The Sound of Science

Fridays 9am – Sheffield Live! – 93.2FM

Show 36 – First broadcast 16th Jan 2009


Science in the News

The Pine Island Glacier is melting far faster than predicted in the western Antarctic. The British Antarctic Survey have  a robot (yellow) submarine in transit to investigate why. Noel aked one of their Glaciologists, Dr Julian Scott, about what was going on.

Did you know that you can buy the necessary kit to make your very own automated machine gun on ebay? The software for tracking intruders and firing a gun at them has been auctioned. Winning bidders are given a web site link to see how to build the rest of the kit. We have decided not to share this link with our listeners as that would be irresponsible.

How do you prefer to eat your ice cream – with a spoon or by licking it from a cone. According to food scientist, Kay McMath from Massey University in New Zealand, it should taste better when licked.  Noel discusses the hypothesis on the programme and our field reporter Tasha Yee-King finds out what people on the streets of multi-cultural Sheffield think.

From our futures defense correspondent

Our futures defence correspondent, Rear Admiral Chris Parry,  tells us about some of the likely problems with changes to occur this year with a number of countries renegiating their territorial waters. Will there be conflict over deep sea assets?


The new Charles Simonyi Professor for the public understanding of science at the University of Oxford

User-friendly mathematician, Professor Marcus de Sautoy from Oxford University talks about his new job in the chair just created by the retirement of Prof. Richard Dawkins (the selfish gene). He was on the show a few weeks ago to talk about his BBC 4 programme the Story of Maths. Marcus is very unusual in his passion for taking maths to the public in a very understandable way. He writes popular science books, presents radio and TV programmes and conducts world class mathematical research. The Sound of Science wishes him the best in his new position.

The Science Fiction Serial: Second Variety part 2


A destroyed Type-1 (of first variety) screamer

This (longish) short story by Philip K. Dick was adated for the move Screamers starring Peter Weller, Roy Dupuis and Jennifer Rubin (1995). The movie takes it title from the deadly attack robots shown in the picture – these were called “Claws” in the original story.

The story takes place in a harsh futuristic environment in which American Block governments are in a state of war with Russian forces. During the first year of conflict, the American block people escaped to the moon, leaving a few survivors in Canada and South America.  Russian parachutists landed and managed to wipe out many of the survivors, until they too were forced to evacuate to the moon – along with the last of American production; leaving behind a relatively small number of troops. It is only after this crisis, that the so-called “Claws” become a force to be reckoned with – as they start to exterminate lone Russian soldiers and even make their way into the Russian bunkers. For a while, it looks as if the tide is turning in favour of American forces – but there is a new danger for both sides.

Music on the show

Intro: Sound of Silence, Beastie Boys followed by Polar Bear

News: Mathew Herbert

Feature: Hideaway played by John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers (Clapton on Guitar)

Intro to the serial was tic by Niall Griffith

Outro: Locomotion by John Coletrane Quartet


January 16, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized

1 Comment »

  1. I am not sure I like the idea of people buying machine gun plans on the internet.

    Snowflake shapes

    Comment by The Intellectual Redneck | January 16, 2009 | Reply

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