and how excited you were for your microscopic primates to come alive with just a little water? Kira and Keera do!
On this episode, the Science Ladies talk about this aquatic crustacean species, Artemia salina, (Spoiler Alert: they’re not monkeys. Sorry.) as wells as where they come from, how they evolved, and why you can send them through the mail like a pack of tomato seeds. They also explore the story of Harold von Braunhut, the man who sold these little creatures as living magic tricks, and the science behind really good marketing.