Million-Dollar Chess Piece, Wild Dogs, Microbots in Medicine
Constant Wonder - Radio Archive, Episode 190
- Jun 14, 2019 8:00 pm
- 1:42:12 mins
Ivory Chess Piece Purchased for £5 Could Fetch £1m in July Auction Guest: Alexander Kader, Senior Director & Head of the European Sculpture and Works of Art Department, Sotheby’s London Interested about its value, a family in the UK brought their mother’s prized ivory chess figure in for appraisal. In a shocking turn of events, the appraiser Alexander Kader immediately recognized the piece as one of the Lewis Chessman and estimated the piece’s worth to be as much as £1m, a pretty good return on investment for a piece that the family’s grandfather had purchased for only £5. We'll explore why the Lewis Chessmen are so valuable. Two New Species of Peanut-Butter-Hating, Hopping Shrew-Rats Guest: Eric Rickart, Curator of Vertebrate Zoology, National History Museum, The University of Utah. Two new species of shrew-rats were discovered in the Philippines. Shrew-rats that hop on their hind legs and eat with toothless mouths. How did they stay hidden for so long? They just aren’t fans of peanut-butter bait. If Dogs Are Man’s Best Friend, Then Why Are Wild Dogs Man’s Worst Enemy? Guest: Sy Montgomery, author, "How to be a Good Creature: A Memoir in Thirteen Animals" Why is it that we hate wild dogs so much? They’re so like our own dogs they can even interbreed with them. The qualities that we hate so much in wild dogs we love in our own. Do we have a double standard when it comes to wild dogs? And what problems does our hatred of wild dogs cause? Microbots, Move Out! Guest: Eric Diller, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering, and Lead, Microrobotics Labratory, University of Toronto Innovation in tiny robot technology has resulted in microbots the size of a pinhead; they are remarkable for their minisculity (which could possibly allow them to move through tiny passageways in the human body), their ease of construction, and their precise maneuverability. The First Revolutionary Abolitionist Guest: Marcus Rediker, Distinguished Professor, Department of History, University of Pittsburgh, and author, "The Fearless Benjamin Lay: The Quaker Dwarf Who Became the First Revolutionary Abolitionist" We think of Quakers as being the consummate pacifists and rightly give them enormous credit in abolishing slavery. But that didn’t happen by chance. Did you know that Quakers used to own slaves? It took the ferocious efforts of a little known man of small stature and of enormous heart to mobilize his own people to do the right thing.