Our constitution was under attack (from natural elements). Protecting this historic document from deterioration was critical. When two boxes hooked up to nitrogen and oxygen cylinders were delivered to the Indian parliament in 1995, it was significant moment in the preservation of the Indian constitution. Padmaparna and Samanth investigate the science that ensures the protection of the very foundation of this country.
Every fortnight, The Intersection narrates stories that meld culture, science and history in India. Through interviews, anecdotes and original research, Padmaparna Ghosh and Samanth Subramanian bring alive the rich breadth of human imagination and knowledge, making for a riveting listening experience. The incessant punning — well, that’s just a bonus.
Of the 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic produced till today, 6.3 billion metric tons has become plastic waste and ONLY nine percent of this has been recycled. After languishing in landfills or floating around as trash, nearly all of this ends up in our oceans. There is plastic in our fish, and even in … Continue reading Our plastic addiction is destroying the planet
The Indus Valley Civilisation was a Bronze Age civilisation spread across the northwestern regions of South Asia; it was one of three early centres of civilisations of the Old World, and the most widespread. In this episode we look at how the landscape evolved in the Western part of India during the Holocene and how humans interacted with the changing environment. And how that can inform the current climate challenges we face.
What if the world spoke one language? And we never needed Google Translate? One man dreamt of such a language a century ago — Esperanto. In this episode, we explore the life of Lakshmiswar Sinha, the most famous Indian Esperantist of the 20th century — a man who at one time was a much sought-after … Continue reading Do you speak Esperanto?
Scientists have found several animals, including insects, use 3D vision without brains as large as ours. Studying these creatures and their behaviour can help humans better design vision systems for our own kind and for the robots we build. On this episode, Padma and Samanth deep-dive into the fascinating world of 3D vision in the insect world.
For many children, especially in India, the thought of picking up a science or maths book inspires terror. There’s no fun in a system that promotes rote learning over curiosity and understanding. Fortunately, things are changing. Books that explain STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) concepts in an interesting and engaging way are finding space … Continue reading How A New Generation of STEM Books Are Putting The Fun Back In Fundamentals
All over the world, the meat industry treats animals cruelly, to meet our huge demands and this is contributing to our destruction of the planet. But a few scientists are working to change this. On this episode of The Intersection, Samanth and Padma break down the science of lab-grown meat and discover what it tastes like.
On this episode, Samanth and Padmaparna speak to dog lovers who are doing their best to conserve India’s beautiful indigenous canine breeds and to a dog-loving civil servant who has studied homegrown breeds for most of his life and has even written a book about them.
In this episode of The Intersection, Samanth and Padma speak to a group of scientists working here on Earth to figure out what we might find on Martian soil if we ever land on the Red Planet.
The Spanish Flu was the biggest pandemic of the last century. Five hundred million people were affected and over 14 million people died in India, the worst affected country in the world. But apart from taking millions of lives and disrupting families, the Spanish Flu also had geopolitical repercussions, including on India’s freedom struggle.
In this episode of The Intersection, Samanth and Padma discover how astronomy has involved since 500 AD and what that tells us about a society’s relationship with the sky it sees every night.
As The Intersection returns with a new season, find out why stampedes occur and what to do if you’re stuck in one.
Get a crash course in linguistic forensics while learning about Proto-Indo-European, an ancient language that has been retrieved and reconstructed from the words we speak today.
Hyperloop promises to revolutionise the way we travel, but are there easier, cheaper and more sensible options within reach?
We know music can trigger emotions; here is a look at the science behind it.
Is the idea that “hybrids are freaks and intensely undesired” a kind of fascism?
In this episode of The Intersection, we learn about the crusaders who preserve and restore old books so we don’t lose the invaluable gift of knowledge.
Bird watching citizen-scientists in Kerala and the great power of crowds coming together for a natural history project.
A drug resistant superbug may have travelled from India to Paris, on a flight.
Recent cases show that the AI bots show prejudiced behaviours that reflect the biases of their creators.
How a 72-second burst of radio waves stimulates our curiosity about extra-terrestrial civilisations.
Unlike economic parameters like GDP, can happiness be truly measured?
An abandoned spy mission from 50 years ago, complete with action, suspense, drama and lost plutonium.
Communication is essential as a precursor to reproduction. Even for plants.
A story about how modern science finds new colours.
On this special episode, renowned author Amitav Ghosh talks about the lack of urgency in addressing climate change issues and its very serious repercussions.
The second part traces the efforts of a few people who are working hard to document, study and preserve rare Indian languages and dialects.
Two men, a century apart, took up the Herculean task of recording all Indian languages.
Chola idols that may have been over a thousand years old have been retrieved, but how do you tell if they are real?
The human race is contributing to its own self-destruction, meet the scientists measuring how soon.
The iconic Taj Mahal is known for its perfect design but Dr. Dilip Ahuja noticed there was a fundamental error. Did Emperor Shah Jahan know about it?
The correct protocol after a snakebite does not involve ‘cutting out’ the bite or ‘sucking out’ the venom. Caution, observation, diagnosis and access to medical facilities can save your life!
Several utility items and gadgets we use today are actually inspired by designs and systems already found in nature, Samanth and Padmaparna investigate.
P.C Mahalanobis’ instrument attempted to assimilate India on the basis of national identity, but in a scientific manner.
The Colonel and the con: A science-detective story about the biggest scam in the world of ornithology.
A century after Einstein’s prediction of gravitational waves, Ligo’s discovery, potentially revolutionizes not just the world of astrophysics, but science itself.
ISRO recently launched the 5th of 7 satellites that would replace GPS in our country, forever. Find out about the history of this mission and the need for an indigenous navigation system.
The Intersection finds out about the almost rudimentary coordination setup that organises a top-end medical procedure: heart transplants.
What does it take to recreate a dish that’s over 4000-years-old… a dish for which there isn’t a recipe you can refer to?
On this year-end special, Samanth counts down the most fascinating facts discovered on the episodes of The Intersection in 2015.
Armed with low-cost sensors, some people are trying to keep a check on the quality of air around them. Personal benefits aside, can this technology help combat pollution on a larger level?
Around 1.9 million years ago, human beings became fully bi-pedal – able to walk on two legs, instead of four. We may have mastered walking, but do we understand it?
For over two decades, the Ig Noble Prize has been honouring unusual scientific achievements. But do these seemingly silly studies have any real scientific utility?
The unique challenges of feeding an army, and how World War II kick-started food research that changed what and how the Indian army eats.
Childhood nostalgia and a love for nature come together in this episode about a woman who managed to arrest the rapid depletion of flora and fauna on a hill in Mussoorie.
In this special, on-site episode, Padmaparna & Samanth visit the National Physical Laboratory’s room 35 – the spot where Indian Standard Time is calculated.
A fascinating number that crops up everywhere in our universe, pi has mystical and almost philosophical properties. Why is this unending number so important?
Sleep is vital for our physical and mental health. But, are we needlessly sacrificing a third of our life just to sleep? Is there a way to sleep less and well?
Curing migraines has proved to be an arduous task. But, the endogamous Parsi community may provide some vital clues.
The story of a 29-cent US Postal Service stamp that inspired scientists to undertake the journey to Pluto.
The Real Food Podcast
- The Real Food Podcast
- Vikram Doctor
- Fables at the table.
Our Last Week
- Our Last Week
- Anuvab Pal and Kunaal Roy Kapur
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The Myth & Culture Podcast
- The Myth & Culture Podcast
- Devdutt Pattanaik and Jerry Johnson
- Ancient myths in contemporary culture.
Ask Aakar Anything
- Ask Aakar Anything
- Aakar Patel
- You have questions? Aakar has the answers!