WBEZ's Clever Apes
Summary: “Clever Apes” is a nano-sized show with a cosmic scope. It tells the stories of the Chicago-area’s rich scientific community, its quirky characters and the fascinating, often mind-bending questions they’re out to answer.
Let’s talk a little bit about testosterone, shall we?Sure, it’s a loaded topic, tied up with what behaviors are supposedly “male.” But of course both men and women have it, and it seems to play a big role in the kind of people we wind up becoming.
Embryonic stem cells are certainly a loaded subject. They come with built-in controversy over how they are obtained – a human embryo is destroyed in the process.
Our senses tell us about the world, but they also reveal a lot about ourselves. On the latest installment of Clever Apes, we find that research into cochlear implants helps us understand how all hearing is really both mechanical and subjective, machine and mind.
Clever Apes: Studying UFO's
Clever Apes #7: Apes in space
Hey Clever Apes fans! We've selected a few highlights from our first six months and wrapped 'em all up in an hour long broadcast special. Why do kids play with fire? What happens when robots and theater mix? And why do some people age so well?
Pain may be the most immediate and undeniable of human experiences. And yet it’s not obvious what it is, or where it comes from. Aristotle thought pain was basically an emotion, located in the heart.
When we heard there was a study about the connection between marital relations and chronic pain, we couldn't help but think of classic TV shows where marriages are stressed by back pain.
Gordon's pez: Tensor glyphs baffle a spouse, who calls Clever Apes for help. (Image courtesy of Gordon Kindlmann)"I heard about your show and thought immediately of my husband, Gordon Kindlmann, who is a professor at University of Chicago.
Malcolm MacIver with one of his weakly electric fish. He's colaborating on an art installation with Marlena Novak and Jay Alan Yim, called "Scale," opening in Europe.
We've always assumed that cognitive decline was just the cost of a long life. But some people manage to sail into old age without ever paying a price in mental sharpness.
The ol' memory banks tend to slip a little as we get older. No surprise there.
It may be the ultimate symbol of human mastery over nature's power: fire. On this edition of Clever Apes, we consider why flames fascinate us. Eons of evolution have written fire into our DNA -- no wonder kids like to mess with matches. AUDIODownload this episode, or subscribe to the podcast.
Science doesn't always tell us what we want to hear, and our record of accepting unwelcome findings is less than stellar. We have been known to shoot the messenger; or at least lock him up until he concedes that the universe revolves around the earth.
So much of science is about finding patterns -- repetitions that let us predict outcomes for given circumstances. The universe is full of these rhythms -- from the vibrating loops of string theory to the orbits of stars and planets to the pulsing of our heart.