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Completely Optional Knowledge

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The podcast where we answer the questions you never knew you had. Produced by Andrew Norton with music by Breakmaster Cylinder, brought to you by Greenpeace.

The podcast where we answer the questions you never knew you had. Produced by Andrew Norton with music by Breakmaster Cylinder, brought to you by Greenpeace.
More Information

Location:

United States

Description:

The podcast where we answer the questions you never knew you had. Produced by Andrew Norton with music by Breakmaster Cylinder, brought to you by Greenpeace.

Language:

English


Episodes

Why Do Frozen Lakes and Rivers Sound So Creepy?

12/26/2016
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Brigitta Green from the perennial winter wonderland of Minnesota has a fitting question for us about ice. After a mysterious, late night howling sound caused “mass slight curiosity” on the streets of St. Paul last winter, she wants to know how it is that a frozen body of water can produce such an eery noise. Chris Polashenski, Arctic researcher and expert on all things cold, has our answer.

Duration: 00:08:33


What's The Coolest Species Name?

12/13/2016
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What's the coolest or weirdest official name for a species of plant or animal? And how do they get those funny sounding Latin names anyway?

Duration: 00:10:53


Why Distinguish Between Fruits and Vegetables?

11/29/2016
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Is a watermelon a vegetable? Biologically it’s logical, but does the answer depend where you live?

Duration: 00:10:28


Why Do Animals See Color Differently?

11/15/2016
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Zookeeper Rick asks why why animals see color differently? Dr. Jay Neitz of the University of Washington Department of Ophthalmology says there is more than one factor that accounts for how animals perceive color. Some plants and animals present vibrant colors we can’t even see and for reasons they don't want us to know.

Duration: 00:10:33


Do Animals Have Eating Contests?

10/4/2016
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Hilah Johnson hosts a show about cooking (and, naturally, eating)and she came to us with a very on-brand question. Do animals have eating contests? We spoke to biologist Elise Huchard to get the answer. Check out Hilah's cooking show! Find her on Twitter @hilahcooking.

Duration: 00:11:58


Can Music Make You Hungry?

7/26/2016
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Breakmaster Cylinder, creator of the Completely Optional Knowledge theme music, wonders if music can be used to trigger specific responses in people. Jessica Grahn of the Music and Neuroscience Lab at Western University explores ways that music can influence people and create personal playlists for happier, healthier lives. For host Andrew Norton, a turkey sandwich might be in his future. Listen to Breakmaster Cylinder at https://breakmastercylinder.bandcamp.com/ and find out more about...

Duration: 00:12:25


What Is Wind?

7/12/2016
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Lauren Ober is the host of WAMU's The Big Listen. She wanted to know the answer to a relatively simple question - what is wind? With help from UCLA mathematician Marcus Roper, she got an answer plus something unexpected: the fascinating way mushrooms catch a breeze by making it themselves.

Duration: 00:12:04