April 24, 2003

Biographer Joseph Persico joins Todd in a discussion about Franklin Roosevelt's presidency during wartime. Persico talks about the possibility that Roosevelt had advance knowledge of Pearl Harbor, and that his fascination with espionage led to the creation of America's first central intelligence agency. His book is "Roosevelt's Secret War: F-D-R and World War II Espionage".

Ken Goldberg talks with Todd about The Jester Project, a website on which you can rate and read jokes. He talks about how the website gives a list of jokes customized to your sense of humor and taste. Goldberg is an engineering professor at University of California, Berkeley.

Todd is joined by Carlton Allen, NASA's curator of astromaterials at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. They discuss how astromaterials have been handled in the past, and why this may need to change. Allen tells Todd about importing rocks and other potential life forms from Mars, and how to safely handle them on Earth.

Marc Pound joins Todd to discuss The Horsehead Nebula, a dusty cloud of gas near Orion's Belt that is 10 million times larger than Earth. Pound and his colleagues at The University of Maryland, College Park, have mapped The Horsehead Nebula and found some interesting features.