"Lost in Math," Alan Alda, A Radical Brain Surgery, New Jersey Floods. August 3, 2018. Part 1

Aug 03, 2018, 07:46 PM

For decades, physicists trying to uncover the large and small structures of the universe have been coming up empty—no evidence of supersymmetry at the Large Hadron Collider, no dark matter particles, no new evidence explaining dark energy. That’s the main conundrum in theoretical physicist Sabine Hossenfelder’s book, Lost in Math: How Beauty Leads Physics Astray. She talks with Ira about the problems facing physics, and where new ideas could come from.

This week, Alan Alda spoke publicly about living with Parkinson’s Disease for the first time since his diagnosis three and a half years ago. He’s known for his work as an actor, author, and science communicator. He joins Ira to discuss his life since his diagnosis.

A six-year old Pittsburgh area boy underwent radical surgery in an attempt to treat a seizure-causing brain tumor. The boy’s entire occipital lobe and and much of his temporal lobe were removed—material that added up to about one-sixth of his total brain matter. Now, researchers report that the boy is living a surprisingly normal life despite the missing brain matter.


It’s a common tale. Homeowners affected by flooding receive insurance money and rebuild their homes, only to have yet another flood strike and damage the property again. In recent years, however, New Jersey has modified an open-space program to allow the state to offer buyouts to some homeowners in flood-stricken areas, offering the pre-flood assessed value of the property.