Show 38 – First broadcast 30th Jan 2009
Science in the News
Is the ray gun here at last?
Our regular future defence correspondent, Rear Admiral Chris Parry, reports on Directed Energy Weapons. He tells us how this will create major changes in the nature of combat.
Feature 1: Life’s blood
Professor Chris Cooper from the Univesity of Essex has made blood his life’s work, from the real to the artificial. If there is anything that you wanted to know about blood, this would be the man to ask. Noel talks to him about the very nature of blood – what is it and why is it different from sap? We talk about artificial blood, blue blood and even vampires.
Feature 2: A Love Machine?
Noel travels to Manhattan to appear on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. While he is there he goes to the Grand Central Station Oyster Bar to meet up with Dr Peter Asaro of Rutger’s University to talk about his documentary Love Machine about machines that you may fall in love with. Over a few drinks, Noel asks Peter if he could love a robot and if a robot could ever fall in love with a human.
The Science Fiction Serial: Second Variety part 4
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
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