Ecogeeks : Untamed Science Video Podcast show

Ecogeeks : Untamed Science Video Podcast

Summary: A science video podcast that explains science topics in a fun and exciting way. Not only is it great for science teachers to download and show in the classroom but they are ideal for the nature lover. All of our hosts and filmmakers are also trained biologists. This is a unique show made by biologists for nature lovers. The faces of the show, the ecogeeks, include Rob Nelson, Haley Chamberlain, Jonas Stenstrom, Hazen Audel, Suze Roots, and Danni Washington. All podcasts and supplemental material from the podcasts can be seen through our website:

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 Crazy Animal Births | File Type: video/m4v | Duration: 3:00

Rob Nelson gives a quick overview of 5 crazy animal births including the platypus, echidna, hammerhead shark, african cichlids, gastric brooding frog and the Surinam toad.

 When is Acceleration the Greatest in Skydiving? | File Type: video/m4v | Duration: 3:54

Rob jumps out of a plane to help explain the basic concepts of acceleration.

 World Water Day | File Type: video/m4v | Duration: 3:00

World Water Day is held annually on 22 March as a means of focusing attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources. An international day to celebrate freshwater was recommended at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED). The United Nations General Assembly responded by designating 22 March 1993 as the first World Water Day. Each year, World Water Day highlights a specific aspect of freshwater. In 2013, in reflection of the International Year of Water Cooperation, World Water Day is also dedicated to the theme of cooperation around water and is coordinated by UNESCO in collaboration with UNECE and UNDESA on behalf of UN-Water.

 Chemistry of Love | File Type: video/m4v | Duration: 3:00

Rob interviews people at the local gym to see what they think about love.

 Hibernation: A Wintery Slumber | File Type: video/m4v | Duration: 3:00

Rob gives a summary of the work we've been doing on bear hibernation

 Why is the turkey called a turkey? | File Type: video/m4v | Duration: 3:20

Have you ever stopped to think it's kind of weird that a country (Turkey) has the same name as our wild thanksgiving bird of choice? You might have thought it was a coincidence, but get this. In turkey, they call it greek chicken. In Greece, they call it Peru. In Peru, they call it French Chicken and in France they call it Indian Chicken. The bird we now know as the turkey, was actually a name given because of the country of Turkey! As it turns out, the first explorers brought the turkey back to Europe through Turkey. Because of that, the bird was colloquially called Turkish guinea fowl. It was later just shortened to turkey.

 The Chemistry of the Stinkiest Fruit Ever! | File Type: video/m4v | Duration: 3:36

Here in the United States we are accustomed to eating only a handful of fruits such as apples, oranges and bananas. Yet, there are a lot of fruits that are extremely common in other places of the world. In this weekly video, Jonas, takes a look at durian, a fruit called the "king of fruits" in SE Asia. Durian has one of the strongest smells, and is actually illegal to carry on all forms of public transportation. To understand why, Jonas opens up some of the basic chemistry of this incredible fruit.

 Why do Animals Strand on Beaches | File Type: video/m4v | Duration: 3:01

If you've been watching the news lately, you'll have noticed that there are a lot of mass strandings occurring around the world. This includes the nearly 100+ turtles that stranded off the coast of Cape Cod in November and the multitudes of dolphins and whales in NZ during the same month. But why is it that these animals are stranding? Is it a freak of nature or are they stranding because of something we're doing? For that matter, is there anything we can do to help stop it? In this week's Untamed Science video update, I attempt to explain what we know about the nature of marine animal strandings. What is really going on with cetacean and turtles that end up on the beaches?

 Dirt to Dinosaur: Paleontology 101 | File Type: video/m4v | Duration: 3:36

Lindsay Zanno helped walk us through the details of what it's like to get a dinosaur from the field into a display. The key things she emphasized were that a) it's a lot of work b) it's not glamorous c) rarely to they find complete skeletons d) they don't excavate it with little brushes out in the field and e) they spend close to 50 times the effort on a skeleton, in the lab, once it's been pulled out of the ground.

 Sampling so it doesn't take FOREVER! | File Type: video/m4v | Duration: 3:32

This video gives a broad overview of sampling techniques. It doesn't touch on every single sampling method, but gives a quick intro as well as looking more specifically at distance sampling.

 How Lakes Cycle | File Type: video/m4v | Duration: 2:57

Lakes and Ponds represent a freshwater biome type that is generally referred to in the scientific community as a lentic ecosystem (still or standing waters). Scientists that study lakes and ponds are known as limnologists. In this overview we hope to describe a few of the biotic (plant, animal and micro-organism) interactions as well as the abiotic interactions (physical and chemical). Learn more at:

 Basics of Fracking | File Type: video/m4v | Duration: 3:20

During the elections, the idea of energy independence came up a lot. In fact, there was major emphasis put on our nation's ability to pull fossil fuels from the ground. In particular, there was mention of hydraulic fracking and horizontal drilling. But how many of us could easily explain what that process is, and why it may be a way for the country to have an excess in natural gas? In this week's Untamed Science video Rob explores the basics of hydraulic fracturing via a Skype call with geologist Dan Bertalan. He explains what they pump into the ground, how it fractures the rock and how that allows natural gas to then come to the surface. If you want a better explanation of fracking... : ------------------------------------------------------ Hydraulic fracturing is the propagation of fractures in a rock layer, as a result of the action of a pressurized fluid. Some hydraulic fractures form naturally—certain veins or dikes are examples—and can create conduits along which gas and petroleum from source rocks may migrate to reservoir rocks. Induced hydraulic fracturing or hydrofracking, commonly known as fraccing or fracking, is a technique used to release petroleum, natural gas (including shale gas, tight gas, and coal seam gas), or other substances for extraction. This type of fracturing creates fractures from a wellbore drilled into reservoir rock formations.

 Lab Grown Meat? | File Type: video/m4v | Duration: 3:09

Dutch scientists have used stem cells to create strips of muscle tissue with the aim of producing the first lab-grown hamburger later this year. The aim of the research is to develop a more efficient way of producing meat than rearing animals. At a major science meeting in Canada, Prof Mark Post said synthetic meat could reduce the environmental footprint of meat by up to 60%.

 Why Leaves Change Color in the Fall | File Type: video/m4v | Duration: 3:11

Every fall in the deciduous forests of the world, there is a miraculous change in the color of the leaves. The leaves turn from green into brilliant shades of yellow, orange, red, and purple. Sometimes you can see several shades on the same leaf. But why are these color changes happening, and what is going on in the plant? Fortunately, that’s the topic of this Untamed Science video. Rob and Canopy Biologist Meg Lowman, explain how it has everything to do with the pigments in the leaves. In fact, many of those pigments have been there all year and can only now be seen.

 The Biology of Zombies | File Type: video/m4v | Duration: 3:19

Zombies have a true biological basis to them. The stories as we know them, all have their origin in the country of Haiti. This small Caribbean country is famed as being one of the only places where the African slaves, revolted and kicked out the Europeans. After doing that, their African tribal culture took over again. Many say it's now more African than Africa! It's also the epicenter of Voodoo. When you think of Voodoo, think witch doctors. In fact, these witch doctors are integral to the culture in Haiti and help in creating order. People are in constant fear there that the witch doctors may turn them into a Zombie. They're particularly susceptible if they've done something bad. Thus, the threat of Zombification may keep some order. Hogwash you might say - it's just crazy voodoo beliefs that have no basis. That's what I thought until I read about a man named Clarvius Narcisse. In 1980, the world got the first real proof that Zombies existed. Clarvius, walked into a hospital one day claiming to be a zombie, and for the first time ever, there was proof that he was pronounced dead and buried. Turns out, it was at the same hospital he walked into. He even had a scar on his cheek from the nail they drove into his casket. He claimed that someone dug him up, beat him and drugged him for the last 18 years as he worked as a slave on a sugar cane field. So how did this happen? To help solve this mystery, ethnobotanist Wade Davis immersed himself in the Haitian culture. After meeting with several witch doctors, he finally got his hands on a few "zombie potions." To his surprise they all contained a similar toxin, known as tetrodotoxin. This came from the ground up remains of a pufferfish. The story goes that a witchdoctor would blow this potion onto a victim, and the toxin would start to take effect. It would drop the vital functions to such a low value, that people would pronounce them dead, and they'd be quickly buried. Then, witchdoctors would dig them out of the grave before they actually died. They'd beat them and make them work as slaves in a stupefied state the rest of their life. The key to zombies though, isn't just the tetratotoxin. That just fools the death and helps give credence to the legends of zombies rising from the dead. In fact, a plant by the name of Datura, or the "zombie cucumber" (Datura stramonium) actually gives the stupefied state to the enslaved. Datura is a plant in the deadly nightshade family, related to mandrake and henbane (of werewolf legends). The concoction I've just described though, isn't a recipe for zombies. In fact, it's not a good idea to replicate any of this. A dosage that is even a fraction to high would kill someone. In fact, it's highly likely that 99% of witch doctor potions would kill someone. There are even a lot of critiques to Wade Davis, who claim that none of the concoctions he presented could make a real zombie. In the end, it might not really matter if this works in practice any more. The idea behind it is so entrenched in the lore of the area and that might be all that matters. To Haitians, zombies are real. In the meantime, we can make them real in the movies. But just know that it all comes from what could be a very real biological basis.


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