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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.

Everything you need to know before the solar eclipse

A white light image of the solar corona during totality. (M. Druckmüller | NASA)

On Monday, August 21, a total solar eclipse will be visible on a path that crosses the U.S., from Oregon on the west coast to South Carolina on the east coast. In this episode, we cover all your eclipse essentials: What causes an eclipse? What happens during an eclipse? How do you safely view it? Spoiler alert: Don’t stare at the sun without special eyewear.

Deep Sea vs. Outer Space

It’s time for the next Brains On debate! This intense matchup brings us to the depths of darkness, under the water and beyond our earth’s atmosphere. Who will prevail?