Science Friday

News & Information: Sat • 11am-1pm
  • Hosted by Ira Flatow

Yes, we know it's on Saturday but they wouldn't change the name of the show for us ... we asked.  But we think it's a great program for Saturdays. 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.

Is Apple’s design getting worse without Steve Jobs?

Feb 8, 2016
Macbook Air. Photo by Björn Olsson/flickr/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

For years, Apple has enjoyed a reputation for creating products that are both beautiful and easy-to-use, no manual necessary. Now one of the company’s own alums, usability consultant Bruce "Tog" Tognazzini, says that reputation might not be warranted anymore.

“Three or four years ago we began to see that that something was falling out from Apple,” says Tognazzina, who had founded the Apple Human Interface Group. 

Courtesy of JOIDES Resolution

Deep in the Indian Ocean, far off the southeast coast of South Africa, there is a drill digging its way into the ocean floor of the underwater Atlantis Bank. 

A team of scientists aboard the research vessel JOIDES Resolution has been operating the drill since December, and they’re hoping to eventually break through the Earth’s crust and bore down into the mantle.

“We're about a half mile down and drilling ahead,” says geologist Henry Dick, co-chief scientist of the expedition. 

The Problems Plaguing Election Polls

Feb 6, 2016

The Problems Plaguing Election Polls

Feb 6, 2016

How music can affect your sense of taste

Feb 6, 2016

Eating engages all of the senses. Including hearing.

But did you know that sound can enhance your meal? Dan Pashman, host of WNYC’s The Sporkful podcast, says the way food sounds has a huge effect on how much we enjoy it. 

© Edmund Harriss

If you’ve ever felt intimidated by math, or consider it a daunting labyrinth of numbers and equations in a textbook, open up Patterns of the Universe: A Coloring Adventure in Math and Beauty.

Flipping through this new coloring book is a mesmerizing journey. From perfect hexagonal tilings to luscious sine waves to nautilus shell spirals, every line illustration by mathematical artist Edmund Harriss (and a handful of others) brings a hypnotic sense of harmony.

A few weeks ago, researchers announced that a 5,300-year-old mummy — the Iceman dubbed Ötzi — contained a strain of a bacterium called Helicobacter pylori.

Just how big is the natural gas leak in California?

Feb 1, 2016
Dean Musgrove/Reuters

It’s been more than two months since inspectors uncovered a colossal natural gas leak in California’s Aliso Canyon, and it will take at least another month, possibly two, to plug it up, according to Southern California Gas Company’s latest estimates.

“On a scale of of actual emissions, of the size of the leak, this is dwarfing anything that's happened like that before in this area or really almost in any other area in this country,” says Stanford University environmental scientist Rob Jackson, “This is very unique and very unusual.”

How important is breast milk and delivery method to a newborn’s health?

Jan 31, 2016

A baby in the womb is protected from most microorganisms. But when that baby enters the outside world, it’s greeted by a welcoming committee of bacteria. Now researchers are trying to sort out what effect, factors like an infant’s delivery method and early diet have on its community of microorganisms.

What space explorers might live in once they get to Mars

Jan 31, 2016

NASA just got an extra $1.3 billion added to its budget for 2016. Part of this budget is set to be used to develop a deep space habitation module. The deep space dwelling would be a ship that a crew could live and work out of — perhaps even on a journey to Mars.

The deadline for the prototype is 2018, giving NASA just two years to develop the technology. 

Bruce Lieberman, a freelance science writer based in San Diego, California, says the habitation module will likely be something inflatable, made from a certain type of fabric.