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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!

Oct 14, 2016

It has been a tumultuous week in American politics! Wow! But Blue Streak Science stays above the fray as we deliver the latest science to the world in our own special way.

We talked about birds in hurricanes and bat-shit crazy conspiracy theorists. Did you hear the one about the chimp who could read minds? We talked about new research that shows our close cousins to possess similar "theory of mind" as humans, including the ability to anticipate when someone is about to do the wrong thing. It involved a guy in a King Kong suit. You can't make this stuff up!

We also talked about Saturn's moon Dione and how it has an ocean. How many moons are there now with oceans? I lost count.

"If everybody had an ocean/Across the U. S. A./Then everybody'd be surfin'/Like Californi-a"

Put on your baggies and wax your board 'cause surf's up in the solar system!

What The Hell Was That?

Nobody got last week's sound because it was freakin' difficult. No, you'll never get. But you can try! Just have a listen.

All the hosts were very creeped-out by this week's sound. You're welcome for the nightmares it may cause.

Blue Streak Science News Roundup

These are summaries of our discussions on the podcast. For the full conversation please listen to this episode of the Blue Streak Science Podcast.

Hurricane Matthew
The remnants of the storm still causing havoc and destruction in the U.S. state of North Carolina. As bad as that is Hurricane Matthew has also caused huge amounts of property damage in Florida. But the greatest tragedy is in Haiti where the death toll has already surpassed 1000 while disease and starvation in its aftermath threaten many more.

However, a hurricane’s effects aren’t limited to people. Radar observations of Hurricane Matthew showed that birds were traveling inside of the eye the storm.

There was also an article in the Huffington Post that talked about some conspiracy theories regarding hurricanes put forth extreme right commentators Matt Drudge and Rush Limbaugh.

Drudge suggested the government has a “monopoly on data” and is fudging its forecasts to make an “exaggerated point on climate.”

Saturn's moon Dione may harbor an underground ocean
So say researchers reporting online on 28 September in Geophysical Research Letters. This club of watery worlds in our solar system include Saturn's moon Enceladus, several moons of Jupiter and the dwarf planet Pluto as we reported last week.

Dione’s ocean is about 100 kilometers below the surface and is about 65 kilometers deep. The researchers used measurements of Dione’s gravity made by the venerable Cassini spacecraft.

Can great apes read minds?
This study published in “Science” on 6 October. Over the decades we’ve learned that non-human apes possess many aspect of the “theory of mind”. We are able to think about others’ thoughts and emotions (except orange-haired apes, such as an American Presidential candidate). We form ideas about what beliefs and feelings are held in the minds of others – and recognize that they can be different from our own.But this common trait seems to drop off when it comes to non-human ape’s understanding that someone else’s belief may be false, and that’s what this new research looks at.

New game! It's called "Says Who?"

Congratulations to host Tom Di Liberto for giving the correct answer on the inaugural "Says Who?" game! Well done.

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