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.
Screamology (LOUD VOCALIZATIONS) with Harold Gouzoules
I scream, you scream, we all scream for… a brand new, screaming hot episode of Ologies. Be warned *slaps the top of this ep* you can fit so many screams in this bad boy. (Seriously though, there’s a lot of screaming in this episode, it’s probably not the one to gently fall asleep to.) What kinds of screams you ask? We got birds, foxes, caterpillars, movie stars, children, James Bond? YES. What is a scream? Is it the same as yelling? How far can you hear a scream? Why do we scream at concerts? What’s up with primal scream therapy? Join us as we hoot and holler with internationally acclaimed Emory professor of psychology Dr. Harold Gouzoules for the answers to these and so many more of your questions as we learn about the study of that most animal of vocalizations: screaming.
Bovine Neuropathology (HEADBUTTING) with Nicole Ackermans
Slamming heads together to impress someone: why does this happen? Let’s ask Dr. Nicole Ackermans, whose current job involves receiving sheep heads and painstakingly counting damaged neurons from headbutting concussions. The Neuropathology episode last week gives all the concussion basics, but this one turns the microscope away from accidents and points it right at intentional behaviors in nature, from bighorn sheep to musk oxen, goats, woodpeckers, and some other animals that will freak you out. Also: questionable helmet ideas and horny hogs.
Smologies #9: GAMING with Jane McGonigal
Games! Play! Fun! Addiction? Flim-flam? From the origins of tabletop classics to the future of VR, Dr. Jane McGonigal answers our burning questions. This video game developer, TED speaker and bestselling author is an expert on how playing -- and especially video games -- can motivate, soothe and connect us. Will video games turn your child into a future car thief? How do they make you stronger? How much is too much? What about slot machines? Everyone who loves games (and everyone who hates games) should hear this one.
Neuropathology (CONCUSSIONS) with Mary Alexis Iaccarino
Hi, last week I fell down a flight of stairs. Then I went to the hospital. Then I emailed Dr. Mary Alexis Iaccarino, a Harvard Medical School professor and specialist in rehabilitation from traumatic brain injuries. I asked her all about what happens during a concussion, when to be worried, how long it takes to heal, when a person should get their ass to a hospital, what a brain scan can tell us about a head injury, what it CAN’T tell us about a head injury, if you can fall asleep after a head injury, and the differences between mTBI, TBI, SRC, CTE and even ATGATT. Plus, bike helmets, Natasha Richardson, fruit fly role models and some truly infuriating statistics on who gets mTBI treatment and who doesn’t. And stay tuned later this week for a bonus episode on what happens when bighorn sheep bash their skulls together.
Raccoonology (PROCYONIDS) with A Gaze of Raccoonologists
Here we go: SIX more raccoon experts, because one episode is not enough for the wonders of these terrific trash bandits. Revel in the raccoon love and hear about presidential pets, neuronal density, why raccoonologists walk out on the job, their fabled intelligence, how Aesop's Fables factor into raccoonology, and the comfort of the male gaze?
Procyonology (RACCOONS) with Suzanne MacDonald
Tiny hands! Round rumps! Chaos! Compost! Delicious garbage and sweet faces make raccoons as mysterious as they are adored. World class raccoon expert, psychologist and animal behaviorist Dr. Suzanne MacDonald of Toronto’s York University explains tree sleeping, brain worms, cartoon raccoons, queer icons, whether you should keep one as a pet and also: some of the best career and life advice from midnight gremlins eating chicken bones in your driveway. Stay tuned for next week’s part 2 with half a dozen more raccoon experts.
I have always loved science, particularly life sciences, or as my best friend calls it, the squishy science. Throughout high school I competed in the science fair and loved every second of it. In 2019, however, my project face-planted when the plants I was growing for it became diseased. As it turns out, this “failed” project was a pivotal moment for me for two reasons. The first is that it introduced me to the field of plant pathology, which I am now pursuing in college. The second is that I managed to make it to state with that project, and a certain Alie Ward happened to be the keynote speaker that year at the Texas Science and Engineering Fair. I heard about Ologies for the first time that night, and I haven’t ever stopped listening. But I also picked up the best advice I’d ever been given from that speech. She said, “Show up like you belong.” That stuck with me as I struggle with social anxiety and doubt myself at every turn. Last week, I interviewed for a student worker position in a plant pathology lab, and I chanted that piece of advice in my head as I was getting ready to go in, so I walked in that building like it was named after me. I was just told today that I got the job! This is a very full-circle moment for me, and I hope this long-winded review wasn’t too much. I just really wanted to let you know the magnitude of the impact you and the podcast had on me. I appreciate all that you do.
The best kind of stick with you
I have been listening to Ologies for years now 0_0 what is time. Random factoids from episodes of years past still pop into my brain and I believe that’s a sign of great media. We are all better for sharing in the magical curiosities of Alie Ward — thank you!! (Ps just listened to the first episode -Volcanoes-! after listening about the explosion on the island of Tonga, never knew volcanoes could cause tsunamis! Maybe it’s time for a Volcanology 2.0 episode w/ tsunami-ology? Plees? I’m so curious.)
Stealing hearts, changing science
I’ve been listening to this show for ages, and I fall in love with pretty much every ologie that’s featured, but long time listeners will know that we all have that one special episode that totally steals our heart. For me, it was planariology. Who knew that worms could be so great? It got me thinking about my own work as an ologist and how I needed to find a way to hang out with planaria IRL. It turns out that the ologist from this episode works 15 minutes away from my house! And if there’s one thing that Alie has taught me, it’s that I should text my crush. We met, we drank coffee, I asked stupid questions, and now a few months later my lab has gotten actual MONEY to work with planaria. The moral of this story is that Ologies is the podcast version of that time where you actually really did find $5. It will make your life richer with every listen.