A Star is Born: How Stars are Created and How They Work

A Star is Born: How Stars are Created and How They Work

Podcast Transcript It is estimated that within the observable universe there might be as many as a septillion stars. While each of them is far larger than the Earth, they all differ in terms of age, size, color, and composition.  Despite being very far away, we know a surprisingly large amount about them through observation …

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A History of the End of the World

A History of the End of the World

Podcast Transcript Over the centuries, there has been a host of self-proclaimed prophets, astrologers, scientists, and cranks who have predicted the end of the world.  Some of them have been extremely precise in when they predicted when the world will end.  Spoiler: to date, none of the end of the world predictions have come true. …

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Charles Ponzi and His Scheme

Charles Ponzi and His Scheme

Podcast Transcript In January 1920, an Italian American businessman in Boston started a new company. In order to raise money, he took $100 investments from 18 people and offered them a fabulous return on their money in only 45 days, and he delivered on his promise.  Soon people were lining up to give him their …

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Samoa: The Cradle of Polynesia

Samoa: The Cradle of Polynesia

Podcast Transcript Located approximately 1500 kilometers or 950 miles south of the equator and split by the International Date Line, is a small chain of islands which was was believed to be the birthplace of Polynesian civilization. Today these islands are divided between two different countries. Despite a common culture and language, the differences between …

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The 1812 Overture

The 1812 Overture

Podcast Transcript In 1880, the Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky was commissioned to compose a work in honor of the completion of a new cathedral.  What he wrote became one of the best known, over the top, and difficult to produce pieces of music in history. Despite its popularity almost 150 years later, the composer …

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The History of Barbecue

The History of Barbecue

Podcast Transcript Many of the foods that people associate with America didn’t actually originate in the United States. Hamburgers, hot dogs, and pizza are all things that were popularized in the US, but didn’t originate there.  However, there is one form of cuisine which is uniquely American; Barbecue. While it is American, it developed with …

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All About Algorithms

All About Algorithms

Podcast Transcript Whether or not you know it, you use them every day. You were actually trained to use them as a child. Much of the world we live in today is directly or indirectly a result of their use.  While they are ideally suited for computers, they were actually first developed thousands of years …

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Elizabeth Báthory: Aristocratic Serial Killer

Elizabeth Báthory: Aristocratic Serial Killer

Podcast Transcript The Countess Elizabeth Báthory de Ecsed was a Hungarian noblewoman in the late 16th and early 17th centuries.  She was highly educated, spoke at least four languages, had eight children, and lived in a palace.  And, oh, by the way, she was one of the most prolific and sadistic serial killers in world …

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The Gold Standard

The Gold Standard

Podcast Transcript For a period of about 200 years, and really intensely for less than 50 years, the world’s monetary system functioned on a gold standard.  During the gold standard, the world basically functioned for the first time under a single global currency.  Economists have been debating the merits of the system ever since.  Learn …

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