35 episodios

The podcast where we answer the questions you never knew you had. Produced by Andrew Norton with music by Breakmaster Cylinder.

Completely Optional Knowledge #CompletelyOptional

    • Ciencias

The podcast where we answer the questions you never knew you had. Produced by Andrew Norton with music by Breakmaster Cylinder.

    An Update & Exciting News!

    An Update & Exciting News!

    An update on the podcast and some exciting news. Spoiler - the exciting news is a new podcast. Subscribe Now

    • 3 min
    Why Do Frozen Lakes and Rivers Sound So Creepy?

    Why Do Frozen Lakes and Rivers Sound So Creepy?

    Brigitta Green from the perennial winter wonderland of Minnesota has a fitting question for us about ice. After a mysterious, late night howling sound caused “mass slight curiosity” on the streets of St. Paul last winter, she wants to know how it is that a frozen body of water can produce such an eery noise. Chris Polashenski, Arctic researcher and expert on all things cold, has our answer.

    • 8 min
    What's The Coolest Species Name?

    What's The Coolest Species Name?

    What's the coolest or weirdest official name for a species of plant or animal? And how do they get those funny sounding Latin names anyway?

    • 10 min
    Why Distinguish Between Fruits and Vegetables?

    Why Distinguish Between Fruits and Vegetables?

    Is a watermelon a vegetable? Biologically it’s logical, but does the answer depend where you live?

    • 10 min
    Why Do Animals See Color Differently?

    Why Do Animals See Color Differently?

    Zookeeper Rick asks why why animals see color differently? Dr. Jay Neitz of the University of Washington Department of Ophthalmology says there is more than one factor that accounts for how animals perceive color. Some plants and animals present vibrant colors we can’t even see and for reasons they don't want us to know.

    • 10 min
    Do Animals Have Rituals Around Death?

    Do Animals Have Rituals Around Death?

    Listener Ross Wintle, driving past a cemetery near his home, wonders if animals other than humans have rituals around death? Barbara J King, professor emerita of anthropology at the College of William and Mary and the author of How Animals Grieve reports that when it comes to animals and death, you’ve gotta look at elephants. However there are also some interesting reports about magpies, red foxes and dolphins showing some interacting with the dead in their groups. Appropriately in a Day of the Dead episode, The Completely Optional Knowledge podcast helps us understanding that death is a bit more universal experience in the animal kingdom than just to humans.

    • 10 min

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