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Volcanoes. Trees. Drunk butterflies. Mars missions. Slug sex. Death. Beauty standards. Anxiety busters. Beer science. Bee drama. Take away a pocket full of science knowledge and charming, bizarre stories about what fuels these professional -ologists' obsessions. Humorist and science correspondent Alie Ward asks smart people stupid questions and the answers might change your life.
 
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show series
 
Voices! Singing! Anxiety busters! Breathing! The absolutely magnetic, charismatic Laryngologist and surgeon Dr. Ronda Alexander makes her long-awaited Ologies debut to chat about why we sound the way we do, hormones and voices, Elvis accents, opera singing, kid voices, turning back time vocally, coughing, sleep apnea, acid reflux, vocal fry, Mariah…
 
Lights! Cameras! Arachnids! And lizards and bees and beetles. Macro photography is like magic: curved glass gives an entirely new take on the world, from dust on a cricket’s brow to a curious mantid stare to the elegant symmetry of spider whiskers. Joseph Saunders is an Oklahoma-based wildlife photographer whose larger-than-life photos of bugs and …
 
Part 2 is here: Lucid dreaming! Teeth falling out! Medications and dreaming! The source of creativity! Even how to clean your brain. Dr. G. William Domhoff has studied dreams for decades and returns to answer an absolute deluge of questions with his wisdom and aplomb. By the end, you’ll know to sleep better, why it’s important, how to relax like a …
 
WHY do we dream? What do dreams mean? What parts of our brain are working after-hours? We sought out UC Santa Cruz researcher and professor Dr. G. William Domhoff, a world expert on the topic, for this dream-come-true episode. Learn about historical dream research, dream researchers collect dream reports, how neurodivergence affects dreaming, why y…
 
It’s a weird rambling bonus episode for the lonely week between the holidays and New Years! I thought I’d serve up a mellow hang full of secrets, a retrospective of the things that kept me relatively sane this past year, life hacks, science-backed ways to improve your mood, and a jaunty Q&A from Patrons. It’s not a normal episode, but just a little…
 
Another G-rated edit of a classic! This Smologies with Dr. John McCormack of Occidental College is all about evolution, Darwinism, birds, bacteria, natural selection and how our mutations can be our greatest strengths. Also: breaking down terms like genetic drift and Linnaean taxonomy and why Charles Darwin had to face haters under his own roof. (F…
 
Very special episode for a very special cat. The day after the legendary Los Angeles mountain lion P-22 took his last breath, we talked with Natural History Museum wildlife biologist Miguel Ordeñana about his decade-long study of P-22 after discovering him in Griffith Park. Beth Pratt of #SaveLACougars and the National Wildlife Federation also shar…
 
Bomb cyclones! Polar vortices! Atmospheric rivers! And rained out barbecues. One of the world’s leading Meteorologists, Dr. Marshall Shepherd – a former NASA scientist and current Professor of Geography and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Georgia – is here to field a downpour of questions. We chat about percentages in forecasts, hail, sle…
 
Crosswords! Puzzles! Wordles! Magic? Ah yes, world-renowned Enigmatologist David Kwong drops in to chat about the intersection of sleight of hand and brain games, covering everything from Scrabble strategies to how to get away with a surprise party unsuspected. Also: crosswords and dementia, how puzzles are like hot sauce, a secret group of Hollywo…
 
In celebration of Dr. Tom Volk’s life: Mushrooms! Psilocybin! Humongous fungus! Black mold! Foraging! The incredibly charming and warm Dr. Tom Volk, world-renowned mushroom expert, welcomes Alie into his office to dive deep into the underground world of fungal enthusiasts and touch on pathogens and medicinal therapies. Dr. Volk himself was a heart …
 
Soil! Dirt! Earth. Dr. Lydia Jennings, aka Native Soil Nerd, breaks down the stuff under our feet and explains everything from mining to why soil can be different colors. Also: medicine from microbes, giving back to the land after extractive processes, collecting samples in urban rivers, elders’ ecological knowledge, planting hot Cheetos, potting s…
 
Kid-friendly and quick! It’s another Smologies G-rated cut of a classic episode. Loosen your belts and tuck a napkin under your chin because feasting season is here. Katherine Spiers -- journalist, food anthropologist, editor of HowtoEatLA.com and host of the culinary history podcast Smart Mouth -- lets Alie belly up for a buffet of questions about…
 
It’s November and you need chill vibes. And Native American Heritage Month is the perfect time to encore this classic. World-renowned author, botanist, Indigenous ecology professor and bryologist Dr. Robin Wall Kimmerer, author of “Gathering Moss” and “Braiding Sweetgrass,” talks about her passion for moss. Cozy up for the most beautifully doled-ou…
 
Landfills! Treasures in the trash! Corporate conspiracies! Composting! An instantly classic conversation with the incredibly knowledgeable, frank and wonderful Dr. Robin Nagle of New York University’s Liberal Studies! She is a clinical professor, author, TED speaker and former New York City sanitation worker and truly the best person on Earth to tr…
 
A kid-friendly, shortened version of our classic episode on …flags! E. Tory Laitila, a textile expert who has also handled Honolulu's flag protocol, gives the skinny on the oldest flags, skull and crossbone Jolly Rogers, his favorite state flag, Scandinavian simplicity, the hardest flags to draw, who designed our modern American flag and how you to…
 
Start with Part 1 for all the folkloric history, superstition, and Dracula basics. And then this Part 2 has vampire finches, fang straws, vegan bloodsuckers, threshold invites, horniness, grain alcohol, garlic breath, psychic vampires and all our questions answered by Dr. Jeff Holdeman, professor and Vampirologist in Indiana University’s Slavic and…
 
Fangs! Capes! Undead bloodlust! Are vampires soul-draining ghouls or a hot prom date? No better person to ask than Indiana University professor of Slavic and East European Languages and Cultures," Dr. Jeff Holdeman, who teaches the course “The Vampire in European and American Culture.” In Part 1, it’s a deep dive into the HISTORY. Jeff breaks down …
 
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