Episodes
A discovery in weather in the 1990s was the Atmospheric River. They've been around for pretty much ever though - one of them bankrupted California in 1862, and another dumped lots and lots of water onto Brisbane, in February 2022.
Published 05/17/22
Published 05/10/22
Whales are the giants of the marine realm, and here's why they get that way. This episode was originally published in May 2018
Published 05/10/22
The star Earendel came into existence a long time ago, and is now famous as the most distant single star that astronomers have been able to obtain an image of.
Published 05/03/22
The Koran, the Bible, the Sanskrit Mahabharata, and the Greek Illiad all mention plagues of locusts, and they're seen as carvings in ancient Egyptian tombs. Large numbers of locust could have come about because, in certain circumstances, grasshoppers metamorphose—into locusts.
Published 04/26/22
The drug ivermectin is really good for treating worms; unfortunately it was falsely promoted as a COVID cure due to data errors, drug trial anomalies, or insufficient publication review.
Published 04/19/22
There are many cases of drugs being repurposed once a new aspect of them is discovered—their new use is often very beneficial. One such drug is ivermectin. It works well against various parasitic infections. It does not work against COVID.
Published 04/12/22
Ball games were happening 3,500 years ago, and ever since then we’ve bounced and batted in all sorts of fun ways. We're especially interested in the mechanics of a ball curving as it travels through the air—which happens in swing bowling.
Published 04/05/22
At Australia's Antarctic base they do lots of cool science stuff, and aim to create as little waste as possible—including the toilets. There's actually a toilet known as the 'Fire Breathing Dragon'—so more exciting than its official name of Electric Incinerating Toilet.
Published 03/29/22
Wood has a loads of potential—from it we can make semi-conductors, batteries, steel, concrete, even plastics. It does need a lot of processing but we already do that with materials like steel, glass and concrete.
Published 03/22/22
We're now quite familiar with terms like 'herd immunity' and 'epidemic', and that when separate groups of people—with separate germs—meet for the very first time, things can turn out badly. If you have never been exposed to a specific germ you won't be primed for protection against it.
Published 03/15/22
When digging the compost pile into the garden, Dr Karl noticed a ball of entangled shape-shifting worms. You might think 'yuck'—but there's a 'wow' factor because some animal groupings can generate intelligence, giving the group an advantage over solitary individuals.
Published 03/08/22
The final piece about why the 100 million or so black holes in our Milky Way galaxy are missing.
Published 03/01/22
More on the almost-emptiness that is black holes. Because they're invisible, they're difficult to find—but sometimes get discovered because they give off X-rays.
Published 02/22/22
Even though it sounds totally crazy, astronomers are very confident that black holes exist. Our galazy is really old, it should carry at least 100 million black holes but we’ve found only a couple of dozen of them.
Published 02/15/22
There's really no 'genteel' way to say it, this week we're... passing wind. But even though it's totally natural, it can be embarrassing.
Published 02/08/22
It used to be thought that a pathogen (or germ) and its host develop in a 'mutually benign relationship'—this was called the 'Law of Declining Virulence'. If the common cold killed us there would be less hosts and the virus would decrease. So the common cold virus mutated to become less lethal, and more common. The Law of Declining Virulence was debunked in the 1980s, and the pathogen/host relationship is actually pretty complicated.
Published 02/01/22
Power steering on a car involves various rods of steel moving relative to one another. How the rods connect is why mechanics are dealing with an unexpected problem.
Published 01/25/22
Thanks to some fuzzy-looking photos, bat echolocation just got more amazing. This program was originally published on 3 September 2019
Published 01/18/22
Why do some people get headaches from eating ice-cream or drinking something very cold. This program was originally published on 19 February 2019
Published 01/11/22
It's not just their ability to run 42 kilometres that separates marathon runners from the rest of us. They've got a secret energy source in their gut. This program was originally published on 5 November 2019
Published 01/04/22
Combustion engines are marvels of engineering and power, but will they feature in the cars of the future? This program was originally published on 8 October 2019
Published 12/28/21
When a balloon pops, sometimes it leaves lots of small fragments of rubber, and sometimes it leaves just a couple of larger pieces. What's going on? This program was originally published on 14 May 2019
Published 12/21/21
Some birds, especially parrots, songbirds and the entire crow family, are surprisingly intelligent - and not just compared with other birds.
Published 12/14/21
Bird poo is usually coloured white—because of the way birds excrete excess nitrogen. But the poo can sometimes be a different colour—because of their diet. Creatures have evolved three main ways of getting rid of excess nitrogen.
Published 12/07/21