Time to Eat the Dogs

On Science, History, and Exploration

Episode 40: Watching Vesuvius

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Sean Cocco talks about the 1631 eruption of Vesuvius and its impact on Renaissance science and culture. Cocco is an associate professor of history at Trinity College. He is the author of Watching Vesuvius: A History of Science and Culture in Early Modern Italy.

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Sean Cocco

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Space Odyssey by Michael Benson (book review)

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Here’s my review of Michael Benson’s new book Space Odyssey: Stanley Kubrick, Arthur C. Clarke, and the Making of a Masterpiece in Commonweal Magazine. 

Episode 39: Wild Sea

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Dr Joy McCann discusses the great circumpolar ocean that surrounds Antarctica. McCann is the author of Wild Sea: A History of the Southern Ocean. She is a historian at the Centre for Environmental History at Australian National University.

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Dr. Joy McCann

Links:

Joy McCann’s Blog: Out of the Blue

Episode 38: The Egyptologist

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Margaret Murray unwraps an Egyptian mummy in 1908

After Napoleon occupied Egypt, Europeans became obsessed with the ancient cultures of the Nile. In Britain, the center of Egyptology research was University College London (UCL). At the heart of the UCL program was the Egyptologist, Margaret Alice Murray. During this golden age of Egyptian Archaeology, Murray was training students, running the department, and publishing dozens of books. So why haven’t we heard of her?

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Kate Sheppard

Historian Kate Sheppard discusses the life and work of Murray. Sheppard is an associate professor of history at Missouri University of Science and Technology. She is the author of The Life of Margaret Alice Murray: A Woman’s Work in Archaeology.

Episode 37: The Rise of the Megafire

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In the 1980s, fires burned an average of two million acres per year. Today the average is eight million acres and growing. Scientists believe that we could see years with twenty million acres burned, an area larger than country of Ireland. Today I rebroadcast my interview with Michael Kodas who talks about the phenomenon of megafires, forest fires that burn over 100,000 acres, and why the number of these fires is increasing every year.

Kodas is the deputy director of the Center for Environmental Journalism at the University of Colorado-Boulder. He is also an award winning photojournalist and reporter. His book Megafire: The Race to Extinguish a Deadly Epidemic of Flame recently won the Colorado Book Award.

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Listen (below) or on iTunes

Episode 36: The Ebola Outbreak of 2013

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Why did Ebola, a virus so deadly that it killed or immobilized its victims within days, have time to become a full-blown epidemic? That’s what happened in 2013 in when the virus, already well-known to virologists and epidemiologists, broke out in West Africa, infecting twenty-eight thousand people and killing eleven thousand. 

Stephan Bullard, associate professor of biology at the University of Hartford, discusses the 2013 outbreak which is the subject of his new book, A Day to Day Chronicle of the 2013-16 Ebola Outbreak, now out with Springer Press. (Rebroadcast).

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Stephan Bullard

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Episode 35: The Mars Rover Curiosity

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Emily Lakdawalla talks about the design and construction of Curiosity, formally known as the Mars Science Laboratory, one of the most sophisticated machines ever built. Curiosity landed on Mars in 2012 where it has been conducting research within the ancient Gale Crater.

Lakdawalla is a senior editor at the Planetary Society where she writes and blogs about planetary exploration. She is a frequent guest on Planetary Radio. She is also the author of The Design and Engineering of Curiosity: How the Mars Rover Performs Its Job.

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Emily Lakdawalla

Links:

Lakdawalla’s Curiosity Goodreads Page

Lakdawalla’s Planetary Society Blog

NASA’s Mars Scientific Laboratory Website