Quirks & Quarkswith Bob McDonald


March 16, 2019 — Inside actors' brains, inactive ingredients aren't, Super solar storms and more...

Butterfly’s toxic backup, secrets life of bone and wind turbines and climate
Bob McDonald's blog

How to improve education: move the classroom outdoors

Exposing children to nature while they learn can benefit their learning, development, and sense of environmental stewardship.

Actors' brains have different activity patterns when they're in character

'The more you become someone else, the less there is of you'

Inactive ingredients in your meds might not be so inactive after all

Research shows that over-the-counter and prescription capsules and pills can contain a broad range of ingredients, some of which can cause allergy or sensitivity in some people

Super-powerful solar storms hit Earth in the past — and could recur in the future

A massive solar storm today could create electrical chaos in our modern technological society

When a butterfly's disguise fails, its backup plan is poison

Viceroy butterflies mimic a queen butterfly's awful-taste, but only when they aren't around

'Skeleton Keys' — a new book explores the secret life of bones

Writer Brian Switek looks at the sometimes macabre but always fascinating secrets of our skeletons

Do wind turbine farms have an effect on climate?

Turbines don’t increase the temperature, but they redistribute heat that is already in the air

Mar. 9, 2019 — Science of awe, blue whales and sonar, chromosomes and sleep and more…

Ancient aquaculture on the west coast and dogs and human sperm quality
Bob McDonald's blog

Searching for the missing Milky Way: Canada may find it

Scientists have calculated the mass of the Milky Way galaxy, most of which is made up of dark matter.

Exploring the powerful emotion of awe — how it can be awe-some and aw-ful

Awe has a transformative effect on people's brains and subsequent behaviour

Military sonar puts blue whales off their feed

Deep diving whales abandon their foraging

Your brain may need sleep to repair DNA 'potholes'

The brain catches up on a backlog of neural chromosome repairs when asleep.

Man and man's best friend have both been experiencing declines in sperm quality

New research suggests the declines in both species are due to persistent pollutants

Clam gardens have been cultivated by Indigenous people for millennia

Archaeologists have dated the oldest clam gardens to 3,500 years ago.

Mar 2, 2019 — The Goodness Paradox, secrets in poop, converting carbon to coal and more...

Countdown to the moon landing, selecting hygienic bees and a question of cow methane
Bob McDonald's blog

Canadian astronauts will face a lonely existence on the new Lunar Gateway

Canada's most visible contribution will literally be a helping hand — the Canadarm 3

The Goodness Paradox — Why humans are so good and so bad

The new theory is about how capital punishment led to humans’ self-domestication

Potty talk: the secrets Kim Jong-un could be hiding in his private portable toilet

5 ways that studying the North Korean leader's poop could reveal sensitive information

Creating coal from CO2 - undoing fossil fuel burning to save the climate

Scientists have been able to turn CO2 gas back into a solid carbon for safer storage in the ground

Countdown to the Moon landing — How Apollo 9 tested the lunar lander in Earth orbit

We continue our series on the missions that led up to landing on the moon

How selecting for genes to keep the hive clean could help honeybee survival

Hygienic colonies have fewer mites and viruses, and survived longer

Do cows produce more methane than rotting grass?

Decomposing plants also release methane, but no more or less than cows

Feb 23, 2019 — Tiny tyrannosaur, art acne, what zebra stripes do and more ....

Ageing your DNA, hacking photosynthesis and sinking in the Sun
Bob McDonald's blog

Riding the walls of the gravity well to reach the moon

The Israeli spacecraft has a long windy road ahead of it before it touches down on the moon