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Spanning the globe to bring you the constant variety of science... the thrill of discovery... and the agony of failed experiments... the human drama of scientific advancement... This is the Blue Streak Science Podcast!

Jun 16, 2016

rainbowflagOpening Word

After last weekend's horrible news - another mass murder perpetrated by one man with a legally purchased weapon of war - it makes this website and podcast seem a little silly. We have a wonderful time doing this, but I cannot help but think of the many funerals, the suffering, and the plight of the survivors.

For purely political reasons the Centers for Disease Control are forbidden from doing epidemiological research on gun violence in the United States. Science is a powerful weapon and those who favor unfettered trade in weapons of war have fought to keep one weapon, science, away from us all.

No amount of prayer, moments of silence, or hand wringing will bring back the dead or prevent future victims from being cut down. The only thing that can reduce the carnage is brave action.

Will they forgive us if we do nothing?

What The Hell Was That?

Camille Corra, a listener from Santiago, Chile, was the first to answer correctly last week's mystery sound. Congratulations. You have earned the undying admiration of the bonehead team of Blue Streak Science.

Also, congratulations to host Ivy Shih, a proud member of the aforementioned team of geeks, for also getting the correct answer! And that answer is...what? Listen to the podcast already!

Blue Streak Science News

By Ryan Somma - originally posted to Flickr as Flores, CC BY-SA 2.0,
Homo floresiensis by Ryan Somma

Jawbone and teeth reveal hobbit’s 700,000-year-old ancestors
An international team of scientists have excavated the hominin fossils — attributed to a population ancestral to Homo floresiensis — from layers of sedimentary rock at the early Middle Pleistocene site of Mata Menge in the So’a Basin of central Flores, in Indonesia.

Experiment 'turns waste CO2 to stone'
For the first time ever scientists and engineers in Iceland are pumping co2 gas into the earth and changing it chemically into solid rock. And they’re doing this much faster than anyone had predicted, taking only months.

New discovery may improve future mosquito control
A new paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences describes a potential strategy by which to repel female mosquitoes.  

False Positive, the science game with the scary name!

Once again, our crack panel of experts were foiled! You think you can do any better? Give it a try! 

Shout-outs and Acknowledgments

Science Club for Girls

There’s an organization in the state of Massachusetts called science club for girls. They’ve been around since 1994.

Science club for girls connects girls from kindergarten through 12th grade, especially those from underrepresented groups, with female scientist-mentors. Those critically important role models that inspire children to believe in themselves, that they can be scientists and engineers, too.

They do this by providing free science, technology, engineering and math programs in a fun, nurturing and interactive environment. This is the kind of locally based organization that can often have the greatest and longest lasting positive effect on a child’s life.

Science club for girls also has teen leadership programs to give girls the chance to be role models and to teach the younger children, to develop the kind of valuable skills they’ll need when they go on to college and beyond.

I encourage everyone listening to check out science club for girls. It’ll just make you feel go to know that such programs exist.

More importantly, if you like what they’re doing then please send them a donation. These programs are free for the children, but science club for girls depends on the generosity of people like you who understand the value of a science education.

And if you have kids and you live in eastern Massachusetts then by all means contact them!

This episode of Blue Streak Science Podcast comes to you from Sydney, Australia; Santa Rosa, California; and Cambridge, England.