Magic, Illusion, and Skepticism, with Bill Nye

In this week’s StarTalk All-Stars, host Bill Nye applies his scientific mind and skeptical nature to fan-submitted Cosmic Queries chosen by co-host Chuck Nice, on subjects from miracles and levitation to conspiracy theories and climate change denial. Explore the nature and practice of magic and illusion, like Pepper’s Ghost shown above, and how the magician’s skill and artistry can be much more important than the technology of a trick. You’ll hear how magicians exploit the human brain’s programming for pattern recognition to fool us, even when they’re telling us exactly what they’re doing, like Penn & Teller. Examine the value Read More

StarTalk at BAM – Science is Everywhere (Part 1)

Science really is everywhere. On this episode of StarTalk Radio, we bring you the first part of StarTalk at BAM – Science is Everywhere. Back in March, we had a great time at the Brooklyn Academy of Music highlighting the shows under the StarTalk Podcast Network banner. In Part 1, you’ll hear StarTalk Radio and StarTalk All-Stars. To start, Neil deGrasse Tyson is joined by comic co-host Chuck Nice and theoretical physicist and author Brian Greene to discuss the early universe. You’ll hear about the “Cosmic Dark Ages” and what we know about the first stars born in the universe. Read More

Cosmic Queries: Time and Higher Dimensions

Wormholes, hypercubes, Flatland, and more – Join Neil deGrasse Tyson as he explores time and higher dimensions with comic co-host Harrison Greenbaum and mathematician John Allen Paulos. To start off, Neil explains the concept of a fourth spatial coordinate. Then, our trio compares our knowledge of a possible 4th dimension to the Flatlander’s knowledge of the 3rd dimension in Edwin Abbott’s book Flatland. Ponder the idea that we’re prisoners of our three-dimensions, echoing the shortcomings of Abbott’s two-dimensional beings. You’ll also investigate the film Interstellar and its use of wormholes and the 5th dimension. Physicist James Kakalios, returning guest and Read More

Cosmic Queries: Minds and Machines

“We must consider this question, can machines think?” Alan Turing asked that question many years ago, but these days that question is taking on a whole new dimension. On this episode of StarTalk Radio, Neil deGrasse Tyson, comic co-host Chuck Nice, and neuroscientist Gary Marcus answer fan-submitted Cosmic Queries on the intersection of minds and machines. You’ll learn what distinguishes the human mind from the minds of other mammals. Explore the mysteries of memory and the future of memory storage. You’ll also learn how humans have “context addressable memory” whereas computers have “location addressable memory.” Find out more about human Read More

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