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Podcast Profile: Quirks and Quarks from CBC Radio

podcast imageTwitter: @CBCQuirks (followed by 34 science writers)
Site: www.cbc.ca/radio/quirks
26 episodes
2022 to present
Average episode: 54 minutes
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Categories: Broadcast Radio Programs • News-Style

Podcaster's summary: CBC Radio's Quirks and Quarks covers the quirks of the expanding universe to the quarks within a single atom... and everything in between.

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List Updated: 2023-Mar-23 12:55 UTC. Episodes: 26. Feedback: @TrueSciPhi.

2023-Mar-17 • 54 minutes
Earliest horsepeople, whales use ‘vocal fry’, plankton might migrate poleward, mapping a fruit fly brain and understanding the cuddly, cute and really strange koala
5,000 years ago riding left traces on the legs and butts of the earliest horsepeople; Whales use ‘vocal fry’ to echolocate at depth; Fossils suggest that if equatorial oceans get too warm, plankton may desert; Scientists have mapped the most complex animal brain yet - and it's the size of a grain of salt; A new book explores the unique biology and uncertain fate of Australia’s iconic koala.
2023-Mar-03 • 54 minutes
Owls' hunt under snow, elephant gardeners, bats' sensory moustaches, songbirds swarm their predators, cockatoos' tool use and seals appreciate a good rhythm
Owls zero in on their prey under snow by eavesdropping on the sounds they make; Elephant behaviour helps to maintain healthy, carbon-rich forests; Feisty songbirds swarm their predators – but only when the time's right; The ‘sensory moustache’ that helps bats find sweet snacks; Cockatoos have a handy tool belt to fish for cashews; Seals may not tap their toes, but seals also appreciate a good musical rhythm; Listener Question: Why can’t waste plastic be dumped into volcanoes?
2023-Feb-24 • 54 minutes
Giraffe romance, CO2 record interruption, stone-age farmer violence, recycled water purity and fears of a fungal future
Male giraffes drink and savour female giraffe urine to see if she’s ready to mate; What scientists do when a volcano upsets their climate change record; Europe’s first farmers suffered more violence than their hunter-gatherer ancestors; Recycled wastewater can be cleaner than conventional sources; Don’t worry about zombie fungus. Do worry about other fungal pathogens.
2023-Feb-17 • 54 minutes
Super-size penguins, planning a mission to Uranus, an Egyptian embalming workshop, a sandwich inspired water filter and 19 ways of looking at consciousness.
Gorilla-sized penguins once roamed New Zealand; The first dedicated mission to Uranus will investigate why it’s tipped-over; Archaeologists decipher mummification secrets in embalming workshop; Engineered egg whites are the key element in a new water filter material; A new book explores 19 perspectives on the problem of consciousness.
2023-Feb-10 • 54 minutes
Trouble for the ‘love hormone,’ shading Earth with moon dust, making memories with an app, orca sons inhibit mom’s future offspring and more detail on how the first people got to the Americas
The science behind the ‘love hormone’ may have a big problem; Could moon dust solve our global warming problem?; Canadian researchers develop a smartphone app for making memories; Orca sons are costing their mom’s a chance at more offspring; Crossing the land bridge — and back again. The travels of North America’s first settlers.
2023-Feb-03 • 54 minutes
Dolphins help human fishers, Arctic foxes are tremendous travelers, Neanderthals hunted super-elephants, rubble pile asteroid threat and how particle physics helped us understand what was the matter
For a century dolphins and fishers have been cooperating, and the benefits are now clear | Arctic foxes are tremendous travellers | Elephant graveyard shows Neanderthals were more cooperative than we thought | Asteroid sample shows just what we need to deflect a surprise killer impactor | A new book looks at the experiments that gave us the modern picture of matter
2023-Jan-27 • 54 minutes
Humans understand ape gestures, wolves eat sea otters, ‘Golden Boy’ mummy, polar pre-primate, Black in science update and domestication and taming.
Humans intuitively understand ape gestural communication; Wolves on an Alaskan island ate all the deer, so now are preying on sea otters; A unique mummy is digitally unwrapped to reveal historical treasures; 52 million years ago Canada’s Arctic was home to pre-primates; Black in Science: have recent years of activism made a difference?; Quirks & Quarks listener question.
2023-Jan-20 • 54 minutes
Fork-headed trilobite, echidnas blow snot bubbles, Perseverance delivery drop-off, farming fish lose their fertilizer and inoculation against misinformation.
An ancient sea creature sported a massive fork on its head — what for?; Echidnas blow snot bubbles to keep cool under the Australian sun; The Mars Perseverance rover is caching samples for return to Earth; Farming fish lose their fertilizer to invasive rats; How to fight an infodemic with cognitive vaccines.
2023-Jan-13 • 54 minutes
Exxon’s excellent climate science, dolphins drowned out by ocean noise, supersonic but boomless, climate change and insects, and designing Canada’s lunar rover.
ExxonMobil knew — and they knew really, really well; Dolphins yell to be heard over human noise, but the message doesn’t get across; Where’s the Kaboom? NASA’s new quiet supersonic plane is getting ready for lift off; Is climate change driving an “insectageddon”?; Canada on the moon: A Canadian-made rover will pave the way for the next astronauts.
2023-Jan-06 • 54 minutes
A real viral video, is scientific innovation stagnating, rocks from the Oort cloud, constipated scorpions, nature and nurture and why we try to cool fevers.
A real viral video shows a microscopic virus attempting to infect a cell; A new study suggests scientific innovation has been stagnating; Studying the sex lives of constipated scorpions; We thought the Oort cloud threw snowballs at us — but it’s throwing rocks too; A biologist explains animal behaviour by tossing out the old nature/nurture debate; Quirks & Quarks listener question.
2022-Dec-30 • 54 minutes
December 31 Question show
To finish out the year, we’ve got another edition of our ever-popular Listener Question Show, where we find the experts to answer your burning science questions.
2022-Dec-22 • 54 minutes
Testing reindeer hearing, a river runs under Antarctica, saving sharks with electricity and cougars and grizzlies return to Manitoba
Figuring out what reindeer can hear to understand the impact from industrial sounds; Scientists discover massive river flowing under the Antarctic Ice; A shocking solution to accidental killing of sharks in fisheries; Clawing back: How cougars and grizzlies are reintroducing themselves in Manitoba,
2022-Dec-16 • 54 minutes
Our annual holiday book show, including the health hazards of space and more… A history of COVID-19 and the neuroscience of religion.
A Canadian astronaut explains the toll space travel takes on the human body; A neuroscientist asks: Do we long for a divine creator or do we just want our mommies?; A medical historian looks at the historical echoes of the past in the pandemic of the present.
2022-Dec-09 • 54 minutes
Dinosaurs go clubbing, the sounds of swearing, detecting 2 million year old DNA, dancing really is all about the bass and is it too late for fusion?
Ankylosaurs go clubbing. Armoured dinosaurs with tail weapons fought each other | Ankylosaurs were squat, armoured living tanks with long tails tipped by a wicket bony club. And new research suggests that they used that weapon not just to defend against predators like T.rex, but to smash against each other in contests that might have been about mates, food or territory. Victoria Arbour, of the Royal BC Museum, led the work, which was published in Biology Letters | | Fiddlesticks! Researchers find swearing...
2022-Dec-02 • 54 minutes
Growling bats, seeing an exoplanet’s atmosphere, making lab coats fabulous, milking an ant and finding the symbolic site of the anthropocene
Bats growl like death metal singers to communicate with each other; James Webb Space Telescope sees into the atmosphere of a distant gas giant; Lab coats don’t fit and aren’t functional. This researcher wants to make them fabulous; Ants produce ‘milk’ during metamorphosis to feed the colony; Pinpointing the Anthropocene. Where is the signature of the age of humans?
2022-Nov-25 • 54 minutes
Turtles under ice, fungal electronics, airplane radiation, black wolf viral resistance, hailstorm chasers and where the water’s going.
Researchers spy on turtles to see how they survive winter under the ice; Myco-computing – scientists substitute fungus for circuit boards in electronics; Airplane passengers are getting extra doses of radiation — and now we know its source; Basic black looks good on wolves exposed to disease; A record-setting hailstorm in Alberta was a bonanza for scientific hail chasers; Listener question: With glaciers and ice caps melting, where’s the water going?
2022-Nov-18 • 54 minutes
Octopus chucking, Mayan ruins mercury contamination, neighborhood black hole, climate makes shrimp snap, discovering T. Rex and how loons see through the murk
Octopuses throw stuff at each other. Why not with all those arms?; Mayan ruins are heavily contaminated with mercury; Climate change driving shrimp to snap; A black hole in our galactic neighborhood; The tall tale of the discovery of the T-Rex; How are loons able to see into murky water?
2022-Nov-10 • 54 minutes
Rocket debris falling to Earth, non-compostable plastic, animal vocalization, illegal fishers use ‘stealth mode’ and Earth’s population hits 8 billion
Proliferation of rockets raises fears that the sky is falling; Compostable plastics may not be compostable, and likely aren’t being composted; Many more animals make vocal sounds than we thought – which means its very ancient; Tracking illegal fishing by watching when ships go into stealth mode; Next week there will be 8 billion of us, and that’s already too many.
2022-Nov-04 • 54 minutes
Socializing between chimps and gorillas, deer and daylight savings, giant asteroid, aye-aye nose picking, Herzberg Gold medal and comet Shoemaker-Levy
Chimps and gorillas will seek out and socialize with each other in shared territory; Skipping the “fall back” and sticking with daylight saving would reduce vehicle/deer collisions; A crater in Africa was caused by an asteroid twice the size of the one that killed the dinosaurs; A nocturnal primate from Madacascar is the world-champion nose-picker; Canada’s most prestigious science award goes to research on habitat fragmentation
2022-Oct-28 • 63 minutes
Celebrating Bob McDonald's 30 years as host of Quirks & Quarks
On October 24, 1992 a new voice took the helm at CBC's already venerable science program. And three decades and some 7000 interviews later, Bob McDonald is ready to look back - while still looking forward. We celebrated Bob's 30th anniversary with a show recorded in front of a live audience at the Ontario Science Centre in Toronto, where Bob began his career as a science communicator half a century ago. | The event was hosted by Tapestry's Mary Hynes, as Bob was a guest on Quirks for the first time. We lo...
2022-Oct-24 • 52 minutes
Quirks and Quarks Introduces: The Outlaw Ocean
The high seas are beyond the reach of international law – and beyond the beat of most reporters. But Pulitzer-Prize-winner and former New York Times journalist, Ian Urbina, has sailed into uncharted territories. Urbina sets out on a years-long quest to investigate murder at sea, modern slave labour, environmental crimes and quixotic adventurers. Part travelog, part true-crime thriller, this 7-part series takes listeners to places where the laws of the land no longer exist. The Outlaw Ocean is brought to you...
2022-Oct-21 • 54 minutes
Brain cells play pong, genes for surviving the Black Death, a penguins extra egg, black hole burps and a natural history of spirits
Brain cells play Pong; DNA shows the Black Death had a huge impact on our evolution; This penguin lays two eggs so it can throw one away; Black hole’s digestive delays; In time for a Halloween tipple? A new book about the science of spirits;
2022-Oct-14 • 54 minutes
Did life on Mars exterminate itself? Stone-age chemistry produces super-glue, African origins for dinosaurs, wolves’ attachment to humans, Nobel for Neanderthals and downloading the mind
Did life on Mars exterminate itself?; Hand raised-wolves are as attached to their human caregivers as dogs; Oldest African dinosaur discovery sheds light on dinosaur origins; 100,000 years ago humans in Africa were distilling powerful glue; Neanderthal genome earns a Nobel prize; Ray Kurzweil on downloading the mind.
2022-Oct-07 • 54 minutes
Nobel for quantum entanglement, mystery of the missing bear toes, the dinosaurs’ last tsunami, the genetics of the Anglo-Saxon takeover of England and activists work to “Support our Science’
Nobel Prize for quantum entanglement; The mystery of the missing bear toes; Painting a picture of the Chicxulub tsunami; Ancient DNA and the roots of Anglo-Saxon England; The “Support our Science” movement pushes to boost funding for young scientists.
2022-Sep-29 • 54 minutes
Redirecting an asteroid, Rainforest politics, wildlife and COVID, megalodon was a monster, Indigenous perspectives on Astronomy.
The DART mission – Has NASA shown it can save us from disaster?; What has the ‘Trump of the Tropics’ done to the lungs of the planet?; Birds in North America benefited from COVID lockdowns. In the UK, not so much; Megalodon was truly a monster; Indigenous Astronomy – reconciliation and the sky.
2022-Sep-23 • 54 minutes
The Milky Way tells its story, raccoon criminal masterminds, back to the water, a medieval hate-crime and a city's summer smells.
A new book lets the Milky Way speak for itself - and it’s kind of a jerk; Watch out for the quiet ones – The smartest racoons are the most docile; 375 million years ago an animal crawled out of the water - then noped right back in; Seventeen bodies found in a medieval well were likely from a 12th century hate-crime; The science of a city’s summer smells; Quirks listener question - Food caching.