Author Archive

Episode 011 — Mental Health: The Other Side of the COVID Coin

We have a guest this afternoon (Monday, May 18). Jennifer Klesman is a therapist at Cityscape Counseling in Chicago. She is a licensed clinical social worker who treats adults and adolescents struggling with issues that include anxiety, depression, trauma, gender identity, relationships, and general life stress. We’ll be talking about the challenges of living in the time of COVID.

Episode 010 — Relativity and Recovery Redux

The world is not always as we imagine it is. Albert Einstein mixed together what for centuries had seemed the immutable concepts of space and time, and in the process reshaped our understanding of reality. And today, COVID has destroyed what had seemed immutable notions of how our society functions. It’s just that for the most part, people have yet to appreciate just how fundamental the change is.

Episode 009 — What does “recovered” really mean?

Sure, “recovered” beats “dead,” but both are a far cry from “never got sick in the first place.”  It’s like what happened 65 million years ago. Life “recovered” from the KT impact that killed the dinosaurs, but that doesn’t mean it had an easy time of it.
Livestream from Monday, May 11, 2020.
Scientists Stuck Inside

Episode 008 — From the Cosmos, to Climate, to COVID

Whether talking about the expansion of the Universe or the spread of a disease, the rules that describe how the world works are all about change. It’s one thing to write those rules down. It’s another thing entirely to go from there to a description of what actually happens. In between lies the science and the art of numerical modeling.

Complexity and Chaos – Episode 007

Live, 5:30 EDT, 2:30 PDT, Monday, May the Fourth Be With You

This afternoon we will be talking about chaos. For those not up on the term, chaos occurs in complex systems where different elements of the system in other than simple ways. The result is a situation where a tiny difference today can result in huge, unpredictable differences tomorrow.  Weather is one example of a complex system. The spread of disease is another.

We are now watching comments on the YouTube feed, so you are welcome to join in, offer comments and ask questions live!

Extrasolar Visitors and Extra COVID Deaths – Episode 006

It turns out that visitors from other planetary systems might be kind of common…

And speaking of things that are more common than we thought they were, what to make of all of those extra COVID-19 related deaths?  What’s the difference between saying a death “wouldn’t have happened were it not for COVID,” and saying that death “was caused by COVID?”  The answer is probably “not much” from the perspective of the hapless victim.

Multiverses and Madness – Episode 005

Is the universe we experience the only universe there is, or only the tiniest corner of an infinite multiverse?

As for “madness,” how better to describe telling people it’s safe to go back in the water when hungry Great Whites are prowling just off shore?