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Volcanoes. Trees. Drunk butterflies. Mars missions. Slug sex. Death. Beauty standards. Anxiety busters. Beer science. Bee drama. Take away a pocket full of science knowledge and charming, bizarre stories about what fuels these professional -ologists' obsessions. Humorist and science correspondent Alie Ward asks smart people stupid questions and the answers might change your life.
 
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show series
 
You’re six to ten times LESS likely to catch COVID-19 if you’re vaccinated, and thus less likely to infect others. Great! But what about breakthrough cases? Who’s at risk for them? How many folks haven’t gotten vaccinated? Should pregnant people get the ol’ jab, what might happen with transmission rates in 2022, yearly booster questions, the ethics…
 
Wolf howls, wolf packs, wolf history and more! November 23 is the dog appreciation holiday Wolfenoot so we’re dishing up a puppy-sized and kid-friendly Smologies with lupinologist and Princeton professor Dr. Brigette vonHoldt. Learn about wolf populations, canine family dynamics, Game of Thrones direwolves, if wolves howl at the moon, myths and tru…
 
Who’s on it? What’s on it? And why does the interface feel like you’re on a prank show? Scicomm host, vlogger, author, internet friend, and TikTok-maker Hank Green stops in to chat about learning the language of the algorithm, dopamine, duets, data concerns, idealized selves, self-expression, mental health, authenticity, work/ life boundaries. And …
 
PAIN. What is it? Where does it come from? And how can we hurt less? Which hurts more, a kidney stone or heartache? Why does chronic pain persist? Can we turn down our pain dials? To answer these huge questions, pain psychologist Dr. Rachel Zoffness enthusiastically explains the brain, pain and how to retrain it. She is an unabashed neuronerd and a…
 
Boy howdy... Squid games. We know we weren't the only ones watching Squid Game and thinking, "Do squid play games?" Hence we combined the study of squids (teuthology) and games (ludology) to make Teuthological Ludology with everyone's favorite squid expert: Dr. Sarah McAnulty from the 2018 Teuthology episode. We reunited on mic to discuss things li…
 
This is the shorter, cleaner, smologized version of our full length Veterinary Biology episode https://www.alieward.com/ologies/veterinarybiology At long last: an episode dedicated to veterinary medicine! Dr. Terrence Ferguson & Dr. Vernard Hodges have been friends for nearly 30 years and have co-owned their rural Georgia veterinary clinic, Critter…
 
Bidding farewell to the sweetest and spookiest month, we traipse past graves with archeologist, conservator and Taphologist Robyn Lacy. What’s the difference between a graveyard and a cemetery? Is it wrong to picnic in one? And can tombstone scrubbing help the world and soothe your living soul? Plus, font trends on headstones, old-timey gravestone …
 
They dance. They flirt. They will steal your heart. They are spiders. Jumping spiders, specifically, and impassioned spider scientist Dr. Sebastian Echeverri is on board to tell you all about their sexy dances. How far can a jumping spider jump? What makes a good spider dancer? Why are they so cute? Can you sample their mating drumming and make a s…
 
PART 2: The stunning conclusion of a 3-hour gab session about frickin' bats with America's favorite chiropterologist, Dr. Merlin Tuttle. Learn about bat conversations, their close friendships, surprising dongs, where they keep their nipples, how to go bat spotting after the sun sets, more myths and misconceptions about bat danger, perhaps the gross…
 
“People fear most what they understand least." Words of wisdom from explorer/American treasure/bat expert, Dr. Merlin Tuttle. As your internet dad/host takes care of her surgically recuperating husband this week, we revisit her visit to Austin. In 2019, Alie headed to the bat capital and sat down with the legendary chiropterologist to discuss wild …
 
Crows have funerals? CROWS HAVE FUNERALS. The inky black bird with the big brain warns and maybe mourns around their fallen friends and Dr. Kaeli Swift is here to tell us all about it. As an avid wildlife researcher and corvid specialist, she's observed death behaviors that will shock you to your bones and ruffle your hackles -- while somehow also …
 
Grab your fire extinguisher and hang on to your eyebrows, we’re building FIRES today. Now, this is pyrotechnology in the anthropological sense; the kind covered in hair metal concert venue liability insurance will have to wait for another day, no no, these are the kind your ancestors made. Get ready for sharp rocks, hairy jello, sooty caves, glowin…
 
Teeth. Tails. Concentric nipples. This not-at-all-rodent has the distinction of being North America’s sole marsupial and so Alie hunted down lauded Opossumologist Dr. Lisa Walsh and launched an absolute torrent of giddy questions. How many ticks do they really eat, can we keep them as pets, how do we all convincingly feign death, opossum vs. possum…
 
How ya like them apples?! Well, liquified. And fermented. Author, podcaster, cider-maker and globally lauded beverage historian Gabe Cook, aka The Ciderologist, is an enthusiastic champion of this tragically overlooked drink, and he joins with a bushel full of facts, well-spun yarns and tasting tips. Belly up for a foaming glass of friendly competi…
 
HAPPINESS RESEARCH, straight up. What is happiness? How do our circumstances affect happiness? Why is the word “gratitude” kinda cringey? What can we do to feel better? Should we feel guilty for feeling happy? When is positivity “toxic?” Yale cognitive scientist, Eudemonologist, and host of The Happiness Lab podcast Dr. Laurie Santos chats about ho…
 
Art meets science! Problems meet solutions! Climate change meets … hope? In this atypical episode, things get casual as hell as Alie sits down to talk about the Drawdown Design Project: an illustration non-profit started by filmmaker, Emmy-nominated television editor and longtime friend Andy Hall. When he’s not having to edit Alie on Innovation Nat…
 
Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson. You loved her Oceanology episode and now she is in your feed to address everyone’s agonizing internal question: IS MY CARBON FOOTPRINT BS?! I don’t drop a lot of podcast episodes into my precious Ologies feed, but this topic was so wonderfully covered by Dr. Johnson and co-hot Alex Blumberg that I had to do it. And as a…
 
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