Naked Scientists Podcast

Naked Scientists episode

Sun, 14th Nov 2010

The Science of Sustainable Shipping

Multipurpose shipping (c) Martini0814

We set sail to discover the science of sustainable shipping in this week's Naked Scientists.  We visit an enormous wave tank to find out how the sea swell can impact on damaged ships, and look at the problems caused by sulphur-rich shipping fuel.  Plus, we hoist the SkySail, an enormous parafoil kite that can be deployed from the deck of a ship to cut fuel consumption by up to 60%.  In the news we hear how happiness can be found here and now, why children tire so quickly when walking and how Earth became oxygenated 400,000 years earlier than we thought.  Also, we investigate the elegant physics of a lapping cat!

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In this edition of Naked Scientists

Full Transcript

  • 01:46 - Happiness is Here and Now

    When are you at your happiest? Research published this week shows that we are most happy when we’re concentrating on the job at hand, rather than allowing our minds to wander. But, oddly, people seem to spend almost half of their waking hours thinking about something other tha...

  • 04:48 - Why kids get tired just walking around

    As any parents, aunties or uncles know full well, kids get much more tired out simply walking around than adults do, and now scientists have taken a step closer to understanding why this is. It’s not just that they run up and down more, or that we get more efficient at walking a...

  • 07:54 - Earth's Oxygenation came Earlier than Expected

    Previously, we have believed that the Earth’s atmosphere turned oxygen-rich about 800 million years ago and this ushered then the era that made complex life like us possible. But now, new research from Scotland shows that we might have got it wrong. And in fact, oxygen levels ...

  • 13:31 - Lap Cats Lap Fast

    We’ve been living alongside cats for thousands of years but it’s taken until now to fully understand how they perform one of the most basic of tasks – drinking...

  • 16:18 - Is the Cambrian period named after Cambridge?

    Is the Cambrian period named after Cambridge?

  • 16:49 - Planet Earth Online - Fossil Forests

    When American scientists discovered some tree fossils in 2007, they turned out to be 385 million years old. That makes them among the world’s oldest trees. But in order to identify these trees, they needed the help of fossil tree expert, Dr. Christopher Berry from Cardiff Univ...

  • 38:07 - Hoisting the SkySails

    One idea put forward for sustainable shipping in the future has been to find ways to harness the power of the wind in its rather traditional role of filling some sails, but this time using skysails...

  • 46:20 - Are there health risks associated with eating fish?

    Dear Chris and the gang    Can you help me? I am VERY concerned about this Salmon/Tuna issue. As I virtually live off Salmon and Tuna, eating Salmon 1-2 times a week and Tuna 4-5 times!!   I don't eat red meat but do like chicken, but I thought I was eating healthily? I have ...



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