Sunday, July 24, 2011

JJJPod: The Naked Scientists

It was clear to me that I was a podcast enthusiast when a musician friend of mine asked me what was listening to. I popped the white buds out of my ears and slouched in my chair. Pure bliss and concentration had just been painted on my face. "Um, I'm listening to a story about bats." My eyes darted to the corner of the room and the words NERD ALERT shouted inside my head. 

"Oh, that's cool," he replied. NERD ALERT! He should have just said it, pushed me in my face, and ran away repeating the torment all the way down the hall. My shoulders slumped, but he continued, "Bats are so interesting! I didn't realize until this year that they are mammals."

A smile spread across my face as it became apparent that he was a kindred spirit. I began explaining the current plight of bats: White-Nose Syndrome.

This interaction happened years ago, and if I am remembering correctly, I was listening to an episode of The Naked Scientists. This program is out of the University of Cambridge and employs impressive interviews, lovely accents, a user-friendly website, and straight up knowledge.

I won't waste your time using a gross amount of superlatives to highlight the interviews on The Naked Scientists. Instead, I'll direct you to their Interviews page. Seriously, take a look. LOTS GOING ON THERE. There are tons of conversations with experts. I will suggest listening to or reading the interview with Steve Simpson, a Fish Ecologist from Bristol University. I still recall the sound of a coral reef!

I also won't waste your time talking about their lovely accents. Yes, they're lovely. They're from the UK. Sometimes when I've been on a binge of this show, their accent slips out, making me sound 
incorrigibly pretentious. (Just add a British accent to "incorrigibly pretentious." Fun, isn't it?) Additionally, their program Ask the Naked Scientists is recorded from a live South African radio station. I am still learning to interpret each caller. Although I understand a person's accent has nothing to do with their ability to convey science, it makes me feel semi-exotic and I enjoy piecing apart those whose accents are particularly rich. 

Now, addressing their website. It has taken me way too long to write this post because I keep getting distracted on their site. I am inspired by their Kitchen Science tab and am delighted to see book reviews. Their website also has links to their numerous programs. I am most familiar with The Naked Scientists and Ask the Naked Scientists but they have Archeology, Engineering, Astronomy, AND MORE. 

Finally, I love the empire that has become The Naked Scientists because of their straight up knowledge. Aside from their puns about naked science (keeping you abreast, stripping down science, and such), the hosts continually bring fantastic science to the table in a wide array of topics. This podcast is rife with knowledge bombs waiting for you to disarm them, and I consider it a crime to hold you here any longer. 

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