24 episodes

Let's Get Mental is a podcast about science, technology, and society by Portland-based tech writer and journalist Dustin Driver.

Let's Get Mental by Dustin Driver Dustin Driver

    • Science

Let's Get Mental is a podcast about science, technology, and society by Portland-based tech writer and journalist Dustin Driver.

    Hydrogen Cars

    Hydrogen Cars

    The 2002 General Motors Hy-Wire was a hydrogen fuel cell car built to represent the future of GM—and automobiles in general. I got to drive the thing way back in 2002 during a press event. The Hy-Wire represented decades of research by engineers, and turned out to be a pretty good prediction of the future.

    • 16 min
    Metal Powder Energy

    Metal Powder Energy

    Even if we stick solar panels on every roof in the world, we’d still need a way to store energy to use when it gets dark. And a way to use that energy later to do more than just power a lightbulb—to do things like power construction equipment or move a cargo ship across the Pacific. Metal powder may be a great way to do it.

    • 23 min
    Pandora Moth Invasion

    Pandora Moth Invasion

    I caught the tail end of the Pandora moth outbreak on a recent visit to Bend, Oregon. I lived in Bend for almost five years without seeing a single Pandora moth. This summer I saw thousands littering the streets and parking lots, mostly dead or dying. When I asked friends about the moths, I got shrugs. Nobody really knew what they were or where they came from.  I was fascinated. Was this a foreign invader, a ravenous beast that would defoliate the state? Would its larvae overwhelm the town come spring?

    • 24 min
    Blueprint for a Solar Economy with John McCone

    Blueprint for a Solar Economy with John McCone

    In this podcast I talk to scientist and philosopher John McCone about his excellent article “Blueprint for a Solar Economy.” John outlines a way to transition from fossil fuels to solar power using some of our existing fossil fuel infrastructure and existing solar technology. He paints a pretty hopeful picture of a solar-powered society that produces almost no carbon emissions. 
    It’s a hopeful picture of the future, which is something we all really need right now—and I really need—especially after the last podcast on the pending global climate apocalypse. 
    We talk about a lot of really interesting things, including using existing gas pipelines in the solar-powered world, and jet engines that run on powdered iron.
    You can read John’s article on his website: Blueprint for a Solar Economy

    • 1 hr 10 min
    Climate Apocalypse

    Climate Apocalypse

    For the first time in human history, the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere is 415 ppm. But what does that mean? Are we doomed to suffocate under a blanket of carbon, slowly cooking to death as the planet melts away beneath us? It’s not quite that bad, but it does not bode well for humanity.
    Listen, and head over to NY Mag and read David Wallace Wells’ article The Uninhabitable Earth. It’s masterfully written and utterly terrifying.

    • 34 min
    Superhero Science: Monica Rambeau

    Superhero Science: Monica Rambeau

    Carol Danvers isn't the most powerful Captain Marvel. That honor may just go to Monica Rambeau, the second Captain Marvel. She can transform into and manipulate any form of energy in the electromagnetic spectrum.

    • 30 min

Top Podcasts In Science