science

The United States doesn't currently have a plan for dealing with the problem of climate change. But President Obama is expected to bring it up in his State of the Union address tomorrow night. What is he expected to say? What’s he likely to do? David S. Roberts of the Seattle-based environmental magazine Grist talks with David Hyde about his predictions on how the president will attempt to tackle climate change.

marsmet481 / Flickr

Both state and federal lawmakers have been debating over how to approach immigration reform. Immigrants themselves tend to favor paths to citizenship and educational opportunities for their children. But how do non-immigrants formulate their opinions on the subject? A recent academic study says that maybe our genes play a key role in shaping our political views. According to the research, people with a predisposition to social anxiety and fear are more likely to be critical of the unfamiliar and therefore more likely to support things like anti-immigration policy. David Hyde talks to lead author and political science professor Pete Hatemi to get the details.

Fetmano / Flickr

State toxicologist Fiona Couper recently stated that violations for driving under the influence of marijuana have not gone up since the passage of Initiative-502. But marijuana legalization is still in its early stages and to be charged with a DUI the driver has to get caught with 5 nanograms per milliliter of active THC in their bloodstream. David Hyde talks with Dr. Marilyn Huestis from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and tries to make sense of the science of marijuana intoxication.  

Some 66 million years ago, about 75 percent of species on Earth disappeared. It wasn't just dinosaurs but most large mammals, fish, birds and plankton. Scientists have known this for a long time just from looking at the fossil record. If you dig deep enough, you find lots of dinosaur bones. And then a few layers up, they're gone.

But scientists couldn't figure out exactly what had caused this phenomenon. Of course, there were lots of theories.

Wall Street skyscrapers
Michael Aston / Flickr

    

  What can physics teach us about finance? A great deal according to physicist and mathematician James Owen Weatherall. He says markets can be understood, and to a degree even predicted, by using principles of physics. Ross Reynolds talks to professor Weatherall about what physics can teach us about Wall Street.

Steven Senne / AP Photo

Futurist and author Ray Kurzweil thinks we’re headed for a future where machines will become more like people, people will integrate computers and machines into their bodies, and we will live longer — much longer. Ross Reynolds talks with Ray Kurzweil about his latest book, "How to Create a Mind."

Water
Flickr photo/Ibrahim Areef

The Clean Water Act turned 40 this year. What has it accomplished? Where would we be without it? And what will the next 40 years look like for clean water in this country? Weekday presents a special broadcast produced by KUOW's EarthFix and Living On Earth from Public Radio International.

GLENEDEN BEACH, Ore. - It goes without saying that the Pacific Ocean is vast. So it may come as a surprise to hear the sea described as "crowded." Perhaps even too crowded to make room for the nascent industry of wave and tidal energy.  Taxpayers and investors have pumped tens of millions of dollars into finding ways to turn the ocean's power into electricity.  In recent weeks, high stakes negotiations to identify wave energy sites on the Oregon Coast are finally getting somewhere.

A parasite worms its way into a host, hijacks its nervous system and begins to control their behavior. Sounds like T.V. or the movies, but scientists have long known that parasites can take over and manipulate invertebrate and some vertebrate hosts. We talk with Dr. Shelley Adamo of Dalhousie University about how parasites may be turning hosts into zombies.

RICHLAND, Wash. -- President Barack Obama has been publicly warning Syria’s leaders not to use chemical weapons against their own people. The news is unexpectedly relevant in southeast Washington. Researchers at at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory are developing new scientific techniques to trace chemical agents back to their sources.

LONG BEACH, Wash. – It’s been more than four months since the last confirmed piece of Japanese tsunami debris washed ashore on the Pacific Northwest coast. Even sightings of suspected disaster debris have tapered way off in recent months. Does that mean we’re just in a lull or past the worst of it?

Marine microbes are not as cute as sea otters, but they do produce about half the oxygen on the planet.  Meaning you have microscopic marine microbes to thank for every other breath you take.  And University of Washington oceanographer Ginger Armbrust just received a multi-million dollar grant to study marine microbial ecology from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.  

Ross Reynolds talks with Professor Armbrust about the latest science on the microbes that we can thank for every other breath.

Greendays Gardening: Last Greendays Until Spring

Dec 4, 2012
Frozen berry
Flickr photo/Stefan Lins

Marty Wingate, Greg Rabourn and Willi Galloway join us to answer your flower, vegetable and native plant questions. Things are getting wetter and colder. Our gardening panel takes a winter break after today, so this is your last chance until spring to have your questions answered. Call us at 206.543.5869 or email weekday@kuow.org.

On today's show, we bring you some of our favorite segments of the year. We talk about vulnerability, photography and The Boss.

Is There Power In Vulnerability?

Being vulnerable and open to failure makes us uncomfortable, but according to the research of Brene Brown, we can’t have success without vulnerability. Ross Reynolds discusses the power of vulnerability with University of Houston Professor Brene Brown.

Seattle-Based Artist Goes Small Then Large To Highlight The Big Picture

The Joy Of Math With Steven Strogatz

Nov 1, 2012

How does Google search the Internet? How many people should you date before getting married? And how should you arrange your mattress to get the maximum wear out of it?

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