Monday, December 20, 2010

Grizzlies in Alberta

For the December 6th show (click here for podcast), we listened to a piece from Nature Stories about Grizzly Bear conservation in Alberta, Canada. We also heard lots of country and folk music from the Smithsonian Folkways compilation Alberta: Wild Roses, Northern Lights. Some artists included: The Corb Lund Band, k.d. lang, Tim Hus, Kubasonics, and more. We also listened to come bear vocalizations to finish up the evening.

In the news...

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Dr. Hantz talks pets

On a special episode of NYSK (click here for podcast), Dr. Sarah Hantz visited the studio to talk shop. We learned about some interesting things she's seen, including fistulas and a dog that had a surgical blade in its abdomen for years. Download the podcast to hear why it's not such a good idea to feed your pets scraps from the table.

We also listened to some sweet music, including Cowboy Junkies, The Fiery Furnaces, Animal Collective, Why?, Miss Kitten, and Be Your Own Pet.

NYSK will not air November 29th, but will be back in action December 6th! Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Caging an animal

Would you want a tiger for a pet? If the answer is "yes", then perhaps you should spend some time around a fully grown one. You might learn just how much they eat, how much of a mess they make, and how incredibly dangerous they can be. Sadly, many people adopt big cats, and other exotic animals, without fully understanding the requirements of taking care of these wild animals. In the end, both human and animal suffer, and often the animal is abandoned, or worse, put down after lashing out at its owner. During the November 15th show (click here for podcast), we heard a piece from Nature Stories called "Ferocity You Can Touch", which tells the tale of the Tiger Temple in Thailand where tourists pay to pet tigers. These tigers are said to have a Buddhist-like zen about them, but as the story reveals, they are "trained" in the same way as many other captive tigers throughout the world - with fear and punishment. You might be able to take the animal out of the wild, but never the wild out of the animal.

In the news...
Cessna, a lion at Turpentine Creek

We also talked about a nearby rescue operation for abandoned tigers, and other large mammals, called Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge. I volunteered there when I was in college. For the sound quiz, I played a few of the vocalizations that were most common on the property. It was quite impressive when all the big cats, such as lions, tigers, and cougars, would begin calling in chorus.

We also heard tracks from Neko Case, Wire, The Swirlies, Le Tigre, Wildwood, and more!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Cryptozoology, Part 2

Kraken (or giant squid)
For the November 8th show (click here for podcast), we continued our discussion of cryptozoology. We delved into a list of cryptid critters that just may, or may not, exist. Have you ever heard of fish with hair (i.e. mirapinna)? Or perhaps you wonder about the origins of the mythical kraken? Listen to the show for more cryptid craziness!

What's up for the news in nature?
Ivory-billed Woodpeck, male

A cryptid that has been of big importance to Arkansas is the Ivory-billed Woodpecker.  These birds were thought to have gone extinct, and then rediscovered in the Big Woods of eastern Arkansas in 2004. The video and audio evidence for this rediscovery has not been enough to convince many skeptics, and the search for the bird still continues. We listened to some recordings of these birds from 1935.

Artists featured were Owusu and Hannibal, Les Savy Fav, Frog Eyes, The Frogs, The Toadies, The Gourds, Tiny Hairs, Oxes, The Ills, and more!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Cryptozoology, Part 1

Is that a yeti I spy amid the barren trees? It just might be... but perhaps we should leave that to the cryptozoologists to determine? For the November 1st episode of NYSK (click here for podcast), we learned about the intersection of cryptozoology and science. You might be asking yourself what the heck I'm talking about... well... cryptozoology is the study of organisms that have not yet been accepted as real. It's a field that covers everything from Nessie to thylacines to air rods. For this first episode on cryptozoology, we listened to the majority of a podcast from Monster Talk, a show that "critically examines the science behind cryptozoological (and legendary) creatures". This episode features an interview with Dr. Darren Naish, a vertebrate palaeozoologist, in which he discusses the relationship between ethnobotany and cryptozoology, the most plausible cryptids, and more.

In the news...
We also heard from the artists Menomena, Deerhunter, Monsters of Folk, Mystery Jets, and Cat Power.

Friday, October 29, 2010


Halloween! What a fantastic time of the year! We get our creative juices flowing and revert to a childlike state while carving pumpkins, stuffing our faces with candy, and dressing up as kooky characters. A popular trend these days is for groups to do a "zombie walk", in which people gather, dressed in gore, to shuffle around public places - mimicking scenes from some of our favorite zombie flicks. Thank goodness it's all a fun Halloween trick... but could it ever be a reality? In the October 25th show (click here for podcast), we talk about some documented cases of zombies and potential biological causes of zombie-like behavior (as featured by

In the news...
Great Potoo

To ramp up the spook-factor, we listened to some creepy vocalizations from otherwise sweet-looking birds! Thanks to Abby for some of the suggestions of the Great Potoo and the Spectacled Owl.

Music featured included The Misfits, The Zombies, Tune-Yards, Zombie Nation, The Dead Weather, Puerto Muerto, and more.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Ya filthy animal

Do you give your dog kisses? Do you sometimes wake up to your kitty's booty in your face? Just how clean are your pets? How do animals in the wild keep themselves clean? There are many approaches. Some animals self-groom; others engage in allogrooming with members of their social group. Some critters even bridge the species barrier by cleaning members of another species (e.g. the oxpecker is a bird that picks parasites off of large mammals in Africa). You'll find these topics and more in the October 18th show (click here for podcast).

In the news...

At the end of the show, we heard part of a 1978 recording called Sounds of Florida's Birds compiled and narrated by Dr. John William Hardy. Listen for songs from birds like the osprey and bobwhite.

Artists featured included The Clean, LCD Soundsystem, Dr. Dog, The Juan Maclean, Echo and the Bunnymen, and more!

Friday, October 22, 2010

More from the microscopic world!

I found this link for rare images beyond the naked eye and thought I would post it as a follow up to the show "The life microscopic" (Sep 27th, 2010). It features some of the best photos from the 2010 Small World Photomicrography Competition. Check it out!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Monogamy... a myth?

Great Hornbill pair
Seeing as how I just got hitched... I have the idea of  life-long commitment in mind. So for the October 11th show (click here for podcast) we covered the subject of monogamy in the animal world. Back in the day, animal behaviorists assumed that certain animals, particularly birds, were monogamous because they often witness pairs tending the nest. Little did they know that it was common for both males and females to sneak out for a rendezvous with another bird when their mate was not looking. These "cheating" events are termed "extra-pair copulations", or EPCs, and genetic techniques have revealed just how prevalent they can be! Perhaps one exception is the Great Hornbill (Buceros bicornis). The  impregnated females of this species enclose themselves into a tree cavity by plugging up the hole with mud and droppings. Her mate then delivers food to her and nestlings as the breeding season unfolds over 4 months! For a video depicting this process, click here.

 As for the news...

For the sound quiz, we heard from some critters that are known for their strong pair bonds, or lack thereof. They included the Great Hornbill, Golden-mantled Tamarin, Meadow Vole (in lieu of the Prairie Vole), and the Red-winged Blackbird (pictured).

Music artists featured included The Velvet Underground, Amandine, The Accidental Clearinghouse Story, The High Fidelity, Silver Jews, The Fidelity Wars, and more!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The life microscopic

What a wonderful world it is under a microscope. For the September 27th show (click here for podcast) we explored the invention of the light microscope and all the wonderful things we can see underneath it. For a taste of the worlds that it reveals, visit this blog. For more information on how it all functions, visit How Stuff Works.

As for the news...

Musical artists featured were TV on the Radio, Interpol, Yo La Tengo, The Cure, Neutral Milk Hotel, The Microscopic Septet, Architecture in Helsinki, Travis, and more!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Lovely Lucinda

Lucinda Williams
A sweet friend took me to the Lucinda Williams concert at George's Majestic Lounge on September 19th. She has always been one of those artists that I've meant to listen to, but I've never gotten around to it. Well, let me tell you... a live acoustic set was not a bad way to get exposed to Lucinda! She has an amazing ability to write lyrics, and I will admit that I was moved to tears a time or two. As we watched the moon rise through the retractable roof at George's, I said to myself, "I'm gonna feature this lady on my show tomorrow night!". So here you go... the September 20th show (click here for podcast) with lots of music from Lucinda - covering albums from Essence to Little Honey.

Later in the show, we talked a little bit about the genetically modified "frankenfish" that's been proposed for sale at local supermarkets. Other stories in the news were:
Other musical artists featured included:  Fiona Apple, Deerhoof, Miles Davis, Aphex Twin, The Books, Louis Jordan, and the Decemeberists.

Friday, September 24, 2010

The poetry of the earth is ceasing never

Autumn on the Buffalo River Trail, Arkansas
The catalog of nature poetry in any library is extensive! Nowadays, you can just go online to find some amazing works. For the September 13th show (click here for podcast), I read some beautiful poems by the likes of John Keats, Mary Oliver, Emily Dickinson, John Ruskin, and E.E. Cummings. Oh it was a good time! Here's one of my favorites by Keats...

THE POETRY of earth is never dead:
When all the birds are faint with the hot sun,
And hide in cooling trees, a voice will run
From hedge to hedge about the new-mown mead;
That is the Grasshopper’s—he takes the lead
In summer luxury,—he has never done
With his delights; for when tired out with fun
He rests at ease beneath some pleasant weed.
The poetry of earth is ceasing never:
On a lone winter evening, when the frost
Has wrought a silence, from the stove there shrills
The Cricket’s song, in warmth increasing ever,
And seems to one in drowsiness half lost,
The Grasshopper’s among some grassy hills.

And in the news...


For our weekly dose of sounds from nature - we listened to a promo for NZ Nature Sounds. Some critters we heard included the Tui and the Saddleback - two interesting birds from the land of the long white cloud. These birds are some of my favs :D

Artists we heard from included Bjork, Bowie, Fischerspooner, Horse Feathers, Joanna Newsom, Mother Mother, Goldfrapp, Brush!, and more...

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Natural Folk

Doc Watson
Folk music and nature have always been buddies... with natural imagery and settings playing an integral role in the story-telling for which folk music is so well known. For the September 1st show (click here for podcast), I played songs from folk artists, ranging from traditional folk to  contemporary indie-freak-folk. Give it a listen to hear some old friends of folk, and maybe you'll discover some new ones! Do you have some artists that you would like to hear on the show? Please email me at with recommendations.

As for the news...

We also listened to a track from Peterson Field Guides Birding by Ear in order to learn about the calls and songs of some common bird species such as the Blue Jay, Canada Goose, and House Sparrow.

Artists featured included: Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Joan Baez, Doc Watson, Devendra Banhart, Andrew Bird, Alela Diane, Joanna Newsom, Apostle of Hustle

Monday, September 13, 2010

Connect with nature through the OCC!

Kenny Williams, graduate assistant at OCC
Whether you're a seasoned veteran of the outdoors or a newbie still breaking in your first pair of boots, the Outdoor Connection Center at the University of Arkansas is a great resource to help you connect with nature. On the August 25th show (click here for podcast), Kenny Williams from the OCC stopped by to chat with us about the services they provide to the UA community.

The OCC is a place to try your hands (and feet) at climbing and bouldering on their indoor walls. You can also rent just about any piece of equipment for your kayaking, canoeing, backpacking, and cycling adventures. Speaking of bikes, they have a full service bike shop where you can have the staff check out your bike or put it on a stand and fix it yourself. And if you're not one who likes to travel solo, check out the event calendar to find out what sort of trips and clinics are on the horizon.

Check out the OCC website for more information!

In the news...

    Some of my colleagues are currently in Brazil at a conference so in honor (and jealousy) of their trip, I featured some Brazilian mammals in the sound quiz. Some players included the Brazilian Bare-faced Tamarin (pictured right), the Southern Amazonian Red Squirrel, and the White-lipped Peccary.

    Musical artists included: Animal Collective, Wire, DJ Shasow, Suni Paz, Mos Def, Joy Division, and more!

    Friday, September 3, 2010

    The B-team of mythical creatures

    So we all know about elves, gnomes, unicorns, fairies, centaurs, etc... but if one was to delve a little deeper into the lore of different countries, she might discover some very interesting characters that remain relatively unknown. This was an adventure we undertook for the August 18th show (click here for the podcast). Some of the creatures we found included the Alp-luachra, an evil Irish fairy that transforms into a newt, crawls down a sleeping person's throat and feeds off the food in their stomachs. Or how about the Basilisco Chilote (pictured left) - a Chilean half chicken, half serpent that lives under houses and feeds off the phlegm and saliva of its inhabitants! Listen to the podcast to hear more about some wacky creatures of myth!

    In the news...

    Music featured included: Akron/Family, Flook, Dervish, Frankie Gavin, Hum, Boards of Canada, Gustavo Santoalla, Ryan Adams, Fruit Bats, The Shins, Frente!, Department of Eagles, Like a Fox, and more

    Monday, August 23, 2010

    Wild child

    Stories of children raised by animals have been around for centuries (remember Romulus and Remus?). Video documentation has brought current stories of feral children to life. Now we can observe and appreciate how "wild" these children behave. For instance, check out this video of Oxana, a girl who was cruelly penned up with only dogs for company for five years as a young girl. Her movements are remarkably similar to those of her canine companions. For an update on Oxana, read this article put out by the Telegraph in 2006.

    For the August 11th show (click here for podcast), we explored several stories of feral children. The struggles these individuals face when trying to integrate back into society are great, and often the outcome is undesirable. These stories highlight the importance of human interaction during the early years of development.

    In the news...
    In the last bit of the show, we heard some songs from our friends the wrens (Family: Troglodytidae). These songsters have some of the most complex and, in my opinion, interesting vocalizations of the bird world.

    Artists featured included Tindersticks, Sufjan Stevens, Spoon, Animal Collective, Mariee Sioux, Cab Calloway, Headlights, Echo and the Bunnyman, Broadcast, and more.

    Saturday, August 21, 2010

    Hotter 'an hell.

    My oh my... it has been a summer of record-breaking heat! The cool thing about being human is that we have mastered air conditioning and so we find ways to beat the heat with technology. Our plant and animal friends do not have this advantage and thus they must adapt to their environments. On this hot hot August 4th evening, we cruised through some interesting ways in which plants and animals have adapted to hot temperatures and the aridity that often accompanies the heat. Specifically, we talked about desert survival, making use of information from the Desert USA website. For example, did you know that the enlarged, vascularized ears of a jack rabbit (pictured above) allow it to dissipate heat more effectively? Click here to listen to the podcast.

    In the news...
    In the sound quiz, we heard from desert southwest creatures such as the Phainopepla (pictured right) and the Rock Squirrel.

    Music featured included Hot Chip, Robert Johnson, Jimi Hendrix, James Brown, The Reverend Horton Heat, Lou Reed, Mother Mother, Siz Organs of Admittance, and more!

    Tuesday, August 3, 2010

    That's a big'un

    The trees they do grow high... and round! For the July 28th show (click here for podcast), we learned about champion trees. We listened to a Nature Stories podcast called "Virgin Forest" in which the search was on for trees in the eastern forests of the US that could take the title of biggest tree. We also talked about where to go to find some of these champs (e.g. the big black oak at Lake Fayetteville, pictured left), and what to do if you want to submit a candidate tree to the national register. Perhaps you're thinking "It's not all about size!"? Well, if you have a tree that you feel deserves recognition for its historic value, then you can submit that tree to America's Historic Tree Register. If you're in Arkansas, consider submitting it to the Arkansas Famous and Historic Tree Program.

    In the news...
    No time for a sound quiz this week, but we heard from artists such as The Books, Fleet Foxes, Lost in the Trees, Michael Nyman, Joan Baez, Songs: Ohia, Damien Jurado, TV on the Radio,  The Cure, and Ted Leo and the Pharmacists.

    Friday, July 23, 2010

    Education is where it's at!

    For the July 21st NYSK, we listened to a podcast from Scientific American that featured the upcoming documentary "Whiz Kids". (click here for podcast) This documentary follows teens who are involved in sophisticated scientific research from places like their basements to universities labs. As a college instructor, it brightens my day to know that there are bright and mature students like these just waiting to enroll in university!

    In the news...
    We listened to lots of tunes to do with education and science. Artists included: Mirah, Daft Punk, The Flaming Lips, Animal Collective, MGMT, Dr. Octagon, Jurassic 5, Blackalicious, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, and Bran Van 3000.

    Thursday, July 15, 2010

    Photosynthesis rocks my world!

    I'm teaching Plant Biology in summer school and I've been bombarding my students with complicated metabolic pathways such as photosynthesis and cellular respiration. It's so easy to get caught up in the details and new terminology - so I was inspired to bring it back to the basics during the July 14th show! (click here for podcast) 

    We worked our way musically through the simplified chemical reaction of photosynthesis, beginning with carbon dioxide, water, and light - the necessary ingredients for the process. By the end of the show, we had released oxygen as a byproduct and made sugars, which store chemical energy for later use - whether it be used by the plant or the organisms that eat the plant.

    A quick YouTube search led me to some creative songs about photosynthesis - including this one that student, David Levitz set to Britney Spears for extra credit in his Biology class!

    In the news...

    Artists featured included: Animal Collective, matt pond PA, The Olivia Tremor Control, The Flaming Lips, Big in Japan, Maoi, Feist, Richard Shindell, Akron/Famiy, Fleet Foxes, TV on the Radio, Bloc Party, Frou Frou, Sia, Darko, The Starlight Mints, and Frank Turner.

    Monday, July 12, 2010

    Expedition Catalog - what new specimens shall we discover?

    For the July 7th show (click here for podcast), I strapped on my gear and went exploring deep into the KXUA catalog to find some new-to-me music that was somehow linked to nature - whether it be in a name, in a theme, whatever. I had some interesting finds, including artists such as Papercranes, Wilderness, I See Hawks in L.A., The Bamboos, The Weather Machines, and more! Give a listen to the show to discover this music along with me.

    In the news...
    For the sound quiz, we heard from some of the "singing" insects whose sounds fill the still, humid air of summer. Visit for all about how a handsome meadow katydid (pictured right) doesn't actually sing, but instead produces sound through stridulation.

    Friday, July 9, 2010

    Our flaws might have been our strengths

    In the June 30th show (click here for podcast), we had a laugh going through some of the character flaws of our ancestors that might have led to the success of our species. I read from an article on that suggested things such as poor hygiene, drunkenness, gossip, and depression might have actually given us an evolutionary leg up over our primate relatives. You might be thinking, "Well, that makes no sense!", but you must always remember that natural selection is a curious beast. For example, some suggest that we lost our body hair as a way to foil those pesky ectoparasites, like fleas and lice, that love to munch on us.

    In the news...
    Music featured included tracks from: Outkast, Death Cab for Cutie, A Tribe Called Quest, The Flaming Lips, J Dilla, G. Love and Special Sauce, Apostle of Hustle, Louis Jordan, The Dubliners, The Clancy Brothers, Brush, Devendra Banhart, Radiohead, The Gossip, The Cure, Elvis Perkins, Billy Bragg and Wilco, and The Maybelles.

    Wednesday, July 7, 2010

    So you think you can dance?

    For the June 23rd show (click here for podcast), we celebrated the dancing animals of the world. I read from an NPR story about Snowball, the Sulfur-crested Cockatoo (pictured left) who has demonstrated his skills on the dance floor. Few animals can actually follow a musical beat, but Snowball truly rocks out to the Backstreet Boys - keeping time even when the bpm are changed (Patel et al. 2009). A recent study of YouTube videos showed that the only animals that had this ability were 33 species of parrots and 1 elephant (Schachner et al. 2009). Check out the NPR link above for videos of all this dancing madness.

    Of course we know animals dance in nature all the time, although maybe not to a musical beat. They often do this when they are trying to attract mates. Performing dance moves correctly is important for species recognition and can be a sign of a mate's quality. Sometimes the "dancing" gets so intense, death can result.

    As for the news...
    In honor of the World Cup currently underway in South Africa, the sound quiz featured the "big five" animals, which are some of the most impressive animals to see while on safari. These include elephants, buffalo, lions, leopards, and rhinos.

    We listened to music to get your booty shaking during the show: Jamiroquai, Hot Chip, Bran Van 3000, Sally Shapiro, LCD Soundsystem, Chemical Brothers, Fischerspooner, Basement Jaxx, The Go! Team, Santigold, Röyksopp, Mylo, Sam Cooke, Louis Jordan, Tito Puente, Cut Copy, TV on the Radio.

    Friday, May 7, 2010

    Invasion of the Geese!

    A pair of Canada Geese made a nest in a planter on my parents' dock this spring. Here are the photographs documenting their incubation and hatching! Location: Beaver Lake, Arkansas.
    April 3rd, 2010 - 3 eggs have been laid

    April 3rd, 2010 - The parents maintaining their distance

    May 4, 2010 - The hatching has begun!

    May 5, 2010 - Mama Goose is not happy with humans near her newly hatched chicks!

    May 5, 2010 - 5 of 6 eggs hatched and everyone was gone the next day!

    Thursday, May 6, 2010

    Oil, oil everywhere

    On the May 5th show (click here for podcast), we talked of the natural disaster unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico - the massive oil spill created when a BP offshore oil rig, the Deepwater Horizon, exploded on April 20th. To learn about the sequence of events that have led to this national catastrophe, we heard a report from NPR that outlined how it all went down. What is surprising is how long it has taken BP to stem the flow of oil spewing forth from the well on the bottom of the ocean. At time of this post, the flow was still going - more than 2 weeks after the explosion!

    Also at the time of this post, the oil slick had reached the Louisiana Barrier Islands. Animals are beginning to show up not only covered in oil, but also with the toxic substance in their digestive tracts. Pictured above left is a Northern Gannet coated in oil. This is a seabird that normally appears white (pictured above right). The oil disrupts the waterproofing provided by the bird's feathers; and once the bird preens, it will ingest the oil. For more information on how coastal ecosystems will be affected by this disaster, visit this link from Mother Nature Network or watch this video from the Rachel Maddow Show.

    If you would like to volunteer with the clean-up of this oil spill, you can register here at the Audubon Action Center. They will put you in touch with organizations who can use your help.

    As for the news in nature... 
    For the sound quiz, we heard from some of the birds that will likely be affected by the oil spill: Northern Gannet, Royal Tern, Great Egret, Brown Pelican (pictured right), and Piping Plover.

    I pulled much of the music for this show off of a great playlist put together for the Y! Music Playlist Blog. All the songs are about oil. Some artists featured include: Blind Lemon Jefferson, Jelly Roll Morton, Recycleman and the Dumpster Divers, King Eider, John Fahey, Iron and Wine, The Shins, and more!

    Tuesday, May 4, 2010

    40 years of Earth Day and we're still clinging for dear life!

    For the April 21st show, we celebrated Earth Day by hearing from a Living on Earth podcast about the history of the holiday. We have come a long way from the days of widespread use of DDT and CFCs - but there is no end in site to the battle to protect the planet and its resources.

    As for the news...
    Music featured included: Mirah, American Analog Set, The Arcade Fire, Animal Collective, and Handsome Boy Modeling School.

    Wednesday, April 21, 2010

    For bats, fungi is not such a fun-guy

    Caves all over Arkansas, and indeed much of the eastern U.S., are closing to human traffic. Before you spelunkers get too angry, know that it is for a good cause, i.e. preventing the spread of White-Nose Syndrome. For the April 14th show, we talked about this fungal infection that has contributed to the death of millions of bats in the eastern U.S. - including some of our endangered species like the Indiana Bat and Gray Bat. (Pictured left is a bat affected by the fungus, which covers its muzzle.) For more information on this epidemic, visit the informational pages hosted  USGS National Wildlife Health Center and US Fish and Wildlife Service.

    The show was cut short by a Lady Razorbacks broadcast, but if I WAS to cover the news, this is what I would have featured...
      Musical artists included Joanna Newsom, Mogwai, Tony Trischka, Fruit Bats, American Analog, Set, Blockhead, and Nick Cave.

      Phenology - it's all in the timing

      'Tis a season of change, so for the April 7th show we talked about phenology, which is the study of cyclic and seasonal natural phenomena, especially in relation to climate and plant and animal life. In light of our shifting climate, the timing of natural events seems more important now than ever. We listened to some podcasts concerning phenology, including a Southern Appalachian Creature Feature podcast and a clip from Nature Stories about a bilingual sparrow.

      As for the news...

      For the sound quiz, we heard from some of our migratory bird friends including the Black-and-white Warbler (pictured right), Tennessee Warbler, Nashville Warbler,  Northern Parula, and Black-throated Green Warbler.

      Music featured included Nick Drake, Crosby Stills and Nash, Miles Davis, Nirvana, LCD Soundsystem, A Hawk and a Hacksaw, Josh Rouse, Jose Gonzalez, Talk Talk, Ryan Adams, and more...

      Friday, April 2, 2010

      Patchy Distribution

      Oh the humanity! The time slot for Nature You Should Know has been taken over by UA Razorback sports for the rest of the semester. I'm trying my darndest to squeeze out an hour on some of the upcoming Wednesdays; and there is a possibility I can grab some Friday Night Feature Show slots for NYSK.

      Until then, who knows when the show will broadcast. Good thing for podcasts because that way if you miss it, you can always catch up!

      Wednesday, March 17, 2010

      Ingenious ways to evade predators

      My oh my
      How creative nature can be
      When one has not the opportunity to flee.

      On the March 10th show, we explored a list compiled by that features some of the most ingenious ways that organisms avoid predation. For example the Western Hognose Snake (pictured here) has incredible commitment to the faking of it's own death. The idea behind such behavior is that many animals avoid eating carrion and therefore seemingly dead prey is often avoided. Click here for a video of a masterful performance.

      One of the most impressive adaptations for freaking out potential hunters is the Horned Lizard's (pictured right) ability to shoot blood out of its eyeballs! No, the blood is not meant to blind or confuse predators so that the lizard can make a quick get-away. Instead, it is thought that the blood is distasteful to those that might eat the lizards and therefore bloody lizards are avoided. Click here for a video of this amazing defense mechanism.

      The list goes on and on and includes players such as hagfishes, dresser crabs, sea cucumbers (one of my faves), and more! For the original article I used in the show, click here. You will find plenty more pictures, descriptions, and videos.

      As for the news...
      Artists featured: Bjork, Deerhunter, Shout Lulu, Joy Division, Curtis Mayfield, Joanna Newsom, Damien Jurado, Sufjan Stevens, DJ Shadow, Beastie Boys, Radiohead, Feist, The Cramps, and Pavement.

      Friday, March 5, 2010

      A sex column for freaks of nature

      On the March 3rd show, I read from a book titled "Dr. Tatiana's Sex Advice to All Creation". This work addresses some of the animal kingdom's burning questions about the birds and the bees.  Author Olivia Judson takes on the persona of Dr. Tatiana, who answers letters from concerned organisms such as marathon-mating stick insects and gender-bending female hyenas with penis-like projections. Check out the book's website here and listen to an NPR interview with Judson here.

      As for the news, we learned...
      Music featured included: Breaks Co-op, Feist, R.E.M., Common, Madonna, Jeff Buckley, Beck, Morphine, The Rapture, and Dr. Dog.

      Saturday, February 27, 2010

      Trails to Gold

      We started of the February 24th show with talk of trail building and maintenance, which included a podcast from the Nature Conservancy's "Nature Stories" series. In this podcast, we heard from Mel, a steward of nature, who donates his time to building trails for people of all ages and physical abilities to enjoy. I shared ways in which you can help with trails around NW Arkansas, and also provided a website with tips on how to build your own trail.

      In the news...
      Since it is the 2nd week of the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, we learned about the physics of one of the most watched sports - ice skating. Later in the program, during the sound quiz, I provided hints for this week's critters by matching them up with a winter sport in which they might compete in an Animal Winter Olympics. We heard the vocalizations of the King Penguin (the luge or skeleton), Wolverine (hockey), Canada Lynx (ski jump), Tundra Swan (ice skating), and Arctic Wolf (cross country skiing).

      The music featured included: Neil Young, The Chemical Brothers, Frente!, Jamiroquai, Voice of the Seven Woods, Blockhead, Songs: Ohia, Mos Def, Santigold, Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, Pinback, Sufjan Stevens.