News & Information

History of Drugs, Iridescent Camo, Biomimicry

Constant Wonder
  • Feb 7, 2020 7:00 pm
  • 1:40:58

The Tangled History of Opium (Originally aired 1/31/20) Guest: David Blistein, co-author with John H. Halpern, "Opium: How an Ancient Flower Shaped and Poisoned our World" Our opioid epidemic is nothing new, as the Chinese could tell you--they fought for years to keep British opium out of their country, to no avail. So many cultures have tackled the double-edged sword of opium use. It's relieved more pain than it's caused, according to Blistein, but it certainly has caused a great deal of pain. What can be done about addiction today? Origins of the Global Drug Trade (Originally aired 1/31/20) Guest: Benjamin Breen, Assistant Professor, History, University of California, Santa Cruz How we view drugs is deeply influenced by a complicated history involving colonialism, religion, and science.  Iridescence As Camouflage Guest: Karin Kjernsmo, Behavioural and Evolutionary Ecologist, CamoLab, University of Bristol Have you ever seen an iridescent beetle?  They’re pretty noticeable!  It turns out that their iridescence actually helps them camouflage themselves from their predators. Why Zebras Have Stripes Guest: Tim Caro, Evolutionary Ecologist and Professor, Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology, University of California, Davis Tim Caro has dedicated nearly a decade of his life trying to solve the mystery of why zebras have stripes. Earlier this year, he published what looks like proof of the answer he was searching for: horseflies hate stripes. Why You Might Need a Pillow with an Ant Print Guest: Clint Penick, Assistant Research Professor, The Biomimicry Center, Arizona State University You’ve heard of animal prints: leopard, zebra, giraffe, but have you heard of ANT prints? Learn more about the surprisingly fashion-forward insects living in your front yard.