Monday, February 28, 2011

Hydrofracturing in Arkansas

For the February 23rd episode (download podcast here), Dr. Matt Moran of Hendrix College visited the studio to discuss the practice of hydrofracturing in Arkansas. Hydrofracturing, or hydraulic fracturing, has become a popular method for extracting natural gas from shale formations around the United States. Dr. Moran spoke to us about the environmental, economic, and personal impacts of this practice. Download the podcast above to hear more about this issue.

Monday, February 28th, 2011, Hendrix College will host a screening of the Oscar-nominated film “Gasland”, which documents the stories of people involved with and affected by hydrofracturing. The creator of the film, Josh Fox, and local officials will participate in a panel discussion the following Tuesday on Hendrix campus. For more information, click here or contact Dr. Moran at

As for the news in nature...

Some artists featured included: The Pixies, Wildbirds and Peacdrums, Ryan Adams, Devendra Banhart, Beck, John Prine, Neil Young, Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, Hayes Carll, and the Grateful Dead.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Dog breed diversity

On the February 16th, 2011 episode of NYSK (download podcast here), we talked about the Westminster Kennel Club's dog show. I enjoy watching this event because it reminds me of the power of selective breeding, also known as artificial selection. For instance, compare the Pekingnese pictured above to the Scottish Deerhound (Best in Show, 2011) below. Can you believe these two dogs are the same species- Canis lupus familiaris? Darwin appreciated artificial selection so much that he used it as an illustration for how the process of natural selection works.

The diversity of dog breeds has been (and still is) important to humans for several reasons. For example, we historically used certain breeds for specific tasks, such as rooting out rodents from holes (e.g. terriers) and guarding property (e.g. mastiffs). Dogs today are still worked around the world for things like hunting, herding, and guarding, but more often we find ourselves utilizing them as companions.

Westminster Kennel Club's annual dog show allows us to marvel at the different breeds, but we should not forget our little buddies that reside in temporary shelters, just waiting for a loving person to adopt them. For information on a shelter in your area, visit and use your zip code to search for a shelter.

As always in the show, we listened to fun music, mostly dog-related, such as the Scooby Doo theme, Elvis's "Hound Dog", and Patti Page's "How Much Is That Doggie in the Window".

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Worst-case scenario... would you survive?

Oh my goodness... it has been a winter for the ages this 2011! Three weeks in a row, Northwest Arkansas was slammed by storms, each once worse than the next. My show suffered because the storms seemed to happen mid-week, but I found a way to make up one of the shows on February 11th (download podcast here).

The storms also served as a source for inspiration. This week, I read from a book called The Worst-case Scenario Survival Handbook, which proposes various dangerous scenarios and how to come out on top. For instance, we learned what to do when encountering downed power lines and how to treat frostbite. We also learned what to do if you get trapped in a cab while giving birth. (That poor, poor cabbie.)

In the news...
American Goldfinch, basic plumage

We also learned about different types of seed to put out to attract different species of birds, such as the American Goldfinch (pictured right), Dark-eyed Junco, and Northern Cardinal. We listened to some of these birds' vocalizations for the sound quiz.

Artists featured included: Yes, Count Basie, Ryan Adams, Cat Stevens, Julie Andrews, and more!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Gross anatomy

The dissection of human beings has been important in our understanding of how our bodies work; however, it has not always been an approved practice. These days, many universities and medical schools are leaning towards using models and computer simulations to teach students anatomy. Check out the January 26th show (download podcast here) to learn more about human dissection.

In the news...

Music featured included Monty Python, My Morning Jacket, John Coltrane, more!

Since it was also the 2nd birthday of NYSK, we celebrated by listening to birthday-related tunes by Concrete Blonde, Stevie Wonder, and The Bird and the Bee. Thanks for your support throughout the past two years! The show will sadly come to an end this summer when I graduate and leave KXUA. Let's make sure the next six months are a blast!