Atacama Desert, Movile Cave, Compassion Therapy, Fetal Surgery
Constant Wonder - Radio Archive, Episode 186
- Jun 10, 2019 8:00 pm
- 1:41:04 mins
Pun Generator Guest: He He, Applied Scientist, Amazon Web Services, and incoming Associate Professor of Computer Science, New York University Siri doesn’t really get sarcasm. Which is typical of computers, since when you say, in anger, “I thought you were a genius,” you mean exactly the opposite. Context is everything, the words aren’t enough. Artificial intelligence researcher He He programs computers to produce humor, specifically to generate puns, and, it turns out, teaching computers humor is sometimes no laughing matter. The World’s Most Interesting Desert Guest: Richard Francaviglia, Associated Scholar at Willamette University, and author, "Imagining the Atacama Desert" If you didn’t grow up near the desert, the first time you saw one in person might have felt like arriving on another planet: the dry air you can feel sucking the moisture from your skin, the big sky and bright, bright sun, the sheer vastness of a land that seems to have no life on it. For centuries, that was the view explorers and merchants took of the Atacama Desert in Chile. It was curious place to observe as their ships sailed by, or an inhospitable place to hustle through on the way to a seaport. But this driest of deserts actually holds a lot of secrets and a rich history. A Cave Sealed Up for Five Million Years Guest: Rich Boden, Associate Professor of Microbial Physiology and Taxonomy, University of Plymouth In 2010, microbiologist Rich Boden, who was then at the University of Warwick in Coventry, UK, became roughly the 29th person to explore Movile cave, an untouched ecosystem devoid of light for 5.5 million years. Compassion-Focused Therapy Guests: Gary Burlingame, Professor & Chair of Psychology, Brigham Young University, and Kara Cattani, Associate Clinical Professor and Clinical Director, BYU Counseling and Psychological Services Compassion-Focused Therapy helps people reduce psychiatric distress by learning to give and receive compassion, which increases well-being and leads to higher levels of long-term achievement. Fetal Surgery Guests: Stephen Emery, Director, Center for Innovative Fetal Intervention, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Magee-Womens Hospital, and Stephanie Greene, Director of Vascular and Perinatal Neurosurgery, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Children’s Hospital Advances in medical procedures allow surgeons to operate on infants while they are in the womb to help treat birth defects like spina bifida before these babies are born. Dr. Emery and Dr. Greene collaborated on a recent in-utero surgery and are expanding the field of fetal intervention. Find out more about Pitt's Fetal Medicine program here.