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Brains On!

American Public Media

A podcast featuring science for kids and curious adults.

A podcast featuring science for kids and curious adults.
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Location:

United States

Description:

A podcast featuring science for kids and curious adults.

Twitter:

@brains_on

Language:

English

Contact:

American Public Media 480 Cedar Street St. Paul, Minn. 55101 https://www.facebook.com/pages/Brains-On/276168379182307 1-800-228-7123


Episodes

Smash: When continents collide!

11/21/2017
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How are mountains made? What causes an earthquake? How does hot lava come bubbling up? The answer in each case is... tectonic plates! These are giant, moving slabs of rock covering the Earth's surface. When they slide past or smash into each other it shakes the planet. But, they also helped shape the land we live on. Find out how they work with an extreme cooking demonstration (you'll never see peanut M&Ms the same way). Meet the scientist who thought long ago all the continents were smushed...

Duration: 00:30:44


Curio: The flies on the bus

11/14/2017
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A few weeks ago, we got two emails that were so similar and so intriguing we had no choice but to investigate. They both basically asked this: Is a fly on a bus flying as fast as the bus is moving? Or is just hovering? And why doesn't it need a seatbelt? Turns out Einstein wondered about the same kind of things.

Duration: 00:09:05


Smaller than small

11/7/2017
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Molecules make up everything around us and they are very, very small. But those molecules are made of atoms, which are even smaller. And then those atoms are made up of protons, neutrons and electrons, which are even smaller. And protons are made up of even smaller particles called quarks. Quarks, like electrons, are fundamental particles, which means they can't be broken down into smaller parts. Or can they? In this episode we parse out the subatomic by talking with a physicist from...

Duration: 00:24:57


Healing skin and regrowing limbs: The science of regeneration (Encore)

10/31/2017
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We all know what happens when you get a cut or scrape. You get a scab, you try not to pick at it, and then after a little while it heals. But what's really going on under that scab? What superpowers does our skin have to repair itself? And what about other animals like salamanders that can do some pretty extreme healing? We're going under the skin for this one. Plus: A brand new Moment of Um answers this question: "How do frogs' tongues stretch so far?" And listen for a new Brains Honor Roll!

Duration: 00:28:42


What is Down syndrome?

10/24/2017
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You may have heard of Down syndrome, but what is it exactly? In this episode, we'll break down the science of chromosomes and how having an extra one leads to this fairly common condition. Plus, we'll learn some tips for making friends with someone who might seem different than you. We'll also swing by a farm staffed by ranchers with Down syndrome. And in our Moment of Um we'll find out why eggs go from clear to white when cooked.

Duration: 00:28:21


Bonus: Kidcast sampler

10/23/2017
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Looking for more awesome podcasts to listen to? We're bringing you a special bonus episode today to let you know about some of the other podcasts that you might want to check out. And if you want to find lots of other podcasts for kids you can always head to applepodcasts.com/kids

Duration: 00:21:15


Curio: Vampire of the Great Lakes

10/17/2017
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Creepy crawly insects and creatures with big teeth and bigger roars can be scary. In preparation for Halloween, here's a tale of one of the scariest creatures around: the sea lamprey. At about 3-4 feet long, the lamprey slithers through the water like an eel and uses concentric circles of sharp teeth to suction onto its prey. As if that weren't enough, it then pokes its tongue into its victim and sucks the life out of it. Part vampire, part alien invader, the sea lamprey originally thrived...

Duration: 00:10:46


Narwhals: Unicorns of the sea?

10/10/2017
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Narwhals are whales, and super cool ones at that. But that cool thing coming out of their heads is a tusk, not a horn. Which means it's a tooth! And it's the only known spiral tooth to boot! In this episode, we learn all about narwhals (what that tusk is for and how they're connected to the myth of the unicorn) and the evolution of teeth (from scale-like nubbins to the versatile chompers we have today). Plus our Moment of Um explores whether or not water has a taste.

Duration: 00:28:26


How do volcanoes erupt? (Encore)

10/3/2017
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There are all kinds of volcanoes all over the world, but how are they formed? And how do they erupt? To find out, we'll travel to the center of the Earth, and we'll meet a NASA robot that went on a very special volcano mission. Plus: A brand new Moment of Um answers how ballet dancers stand on their toes and we read the latest list of names to be added to the Brains Honor Roll.

Duration: 00:27:38


For crying out loud: All about tears

9/26/2017
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It's something so natural that we take it for granted -- but when you think about it, it's a little strange. Why does water come out of our eyes? And why does it happen when we're happy? Or sad? Or scared? Or exhausted? In this episode we dive into our mysterious emotional tears, find out why onions make us cry (and how to stop it), and hear about the eye-protecting trio of tears that makes Eyetropolis a safer place. Plus: Our Moment of Um explores why we sweat when we're nervous.

Duration: 00:36:02


Curio: Quindar tones and talking in space

9/19/2017
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If you've ever heard an old recording of a NASA space mission, then you've heard a Quindar tone. Those are the beeps that we hear behind the voices of mission control and astronauts orbiting space. Today we find out why these tones exist and how they've inspired a couple modern-day musicians. This episode is the inaugural Brains On Curio - a shorter episode that we're adding to our weekly feed. Today's Curio features Mikael Jorgensen and James Merle Thomas, of the band Quindar. Listen in...

Duration: 00:11:12


Mars: Our next home planet?

9/12/2017
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Would you like retire to Mars? It may be possible in the not-so-distant future. Mars is more Earth-like than any other planet in our solar system. In fact, billions of years ago it was warmer and wetter and life may have developed there. Scientists are trying to figure out why it changed and if we could change it back so humans could live there. In this episode you'll learn about Mars' ancient past, you'll meet an architect hoping to build cities there and you'll hear from Mars itself,...

Duration: 00:32:31


Thunder, lightning and tornadoes: Where do they come from? (Encore)

9/5/2017
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There are some basic ingredients to make thunderstorms and tornadoes. We'll find out what they are - and how to observe these powerful and amazing storms safely. Plus: A brand new Moment of Um will tackle the question, "How do zippers work?"

Duration: 00:17:05


Animal farts: A mighty wind

8/29/2017
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Just like humans, most animals have to fart. Some use their gas as a warning to predators, while others use it to dive in the water. And beware, there is a real-life killer fart out there. It gives a whole new meaning to silent but deadly. With help from zoologists Dani Raibiotti and Nick Caruso, who have compiled the "Does it Fart" database, we'll explore the hows, whys and why-nots of animal farts. And we've got a brand new song from Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band all about, you...

Duration: 00:36:36


Monster and car design

6/20/2017
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From the headlights to door locks, cars are obsessively designed. But that hasn't always been the case. Find out about innovations like windshield wipers, rearview mirrors and fancy paint. Ralph Gilles knows a thing or two about the look and feel of cars. He's the head of design at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. Designing for cars off the road brings us two guests: Rosalee Ramer and Jay Shuster. Rosalee started professionally driving her monster truck at age 14 -- she's 20 now, and has added a...

Duration: 00:29:13


Mystery sound extravaganza!

6/6/2017
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Regular listeners of Brains On know all about our mystery sounds. Every episode we test your ears with some puzzling noise and give you a chance to guess what it is. There are so many great mystery sounds in the world -- and many, many of them have been sent to us by our listeners. So many, in fact, that we decided to devote an entire episode to these magical, magnificent, mellifluous mystery sounds. There are a whopping 10 sounds for you to guess in this episode. Are your ears up to the...

Duration: 00:35:36


Slime: What is it and why are we so obsessed?

5/9/2017
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Homemade slime is sticky, gooey and all the rage, but what is it? When you combine ingredients like glue and laundry detergent you get a strange, flubbery substance. We'll explain what's happening on a molecular level to make this stuff. We'll also hear theories on why so many of us are obsessed with slime. Plus, a brand new slime rap, a mystery sound and some cool facts about snakes.

Duration: 00:21:36


What was the first life on Earth?

4/25/2017
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What was the first lifeform like? What was very first the first fish or mammal? Is it even possible to know? In this episode, we look to the fossil record to help us trace our roots back to the Last Universal Common Ancestor. Paleontologist Neil Shubin joins us to talk about discovering a remarkably cool fossil that helped us understand how life evolved over billions of years. We also take a field trip to the Hall of Ancestors and examine a few branches on the tree of life. And we learn...

Duration: 00:33:43


How do pianos pianos work?

4/11/2017
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Behind every piano's polished exterior are thousands of parts. From keys to strings, they work together to produce a sound. In this episode, we take a field trip to a piano shop, peek behind the walls at a world-famous piano factory and have an EPIC FIGHTING BATTLE to discover how sound travels.

Duration: 00:27:25


The ups and downs of elevators

3/28/2017
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Elevators are like magic. You walk in, the door shuts and when it opens again, you are suddenly someplace new! Ta da! But it's not magic that does this trick, it's science and engineering. In this episode we explain how elevators work and we talk about how they've changed over time. For instance, did you know the first elevators had no walls? We also speak with historian Lee Gray about two elevator innovators who both happen to be named Otis. Speaking of Otis, Vijay Jayachandran with the...

Duration: 00:38:03

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