Blue Dot 134: Alan Stern & Brian May

Feb 21, 2019
David Schlom

Dave is joined by two rock stars on this very special episode of Blue Dot. Brian May is the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame guitarist for Queen and along with his band mate Roger Taylor, was a creative and musical consultant for the Academy Award nominated Bohemian Rhapsody. But May is also a serious scientist with a Ph.D in astrophysics from Imperial College.

Blue Dot 133: The Big One

Feb 15, 2019

Dave is joined by Blue Dot's expert on all things seismological, Ken Hudnut from the United States Geological Survey in Pasadena as they interview the host and creator of The Big One podcast from KPCC (also in Pasadena!).


Blue Dot 131: Science & A Government Shutdown

Feb 1, 2019

In the wake of the recent 35 day partial government shutdown, the longest in US history, Blue Dot takes a look back at three interviews with federal scientists, people whose lives and work have been directly affected. Science took a huge hit during the shutdown with scientists unable to attend conferences here and around the world, collect data nor share it with important stakeholders. We talked last year to Jim Smith from the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, an expert on one of world's most diverse and productive fisheries -- the Sacramento River.


Marcia Bjornerud

Dave visits with Lawrence University Geology Professor Marcia Bjornerud, author of the new book: Timefulness: How Thinking Like A Geologist Can Help Save The World. Dave and Marcia embark on an epic journey into the depths of geologic time together, examining how the concept of "timelessness" can actually be detrimental to our understanding of the Earth's geochemical cycles -- especially that pesky one involving carbon that humans have been messing with for the past two centuries.


Gross Science

On today's Blue Dot (Matt's last one), Bill Patzert, NASA Oceanographer and climatologist gives us the scoop on the state of our warming oceans, and what it's doing to our climate. We're also rolling out two new recurring features.

The first is "Science on the Tube," wherein Dave and his correspondents speak with folks making science videos on the Internet. This week it's Anna Rothschild of the PBS Digital Studios show Gross Science.

You'll also hear the first installment of "Blue Dot Goes to the Cinema." When a movie comes out that piques the interest of science geeks everywhere, Dave will give his critique and rating — out of four Blue Dots.

Anders Gustavson / Flickr:

A UC Davis professor’s research is challenging some commonly accepted concepts about global warming and raising a few hackles.

The dispute doesn’t involve denialists or outliers though. It’s statistics, not skeptics.

Chico State Students Smash Pumpkins For Science

Oct 30, 2015
Kacey Gardner / NSPR

There may be a pumpkin shortage, but in the name of science, a few were smashed Friday afternoon at Chico State's annual Pumpkin Drop.

A re-enactment of Galileo Galilei’s Tower of Pisa experiment, the event, put on by the university's Society of Physics Students (SPS), is attended each October by dozens of area schoolchildren. 

Kacey Gardner / NSPR

On this special episode of The Blue Dot Report, produced for North State Suds and Spirits Day as part of NSPR's fall membership drive, Dave Schlom investigates the science behind beer, with a guest who knows quite a bit about it. 

Dave Young / Flickr, Creative Commons

The days of guess work in breeding dairy cattle are gone. Today's DNA sequencing means more productive cows and less pollution.

Breeding cattle through artificial insemination began in the 1940s. Farmers bred cows with bulls who fathered fertile, healthy and robust daughters. Today animal breeders choose mates based on their DNA.