Archive for Great Stories to Read and Hear

Does Mars have a Habitable Environment?


Martian_rover_Curiosity_using_ChemCam_Msl20111115_PIA14760_MSL_PIcture-3-br2Answering the question of whether life does or did exist on Mars starts with whether the “Red Planet’ has a habitable environment.  In other words, are there conditions on Mars that could support “life” or perhaps did support some sort of life in its past?

Join me for a fascinating conversation with Dr. Dave Blake, the NASA scientist who discovered the answer to that question.

Dr. Blake is one of the most engaging and best storytellers you’ll ever hear.  And what a great story he’s got to tell.  Is the “Red Planet” really red?  What secrets might be hiding just below its surface?

Dave is a key member of the team that, a year ago last August 6, landed the Curiosity Rover on Mars.  Few of us can forget the “7 Minutes of Terror” as the spacecraft descended into Gale Crater, the Rover dangling from a never-tried-before Sky Crane.

He is the Principal Investigator for one of the 10 instruments that comprise the Mars Science Laboratory that the Curiosity Rover is touring around 90-mile-wide Gale Crater on its way to Mount Sharp, which is about 18,000 feet high (half again taller than Mt. Hood).

You’ll be fascinated by Dave’s patience and perseverance as he worked for years until the moment of discovery.  Listen to that moment as he tells you what they found and what it means.

It’s a long conversation but worth every minute of it .  Pause every now and then if you need to.  Enjoy.

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Who’s got the World’s Greatest Post Office?


Near the top of our list of favorite things to complain about has to be the Post Office.

Doesn’t it seem sometimes like the cost for postage goes up every other month.  And the service isn’t getting any better.  Letters seem like they’re always being lost or delivered to the wrong address.

Ever wonder whether mail service in other countries is faster or cheaper or more reliable?

Surely, mail service in China must be very good; otherwise the country’s economy wouldn’t be growing so fast.

And how does mail service in the US compare to how mail gets delivered in Germany or Korea or Canada?

Aren’t you certain that Japan’s mail service is probably far and away the best in the world?

Give this podcast a listen and, first, you’ll learn some amazing facts about what the US Postal Service has to do every day.  Then, pay close attention to the results from some scientific studies of mail delivery around the world.

You may be surprised by who wins the Gold Medal for outstanding mail delivery service.




Are Left-handed People Smarter than Right-handed People?


Listen to StitcherOne thing we’re not afraid to do is settle age-old arguments.  And here’s one that’s been going on forever:  Are left-handed people smarter than right-handed people?

Sure, there’s not as many left-handers and the world is set up for right-handers, but does overcoming a little adversity make them smarter?

And just because a lot of famous people have been lefties doesn’t mean they’re smarter than everyone else.

Do you think you know the answer?  Give this Podcast a listen and see what you learn.

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Friday the 13th


134514245_1379156481Did anything bad happen to you last week?  Did you stay home on Friday the 13th?  Should you have stayed home on Friday the 13th?

So what is so unlucky or dangerous about Friday the 13th?  Should you be superstitious?  Is there any rhyme or reason for being anxious about what might happen to you on Friday the 13th?

Give this podcast a listen and find out.  Some of the things you’ll learn will surprise you.