The Pulse – October 17, 2014


    Dear Science,

    This week, our Pulse team sat down to craft a special show that’s like a love letter to you.

    Of course you must know that we love you, because we talk about you so much, and we dedicate so much time of our show every week to preach your gospel. (Oh, do you hate that metaphor? Sorry.)

    But we really wanted you to know that we appreciate the many ways, big and small, that you make our lives richer and better. You combat disease and stave off death, allow us to grasp the vastness of the universe and tiniest of organisms. Your achievements illuminate our houses, computer screens, and our minds.

    There isn’t a letter long enough that could even begin to describe all the reasons we love you, so we tried to curate a few, humble examples in an effort to express our affection.

    On this week’s show we gently untangled the processes of hearing and understanding what we hear, we ate jelly beans to get a better idea of how researchers are returning the sense of smell to those who’ve lost thiers, we got some life tips from the behaviors of the Caribbean flamingo at the Philadelphia Zoo, and we found out what it’s like to explore the wilds of Patagonia and discover a new dinosaur—one that’s seven times the size of tyranasaurus rex.

    We also went behind the scenes of a Broadway production to see how singers who belt out songs at full volume night after night keep their vocal chords healthy, and while we were in and around the larnyx, we also investigated the strange and annoying phenomenon of vocal fry.

    We talked to a “human blockhead” about safely shoving nails into his face for the love of the circus, we addressed the fear-mongering surrounding the ebola outbreak on U.S. soil, we cranked up a half-century-old LED light that inspired a Nobel Prize, and to put the icing on the cake, we ask an evolutionary geneticist when humans will finally grow wings. And he had an answer.

    So, dear science, thank you for all you do, and please, stay fabulous.

    With warm affection and much admiration,


    Team Pulse 

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