Monday, September 7, 2009

You never know with bees - Science Talk

When I reported about the Science Talk podcast the first time, about three weeks ago, Science Talk - Scientific American Podcast, the actual episode I chose to report about, was about bees. More specifically, it was about the research that is being done in order to understand the problem of colony collapses.

While normally Science Talk alternates between subjects, on colony collapse, host Steve Mirsky delivered three issue consecutively. After May Berenbaum's basic explanation before a crowd of children (bee afraid, bee very afraid), there was an interview Mirsky had with Beerenbaum (To bee or not to bee) in which she not only talks about her research on bees, but more on insects more generally. In addition she addresses the prejudices people have about insects and how these play out in SciFi B-movies. And last but not least, Mirsky spoke with John Williams and May Beerenbaum (Colony Collapse and Ruptured Ribosomes; Minding Darwin's Beeswax about further developmentsi n the research; especially about the advances made with the help of genetic research.

Colony Collapse comes out as one of those ecological disasters that are looming (together with other extinctions, fatal pollution of the waters, ice cap melting and climate change etc) and that can be dramatically harmful if they will play out fully. Not only is honey making an important industry, nature needs the bees for pollinating. These disasters seem all interrelated and one can trigger the next. It makes the research all the more important and the impression is get how we are scrambling to acquire the right knowledge and technologies to help.

More Science Talk:
Science Talk - Scientific American Podcast.

More environmental gloom:
How the message about Climate Change gets blurred,
Population Growth,
Fish depletion,
Human Impact on the Environment,
Climate Change will make us pay.

Henry Hudson's fatal journey - NBIH

When I was young I read a children's book that was based on the diary by the ship's carpenter about the last journey of Willem Barentsz (1597) and I was greatly impressed by it. Not only by the drama of the story, but also by the, in hindsight, unrealistic idea the Indies could be reached by a northern route. At the time, I thought Barentsz's failure would have sufficiently proven the northern route to be impossible.

Yet, after Barentsz, it was Henry Hudson who also tried (between 1607 and 1611). Not just past the east, but several times over a western route around Canada. On New Books In History Marshal Poe spoke with Peter Mancall who wrote a book about Hudson's final journey past the west. In the interview Mancall largely recounts the fate of Hudson and all the excitement I had with Barentsz's tale came back to me. These explorations are amazing feats under impossible circumstances. I reckon everyone will be taken in by such stories. Therefore the interview with Mancall is highly recommended.

Also recommended is the previous issue of NBIH, an interview with Kevin Kenny about William Penn's attempt to create an ideal state in Pennsylvania and - inevitably - how this ideal failed to be realized.

More NBIH:
Substance abuse in the midwest,
How could they continue - NBIH on WW1 soldiers,
After slavery was abolished,
Two great shows on New Books In History.

Arie Kleywegt - Marathon Interview via Huffduffer

Mijn favoriete interviewer in de reeks Marathon Interviews is Ronald van den Boogaard en het is daarom altijd extra interessant als er weer een uitzending van zijn hand aan zit te komen. Dit geldt te meer daar de laatste die ik van hem kon beluisteren in de feed van de VPRO, een niet zo sprankelend interview met Ward Ruyslinck was. Het is al vaker gezegd, it takes two to tango, en een interview kan zowel door de gast als de bevrager gemangeld worden.

De oude feed van Het Marathon Interview leek regelmatig complete jaargangen toe te voegen en zag er daarom tot voor kort naar uit dat Ronald's interview met Arie Kleywegt uit 1993 snel beschikbaar zou komen. Ook Ronald zelf lijkt daarop te anticiperen en heeft zojuist het interview aangehaald op zijn blog: Marathoninterviews: Arie Kleywegt. De podcast feed van de VPRO is echter vernieuwd en weer van voor af aan, dat wil zeggen bij 1986 begonnen.

Zo zal het nog vele maanden duren voordat we Ronald en Arie zullen horen. Om hieraan tegemoet te komen heb ik de downloads van de VPRO in een feed gezet via Huffduffer. Hier is de Marathon met Arie Kleywegt in alle podcatchers in een keer op te halen.

Meer van mijn Huffduffer feeds:
J. Drabinski, Husserl,
J. Drabinski, Heidegger,
Christina Hayes, Yale, Introduction to Hebrew Bible,
Marathon Interview met Herman Bianchi.