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Jumping spider, Habronattus dossenus

Spider Vibes {format} {format} 4:37 Jeff Rice

In recent years, scientists have discovered complex forms of acoustic communication among spiders. Spiders don't have ears in a traditional sense. They hear vibrations through their legs, and tap out coded courtship rhythms by banging on leaves or twigs, or by plucking their webs. Damian Elias of the University of Toronto used a Laser Doppler Vibrometer to measure and record some of this spider communication. He describes the subtle world of spider music.

Broadcast: Aug 24 2007 on NPR Living on Earth Subjects: Environment, Science


Leafhopper insect

Seismic Communication {format} {format} {format} 6:22 Jeff Rice

Seismic communications are the sound signals animals send each other by making things vibrate -- the ground, twigs or leaves. Elephants do it, 200K species of insects do it, and right now your lawn is a seismic symphony.

Broadcast: Jun 20 2007 on NPR Day to DaySeries: Western Soundscape Subjects: Science, Environment


Wax moth illustration

Moth Music {format} {format} {format} 3:31 Jeff Rice

The eerily beautiful music of moth wings. A tale of bat-detectors, beehive destruction and the intersection of insect and synthesizer. [transcript]

Broadcast: Jun 11 2007 on HV PODCAST; Sep 7 2004 on NPR Day to DaySeries: Western Soundscape Subjects: Technology, Science, Music, Environment


Killer whales breaching in unison (a rare sight). Photo by John Ford.

Blackfish {format} {format} {format} 3:22 Barrett Golding

Dr. John Ford started the Vancouver Aquarium's ORCA-FM live whale broadcast, and is author of the book Killer Whales. He can ID individual Orca pods by their calls. He spends nights on the water, with a hydrophone, an underwater mic, dangling off the side of the boat. Nights, because in the day, it's too noisy. (Photo © John Ford. Music by Jeff Arntsen of Racket Ship.) [transcript]

Broadcast: Feb 28 2007 on PRX Nature Stories Podcast; Dec 20 2004 on NPR Day to Day Subjects: Environment, Science


Bird landing with wings spread (book/CD Cover)

Winged Wildlife in the Arctic {format} {format} {format} 3:35 Jeff Rice

Audio engineer Martyn Stewart describes his experiences recording birds at the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. Millions of birds sing 24 hours a day there during the breeding season, and the refuge explodes with life -- a sharp contrast to reports by some who hope to drill for oil in the area, who say the refuge is a frozen wasteland. His book/CD is called "Arctic Wings." [transcript]

Broadcast: Jan 31 2007 on PRX Nature Stories Podcast; Oct 26 2006 on NPR Day to DaySeries: Western Soundscape Subjects: Environment, Science


Geysers in Yellowstone Park

Lewis & Clark: Yellowstone Geysers {format} {format} {format} 4:13 Barrett Golding

On the Trail of Lewis & Clark: On their way home, the L&C Expediton took a side-trip up Yellowstone River, and witnessed the "boiling springs." So, we should too: Rick Hutchinson is research geologist for Yellowstone. His main job is minding the more than 120 thermal features in the park: geysers, fumeroles, mud pots, steam vents. He tour us thru the geyser basins -- step carefully, the crust is thin and the water is boiling just under the surface. [transcript]

Broadcast: Sep 27 2006 on PRX Nature Stories Podcast; Aug 12 2005 on NPR Day to DaySeries: Lewis & Clark Trail: 200 Years Later Subjects: Environment, Science


Aurora photo by Steve McGreevy

Northern Lights: Natural Radio {format} {format} 8:07 Barrett Golding

When solar flares hit the Earth's magnetic field, the skies at both poles can light up with auroras. The particles also create very low frequency electromagnetic waves, a type of natural radio that can be picked up around the globe. Every year sound recordist Steve McGreevy heads north where the reception is best and points his receiver at the sky. (repeat)

Broadcast: May 3 2006 on PRX Nature Stories Podcast; Mar 26 1999 on NPR All Things ConsideredSeries: Lost & Found Sound Subjects: Technology, Environment, Science


Seals on ice by sea

Bottom of the World, Part 2 {format} {format} 7:45 Scott Carrier

For summer soltice, the longest day in the northern hemisphere, we travel to Antarctica. The sun hasnít shone for months and wonít be back around until September. The second of a two-part story about a young woman who couldnít seem to find her way in life, until she found her way to Antarctica. The woman recounts some of the strange things that happen on the scientific base where she worked during the six months of darkness that is the Antarctic winter. [transcript]

Broadcast: Jun 21 2005 on NPR Day to DaySeries: Antarctica Subjects: Acoustic, Technology, Science, Labor, Travel


Seals on ice by sea

Bottom of the World {format} {format} 7:44 Scott Carrier

For summer soltice, the longest day in the northern hemisphere, we travel to Antarctica. The sun hasnít shone for months and wonít be back around until September. The first of a two-part story about a young woman who couldnít seem to find her way in life, until she found her way to Antarctica. The woman recounts some of the strange things that happen on the scientific base where she worked during the six months of darkness that is the Antarctic winter. [transcript]

Broadcast: Jun 20 2005 on NPR Day to DaySeries: Antarctica Subjects: Acoustic, Technology, Science, Labor, Travel


Installation of Dark Side of the Cell

The Music of Life {format} 4:50 Ben Adair

Nanoscientist Andrew Pelling and media artist Anne Niemetz came together to create music from cellular sounds. Dark Side of the Cell is a concert that includes the unadulterated tones of healthy cells, the static-like noise of human cancer cells and almost meditative sounds of yeast cells recovering from given birth. Produced for KPCC- Southern California Public Radio series Pacific Drift.

Broadcast: May 28 2005 on APM Weekend AmericaSeries: Pacific Drift Subjects: Health, Science, Technology, Acoustic





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