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Smash: When continents collide!

The Continental Divide at the Þingvellir National Park in Iceland.

How are mountains made? What causes an earthquake? How does hot lava come bubbling up? The answer in each case is…tectonic plates!

What’s smaller than an electron?

3D Illustration of an atom.

The natural world can be broken down into atoms. And those atoms can be broken down even further. Will the discovery of smaller and smaller particles ever stop?

What is Down syndrome?

This 3D illustration shows what the chromosomes look like in someone with Down-syndrome.

You may have heard of Down syndrome, but what is it exactly? In this episode, we’ll break down the science of chromosomes and how having an extra one leads to this fairly common condition. Plus, we’ll learn some tips for making friends with someone who might seem different than you.

Curio: Vampire of the Great Lakes

Sea lampreys use sharp choppers to attach themselves to cold-blooded prey. Lake trout beware! (Image: Dan Kraker)

The sea lamprey, with its concentric rows of sharp teeth, is part vampire and part alien invader. Would you let it suction to your arm? Reporter Dan Kraker did. Find out if he lived to tell about it.

Narwhals: Unicorns of the sea?

A narwhal pod. (Courtesy of Kristin Laidre)

In this episode, we learn all about narwhals (what that tusk is for and how they’re connected to the myth of the unicorn) and the evolution of teeth (from scale-like nubbins to the versatile chompers we have today).

For crying out loud: All about tears

It’s something so natural that we take it for granted — but when you think about it, it’s a little strange. Why does water come out of our eyes? And why does it happen when we’re happy? Or sad? Or scared? Or exhausted? In this episode we dive into our mysterious emotional tears, find out […]

Curio: Quindar tones and talking in space

Overall view of the Mission Operations Control Room (MOCR) in the Mission Control Center (MCC), Building 30, Manned Spacecraft Center (MSC), showing the flight controllers celebrating the successful conclusion of the Apollo 11 lunar landing mission. Courtesy of NASA

You know those beeps in old NASA recordings? They’re called Quindar tones. This episode explains them and talks to a couple musicians who incorporate archival, NASA recordings into their songs.

Mars: Our next home planet?

Viscous, lobate flow features are commonly found at the bases of slopes in the mid-latitudes of Mars. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona)

In this episode we learn about Mars’ ancient past, meet an architect hoping to build cities there and we hear from Mars itself, thanks to the planet’s video blog, of course.