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Happy Birthday, Telescope

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Happy Birthday, Telescope

Happy Birthday, Telescope

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  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript


You're listening to SCIENCE FRIDAY from NPR News. I'm Ira Flatow.

Normally, we have Flora Lichtman and her Video Pick Of The Week later in the program, but she's here now because of a special - why don't you tell them, Flora.


LICHTMAN: It's a perfect segue between the two segments.

We have - we brought one of the video out of the vault…

FLATOW: Mm-hmm.

LICHTMAN: …because it relates directly to the skin bacteria that we were just hearing about. So if you want to see some of the bacteria that's found on the forearm, a researcher actually did this a couple of years ago and mapped just this little tiny swab on the forearm and found just a tremendous number.

FLATOW: And all those fungi that are living there.

LICHTMAN: Yes, and all those fungi.

(Soundbite of laughter)

LICHTMAN: That's right. I think it was related too.

FLATOW: And we have that on the SciFri on our video pick of the week at It's an older one…

FLATOW: Right.

FLATOW: …from our vault, so to speak.


FLATOW: But today, you have a new one.

LICHTMAN: Yes. So this year is a - it's a special anniversary. It's the - it's a big anniversary of the invention of the telescope.

FLATOW: Mm-hmm.

LICHTMAN: And, actually, you know, I think a lot of people think of the telescope and they think of it, they think of one name…

FLATOW: Right.

LICHTMAN: …with the - its invention. And we actually went to the streets of New York and this is what we heard.

Unidentified Man #1: Galileo.

Unidentified Man #2: Galileo.

Unidentified Woman #1: Galileo?

Unidentified Man #3: Well, Galileo is the one I think of. I don't know.

Unidentified Woman #2: I'll go with Galileo.

Unidentified Man #4: I've got to say Galileo. Final answer.

(Soundbite of laughter)

LICHTMAN: So most people thought - we said, who invented the telescope? And most people thought Galileo.

FLATOW: Mm-hmm. And your video pick of the week though explores that, right?


FLATOW: And you show a little bit of those folks in New York?

LICHTMAN: Right. So we took to the streets to celebrate this anniversary. And find out what people really knew about the history of the telescope.

FLATOW: Mm-hmm. And so, if you go at our Web site, you'll see the survey of - you can actually take the test. Who do you think - who you think - you're given four choices - who you think invented…

(Soundbite of laughter)

FLATOW: There's one obviously wrong choice.

LICHTMAN: It's not - okay. It's not Ira Flatow who is on the list.

(Soundbite of laughter)

FLATOW: But somebody did guess my name on it.

LICHTMAN: Yes. Some girls from Altoona High in Pennsylvania thought Flatow was, you know, a good guess.

FLATOW: Yeah. Well, it's not a good one. Okay?

(Soundbite of laughter)

Yeah. Thank you, Flora.


FLATOW: And I - that's SciFri video pick of the week. Flora Lichtman's video out there on

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