MONDAY: The Philosophy of First Contact - If Earth picks up a signal from E.T., Paul Davies is likely to get one of the first calls. He’s head of SETI’s post-detection task force and has thought a lot about what comes next after Earth makes first contact. We’ll also speak to astronomers from Vatican’s Observatory in Tucson, Arizona.
TUESDAY:Earworms - At some point, you’ve probably fallen victim to earworms – those songs that get stuck in your head and just won’t get out. We’ll explore why some songs stick and why others don’t. What makes a melody memorable? Why can’t you get chorus of “Call Me Maybe” out of your head? And what can we learn from music memory? Daniel Levitin, a record-producer-turned neuroscientist, explains.
WEDNESDAY — Special holiday programming. Mr. Dankosky’s Treehouse. Episode 144: “Houston, We Have a Solution!” Mr. Dankosky and the animals take a bus trip to Houston and, due to a series of misunderstandings, wind up at the Gentleman’s Splendor Club where they are subsequently netted in a police raid. Mrs. Otter and Orangutan Jane are mistaken for pole dancers, and the whole thing gets pretty tense until Ed the Egret makes a heartfelt speech about believing the best in others. Mr. Dankosky asks the police to grant his group“the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them.” Hyena Harry says they’re already at a station, and everyone laughs. The police and the animals watch the fireworks together. Musical guest: Chamillionaire
THURSDAY: The TV Remote. It seems like every week there’s a new cell phone or computer design that gets released, but for the past 50 years, TV remotes haven’t changed much. They’re fat and have a lot of buttons you never press. There’s probably about four or five sitting on your coffee table right now. So how did the TV remote get so awful and confusing? We’ll talk to design experts about the history of the TV remote and our ongoing love-hate relationship with it.
FRIDAY: The Nose - The real Nose. Is back.
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