Sunday, January 27, 2008

Science Podcasts - The Questions You Want To Ask

There comes a time in every parents life when the little darlings ask "the question" Questions like:
Some parents will bring the little darlings to the library. Now there are specialized books for kids that answer questions like "Why is the sky blue?" or "Is there monkey in the monkey bread?" But it never hurts to have access to places that might have a quick answer for you.

BASF Chemical Reporter is a fun way to bone up on science questions and answers. The delivery is accurate and humorous and no explanation last longer than 4 minutes.

Along the same lines is Science Update produced by the The American Association for the Advancement of Science. The online podcasts are 60 seconds of science trivia and fun facts like how a certain type of butterfly gets ants to raise their young, animal grandparents and listener questions like "How far away do you have to live to have an accent change?" I found that diving into the archives expanded the number of podcasts subjects and you could spend a good hour catching up on science news. Bonus points for providing transcripts of audio podcasts!

There is also Science Magazine Podcasts that vary between 15 - 60 minutes in length. These are drawn from the magazine and you will hear news and science stories that you are not going to encounter on the radio or PBS. Stories like the New Horizon probe, research on chronic itch and stereotyping of minorities in science education. Transcripts are available via an Adobe PDF download.

Science Update lead me to Slacker Astronomy. Nothing slacker about this. This is hard core love of astronomy, cosmology, star stuff and they do sling the lingo in the podcasts. This is way beyond Astronomy 101 but if you just relax and listen you are going to pick up the enthusiasm the speakers have about the topic. If you want to know what Dark Matter is this is your place.

So there you have it. Listen live or download to your media player of choice.

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