Brain Box presents:

There was a lot of buzz (pun intended) about this year’s cicadas. Timshel Purdum, the Science Museum of Virginia’s Virginia C. Ellett Deputy Director of Education, is back in WRIR studios to tell us why this year was such a big deal for the periodical cicadas, along with a whole host of fun facts about these creatures that help create the sound of summer. Tune in to learn about the difference between annual and periodical cicadas, where and when the emerge, and why the periodical cicadas all emerge at once.

Other resources to check out:

Cicada reporting app

Yes… you can eat them

    Brain Box    July 1st, 2024

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Brain Box presents:

 

This is a rebroadcast of our interview with Rose Basom on Neanderthal genes in Homo sapiens that originally aired on January 1, 2024.

In this episode, we meet the Science Museum of Virginia’s David and Jane Cohn Scientist, Rose Basom. Rose is a biological anthropologist (you’ll learn what that is) and she talks us through some recent studies that show how genes can express themselves in our behavior, and the distant origins of some of those genes. Tune in – you might learn some things about yourself!

To learn more, visit the Smithsonian Institute’s website on human origins.

    Brain Box    May 20th, 2024

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This is a rebroadcast of our interview with Timshel Purdum on cephalopods that originally aired on January 1, 2024.

Is it octopuses or octopi? (Hint: it’s not octopods). Timshel Purdum, the Science Museum of Virginia’s Virginia C. Ellet Deputy Director of Education, is back at WRIR studios to tell us about one of her favorite creatures – the octopus (and the class to which it belongs, the cephalopods). Tune in to learn some mind-blowing facts about these fascinating and intelligent beings under the sea.

 

Further reading/watching:

Many Things Under a Rock by David Scheel

Other Minds by Peter Godfrey-Smith

My Octopus Teacher

    Brain Box    May 13th, 2024

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SMoVA scientist Rose Basom is back at WRIR studios and this time, she’s teaching us all about bones. Did you know that bones are not just a structure for our bodies, they’re actually dynamic organs?! And not only that, they’re also connected to the brain in ways that affect our behavior?! Rose tells us about some of her own research in this topic of the brain-bone connection that involved rats from Dr. Kelly Lambert’s lab at University of Richmond (yes, the lab with the driving rats).

You can also take a peek under the hood of the human body at the upcoming BODY WORLDS: The Anatomy of Happiness exhibit at the Science Museum of Virginia, which will be on display May 25-September 2, 2024.

    Brain Box    May 6th, 2024

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presents:

Astronaut standing on the surface of the moon next to the American flag.

Science Museum of Virginia’s astronomer Justin Bartel is back in the studios and this time he’s talking to us about our nearest neighbor, the moon. Did you know that humans will be landing on the moon again for the first time in over fifty years?! In this episode, Justin tells us about the Artemis program and their upcoming missions (in Greek mythology, Artemis is the twin sister of Apollo; it was NASA’s Apollo program that landed the first men on the moon).

Also, there is an exciting lunar event coming up on April 8th: a total solar eclipse! Justin tells us why eclipses occur, what we can learn from them, and how we can best (and safely) view them.

To learn more, visit:

NASA’s page on the Artemis program 

NASA’s page on the 2024 total solar eclipse

        March 11th, 2024

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presents:

 

 

Is it octopuses or octopi? (Hint: it’s not octopods). Timshel Purdum, the Science Museum of Virginia’s Virginia C. Ellet Deputy Director of Education, is back at WRIR studios to tell us about one of her favorite creatures – the octopus (and the class to which it belongs, the cephalopods). Tune in to learn some mind-blowing facts about these fascinating and intelligent beings under the sea.

 

Further reading/watching:

Many Things Under a Rock by David Scheel

Other Minds by Peter Godfrey-Smith

My Octopus Teacher

        January 1st, 2024

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presents:

The Antares rocket launching from Pad-0A with a bright white plume underneath against a mostly clear blue sky. A large water tower is stands to the left.

The Orbital Sciences Corporation Antares rocket, with the Cygnus cargo spacecraft aboard, launching from NASA Wallops Flight Facility in 2013. Source: https://www.nasa.gov/image-detail/antares-cygnus-cargo-resupply/

Ever wondered what a rocket launch is like? The Science Museum of Virginia’s astronomer, Justin Bartel, recently attended one at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Accomack County, VA and came by to tell us all about it. Tune in to learn about some of the unusual infrastructure around Wallops, the cargo on this particular launch, and what goes on at Wallops other than rocket launches. Plus: other astronomy activities happening in Virginia and what’s new at the Dome.

For more information, visit:

https://smv.org/explore/dome/

https://www.nasa.gov/wallops/

Brain Box is a collaboration between WRIR 97.3 LP-FM Richmond and the Science Museum of Virginia.

        November 6th, 2023

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presents:

This aerial view shows the vision for The Green, a 6-acre public park along Broad Street.

This aerial view shows the vision for The Green, a 6-acre public park along Broad Street. Source: https://smv.org/explore/green/visuals-green/

 

Did you know the city of Richmond has a new public park? The Green is a public space where the Science Museum of Virginia has converted parking lots into greenspace. In this episode we are talking to the Museum’s first ever horticulturist, Tyler Holtzman, who tells us about what The Green is, how the project has unfolded, and how this new greenspace will benefit the city. Tune in to learn more about native (indigenous) plants, how the Museum is using ecologically beneficial and sustainable practices in managing The Green, and how you can incorporate some of these ideas and practices into your home garden.

For more information, visit https://smv.org/explore/green or head on over to The Green – it’s free and open to the public!

        October 2nd, 2023

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presents:

New Dinosaur Species

Photo source: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/how-many-dinosaurs-remain-undiscovered-180982560/

Did you love dinosaurs as a kid (and maybe still do)? Do you dig fossils (pun intended)? Our guest on this episode is Timshel Purdum, the Virginia C. Ellett Deputy Director of Education at the Science Museum of Virginia, and she’s teaching us about dinosaurs and paleontology. Move over Littlefoot, these aren’t the dinos of the ’80s and ’90s – the dinosaurs we know of today have feathers and colors, and we are learning more than ever in this new golden age of dinosaur science. And yes, we do talk about Jurassic Park. 

For more dinosaur fun facts, visit the Science Museum of Virginia’s website.

More information about digging for fossils with the Elevation Science Institute can be found on their website.

Brain Box is a collaboration between WRIR and the Science Museum of Virginia. Tune in every first Monday at noon only on WRIR-LP 97.3FM Richmond or at wrir.org.

        September 4th, 2023

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