John Ballentine
February 01, 2013

The Future of Space Travel

Guests: Michael Lopez-Alegria, Phillippe Geubelle, and Jonathan Card.

Ten years ago, the Space Shuttle Columbia exploded on re-entry over Texas, killing seven astronauts; in the years that followed, state-funded space flight dwindled. Today on Focus, we'll talk the future of space exploration with a former astronaut, an aerospace engineer, and a businessman who want to make human settlements in space a reality. Join our conversation at 10 or on Facebook and Twitter


November 13, 2012

Encore: Why Does the World Exist?

Guest: Jim Holt.

Author Jim Holt is not satisfied with the regular responses to the question "Why are we here?" There are many more possible answers, says Holt, than the old God versus the Big Bang debate would suggest. This hour on Focus, we'll listen back to a conversation with Holt about his new book Why Does the World Exist? He'll talk about his correspondence with philosophers, physicists, and a Buddhist monk in his quest for big answers.


November 12, 2012

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Related Anxiety Disorders

Guest: Shayla Parker.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is an anxiety disorder that affects more and more Americans every year, but the symptoms are so subtle that years or even decades may pass between the onset of symptoms and treatment. Today on Focus, we'll talk about OCD and related disorders with professional counselor Shayla Parker.


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October 31, 2012

Hurricane Sandy

Guests: Ed Kieser, Kelly Formoso, and Jim Angel.

Sandy continues to wreak havoc over the eastern seaboard and mid-Atlantic states. The death toll continues to rise as a result of the storm, millions are without power, and the cost of damage to homes and businesses from the storm, its high winds, and subsequent flooding, is projected to be in the billions. While we all continue to monitor the damage caused by Sandy, some of the experts will give us an opportunity to understand exactly what happened to cause this “super storm.”


September 07, 2012

Why Does the World Exist?

Guest: Jim Holt.

Author Jim Holt is not satisfied with the regular responses to the question "Why are we here?" There are many more possible answers, says Holt, than the old God versus the Big Bang debate would suggest. This hour on Focus, we'll listen back to a conversation with Holt about his new book Why Does the World Exist? He'll talk about his correspondence with philosophers, physicists, and a Buddhist monk in his quest for big answers.


August 28, 2012

Encore: Cricket Radio: Tuning In the Night-Singing Insects

Guest: John Himmelman.

Today on Focus, award-winning writer John Himmelman seeks to reconnect us with the sounds of the night that so often escape our notice. He'll explain the purposes and meanings of the sounds made by various crickets and katydids. He also offers instructions on how to attract these insects to our own back yards.


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August 23, 2012

Encore: Adventures Among Ants: A Global Safari with a Cast of Trillions

Guest: Mark W. Moffett, Ph.D.

Of all the creatures to exhibit strikingly human behaviors, the ant is perhaps the most unexpected. But ants are merchants, construction workers, and farmers that deal with everything from recycling and hygiene to warfare. Today on Focus, entomologist Mark Moffett shares stories from a global journey to learn more about the various species.


August 21, 2012

Encore: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

Guest: Rebecca Skloot.

She was a poor black tobacco farmer whose cells—taken without her knowledge in 1951—would become one of the most important tools of modern medicine, used to develop the polio vaccine, gene mapping, cloning, and more. Today on Focus, Rebecca Skloot joins the show to tell the story of Henrietta Lacks, the medical revolution that she unknowingly launched, and the ethics one must consider when it comes to our bodies and medicine.


August 10, 2012

Encore: Long for This World: The Strange Science of Immortality

Guest: Jonathan Weiner.

In the twentieth century alone, the human life expectancy has increased by more than thirty years. Some scientists believe that it's time for the next big leap—this time into complete immortality. Today on Focus, science writer Jonathan Weiner joins the show to explain some of the science behind this heart-pounding research and the dramatic tale of how aging may be conquered once and for all—even in this lifetime.


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