Science Friday

Fridays 11:00 am - 1:00 pm

Covering the outer reaches of space to the tiniest microbes in our bodies, Science Friday is the trusted source for news about science, technology, and other cool stuff. Each week host Ira Flatow mixes it up with people in the know and those who want to be. It's brain fun, for curious people. For over 22 years, Science Friday has brought the top stories in science to radio listeners and given them a chance to join in the discussion by asking questions and making comments during the live broadcast. http://www.sciencefriday.com/

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Music
11:58 am
Mon December 16, 2013

Reggie Watts Builds a Synthesizer, Bit by Bit

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

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Theater
11:58 am
Mon December 16, 2013

In a New Play, Trusty Sidekick Is a Supercomputer

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. If you tuned into "Jeopardy!" in 2011, you might have heard an exchange like this.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "JEOPARDY!")

ALEX TREBEK: Watson, start us, please.

WATSON: The European Union for $200.

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Books
9:21 am
Fri December 13, 2013

Science Book Picks for 2013

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 11:58 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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IRA FLATOW, HOST:

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Fitness & Nutrition
9:21 am
Fri December 13, 2013

This Doc's Miracle Drug? Exercise

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 11:58 am

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

You know the old adage, an apple a day keeps the doctor away? Well, my next guest might add to that. How about a jog a day keeps the doctor away, or a set of pull-ups? His new book is a prescription pad for a variety of ailments from anxiety and depression to heart disease, diabetes, low libido, arthritis, even cancer. But what's different about this medical book is that there are no drugs recommended, no trips to the pharmacy.

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Health Care
10:18 am
Fri December 6, 2013

Dissecting America's $3 Trillion Medical Bill

Originally published on Thu December 26, 2013 8:54 am

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. Do you know that what the number one reason for people filing bankruptcy in this country is? What's the number one reason? Not a lost job. It's not damage from earthquakes or floods. It's medical bills. My next guest says our high-priced medical treatments are responsible for some 60 percent of personal bankruptcies. And if you think you're safe because you have insurance, he says think again.

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Science
10:18 am
Fri December 6, 2013

Speech Science: Tongue Twisters and Valley Girls

Drawing from research presented at this year's Acoustical Society of America conference, psycholinguist Stefanie Shattuck-Hufnagel untangles tongue twisters to look at speech planning patterns, and professor Amalia Arvaniti discusses the "Valley Girl" dialect.

Technology
10:18 am
Fri December 6, 2013

Would More Technology Mean Safer Trains?

Originally published on Thu December 26, 2013 8:56 am

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY, I'm Ira Flatow. For less than $100, you can buy a little gadget, a speedometer, that plugs into your car's cigarette lighter and it will let out a terrific scream when you exceed that speed limit that you preset into it. In fact, there's a 99-cent app for that too for your smartphone that tells you when you've exceeded the speed limit.

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NPR Story
12:21 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

At STREB Action Lab, Dance and Physics Collide

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

If you're headed to the ballet this season, chances are to hear something like the "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" from "The Nutcracker," this season's dance blockbuster as usual. But dance doesn't always sound this sweet. Sometimes it sounds more like this.

(SOUNDBITE OF PLEXIGLAS SLAMMING)

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NPR Story
12:21 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

Eating 'Wilder' Foods for a Healthier Diet

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. Hope you had a good Thanksgiving, this being the day after. One of the best parts of Thanksgiving is, I think, the leftovers. Don't they always taste better? Well, my next guest is here to tell us how we can get the most flavor and nutrition out of those leftovers and our food all year round.

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NPR Story
12:21 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

Annual Prizes Honor the Stranger Side of Science

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. There's research that tackles the really big questions like where did we come from? How did the universe form? How can people live longer, better lives? Today is probably not the day for that research. Instead, it's our annual salute to science that first makes you laugh and then makes you think.

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Food
10:06 am
Fri November 22, 2013

A Handful of Nuts, a Lifetime of Benefits?

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. A growing body of evidence has been hinting that nuts - nuts - are good for us. The popular Mediterranean diet emphasizes nuts but, you know, most Americans only eat nuts on occasion. And I'm talking about, oh, that's less than once a week, except for me. I eat them every day, but that's another story.

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Space
10:06 am
Fri November 22, 2013

Budget Cuts Leave Curiosity and Cassini in Limbo

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Touchdown confirmed. We're safe on Mars.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHEERING)

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Digital Life
10:06 am
Fri November 22, 2013

Stores Are Snooping Into Your Smartphone

Retailers have used various techniques to analyze in-store buying behavior, such as surveys, video surveillance, and buyer reward programs. Some stores have been tapping into the technology in smartphones to track shoppers' actions. New York Times reporter Quentin Hardy discusses how they're doing this and what information they can gather.

Digital Life
10:17 am
Fri November 15, 2013

Should Sending Cash Be As Easy As Sending E-mail?

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Now up, it's time for another episode of our App Chat series, where we review the latest apps and talk about new ways to use your smartphone. And today, we're going to talk about mobile payments. Ever gone out to eat with your friends and when the bill arrives, you realize it's cash only and, oh, you have no cash. What are you going to do?

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Author Interviews
10:16 am
Fri November 15, 2013

Early Balloonists Took Science 'Up, Up and Away'

In Falling Upwards, writer Richard Holmes tells the story of early balloon flight--and of the nervy scientists who risked life and limb to take their experiments into the air. Among their discoveries? Insect migration and the stratosphere. Falling Upwards chronicles the balloonists who took science into the stratosphere.

Space
10:16 am
Fri November 15, 2013

Searching for Earth 2.0

One in every five sunlike stars in the Milky Way may have an Earth-sized planet circling it in the Goldilocks zone--the sweet spot where liquid water could exist. That's according to a new analysis of data from the Kepler spacecraft. Sara Seager, an exoplanet hunter at MIT, talks about what's next in the hunt for Earth 2.0.

Animals
9:30 am
Fri November 8, 2013

The Myth of the Woolly Bear

Legend holds that the length of a woolly bear caterpillar's color bands can be used to forecast how severe the winter weather will be. The myth dates back to colonial American folklore but was popularized by a 1948 study. SciFri finds out if there's any truth to the lore, and what the caterpillar's fuzzy bristles are really used for.

Space
9:29 am
Fri November 8, 2013

India and NASA Home In on Mars

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: Zero plus one, two, three, four...

(APPLAUSE)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: Liftoff.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #3: Liftoff normal.

(APPLAUSE)

JOHN DANKOSKY, HOST:

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Your Health
9:29 am
Fri November 8, 2013

Navigating Dietary Supplement Regulations

Echinacea, vitamins, and other dietary supplements have become a $5 billion industry, but the products don't need to be pre-approved by the FDA before they go on the market. How do we know what is really in our supplements? What regulations are currently in place? How can we keep ourselves safe and informed?

Space
9:26 am
Fri November 1, 2013

Chris Hadfield's Lessons from Life in Orbit

Retired astronaut Chris Hadfield, author of the new book An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth, has flown three space missions, including 144 days on the International Space Station. Hadfield talks about life in zero gravity, his one fear while in orbit, and how he went from test pilot to astronaut.

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