Planetoid crashing into primordial Earth
Planetoid crashing into primordial Earth

Things You Thought You Knew – Dinosaurs & Batteries

Don Davis (work commissioned by NASA), Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
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About This Episode

What if the dinosaurs had a space program? On this episode, Neil deGrasse Tyson and comic co-host Chuck Nice explore what Earth Day meant for the dinosaurs, how batteries work, and ways electric vehicles will come to change our infrastructure, with creator of Atlas Obscura, Dylan Thuras.

Will we always need an Earth Day? Does planet Earth need saving or just the life that lives on it? We talk about the dinosaurs and whether they’d still be here without their mass extinction event. Learn about keyhole asteroid trajectories and asteroid mining. We discuss why it is that we take the Earth for granted, the limits of human greed, and imagine a world where everyone is scientifically literate. Could one day we outgrow the need for Earth Day?

Why did it take us so long to get electric vehicles? What are the challenges associated with creating electric vehicles? We explore how batteries work, the geopolitics of oil, and future-proofing transportation. What will the energy profile of a modern car look like? We talk about how electric vehicles are more efficient with their friction. Someday could cars talk to each other?

Next, Dylan Thuros from Atlas Obscura joins us to discuss road trips and his atlas of weird oddities you can go see around the country. We discuss how highway infrastructure has changed in this country and how electric vehicles will change it further. Are we going to see a resurgence of small towns and backroads? If we don’t have to be so efficient with our fuel, will people take the time to explore more? Learn about The Lombard Effect on wildlife and how it may be impacted in the future. As we change our transportation methods will the roads change with us? All that, plus, find out about Chuck’s backroad motorcycle adventures.

Thanks to our Patrons Renee Morss, Rob L, Peter Stinchcomb, Larry Kwartowitz, Samii McLendon, Michaela Negus, Michael Henderson, Jun Del Rio, Ana Davidson, and Dominick Marciano for supporting us this week.

NOTE: StarTalk+ Patrons can watch or listen to this entire episode commercial-free.

In This Episode

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