SciShow Tangents Introducing the lightly competitive knowledge showcase from the geniuses behind the YouTube series SciShow. Every Tuesday, join Hank Green, Ceri Riley, Stefan Chin, and Sam Schulz as they try to one-up and amaze each other with weird and funny scientific research... while not getting distracted. There will be tangents about video games, music, weird smells, surprisingly deep insights about life, and of course, poop, but it always comes back to the science. WNYC Studios is a listener-supported producer of other leading podcasts including On the Media, Snap Judgment, Death, Sex & Money, Nancy and Here's the Thing with Alec Baldwin. © WNYC Studios
SciShow Tangents

SciShow Tangents

From WNYC Radio

Introducing the lightly competitive knowledge showcase from the geniuses behind the YouTube series SciShow. Every Tuesday, join Hank Green, Ceri Riley, Stefan Chin, and Sam Schulz as they try to one-up and amaze each other with weird and funny scientific research... while not getting distracted. There will be tangents about video games, music, weird smells, surprisingly deep insights about life, and of course, poop, but it always comes back to the science. WNYC Studios is a listener-supported producer of other leading podcasts including On the Media, Snap Judgment, Death, Sex & Money, Nancy and Here's the Thing with Alec Baldwin. © WNYC Studios

Most Recent Episodes

15 - Artificial Intelligence

We've all heard about "The Algorithms" that affect our lives, making decisions for and about us. And artificial intelligence systems are recommending podcasts, picking out targeted ads, and playing games against humans every single day. This week, we're going to skim the surface of AI and chat about everything from Siri to personality prediction software. How are these tools used to help the world, or are we mostly heading toward a dystopian future? What's the Turing test and is it even a useful measure of artificial intelligence? And if a poem is written with software... is it really art? (We don't know either.)

14 - The Sun with Caitlin Hofmeister

This week, our producer Caitlin Hofmeister is joining the pod to talk about the Sun, and lending her expertise as a host of the YouTube channel SciShow Space. The Sun affects pretty much everything we do here on Earth, from our weather to our technology. So what schemes have scientists been cooking up to shield the Earth from the Sun? How have solar flares affected humans... and should we be afraid of them? And is "Guy" really a good nickname, or is this star more special than that?

13 - Stimulants

Are you one of those people who doesn't feel awake until you have caffeine coursing through your bloodstream? Well, you can choose to ingest some chemical stimulants, but they're also something your body makes! Just think about the adrenaline rush before a public speech. This week, we're going to dig into what science actually says about caffeine and dehydration. Why did some people try to ban coffee, and how dangerous was the pick-me-up given to some Antarctic explorers? And why the heck did researchers think gerbils could help with airport security?

12 - Flight

At some point, we've all probably looked up at birds and wished we could fly. And some curious people took that wish and did science! From the biology of flying animals to machines that help humans take to the skies, this week, we're exploring the science of flight. Why do we travel by plane instead of floating on airships? How long can some birds fly before landing? And what else do they get up to in midair... eating? ...sex? ...sleeping?

11 - Mucous

Mucus grosses people out. Whether it's coming out of your nose or slime oozing from an animal, it's not really a pleasant substance. But scientifically, mucus is super cool—it can be used for protection, hunting, lubrication, or plain old stickiness. Why do some cephalopods spew out specialized mucus? Does slathering snail slime on your face actually do anything to your skin? And could eating boogers be... good?

10 - Dragons

Some small, magical corner of your heart wants dragons to be real, right? Well... sorry. They're not. But this week, we wanted to celebrate some science adjacent to dragons, from fruit and animals named after them to giant flying predators that probably terrified humans.

9 - Ice and Snow

From sugary snow cones to WWII plans for an aircraft carrier made of ice and wood pulp, humans have had big dreams for frozen water. So this week, we're exploring the science of snow and ice across the globe. Turns out, there are ancient refrigerators in the dry Iranian desert and abandoned military bases under the Greenland ice sheet. And even though Japanese snow monkeys seem all cozy and chill in their hot springs, what mischief do they get up to in their free time?

8 - Exercise

A new year means New Year's resolutions and a new episode of Tangents! Lots of people are probably getting their fitness on, whether it's by joining a gym or putting on yoga YouTube videos. So this week, we're stretching our muscles to explore the science of exercise!

7 - Parasites with Sally Lepage

This week, we're joined by evolutionary biologist and science communicator Dr. Sally LePage to talk all about parasites! How did we deal with them before modern medicine? Are there any parasites bigger than their hosts? And is parasite-ception a thing!?

6 - Advertising

From website banners to scratch-and-sniff magazine spreads, you've probably been the target of thousands of ads. Like, you're even going to hear one during this podcast—we gotta eat! At this point, you might feel like you're immune to advertising, because there's no way a ridiculous infomercial could make you want a reusable juice box. But the psychology behind advertising has always been powerful. So this week, we're diving into the science of when ads work, when they don't, and when they've led to some pretty serious problems like the opioid epidemic.

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