The Infinite Monkey's Guide To… Talking to Aliens
The Infinite Monkey Cage
by BBC Radio 4
11h ago
Brian Cox and Robin Ince are on a mission to discover whether extra-terrestrials exist. But if there really is other life out there, what would it look like? Comedian Conan O’Brien is hoping for lizard-like creatures with superhuman strength, while Greg Proops imagines little green girls, like the ones in the Star Trek series he grew up with. Or possibly Ewoks. Either way, nobody can agree on the best way to communicate with them if we do ever make contact. Should we send them complicated equations so they realise how intelligent we are, and is playing Bach to aliens too much like showing off ..read more
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The Infinite Monkey's Guide To… Gardening
The Infinite Monkey Cage
by BBC Radio 4
1w ago
Robin Ince and Brian Cox dig into the secret lives of plants to discover that there’s more going on in your average garden than you might at first think. They hear why trees are better than humans at re-growing broken bits, while comedian Ed Byrne reveals a surprising understanding of horticulture, despite dropping out of his university degree early. And while they’re still no closer to discovering if they’re alive or dead, the team find a new debate to have about strawberries, as they argue with forensic botanist Dr Mark Spencer over whether they should be classified as an invasive species. B ..read more
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The Infinite Monkey's Guide To… Love
The Infinite Monkey Cage
by BBC Radio 4
2w ago
Love is in the air(waves) as Brian and Robin trawl through the Monkey Cage archive. From using maths to find a boyfriend or girlfriend, to why birds and bees have far more exciting sex lives than you might imagine, this week’s episode is all about passion. Number crunching might not sound sexy but mathematician Hannah Fry tells Robin Ince and Brian Cox why research shows it pays to be proactive when you’re searching for a partner, even when that means risking total humiliation. But when it comes to the world's most extraordinary mating rituals the best place to look is… in the garden. Female b ..read more
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The Infinite Monkey's Guide To… Murder
The Infinite Monkey Cage
by BBC Radio 4
3w ago
Brian Cox, Robin Ince and their guests will send a shiver down your spine as they sift through the science on murder, and hear some of the more creative techniques scientists use to catch killers. Apparently rambling through brambles is a great way to find buried bodies at the edge of abandoned fields and entomologist Amoret Whitaker says she relies on flies and fleas to tell her whether a crime has been committed. According to criminal psychologist Dr Julia Shaw, we’ve all got it in us to bump someone off, but it isn’t just humans who have this homicidal intent. The zombie wasp paralyses her ..read more
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Higgs Boson
The Infinite Monkey Cage
by BBC Radio 4
1M ago
Brian Cox and Robin Ince visit CERN’s Large Hadron Collider in Geneva in search of the Higgs boson. Joining them on their particular quest is comedian Katy Brand, actor Ben Miller and physicists Tevong You and Clara Nellist. They find out which particle is the one you’d most want to spend time with at a party, how cosmology is inspiring experiments in the collider and why the Higgs Boson - known as the 'god' particle' - is of so much interest to science. Producer: Melanie Brown Executive Producer: Alexandra Feachem ..read more
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Cats v Dogs
The Infinite Monkey Cage
by BBC Radio 4
1M ago
Brian Cox and Robin Ince sniff and paw their way through the evidence to put to rest the age-old debate of whether cats are better than dogs. They’re joined by TV dragon and dog devotee Deborah Meaden, comedian and cat compadre David Baddiel, evolutionary scientist Ben Garrod and veterinarian Jess French. They learn how the domestication of our four-legged companions by humans has had a profound impact on their physiology, temperament and methods of communication. They debate which species is the most intelligent and skilled and try to lay to rest the most important question of all – which one ..read more
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Poison
The Infinite Monkey Cage
by BBC Radio 4
1M ago
Brian Cox and Robin Ince delve into the murky world of historical poisonings. Joining them to add their drops of killer insight are comedian Hugh Dennis, chemist Andrea Sella and Agatha Christie aficionado and former chemist Kathryn Harkup. They find out just how easy poison was to get your hands on and how people literally got away with murder until chemists developed tests for substances like arsenic. Bottles of deadly substances are passed around our expert panel with some trepidation and we learn how seemingly innocuous garden plants can be deadly in the wrong hands. Producer: Melanie Brow ..read more
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Asteroids
The Infinite Monkey Cage
by BBC Radio 4
1M ago
Brian Cox and Robin Ince journey through the asteroid belt to discuss space rocks with Dr Who companion John Bishop, professor of planetary science Sara Russell and astrophysicist Alan Fitzsimmons. They learn that these seemingly innocuous rubble like rocks can hold secrets to the formation of the solar system but just don’t jump on one – you may shoot straight through it! They find out about the latest space missions that are trying to bump into or grab bits of asteroids and how these technological feats are helping to avoid the end of life on earth as we know it. Producer: Melanie Brown Exec ..read more
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Could it be magic?
The Infinite Monkey Cage
by BBC Radio 4
2M ago
Brian Cox and Robin Ince pull scientific explanations out of a hat and go down the rabbit hole to explore the science of magic with comedian Alan Davies, sleight of hand artist Laura London and two experts in the psychology of magic Richard Wiseman and Gustav Kuhn. They ask what our predilection to be bamboozled by sleight of hand can tell us about how our minds work. Alan has a card trick played on him and we learn how our choices aren’t always what we think they are. Producer: Melanie Brown Executive Producer: Alexandra Feachem ..read more
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Egyptian Mummies
The Infinite Monkey Cage
by BBC Radio 4
2M ago
Brian Cox and Robin Ince peel back the layers to explore mummification and the science of Ancient Egypt. They are joined by comedians Russel Kane, Lucy Porter and bio-medical Egyptologists Rosalie David and Lidija McKnight from the University of Manchester, as they learn about the scientific techniques that are helping to uncover the lives of Ancient Egyptians, including that of a woman who died running away from an axe murderer. They find out that much of modern western medicine was built on the Ancient Egyptians sophisticated pharmacology, though they should probably avoid the treatment for ..read more
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