June 19, 2007

The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Impossible

Guest: Nassim Nicholas Taleb.

Today on Focus, we're joined by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, an expert in the sciences of uncertainty, to discuss what Taleb calls "Black Swans": rare events with extreme impacts that occur well outside the realm of probability, but are quickly explained away in a way that makes them seem obvious and predictable. These events explain almost everything in our world, and yet, says Taleb, we remain blind to them if they are not explicitly pointed out to us.

May 16, 2007

Almost Human: Making Robots Think

Guest: Lee Gutkind.

At least as far back as da Vinci, people have imagined—and feared—the creation of machines that could perform like human beings. That day may be yet to come, but some say that the advances of the past decade have exceeded all expectations. Today on Focus, we'll explore the cutting edge of robotic technology with author Lee Gutkind.

March 20, 2007

Too Far From Home: A Story of Life and Death in Space

Guest: Chris Jones.

In November 2002, two American astronauts left Earth for a routine mission to the International Space Station. In February 2003, six of their colleagues boarded the space shuttle Columbia to return to the planet. Then came the bad news—Columbia had disintegrated only minutes away from landing, leaving the two still in space without their ride home. Today on Focus we'll get the full story from Chris Jones, author of Too Far from Home: A Story of Life and Death in Space.

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