Perpetual Notion Machine

Perpetual Notion Machine is a look at contemporary scientific issues and discoveries in a way that is accessible, understandable and entertaining to the non-scientists of the listening community.

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🇬🇧 English
last modified
2019-06-19 01:44
last episode published
2019-06-13 22:25
publication frequency
23.37 days
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Date Thumb Title & Description Contributors

Relationship Between Philosophy and Science

Philosophy has been around for centuries, at least as far back as the Greeks like Socrates and Aristotle. Back then, and even today, philosophy is about knowledge and wisdom, trying to understand the reality, nature, all around us. That’s pretty much t...
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Stem Cells Update

In tonight’s episode of the Perpetual Notion Machine, we revisit some of the research and the potential of stem cells. Some of our listeners may remember when UW-Madison’s James Thomson was the first to isolate and grow embryonic stem cells. And from t...
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Nerds Having Fun

PNM nerds Kevin Lauterjung, Kelly Schwartz, Ary Clarke, Matt Blackburn spin some news tracks and ask each other about ancient drugs, synthetic life, research misconduct, and other quarky things. The post Nerds Having Fun appeared first on WORT 89.9 FM.
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Taking Evolutionary Theory to a World View

In tonight’s episode of the Perpetual Notion Machine, we learn about the nature of Darwin’s theory of evolution, you know, the biological processes of natural selection to improve a species survival. But our guest, David Sloan Wilson, expands that theo...
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Reflecting on Earth Day

Most of the Perpetual Notion Machine’s listeners probably know that Earth Day, April 22, has come and gone with very little fanfare. But the purpose of Earth Day is no different now than when it was first created by Wisconsin’s own Senator Gaylord Nels...
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Open Science

In an era of alternative facts, reliable information is needed now more than ever. And with our increasingly tech-driven world, sometimes science reporting isn’t spot on, so is the solution, then, in how scientists broadcast their own data? On this edi...
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Climate Change and the State of Agriculture

Tonight, the Perpetual Notion Machine again looks into climate change. This time, how the impacts of climate change will/have effected agriculture and farming, and what, if anything, can farmers do in terms of current farming practices to adapt to the ...
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The Wisconsin Idea and Agriculture Education

Is university research reaching out into the state? Ripon High School Teacher and owner of ParkElm Farms Natasha Paris talks about her experiences with UW extension agents, accessing research, and the limitations she sees in the field (literally!). We ...
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History’s Worst Plagues and the Heroes Who Fought Them: A conver...

Author Jennifer Wright talks with the PNM team about her most recent book “Get Well Soon: History’s Worst Plagues and the Heroes Who Fought Them”. This book is a whimsy and humane romp through some of history’s most terrifying disease outbreaks. We tal...
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Finding Bacteria on Insects for New Antibiotics

You should be aware that we have a health crisis! More and more bacterial diseases, such as Staphylococcus and Strep pneumonia, have become resistant to those antibiotics that previously killed the disease. The current strategy is to find new sources o...
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Oregon School District to Build a Net Zero Elementary School

A planned Oregon Elementary School will be the first Net Zero School in Wisconsin! According to the World Building Council a Net Zero Carbon Building “is a building that is highly energy efficient and fully powered from on-site and/or off-site renewabl...
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Climate Change – Then and Now

It’s easy to believe that climate change is a relatively recent phenomena, that is, recent as far as the start of the Industrial Revolution about 150 years ago. But changes in Earth’s climate have occurred before, even millions of years ago. After all,...
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Rolling back the clean vehicle fuel economy standards will cost Wiscon...

Luke Tonachel, Director, Clean Vehicles and Fuels Group, Climate and Energy Program at the Natural Resources Defense Council talks with the WEB about the federal rollback of the fuel economy standards. The fuel economy standards require gradual improve...
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Lauren Azar: Appointee to Governor Elect Evers’ Agriculture, Ene...

On this episode of the WEB we replay one of our favorite interviews.  We talk with Lauren Azar about the grid, microgrids, threats to the grid and the future of renewable energy.  A former DOE and WI Public Service Commission official – Ms. Azar was ap...
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Special Session Kneecaps Incoming Governor’s Science Agency and ...

Todd Ambs talks with Kelly about the impact of the Special Session on science in Wisconsin.  This extraordinary act of the Legislature, intended to reduce the power of incoming Governor Tony Evers, promises to hogtie the DNR in beuracratic red tape cos...
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Forensic Psychology

Tonight, this episode of the Perpetual Notion Machine looks into the field of forensic psychology. No, it’s not the glamorous and ingenious world portrayed by Hollywood programs like Making a Murderer and Criminal Minds. Simplistically, it’s just the i...
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Nectar Bats Fly Nowhere or Nerds Having Fun: Science Trivia, Quizzes a...

On this very special episode of the Perpetual Notion Machine three science nerds (Kelly, Will and Heather) explore the lighter side of things. You can find the fun in science by listening along. Take the climate quiz, play “Saved You a Click” and guess...
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All of Us Research Program

Tonight’s episode of the Perpetual Notion Machine looks into the All of Us Research Program, a program asking for participants to provide health data. This wealth of information will be used by medical researchers in order to speed up the research proc...
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Curriculum Voco: Abby Lamb (PhD Candidate)

On this episode, we continue our deep-dive to learn more about unlikely scientists and their complicated lives as they design the biomolecular underpinnings of the world of tomorrow. At some point, every fledgling scientist woke up in the morning, look...
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Dane County Climate Change Council (Part 1) & New Utility Pledges...

We kick off this show with news about major utility commitments announced in August to reduce CO2 emissions.   We speak with Will Dean of RENEW WI about emissions reduction pledges from WEC Energy Group and Alliant Energy and what that will mean for th...
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Climate Change from Ancient Farming

Most agree from the evidence that climate change probably began at the start of the Industrial Revolution. This is when machines were invented that ran on fossil fuels like oil, coal, and methane, and emitted greenhouse gases as waste products. These g...
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Biogas: Harvesting value from a river of waste

On this special one year anniversary episode of the Wisconsin Energy Broadcast, we explore the world of biogas! A 2014 survey conducted by the State of WI Office of Energy found that there are 136 operating anerobic biodigesters in WI.  There are four ...
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Ghost particle origins: the weird world of neutrinos

Why would scientists plumb a mile beneath the South Pole in search of clues to a riddle of cosmic proportions? To find out, tune into Perpetual Notion Machine’s conversation with Dr. Justin Vandenbroucke of UW-Madison about the strange high-energy suba...
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Cephalopods, such as Octopus and Squids

Tonight, the Perpetual Notion Machine looks into the fascination with cephalopods with two of our intrepid reporters, Kase Wheatley and Leah Potter-Weight. Cephalopods are a large class of mollusks that include octopus, squids, and cuttlefish. Their gu...
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Spotted Owls

In tonight’s episode of the Perpetual Notion Machine, PNM’s resident wildlife guru, Lincoln Tice, explores the nature and ecology of the Spotted owl. His guest is Gavin Jones, a Ph.D. candidate in UW-Madison’s forest and wildlife ecology. He specifical...
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A Look at Meditation

For tonight’s episode, the Perpetual Notion Machine looks into the practice of meditation with Will Cushman. UW-Madison has been in the forefront of meditation research, primarily with the Dalai Lama, due to Richard Davidson and the Center for Healthy ...
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Academic Failure: Falling off the Shoulders of Giants

It is said that if every experiment worked the first time, a graduate student could earn a PhD in under a year. However, we make the best of our mistakes and saddle up for a rough ride! Perpetual Notion Machine host Kelly Schwartz discusses the role th...
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City of Fitchburg shows leadership on solar installations

In 2017 Fitchburg installed 362 kw of solar power on City buildings including the library and fire station.  Experts Erica Kleutmeier and Tony Hartmann from the City of Fitchburg talk about their solar projects and what it takes to make it happen in lo...
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What Makes Soil Healthy

Tonight’s episode of the Perpetual Notion Machine looks into the radical notion of soil health. To some, soil might be just a “dirty” word. But new and extraordinary research at UW-Madison studies the simple and complex chemical processes breaking down...
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The Night Sky With Jim Lattis

Jim Lattis, director of the UW Space Place, has been a frequent guest on the Perpetual Notion Machine. How many times has it been? 20, 30 times? Maybe not that many, but he’s back on this special pledge drive edition of PNM. Jim talks with PNM’er Will ...
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City of Madison Solar Jobs Trainee Program

The City of Madison is in its 3rd year of the solar trainee installer program.  The 2018 class of solar installers (Hattie, Valerie and Eric) stopped by the studio to talk about their experiences on the rooftops of Madison.  Matt Parks and Will McMahon...
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Foraging, Wild Edibles, and the Arboretum

In this episode of the Perpetual Notion Machine, PNM’s hunter/gatherer Lincoln Tice explores the search for wild edibles, or in other words, foraging. With a little bit of education, anyone can find edible plants and fruits right from their own backyar...
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On the Origins of Human Language

Deep in the tropical forests of Gombe National Park in Tanzania, chimpanzees wander in relative abundance, and Michael Johnson isn’t far behind. He follows chimpanzees through the treetops to capture the day-to-day sounds they use to communicate: howli...
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Kilauea Volcano Eruption

Kilauea volcano in Hawaii had a major eruption, and has continued intermittent small bursts ever since. So, for tonight’s episode, the Perpetual Notion Machine’s Will Cushman talks with Brad Singer, scientist in the fields of geology and geoscience. Hi...
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The Birds of Spring

Well, it looks like Spring has finally arrived, so long as we’re done with sudden bouts of cold and snow (knock on wood!). So, this episode of the Perpetual Notion Machine welcomes back the birds of Spring! PNM producer Lincoln Tice talks with ornithol...
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Quilt Block Wind Farm

Vanessa Tutos of EDP Renewables talks with Nan and Heather about the 98 MW Quilt Block Wind Farm in Layfayette County. Also thanks to Renew WI for sharing the good news from the PSC about the Focus on Energy program! The post Quilt Block Wind Farm appe...
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Language learning and memory

Think back to high school. Did you take a foreign language? If so, how much do you remember? Could you say what you ate for breakfast today in that language? Exchange a few pleasantries? Thinking back, how well do you think you could speak in that fore...
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EnerGyan: the Future of Energy Education

Scientists Ashray Manur and David Sehloff of the UW-Madison sit down with WEB hosts Nan Fey and Heather Allen to talk about their invention EnerGyan. EnerGyan is a programmable electricity grid in a box. They have found this tool helps bridge the gap b...
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Cambridge Analytica, Virtual Reality, and Social Media

In this jam-packed edition of the Perpetual Notion Machine, we look into the science of Cambridge Analytica and the likelihood of more data breaches involving social media like Facebook and Twitter. Cambridge Analytica has been in the news lately for t...
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The physical impact of a smile

What’s in a smile? Encouragement? A friendly hello? A threat? It turns out that humans are fairly good at parsing the subtle signals sent in expressions like smiles, and those expressions and our perceptions of them can impact our body chemistry. In ou...
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Rooftop Solar at West High and UW’s Resource Energy Demand Analy...

This week students from West High’s Green Club stopped by the studio to discuss their work to shift their school to clean energy.  The Green Club raised $91,000 for solar on their rooftop through grants, support from the Madison Metropolitan School Dis...
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Solar Panel Tariffs and Advanced Energy Jobs in Wisconsin

On this episode of the Wisconsin Energy Broadcast, Mack Gapinski of Madison based SunPeak  explains the potential impact of the new tariff on imported solar panels for both residential and commercial solar customers.  To learn more about the impact of ...
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Renewable Energy Policy Summit

Abby Ross Hopper, CEO of the Solar Energy Industry Association, provides a preview of her keynote speech planned for the January 18 Renewable Energy Policy Summit sponsored by Renew Wisconsin. Tyler Hueber, Executive Director of Renew Wisconsin shares ...
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Wisconsin Energy Broadcast: Guest Lauren Azar Discusses the Grid 2030...

Lauren Azar, former WI Public Service Commissioner and Department of Energy Advisor discusses her Grid 2030 report. The conversation with the hosts of the Wisconsin Energy Broadcast includes an overview of the grid, new developments in microgrids, and ...
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Wisconsin Energy Broadcast: Climate Forward Report 2017

Welcome to this month’s edition of the Wisconsin Energy Broadcast, brought to you by the Perpetual Notion Machine. Producers Heather Allen and Nan Fey talk with Chelsea Chandler, Director of Environmental Initiatives at the Wisconsin Academy of Science...
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Introducing the Wisconsin Energy Broadcast

In this special pledge drive edition of the Perpetual Notion Machine, we want to introduce you to a new feature of PNM called the Wisconsin Energy Broadcast. They will be presenting all kinds of topics related to renewable energy. And the show’s produc...
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Wisconsin Energy Broadcast: MadiSUN Group Buy Solar Program

The Perpetual Notion Machine would like to welcome a new monthly feature to our program. The Wisconsin Energy Broadcast is about, well, energy, in all shapes and sizes that’s renewable. And WEB will go beyond the usual scope of science. In tonight’s ep...
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A groundbreaking study of Sakurajima volcano

Producer Will Cushman speaks with geophysicist James Hickey, of the Camborne School of Mines in the UK. Hickey is a co-author of a study published in the journal Scientific Reports in September on Sakurajima volcano in Japan. The study uses groundbreak...
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The Singing Zoologist

On this week’s episode of the Perpetual Notion Machine, newbie reporter Lincoln Tice talks with the Singing Zoologist. He’s better known as Lucas Miller, who travels the country bringing his energetic message of ecology to schoolchildren through the po...
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The Risks of Gene Editing

In the February 18 edition of the Perpetual Notion Machine, we revisit the incredible and controversial process of gene editing. You may remember that we discussed gene editing with our guest Krishanu Saha, professor and scientist in biomedical enginee...
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