Virus Fishing, Mantis Shrimp Boxing, and Carbon Cutting Bryozoans

(A peacock mantis shrimp. Photo by Jens Petersen/Wikimedia)
In this week's Science Friday news roundup, Ed Yong, science writer for The Atlantic, talks about a new blood test that can fish out millions of human viruses at once, which, he writes, "should take a lot of the (educated) guesswork out of viral diagnosis." Plus, mantis shrimp are heavy hitters, and gauge the strength of their foes in a fairly straightforward way—by punching each other, repeatedly. Then, a group of Antarctic bryozoans—or “moss animals”—seem to be flourishing as climate change contributes to sea ice melt. A new study inCurrent Biology found that the filter feeders, which chow down on phytoplankton, for example, are helping sequester carbon—effectively removing some carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Douglas Main, a staff writer for Newsweek, talks about the good and the bad of these carbon-cutting bryozoans having a field day in the warming waters.

Montour Falls, Circa 1863 | #tbt

Today's vintage throwback Thursday photo shows Main Street in Montour Falls, New York circa 1863. The bridge over the canal that once cut through the center of town is visible in the foreground. The Montour House, built in 1853, is visible on the left side of the photo and the cupola of the Montour Falls Village Hall (formerly the Schuyler County Courthouse) can be seen on the right. In the background, overlooking the entire scene, is the towering 156 foot Shequaga Falls. Today, this area is known as the “Glorious T” and a mix of architectural styles can be seen in this National Historic District.

Jon Robin Baitz' "Other Desert Cities" comes to Chenango River Theatre

Chenango River Theatre director Bill Lelbach talks about Jon Robin Baitz' 2011 Broadway play "Other Desert Cities".  A family with roots in Hollywood who has been drawn into the higher echelons of politics, but their counter-culture children threaten to scandalize that comfortable prominence by revealing a family secret. But even secrets can have hidden meanings.  Many of the cast members are local actors, but playing surprising roles. http://wskg.org/audio/desertcitiesmix.mp3

 

Photo courtesy Chenango River Theatre

Sci-Fi fans invade Binghamton

The RoberCon Science Fiction convention is this weekend.  It's a two-day event this year at the Roberson Museum and Science Center, with expanded gaming opportunities at Binghamton High School.  Marketing Director Jason Fiume took some time off from organizing the event to chat with us. http://wskg.org/audio/roberconmix.mp3

Photo courtesy Roberson Museum and Science Center

Early Learning and the Bottom Line | Web Extras

On August 18th, community members gathered for ‘Early Learning and the Bottom Line’, a summit held at WSKG Studios. The event addressed the economic impacts and benefits of early childhood education.  What is our community doing to create sustainable solutions that support families?  How can we strengthen our region by preparing children for success in education and career?  Special guests included keynote speaker Jenn O’Connor, New York State Director of ReadyNation and opening remarks were offered by Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo.

Early Learning and the Bottom Line | TV Special

On August 18th, community members gathered for ‘Early Learning and the Bottom Line’, a summit held at WSKG Studios. The event addressed the economic impacts and benefits of early childhood education.  What is our community doing to create sustainable solutions that support families?  How can we strengthen our region by preparing children for success in education and career?  Special guests included keynote speaker Jenn O’Connor, New York State Director of ReadyNation and opening remarks were offered by Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo.

The Unsung Hero of Walt Disney Studio

I’m going to get something right out of the way: I am no Disney expert. Before sitting down to watch American Experience’s new documentary about the life of Walt Disney (full video below), the most I knew about the man came from popular culture and the trip I took to Disneyland last year as an adult. But after watching the new film, I can say with confidence: Roy Disney, Walt’s older brother, is the unsung hero of Walt Disney Studio. It became very evident through the course of the documentary that while Walt was the visionary, Roy was the steady backbone of the organization. As my wife and I watched the new film last week we developed a running joke. Whenever something bad happened, one of us would yell “Fix it Roy.

BTOS presents two silent films

"Hot Water" and "The Freshman" are two early comedies starring silent film legend Harold Lloyd. The Binghamton Theatre Organ Society is screening them with organist Jim Ford supplying the musical accompaniment -- and the sound effects. Ben Reynolds will also appear in character as Harold Lloyd. http://wskg.org/audio/btosharold.mp3

 

photo courtesy twm134 via Flickr

Little 101 | Dizzy

Sometimes the littlest minds pose the biggest questions—questions with complicated answers that often leave adults scratching their heads. Subscribe to this new digital series to impress your kids, inspire their continued curiosity and get the answers to life’s big questions before your little ones ask.  Check out this episode which explains why people feel dizzy when they spin! https://youtu.be/KuiNueVxdec

Has your child stumped you? Share your kids’ big questions by emailing pbsparents@pbs.org.