Time to Eat the Dogs

On Science, History, and Exploration

Episode 8: Can You See the Ice?


Ipiirvik of Cumberland Sound

In the 1800s, explorers and whalers returned home from the Arctic described a cold, desolate world, one that could swallow up expeditions without leaving a trace. But this did not describe the Arctic of the Inuit, who called this world their home.

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Karen Routledge

Today Karen Routledge tells the story of Baffin Island’s Inuit community as they came into contact with western whalers and explorers in the nineteenth century. Routledge is a historian for Parks Canada. She works and travels in the parks of Nunavut. Her new book, Can You See the Ice (University of Chicago Press, forthcoming), tells the story of the Inuit of Cumberland Sound. Even though the Inuit worked closely with outsiders, their views of the Arctic world, of the meaning of home, even time itself, remained far apart.


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Episode 7: California is Burning


California is in the middle of its worst fire season ever. 1.2 million acres have burned so far with no end in sight. Now, with flames threatening Los Angeles, 200,000 people have been told to evacuate.

Michael Kodas returns to Time to Eat the Dogs to give an update on the fires raging across Southern California. When we spoke two weeks ago, Kodas described the Napa Valley fires as wildfires that were transitioning into urban firestorms. Now this dangerous type of fire approaches Los Angeles, the second largest city in America.

Listen to Kodas’s earlier interview

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Episode 6: NASA in the Age of Trump


Rep. Jim Bridenstine

In September President Trump nominated Jim Bridenstine – a three term Congressman from Oklahoma– to lead NASA. Bridenstine’s been a champion of space exploration in Congress. But his nomination has run into some trouble. Bridenstine is a big supporter of human space exploration. Its not clear, though, how much he supports NASA’s scientific missions, especially those focused on climate change.


Dan Vergano

Discussing Bridenstine’s nomination and other issues confronting NASA is Dan Vergano, science reporter for BuzzFeed. Vergano has reported on science for National Geographic and USA Today. In 2008 he was named a Neiman Fellow at Harvard University.

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Coming Tuesday: NASA in the Age of Trump


photo credit: The Atlantic

President Trump’s nomination of Rep. Jim Bridenstine to be the new NASA Administrator has been controversial. How would Bridenstine, a climate change skeptic, prioritize earth science research at NASA? BuzzFeed science reporter Dan Vergano breaks it down along with other NASA-related issues in the Time to Eat the Dogs podcast, out on Tuesday.

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For more on Bridenstine’s positions, read Will Thomas’s analysis at the American Institute of Physics. 

Episode 5: The Mystery of the Franklin Expedition


In 1845, two British naval ships left England with 129 men in search of the Northwest Passage. They were never heard from again. The disappearance of the Franklin Expedition shocked the world. Dozens of expeditions set sail into the Arctic looking for the missing explorers.


Russell Potter talks about the Expedition and the reasons why it continues to fascinate people around the world. Potter is professor of English and Media studies at Rhode Island College. His book, Finding Franklin: the Untold Story of a 165-year Search, came out in 2016 with McGill-Queens University Press.

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Potter’s website with Franklin links

Episode 4: The Ascent of Women Climbers


Ashley Cracroft, climbing a new route in Southern Utah. Photo credit: Irene Yee. Courtesy of Climbing Magazine, 2017.

For decades, the sport of climbing seemed to be “a guy thing” until a group of elite women climbers in the 1990s changed the landscape of the sport forever.

Free-lance journalist and climber Noël Phillips discusses the growing popularity of climbing for women at all levels. Her article, “No Man’s Land: The Rise of Women in Climbing” was recently published in Climbing Magazine.


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Episode 3: The First Americans on Everest


Ten years after the first summit of Everest by Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary, a team of 19 Americans and hundreds of Sherpas, attempted to do it again. The American expedition would be different from Norgay and Hillary’s. It combined high altitude climbing with scientific research. The climbing party included a glaciologist, sociologist, biophysicist, and psychologist.

I talk with Phil Clements, historian at California State University Chico about this strange expedition. It is the subject of his new book Science in an Extreme Environment: the 1963 American Mount Everest Expedition.


Listen to Phil Clements on iTunes

Press website for Science in an Extreme Environment