Science

Science
9:03 am
Thu December 4, 2014

NASA Scrubs Launch Of Orion Spacecraft

NASA's Orion spaceship early Thursday in Cape Canaveral, Fla.
Chris O'Meara AP

Originally published on Thu December 4, 2014 1:38 pm

Update at 9:35 a.m. ET

NASA's Orion spacecraft, which could one day send astronauts to Mars, is stuck on terra firma for at least another day after the space agency's mission control was unable to satisfactorily resolve a number of issues before a 9:45 a.m. ET launch window closed.

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Two Guys on Your Head
10:05 am
Thu November 27, 2014

The Psychological Dynamics of Thanksgiving

Credit flickr.com/pinksherbet

For many of us, Thanksgiving means spending time with our families, carrying out traditions that we’ve practiced for years.

While it can be very stressful, messy, and challenging to spend time with family members you don’t see very often, it can also be a beautiful time of re-centering. 

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Two Guys on Your Head
11:48 am
Fri November 21, 2014

Why We Go To Extremes

Credit www.outsideonline.com

Why are extreme sports, like cross fit, rock climbing, snowboarding, mountaineering, rafting, cave diving, wakeboarding and even surfing so popular?  Well, it’s not just that they’re cool.

Activities that we can include in the category of extreme sports are all very physically challenging and involve some element of risk. But how could anyone's idea of thrill-seeking also be potentially life-threatening?

This week, the Two Guys, Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke, discuss the appeal of extreme sports. 

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Science
6:30 am
Fri November 21, 2014

The Mystery Brains of the Texas State Lunatic Asylum (Update)

Brains in the UT collection are mishapen or unusual colors, depending on the malady that afflicted their owners.
Adam Voorhes

UPDATE 12/03/14: After this story received national media attention, UT Austin now says the 100 brains that were unaccounted for are not missing. In fact, they were deemed unsuitable for research or teaching and were destroyed sometime around 2002. The University says it will continue to investigate the circumstances of their destruction

ORIGINAL STORY 11/21/14: For decades, a rare collection of human remains sat in a basement at the University of Texas at Austin. Now, it is getting renewed attention, thanks in part, to Austin photographer Adam Voorhes.

Back in 2011, Voorhes went to take a picture of a brain for a magazine cover. He went to see a guy at UT named Professor Tim Schallert. While they were there, Schallert asked if Voorhes wanted to see his collection. 

So, they made their way to a storage closet in the back of Schallert's lab. What was inside set Voorhes on a months long quest for answers about a group of people who died decades earlier — answers that largely remain elusive.

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Two Guys on Your Head
8:12 am
Fri November 14, 2014

How to Protect Your Brain as You Age

Credit Credit flickr.com/jvandoor

Time marches on and, whether we like it or not, we age.
With age comes a decline in both physical abilities and mental acuity. Memory and cognition peak in our early twenties, then we begin a slow, steady decline of those functions as we approach our senior years. 

This week on "Two Guys on Your Head," Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke join host Rebecca McInroy to discuss how physical and mental stimuli can help combat the signs and symptoms of old age, stave off memory loss and help you be at your best well into your golden years.

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Science
11:23 am
Wed November 12, 2014

Comet Landing A Success: European Craft Makes 'Fairly Gentle Touchdown'

The Philae lander took this photo of its descent onto comet 67P Wednesday, when it was about 3 kilometers from the surface. The landing site is seen with a resolution of about 3 meters per pixel.
ESA/Rosetta/Philae/ROLIS

Originally published on Wed November 12, 2014 6:07 pm

Hundreds of millions of miles from Earth, a man-made object was flung at a comet Wednesday — and now it's sticking to the rock as it hurtles through space.

"We are on the comet," Stephan Ulamec, Philae Lander Manager, announced Wednesday, marking a historic achievement.

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Two Guys on Your Head
12:42 pm
Fri November 7, 2014

A Brief History of Artificial Intelligence

Credit picturesdotnews.wordpress.com

The human brain is perhaps the most complicated machine in the known universe, and the way we sometimes try to understand it’s capacity is to liken it to the most sophisticated artifacts we’ve created. The brain is hence “like a computer” and no longer like the “steam engine” it was compared to in the late 19th century.

The circuitry in the brain is made up of pretty basic materials, so it’s understandable that we would try to replicate it.  Yet it seems the more we learn about the brain, the more complex it becomes.The development of A.I., while it brings about a better understanding of how our brains work, it also generates more questions about what it means to be human.

What counts as “human”? Why is intelligence the marker of humanity? And what types of questions are currently vexing computer scientists, psychologists, and philosophers about A.I.?

In this edition of Two Guys on Your Head, Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke take us through a brief history of the development of artificial intelligence, and pose some interesting questions about where we might be headed.

Two Guys on Your Head
12:02 pm
Fri October 31, 2014

Why a High IQ Isn't All That

Credit galleryhip.com

We value brains. We hold test scores in high esteem. We spend money and hours on brain training games and ginseng. But what does intelligence really mean? How do we define and gauge actual smarts? Does a high IQ predict success?

In this episode of Two Guys on Your Head, Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke talk about the history and development of intelligence tests; as well as what these tests can actually tell us about one's ability to achieve.

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Two Guys on Your Head
3:10 pm
Sun October 26, 2014

Why Humor Helps Us Conquer Fear

Credit www.inquisitr.com

Halloween will soon be upon us, and among the ghouls and goblins walking the streets, you might see someone dressed up an Ebola patient out asking for candy. How will you respond?

Would you buckle over in laughter, or would you be totally offended by this irreverent ode to this devastating threat?

In this edition of Two Guys on Your Head, Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke discuss why we respond to fear and other uncomfortable and threatening situations with humor.

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Two Guys on Your Head
7:52 am
Fri October 10, 2014

How to Make Yourself Happy

Credit http://www.thenew-renaissanceman.com/smile.html

Happiness may be one of the most common and egalitarian of human emotions, but all aren't created equal when it comes to elation.

The work of Harvard’s Dan Gilbert speaks to findings in psychology that reveal that people have about a 50-10-40 ratio for happiness – 50 percent depends on genetic makeup; 10 percent depends on what happens to us throughout the day; and 40 percent is dependent on how we react to those environmental goings-on.

So, why is it some of us are more predisposed than others to see the glass as half empty as opposed to half full?

In this edition of “Two Guys on Your Head,” Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke discuss how self-imposed strategies might give us an edge when it comes to feeling happier.

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Two Guys on Your Head
9:43 am
Mon October 6, 2014

What Makes Cat Videos So Clickable?

Credit www.tastefullyoffensive.com

Internet memes are a dime a dozen, but users young and old have undoubtedly seen, and quite possibly enjoyed, a good cat video or two.

Even if we have better things to do, it seems almost inhuman to resist clicking the "play" button above a cute kitten's face.

But why are those prolific time-wasters so irresistible? On this week’s edition of "Two Guys on Your Head," Dr. Art Markman, Dr. Bob Duke and host Rebecca McInroy discuss the animal magnetism of cat videos.

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Two Guys on Your Head
9:32 am
Fri September 26, 2014

Can Online Brain-Trainers Really Make You Smarter?

Credit http://salubriousu.com

You can go to the gym and work out your quads, or your biceps, or your balance and isolate those muscle groups to focus improvement of those areas of function with work. 

So it's not too far of a stretch to assume if we exercise specific areas of our brains might we see improvement in functions as well, right?  Unfortunately, it’s not quite so simple.

But have so many brain-training systems like Lumosity become so popular?

On this week’s show, Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke will demystify the process of brain function improvement and illustrate the effectiveness of brain training programs.

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Science
7:18 am
Mon September 22, 2014

NASA: MAVEN Spacecraft Safely Circling Mars

Artist concept of MAVEN spacecraft in orbit around Mars.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

Originally published on Mon September 22, 2014 9:44 am

NASA's MAVEN spacecraft conducted a 33-minute burn of its six main engines to ease into an orbit around Mars after a nearly yearlong, 442 million-mile voyage from Earth. The probe's mission is to study the red planet's atmosphere.

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Two Guys on Your Head
8:35 am
Fri September 19, 2014

How Your Brain Can Help You Put Off Procastination

Credit www.domtesta.com

Procrastination is the all-too-familiar foe of productivity, but why do some wait until the last minute to even get a project started?

In this episode of "Two Guys on Your Head" Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke explore the psychology behind procrastination, and how we can overcome factors that might be keeping us from getting started.

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Science
6:22 am
Wed September 17, 2014

Boeing And SpaceX Win $6.8 Billion In NASA Contracts

In an image provided by NASA, astronaut Randy Bresnik prepares to enter Boeing's CST-100 spacecraft for an evaluation at the company's Houston Product Support Center. NASA awarded Boeing with a $4.2 billion contract Tuesday.
AP

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 6:29 pm

NASA has chosen Boeing and SpaceX to build the vehicles that will transport its astronauts to the International Space Station, putting the two American companies on a course to take over a job that NASA has recently relied upon Russia to perform: carrying out manned space flights.

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden says vehicles from the two companies are expected to be ready for service by 2017.

Announcing its decision Tuesday, the space agency included these details:

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Two Guys on Your Head
8:45 am
Fri September 12, 2014

How Embarassment Limits Our Ability to Learn New Languages

Credit blog.cultureamp.com

Can you remember what it was like for you to learn your native language?  Probably not, but why is that?

As humans, we begin learning to speak our native language during the earliest stages of our lives, in infancy.  Most people don’t have many accessible memories from this period of development. How do we do that?

If we can learn a language in our infant stages of life, why is it so difficult to learn a second language later in life?

On this week’s episode of Two Guys on Your Head, Art Markman and Bob Duke explore how we learn language.

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Two Guys on Your Head
11:01 am
Fri September 5, 2014

Why All Memory is Virtual Memory

Credit jupiterimages.com

We may think of our memory functioning much like a movie camera does; capturing a scene and replaying it in a linear fashion. Yet, in actuality, it’s more like catching bits of paper at a ticker tape parade and weaving together a story of the past by re-constructing the pieces of paper we and others around us catch.

In this edition of Two Guys on Your Head, Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke explain how and why we construct memories, and how our memories can be influenced by variables that we may never consider.

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Two Guys on Your Head
8:58 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Why Can School Be So Boring?

If you’ve seen "Ferris Bueller’s Day Off" or ever been in a classroom, you know that school can sometimes be very boring. However, learning and coming up with ideas in an environment with others in our social group should be fun! So why do schools get such a bad rap?

In this episode of Two Guys on Your Head Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Robert Duke talk about some of the historical and present day factors that contribute to why school is so boring, and offer a few suggestions for a brighter future.

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Two Guys on Your Head
3:57 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

Let It Go!

Credit http://www.thestonefoundation.com

“He did it!” "She hit me first!” “He never said he was sorry!” "She doesn’t care if I forgive her so why should I?”

From the time we are very small, our interpersonal relationships are based on conflict. How does the saying go? You can please some of the people some of the time, but you’re not gonna fool me a second time… Hmmm we’ll look that up later. In the mean time please forgive us for getting it wrong.

Why? You may ask.

In this edition of Two Guys on Your Head Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke talk about the psychological purpose of forgiveness.

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Science
3:18 pm
Fri August 15, 2014

How to Learn What's Real – and What Isn't – on Discovery's Shark Week

A Great White shark swims off Guadalupe Island on the pacific coast of Mexico.
flickr.com/elevy

Shark Week is winding down on the Discovery Channel, and with the annual televised ritual comes an uptick of interest in sharks. But with many scientists saying lots of Shark Week facts are dead in the water, how do you separate fact from fiction?

Texas Standard's David Brown recently spoke with freelance writer and evolutionary biologist Christie Wilcox to shed a little light on what's real and what isn’t. 

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