Flâneur and irrepressible commentator, Rick Edwards, and "Indiana Jones in a lab coat" Dr. Michael Brooks, delve into the science behind popular culture.
Will we ever be able to turn invisible? The idea of magically disappearing has fascinated humanity for centuries. Once dismissed as impossible, a promising new wave of technologies could bring this dream one step closer to reality. Rick and Michael wrap up in bandages and plunge into HG Wells’ seminal work: The Invisible Man. Featuring Professor Sir John PendryProduced by Eli Block Sources: http://bit.ly/Scienceish_The_Invisible_Man_Sources See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Have we all been poisoned? PFAS chemicals are all around us and almost certainly in your blood. But just how worried should we be? Michael sits down with Mark Ruffalo and Rob Bilott to talk about the shocking true story behind Dark Waters.Link to Rob Bilott’s excellent book: bit.ly/Rob_Bilott_Exposure Sources: bit.ly/Scienceish_Dark_Waters_Sources Produced by Eli BlockAssistant Producer: Holly Aquilina See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Will we inevitably all become Cyborgs? More than ever, we’re hearing from Silicon Valley types that humans are going to need to merge with machines. But just what would our augmented future look like? Rick and Michael plug in to the techno-dystopian classic Robocop to find out whether we’ll radically alter our bodies or risk being left behind.Featuring: Professor Kevin WarwickProduced by Eli Block and Ivor Manley Sources: http://bit.ly/Scienceish_Robocop_Sources See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Why aren’t there more cannibals? Through the unforgettable horror of Silence Of The Lambs, Rick and Michael discover that eating your own has all sorts of surprising evolutionary benefits. So why have humans (for the most part) given it up? Time to settle back with some fava beans and a nice Chianti… fffthff..fftsf.ffthf...Featuring Bill Schutt - billschutt.com Sources: http://bit.ly/Silence_Of_The_Lambs_Sources See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Is the Force a real thing? Michael takes Rick on a mind bending tour through a galaxy far, far away in Star Wars! Crucial questions will be answered: did Luke Skywalker get his powers from a parasite? Can we use quantum entanglement to summon a lightsaber? Did George Lucas cheat on his homework? All will be revealed... Featuring: Patrick JohnsonSources: http://bit.ly/StarWars_Sources See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Looking to escape to another reality? Why not try a virtual one? In this episode Rick and Michael get sucked into the world of Jumanji, as they pose the question on everybody's mind's right now, "could we ever live in a game?" Whether it's digital forest bathing, VR experiences for Cockroaches or turning ourselves into inanimate objects, no virtual stone will be left unturned. Featuring: Professor Bob Stone See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Rick and Michael go full Westeros at a special live show from the Underbelly comedy festival. So, could you really build an Ice Wall that big without using magic? Could a Dragon really fly and breathe fire? And the big one - just how bad is incest really? Come and find out!Featuring: Prof Alan Bittles and Mike Habib See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Is there such a thing as a perfect predator? Rick and Michael kick off Season 5 with the mother of all blockbusters, Steven Spielberg’s 1975 masterpiece Jaws. From a deep dive into the evolution of predation, to a nasty encounter with Free Willy, the boys discover that when it comes to being a killer, size isn’t everything. Featuring: Dr Lauren Sallan See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
How much does Geography inform History? Why did humanity first emerge where it did? What influence do ancient rock formations have on U.S politics? In the final episode of the season, Rick and Michael try to answer all this and more, diving into Mel Brooks’ History of the World: Part 1. Featuring: Lewis Dartnell See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Will we ever be able to regrow limbs? The more we learn about the incredible regenerative abilities of salamanders and planarian worms, the closer we come to coaxing our bodies into repairing any injury. Through Marvel’s Deadpool, Rick and Michael tackle the growing field of regenerative medicine. Featuring: Prof Michael Levin See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Personality testing is a multi-billion dollar industry. But how reliable are assessments like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator? Can we really find out which Lord of the Rings character Michael is? Rounding off our animated classics trilogy of animated classics, the lads jump into Pixar’s Inside Out. Featuring: Dr Merve Emre See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Does nature prefer hierarchy? When we look out into nature, we see hierarchical systems everywhere. Is it inevitable that humans follow suit? The lads dive into the 1998 animation Antz to find out why these systems evolved and more importantly, how wrong Jordan Peterson actually is. Featuring: Prof Adam Hart See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Every year we produce over 2 billion tonnes of waste. That figure is only going up. Never before has the question been more pressing: what should we do with all our stuff? From atop a giant pile of broken printers, Rick and Michael discuss Pixar’s 2008 masterpiece WALL-E. Featuring: Prof Margaret Bates See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
What if we could control the weather? Inspired by the futuristic disaster film Geostorm, the boys delve into the contentious field of geoengineering. Can or should we tinker with the Earth’s climate to mitigate the risks of runaway climate change? What if we have no other choice? Featuring: Prof David Keith See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
When Bryan Fogel’s 2017 docu-thriller Icarus exposed Russia's Olympic doping programme, it sent shockwaves through the sports community. This week the boys explore the long and bizarre history of doping in sport and the perpetual arms race between the dopers looking for a little extra boost and the scientists trying to catch them. Featuring: Professor Chris Cooper See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Without volcanoes there would be no life on Earth. But just how afraid of supervolcanoes - like the one in Yellowstone National Park - should we be? Inspired by 90s disaster movie Dante’s Peak, the boys explore just how bad it could get for humanity and, of course, for Pierce Brosnan. Featuring: Dr Michael Poland See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
What better way to kick off Christmas than a deep dive into the ethics of sex robots? Exploring the science and pitfalls of dystopian drama Westworld, the boys sit down with renowned computer scientist Kate Devlin to discuss her new book ‘Turned On: Science, Sex and Robots.’ Featuring: Kate Devlin See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Could we be on the cusp of eradicating vision loss? Through the 2008 epidemic thriller ‘Blindness’, the boys explore the mind-boggling complexity of the eye and the conditions that led to its evolution in the animal kingdom. With tens of millions of people around the world affected by vision loss, a wave of promising new technologies has raised hopes of restoring sight to those left in the dark. Featuring: Samantha De Silva See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
With the declaration of Trump’s ‘Space Force’, the domain of space is ever closer to becoming a new and potentially terrifying theatre of war. Through the Roger Moore classic Moonraker, the boys examine our reliance on vulnerable satellites and the ramifications of asteroid mining, whilst enjoying a martini or two. Featuring: Joan Johnson-Freese See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
To kick off Series 4, Michael asked Rick to hit him as hard as he can… with knowledge! Through the Brad Pitt/Ed Norton classic Fight Club, the boys dive headfirst into the uncomfortable world of pain research. From the world’s most painful ailments, to the fascinating history of pain relief and the devastating impact of chronic conditions, we explore what makes pain so vital to the human journey. Featuring: Professor Irene Tracey See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.