The Universe was not always like it is today. Before the Universe was filled with light, it was a dark and lifeless place. This era, the dark ages, ended with the birth of the first stars. When the first star was born, the Universe was changed dramatically. As these first stars continued their lives, they […]
The post Ep 48: Let There be Light: First Stars and Cosmic Dawn – with guest Dr. Harish Vedantham appeared first on SparkDialog.
From the pleasant crunch of gravel under your feet to traffic of a nearby highway, noise is all around us. At high levels, this noise can even reach dangerous levels that can lead to health problems. If we could quantify the noise around us, we could understand how prevalent it is in our lives, what […]
The post Ep 47: Crowdsensing the Noise – with guest Dr. Julia Buwaya appeared first on SparkDialog.
When we think of geology, we may think of the Grand Canyon. We imagine layers upon layers of geological strata containing rocks that were formed millions or even billions of years ago. But do we ever think about the geological layer that is being laid down today? How will humankind be remembered in the rocks? […]
The post Ep 46: The Geology of Us: The Anthropocene – with guest Dr. David Grinspoon appeared first on SparkDialog.
Can science help us live forever? Or maybe for just a really long time? Death has always been with us, our last big adventure, the giant question mark that ends our lives. Philosophers and religious have tried to understand it. And many people fear it. As long as we can remember, people have searched for […]
The post Ep 45: Can Science Help Us Live Forever? – with guest Dr. Aubrey de Grey appeared first on SparkDialog.
Far beneath the Canadian ice cap, isolated from the sun and the wind, lies two entire lakes. These subglacial lakes, recently discovered by Anja Rutishauser and her team, seem like they shouldn’t exist at all. For starters, they have a temperature far below the freezing point of water. This implies that perhaps these lakes are unique […]
The post Ep 44: Subglacial Lakes and Life on Frozen Moons appeared first on SparkDialog.
The world today generates an immense amount of data. Companies gather data on our buying habits, our location, and how we spend our time. The enormity of this data is too much for human analysts to dig through alone. Instead, they use machine learning algorithms. These algorithms take big data to analyze your routines, infer […]
The post Ep 43: Is there Bias in Machine Learning Algorithms? – with guest Dr. Joshua Kroll appeared first on SparkDialog.
What happens to old satellites? Or to astronauts’ trash? It turns out that the Earth is surrounded by a sphere of garbage – often referred to as space junk. This consists of everything from bits of frozen coolant, paint flecks, astronauts’ tools, and even a toothbrush. There is no trash collection in space. What happens, […]
The post Ep 42: Space Junk, Trash on the Moon, and the Earth’s Copper Ring – with guest Dr. Lisa Ruth Rand appeared first on SparkDialog.
Today on the podcast we are joined by Brother Guy Consolmano. Often referred to as the Pope’s Astronomer, Brother Guy is the director of the Vatican Observatory and head of the Vatican Observatory Foundation. He has a foot in two worlds. In one, he is a scientist. He specializes in meteorites and is a graduate […]
The post Ep 41: The Pope’s Astronomer – with guest Brother Guy Consolmagno appeared first on SparkDialog.
Is the red that I see the orange that you see? When we look at the blue sky, are we seeing the same color? How about the infamous dress, which some people see as black and blue and some see as white and gold? When we see color, the cones within our eyes interpret the […]
The post Ep 40: There’s More to Color than Meets the Eye – with guest Dr. Mazviita Chirimuuta appeared first on SparkDialog.
There’s no denying that artificial intelligence can do a lot. It can solve problems we cannot solve. It can take us for a spin around town. It even is able to hold a conversation with us. But can it be creative? Some consider creativity solely a human endeavor. However, today we are looking at the […]
The post Ep 39: Can AI be Creative? – with guest Dr. Maya Ackerman appeared first on SparkDialog.
Where do you get your news from? Can you trust it? Gone are the days when most people read the newspaper. Instead, many people now get their news from their Facebook feed, Twitter, or a host of other online sources. Unfortunately, amid the cat videos and photos of friends, it may be hard to tell […]
The post Ep 38: What Happens Next Will Blow Your Mind! Using Natural Language Processing to Find Fake News, Satire, and Clickbait – with Dr. Victoria Rubin and her Group appeared first on...
What is the self? Does the collection of neurons in our brains define the entirety of who we are? Modern day neuroscience attempts to explain who we are through understanding how the brain works, sometimes even trying to find a single entity that can be labeled as the “self”. Yet, for thousands of years, […]
The post Ep. 37: The Philosophy of the Self: From Spirituality to Neuroscience – with guest Dr. Evan Thompson appeared first on SparkDialog.
SparkDialog Podcasts is currently on break until February 6th with Season 3. In the meantime, enjoy this best of episode. Climate change is often viewed as a political problem. But in reality, it is a scientific issue, and perhaps equally as important, it is a moral and spiritual issue. How are religious communities responding? Today we […]
The post Climate Change, Religion, and Ethics – A Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Perspective (rerun) appeared first on SparkDialog.
SparkDialog Podcasts is currently on break until February 6th with Season 3. In the meantime, enjoy this best of episode. Going to space is always a risky business. If you forget something or if something breaks, you may be days, months, or even years away from receiving a spare part. This risk could be life […]
The post Made In Space – with guest Brad Kohlenberg (rerun) appeared first on SparkDialog.
SparkDialog Podcasts is currently on break until February 6th with Season 3. In the meantime, enjoy this best of episode. The power to edit genes is now within our hands. You may have heard of it. It’s a technology called CRISPR-Cas9. It’s taking the science world by storm, due to its ease of deployment and […]
The post CRISPR – With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility – with guest Dr. Leila Jamal (rerun) appeared first on SparkDialog.
SparkDialog Podcasts is currently on break until February 6th with Season 3. In the meantime, enjoy this best of episode. We hear it every year around this time – the story of the Nativity. More specifically, we hear about three wise men, following the star of Bethlehem to bring the newborn Jesus gifts of gold, frankincense, and […]
The post The Star of Bethlehem – A Real Event? – with guest Dr. Peter Barthel (rerun) appeared first on SparkDialog.
SparkDialog Podcasts is currently on break until February 6th with Season 3. In the meantime, enjoy this best of episode. A robotic moral code may seem like an odd thing to talk about. But there are now instances when robots, machines, and artificial intelligence will need an ethical framework. From self-driving cars to autonomous weapons […]
The post The Robotic Moral Code – Programming Ethics into Machines – with guest Dr. Don Howard (rerun) appeared first on SparkDialog.
Living among the stars has long been a dream of humanity. But as we begin to step off this Earth and colonize other planets, many will argue: do we deserve a second chance? With climate change, over-exploitation of natural resources, and man-made ecological problems on this planet, we should stop and wonder – what can […]
The post Getting a Second Chance: Space Ethics, Mining, and Colonization – with guest Dr. Tony Milligan appeared first on SparkDialog.
Imagine you’re having a bad day. In the blink of an eye, a household accident causes you to loose the fingers on one hand. You go from having a normal life to having nothing ever being the same again. Flipping a pancake, hammering a nail, or combing your hair become seemingly unsurmountable challenges. Not too […]
The post Lending a Hand – a Prosthetic Hand – with guests Dr. David Grow and His Group appeared first on SparkDialog.