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What do we know about Venus? What do we not know? Stephen Kane, planetary astrophysicist at UC Riverside, joins us to uncover the science and unanswered questions about Venus. This is a public episode. If you’d like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit thecosmiccompanion.substack.com/subscribe…
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Looking at the science and history behind The Wizard and The Scholar (or, a Rapscallion Runs Amok in Rye), a New Tale of Robin Hood! This is a public episode. If you’d like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit thecosmiccompanion.substack.com/subscribeAf The Cosmic Companion
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Set in the year 1156, our upcoming feature film, The Wizard and The Scholar (or, a Rapscallion Runs Amok in Rye) now has a planned release date! AND it will be in theaters! This story is led by two amazing women - Elara, a wizard without power, and Adelaide, a nomadic scholar on the search for truth in all things. Faced with a brutal murder in the …
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Today on The Cosmic Companion, we're diving deep into the wild world of intelligence - from curious creatures beneath the waves to the endless expanse of space. Later in the show, we will be talking with octopus whisperer Sy Montgomery. [OCTOPUS: What? What? Speak up! Stop whispering!] Now, you probably think I'm about to start talking about animal…
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Welcome back to The Cosmic Companion. I’m James G. Maynard — science show host, terrible actor, worse puppeteer, and proud resident of this planet Earth. For our Earth Day 2024 episode, we’ll be exploring how fiction and storytelling have inspired environmental movements throughout history. Later in the show, we will be joined by Ann E. Burg, talki…
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This week, we are providing you with a viewing guide to the solar eclipse happening over much of North America on Monday 8th April. Sit back and enjoy. Take notes. There will be a test later. Maybe. naw, it’s only a quiz. Get ready for an incredible celestial event on 8th April — a solar eclipse! As the moon lines up perfectly between the Earth and…
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Welcome back to The Cosmic Companion. I’m James G. Maynard. This week, we take the first of two looks at the upcoming solar eclipse coming on 8 April. Later in the show, we will be talking with noted physicist, mathematician, and developer Stephen Wolfram about his new book, Predicting the Eclipse. From ancient fears and superstitions to modern-day…
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Hello Everyone! Welcome back to The Cosmic Companion. This week, we’re talking about Jaws, Claws, Life and Death, and what they can teach us about staying alive in space! In a little bit, we’re going to be talking with Jennifer Szymanski from Nat Geo Kids about their new book, Deadliest Animals on the Planet. But first, the boring bit of the show w…
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We get the inside scoop on planets from famed 1940s space reporter James G. Maynard, talking with the planets themselves, together with Sabine Stanley of Johns Hopkins University. This is a public episode. If you’d like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit thecosmiccompanion.substack.com/subscribe…
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Hello everyone! This week on The Cosmic Companion, we explore exploration, exploring the human need to… explore. Later in the show, we’ll be talking with Jon Waterman, creator of Atlas of Wild America from National Geographic. From the dawn of time, humans have been driven by a primal urge: the need to explore. This innate curiosity has shaped our …
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HAPPY HALLOWEEN EVERYONE! (I mean, BOO!) This week on The Cosmic Companion, for our Halloween Special, we’ll be looking at The Top 10 Ways Space is Trying to Kill You! Later in the show, we’ll be talking with astrophysicist and science educator Ethan Siegel, host of Starts with a Bang! This is a public episode. If you’d like to discuss this with ot…
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Hello Everyone! This week on The Cosmic Companion, we are Seeing the Invisible. We’ll be discussing how astronomers study objects in space which are invisible to the human eye. Later on, we will be talking with Anand Varma, creator of a new book, Invisible Wonders: Photographs of the Hidden World, from National Geographic. This is a public episode.…
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Global warming and climate change is happening all around us. We look at the science of climate change, talking with Elizabeth Rusch, author of The 21. --- This week on The Cosmic Companion, we look at Global Warming - It's Not Just Hot Air! We will be talking with Elizabeth Rusch, author of The 21. Climate change, the ultimate uninvited guest, has…
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Hello everyone! This week on The Cosmic Companion, we are pondering why Greece is the Word, discussing the birth of science in the ancient world, and what it means for us today. Later on, we'll be talking with Kenny Curtis and Jillian Hughes, hosts of the Greeking Out podcast, and authors of a new book of the same name, from Nat Geo Kids. Once upon…
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This week on The Cosmic Companion, we look at Designing Dinosaurs. How do we know details about dinosaurs that are not readily apparent from the fossil record? How can we tell what we can tell about the colors, sounds, and behaviors of these magnificent little beasties? Later in the show, we are going to talk with Stephanie Warren Drimmer from Nati…
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This week on The Cosmic Companion, we’re discussing Artificial Intelligence and the Future of the Human Race. Later on, we are talking with one of your species more impressive information processing and dissemination units, Neil deGrasse Tyson. This is a public episode. If you’d like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus epi…
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This week on The Cosmic Companion, we’re talking about how It’s a Weird World, After All! Later in the show, we’re going to talk with Kathryn Williams about Weird but True! World 2024, new from National Geographic Kids! This is a public episode. If you’d like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit thecosmiccom…
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This week on The Cosmic Companion, we take on a weighty subject — gravity. Later in the show, we are going to talk with Joe Swiggum from the NanoGrav Collaboration. Gravity is one of those things that we all know about, but when you really stop to think about it, it’s pretty mind-boggling. I mean, there’s this invisible force that keeps us all stuc…
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This week on The Cosmic Companion, we talk about the mysteries of Dark Matter and Dark Energy. Later in the show, we will be joined by René Laureijs, Euclid Project Scientist, from The European Space Agency. If one were to look at all the matter and energy in the Universe, about 68% is dark energy, 27% is dark matter, and just five percent is every…
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We are back from summer break with an amazing guest, Richard Dinan, founder of Pulsar Fusion (Yeah. The guy from Made in Chelsea!).Kicking off the second half of our seventh season, we offer you a look at how the human race might take our first steps to becoming an interplanetary species. Later in the show, we will be talking with Richard Dinan, fo…
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We explore the greatest mysteries of the Universe, from the Big Bang, to black holes, dark matter, dark energy, and more, talking with famed cosmologist and author Lawrence Krauss... This is a public episode. If you’d like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit thecosmiccompanion.substack.com/subscribe…
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Planting the Seeds of STEAM w/ Ariane Szu-Tu, Nat Geo Kids Exploring STEAM education and learning, with Ariane Szu-Tu, senior editor, National Geographic Kids Books. This week on The Cosmic Companion, we're going to take a wild ride through the exciting and innovative universe of STEAM education. Later in the show, we talk with Ariane Szu-Tu, senio…
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Hello everyone! Welcome back to The Cosmic Companion. I’m James Maynard! This week, we look at the one thing every space traveler will have in common — they will all be Living with a Body in Space. Later in the show, we will be joined by Christina Sauer, Associate Editor for National Geographic Kids, talking about their new release, Why? The Human …
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How do we create computer models of the Universe, and how will artificial intelligence revolutionize astronomy? Talking with Andrew Pontzen, author of The Universe in a Box --- This week on The Cosmic Companion, we explore the fascinating world of computer models of the universe! From humble beginnings to mind-boggling simulations, this is the hist…
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Hello everyone! This week on The Cosmic Companion, we will explore The Water Worlds of the Solar System, talking with Olivier Witasse from the European Space Agency, Project Scientist for the Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer, or Juice, now on its way to the Jovian system. Join me, your trusty celestial tour guide, as we don our intellectual swim trunks a…
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What would happen if the asteroid that ended the Age of Dinosaurs struck today? We are talking with Steve Brusatte, paleontologist with National Geographic and Jurassic World Dominion! This is a public episode. If you’d like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit thecosmiccompanion.substack.com/subscribe…
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Hello everyone! This week on The Cosmic Companion, Artificial Intelligence Takes a Flight to Space, talking with Ashlee Vance, author of When the Heavens Went on Sale. The Cosmic Companion w/ James Maynard is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber. This is a public episo…
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Which species are the greatest survivors? We talk about surviving extinction through the eyes of "The Masters of Survival" - tardigrades, horseshoe crabs, and sharks. We are joined by Kathryn Williams, editor of Weird but True! Sharks! from Nat Geo Kids! This is a public episode. If you’d like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to…
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Hello everyone! This week, we are looking at How to Cook Up Life on a Planet. Later in the show, we will be talking with Jaimie Green, author of the new book, The Possibility of Life. So, how does life form on a new planet? Chemicals and energy. That’s how. You know what else you can do with chemicals and energy? Cook food, that’s what! (Excuse me …
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This week on The Cosmic Companion, we look at What a Crazy Cosmos we live in, talking about some of the most bizarre objects in the Universe. Later on, we will be joined by Emily Fego from National Geographic, talking about Nat Geo’s new work, That’s Fact-Tastic! Now, you may think that things around your neighborhood are weird, but your oddball ne…
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Hello everyone! Here’s our latest episode - Pondering Panspermia w/ Brian Selznick, Author of Big Tree! NARRATOR: There are those who suggest that life on Earth began out there… Among the stars. Well, not the stars. Too bloody hot. Among the planets and asteroids, scattered throughout the Cosmos… With building blocks of life that may have been the …
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In the second part of our two-part Earth Day episode, Water is More Important!?, we’re exploring the vital role that water plays in sustaining life on Earth and beyond. Our special guest is none other than Sandra Postel, director of the Global Water Policy Project. She will share her insights with us into the importance of this precious resource. […
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For Earth Day week, we bring you a look at ways young people can help save the planet! We’ll be talking with Cliff Lewis, author of We the Future! This week on The Cosmic Companion, we look at ways young people can help make Earth a better place to live. Later in the show, we’re going to be talking with Cliff Lewis, author of We the Future! [This e…
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For Easter week, as most people share fables of giant anthropomorphic rabbits distributing chocolate eggs, we are Exploring Extraterrestrial Life through Science and Science Fiction. Later in the show, we will welcome Julie Nováková, Giovanni Poggiali, and Eric Choi to the show, talking about their new anthology, Life Beyond Us. The idea of alien l…
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This April Fool's Day, we are bringing you The Stone-Cold Truth About Moon Rocks. No kidding! Later on, we will be joined by Albion College physics professor Nicolle Zellner to discuss her research on planetary impacts in our Solar System. Throughout history, many cultures had myths and legends about the Moon, although they did not have a real scie…
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What is Life? That's not an easy question to answer. We're going to do our best, talking with Robert Temple, author of A New Science of Heaven, in our first-ever mostly-fully-animated episode! This week on The Cosmic Companion, we're delving into one of the most profound questions in the Universe: What is Life? Later in the show, we will be talking…
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This week on The Cosmic Companion, we are Celebrating Diversity in Space Exploration, looking at the history of inclusion in human explorations beyond our world — past, present, and future. Later in the show, we’ll be talking with Meredith Bagby, author of The New Guys, a look at NASA’s groundbreaking astronaut class of 1978. The history of space e…
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This week on The Cosmic Companion, we look at Making Space Sustainable, talking with Daniel Bock from Morpheus Space. We’ll be looking at how we can move into the inner solar system while protecting the environments of Earth, the Moon, and Mars, as well as the future of space travel. The first and most obvious way to improve the sustainability of s…
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We look at the future of living on Mars, talking with James Burk, executive director of The Mars Society This week on The Cosmic Companion, we look at our shared future, living on the surface of the Red Planet. Later in the show, we’ll be talking with James Burk, executive director of The Mars Society. Science-fiction has fueled the human quest to …
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This week on The Cosmic Companion, we look at the Apollo and Artemis programs, discussing how these first missions to the Moon set the stage for the next step in human evolution — becoming an interplanetary species. We will be talking with NASA historian Andy Saunders. His new book, Apollo Remastered, is filled with never-before-seen and newly rema…
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This week on The Cosmic Companion, we look at Teaching Kids About Space, as we welcome astronomer Dean Regas to the show. He is the author of a new book, 1,000 Facts About Space from National Geographic Kids. In years past, students didn’t have a lot of resources for learning about the stars and planets. They would have to rely on books, or perhaps…
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This week on The Cosmic Companion, we imagine PREDATORS FROM SPACE!!! as we welcome Shark Week regular Paul de Gelder to the show. We will be talking about his new book, Shark: Why We Need to Save the World’s Most Misunderstood Predator. And — did I mention? PREDATORS FROM SPACE!!! Life on other worlds is likely to be far different than life on Ear…
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Welcome to our premiere of season seven of The Cosmic Companion! To kick off the new year, we’ll be looking at our collective future in space, as seen through the new tools of interactive 3D environments. Such prescience was once exclusively the hallmark of science-fiction. Today, as Star Trek goes into its sixth decade with hit-or-miss series, mov…
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This week on The Cosmic Companion, we wrap up season six with a look at… SPACE: 2023. In the year 2023, a massive nuclear explosion will rip the Moon from its orbit, sending more than 300 inhabitants of a lunar colony careening into space. [No. No. That’s not right.] Oh, yeah, ANYWAY! We are going to give you a look at what’s happening in the night…
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Happy holidays! This week on The Cosmic Companion, we explore the winter skies using telescopes! But don’t fret — we’ll be talking with Michael Petrasko from Insight Observatory learning how to see the winter sky using telescopes from the warmth and comfort of home. The winter sky is filled with dazzling targets calling out to amateur astronomers. …
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This week on The Cosmic Companion, we begin a two-part series, exploring the winter sky. We are going to take a look at what you can see using just your eyes. We'll welcome Andrew Fazekas back to the show. He is National Geographic's Night Sky Guy, and we'll talk about exploring the winter sky using eyes alone. We'll also take a look at how to view…
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This week on the Cosmic Companion, we take a look at Exoplanets in Your Backyard! Or, at least how you can get a small idea of what it might be like to visit these worlds, and you know… Survive. Later in the show, we’re going to be talking with Allyson Johnson, senior editor at National Geographic. We’ll be discussing their new release, Complete Na…
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This week on The Cosmic Companion, we look at the future of cities in space. We will discuss how the urban areas many of us live in today will lead to cities of the future, placed in orbit around Earth, on the surfaces of the Moon and Mars, and beyond. Later on in the show, we will be talking with Joe Yogerst. We’ll discuss his new book from Nation…
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Welcome back to The Cosmic Companion! This week, we kick off a new series, Why Explore Space? As we discuss how space travel and exploration are essential to help monitor and cure the effects of global climate change. Later on in the show, we are going to be talking with Alan Gratz. His new book, Two Degrees, is a young adult novel exploring the ef…
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Hello everyone! My apologies for being a day late - but this one is worth it! (You might say… IT ROCKS!) This week on The Cosmic Companion, we explore one of the most-interesting asteroids known, Ryugu. The Hayabusa2 spacecraft recently collected samples from this mysterious object, bringing fragments of the rocky body to Earth in December 2020. Ry…
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