Episodes
Announcing "The Search For Sasquatch", a middle-grade, non-fiction book based on the first season of Wild Thing! Both the hardcover book and the audiobook (narrated by Laura Krantz), will be out on October 11, 2022. Here's a sneak listen to the first chapter. The audiobook is available for preorder here and there's also a beautifully illustrated hardcover edition! 
Published 09/13/22
Published 09/13/22
A faulty reactor overheats, melting through its containment unit and poisoning a nearby town with radioactive gas. A spacecraft pushes further into deep space, exploring new galaxies, powered by a small nuclear reactor. An ordinary scientist is struck by cosmic rays—and finds he has new powers. Fiction? Or fact? Or a little of both? Stories of nuclear peril and promise permeate American media, and especially comic books. A preview of a special bonus episode, in which we explore atomic comics...
Published 07/20/22
What were the long-term effects of the SL-1 explosion? Nuclear power is a shrinking part of America’s energy picture; accidents and fear have tarnished it, and the old reactor fleet is reaching its end. Yet nuclear energy could provide a bulwark against the looming threat of climate change. Is it something we can make work for us, in spite of ourselves? Are the costs worth it in the long run? Sixty years on, what do we know—and are we better prepared? *Become a premium subscriber to Wild...
Published 07/12/22
Incidents like Chernobyl and Fukushima are often what comes to mind when we think about nuclear energy. Thankfully, events like these actually very rare. So does that mean the risks we associate with atomic power are as bad as we think? How good are we at actually assessing those risks? And can we make things even less risky by removing humans from the equation? That’s how some next generation projects hope to make nuclear energy safer. *Become a premium subscriber to Wild Thing! Premium...
Published 07/05/22
The aftermath of SL-1 highlighted a problem that we still haven’t solved, despite decades of searching for a solution: what to do with the waste. Our plans to store nuclear waste inside Yucca Mountain in Nevada fell through. So now what? Can we safely contain these materials? Should the waste be in one location, or many? How do we warn future generations about the dangers these materials pose? *Become a premium subscriber to Wild Thing! Premium subscribers get each new episode early, and...
Published 06/28/22
As firefighters and medical personnel staged operations at SL-1, a plume of radioactive gas silently made its way over the Idaho desert, creeping towards the nearby towns. How much of a risk did the explosion at SL-1 actually pose? And what does radiation actually do to the human body? We are constantly bathing in what’s called background radiation—so where is the line? How much is safe and how much is too much? *Become a premium subscriber to Wild Thing! Premium subscribers get each new...
Published 06/21/22
The only three people who really knew what had transpired at SL-1 were dead, and it would take months to determine what likely happened—plenty of time for rumors and gossip to take hold. Was there a love triangle? A fight gone wrong? A murder suicide? A government cover-up? Or was all of this rumor and innuendo simply a distraction from the real problems? And, ultimately, what information could people trust? *Become a premium subscriber to Wild Thing! Premium subscribers get each new episode...
Published 06/14/22
Two of the men working the reactor that night had personal problems. They hated each other. They fought with their bosses. And those problems could easily distract a man from his work—but what does that mean when you’re working with nuclear materials? At a reactor that, although managed by the military, seemed to be falling apart due to infrastructure issues, mechanical failures, and lackluster maintenance? *Become a premium subscriber to Wild Thing! Premium subscribers get each new episode...
Published 06/07/22
The horrifying devastation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki proved the destructive capabilities of nuclear power. But, in the aftermath of World War II, we started to experiment with how we could use atomic energy for good. It was the dawn of a new era in science, and, in that spirit, thousands of men arrived in Idaho, including the men whose deaths would later signify the difficulty of achieving this atomic America. *Become a premium subscriber to Wild Thing! Premium subscribers get each new...
Published 05/31/22
How did we figure out that such a tiny particle—an atom—held all that power? For that matter, what is an atom? A primer on the basics of atomic energy—including its destructive capabilities—to help us better understand the events that unfolded roughly 20 years later at SL-1. We’ll get a (basic!) lesson in nuclear physics from scientists, and explore some of the history that brought atomic power to the Idaho desert. *Become a premium subscriber to Wild Thing! Premium subscribers get each new...
Published 05/24/22
In Wild Thing: Going Nuclear, we’ll use science, history and culture to probe the realities of atomic energy today, while analyzing our own fascination— and ambivalence—with all things atomic. What are the true risks? And what is the actual potential? Are we better at this than we were sixty years ago? And given our nature, are we humans even responsible enough to harness the power of the universe—and should we? *Become a premium subscriber to Wild Thing! Premium subscribers get each new...
Published 05/17/22
Back for its third season, Wild Thing uses science, history and culture to probe the realities of nuclear energy today, while analyzing our own fascination— and ambivalence—with all things atomic. What are the true risks? And what is the actual potential? Are we better at this than we were sixty years ago? And given our nature, are we humans even responsible enough to harness the power of the universe—and should we? Coming May 17, 2022
Published 04/19/22
If we find them, aliens would be, well, alien, right? Maybe not as alien as we think. In his book, zoologist Arik Kershenbaum makes the case for why what we know about animals on Earth could reveal what aliens might be like, too. *Season 2 of Wild Thing is produced by Laura Krantz and Scott Carney. Editing by Alicia Lipinski Lincoln. Music and mixing by Louis Weeks.
Published 11/04/21
Seth Shostak, chief astronomer with the SETI Institute and author of Confessions of an Alien Hunter, sits down to talk about SETI's mission, what they're looking for, and how they think about the search.  *Season 2 of Wild Thing is produced by Laura Krantz and Scott Carney. Editing by Alicia Lipinski Lincoln. Music and mixing by Louis Weeks.
Published 10/07/21
Rob Swiatek introduces us to MUFON—the Mutual UFO Network—whose mission is to collect reports of and investigate UFO sightings all over the US and the world. Swiatek has been with MUFON for decades and explains how the organization works and what they're looking for. *Wild Thing premium members get access to all of season 2, ad free, plus early access to bonus interviews. Sign up now to listen and support the show. https://wildthing.supportingcast.fm/ *Season 2 of Wild Thing is produced by...
Published 09/02/21
Silvano Colombano, a long-time NASA scientist, argues that the search for extraterrestrial life makes some erroneous assumptions. We talk to him about what those assumptions are, why they might be wrong, and how we might think differently about the search. *Wild Thing premium members get access to all of season 2, ad free, plus early access to bonus interviews. Sign up now to listen and support the show. https://wildthing.supportingcast.fm/ *Season 2 of Wild Thing is produced by Laura...
Published 08/05/21
*Become a subscriber! For $4.99/month, you’ll get upcoming episodes early, as well as access to subscriber-only bonus episodes. Go to https://anchor.fm/wildthing/subscribe to sign up! UFOs, aliens, other-worldly beings—all have appeared in art over the centuries (including, possibly, in Renaissance-era paintings). But some of the most recent depictions appear in the works of Frank Buffalo Hyde, an Onondaga artist who uses UFOs to talk about tribal histories and lore. *Wild Thing premium...
Published 07/01/21
*Become a subscriber! For $4.99/month, you’ll get upcoming episodes early, as well as access to subscriber-only bonus episodes. Go to https://anchor.fm/wildthing/subscribe to sign up!  While we hypothesized about exoplanets for years, it wasn't until recently that we could confirm their existence. Astrophysicist and MIT professor Sara Seager has been at the leading edge of the search for exoplanets.  *Wild Thing premium members get access to all of season 2, ad free, plus early access to...
Published 06/03/21
*Become a subscriber! For $4.99/month, you’ll get upcoming episodes early, as well as access to subscriber-only bonus episodes. Go to https://anchor.fm/wildthing/subscribe to sign up! 2020—already not a great year—was made worse for astronomers when the Arecibo Telescope collapsed in Puerto Rico. Abel Méndez, an astronomer who grew up in the telescope's shadow, talks about the importance of Arecibo and what future plans may bring. *Another way to support Wild Thing is through Supporting...
Published 05/06/21
David Anderson likes the idea of aliens, but he’s not a big fan of the TV show Ancient Aliens. The archeologist has real problems with how the show portrays his chosen field and diminishes human achievements. But, he says, while the show is misguided, he also understands why these ideas about “pseudoarchaeology” are so appealing. *Wild Thing premium members get access to all of season 2, ad free, plus early access to bonus interviews. Sign up now to listen and support the show....
Published 04/01/21
Sarah Stewart Johnson is a planetary scientist who has worked on several Mars missions and is also the author of The Sirens of Mars: Searching for Life on Another World. She talks to us about her book, the latest mission to the Red Planet—the Perseverance rover—and why our closest neighbor holds such fascination for us Earthlings. *Wild Thing premium members get access to all of season 2, ad free, plus early access to bonus interviews. Sign up now to listen and support the show....
Published 03/04/21
Renowned astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson gives his perspective on the rare earth hypothesis, the difficulty of wrapping one's head around the universe, and the problem with movie aliens. *Wild Thing premium members get access to all of season 2, ad free, plus early access to bonus interviews. Sign up now to listen and support the show. https://wildthing.supportingcast.fm/ *Season 2 of Wild Thing is produced by Laura Krantz and Scott Carney. Editing by Alicia Lipinski. Music and mixing by...
Published 02/04/21
In a wide-ranging interview, Joe Scott, the host of the popular YouTube series Answers With Joe and fellow science nerd, discusses panspermia, whether octopuses are aliens, and the rare earth hypothesis. *Wild Thing premium members get access to all of season 2, ad free, plus early access to bonus interviews. Sign up now to listen and support the show. https://wildthing.supportingcast.fm/ *Season 2 of Wild Thing is produced by Laura Krantz and Scott Carney. Editing by Alicia Lipinski. Music...
Published 01/07/21
In September 2020, just days before this podcast launched, scientists announced that they might have found evidence for life on Venus... or at least in Venus's atmosphere. We talk to one of the scientists involved about their findings, what life on Venus might be like, and what the next steps might be. *Wild Thing premium members get access to all of season 2, ad free, plus early access to bonus interviews. Sign up now to listen and support the show....
Published 12/10/20