Geek Cooking, Debunking Hollywood Science and Green Roofs

An IEEE Spectrum Radio Program

IEEE Spectrum Radio
29 minutes, 13.7mb, recorded 2006-03-01

On this edition of IEEE Spectrum Radio, Michael Chu explains why he applies an engineering mindset to his cooking. As he makes himself a pecan coffee cake, he talks about his website, Cooking For Engineers, and how he got into being meticulous about proper measurements in cooking. Those few grams of flour or egg that vary with different measuring standards do make a difference!

Plants on top of buildings can also make a difference, according to a group of green roof enthusiasts in down-town New York. There are about 50 to 60 green roofs installed and advocates are hard at work quantifying the benefits to having plants on top of buildings instead of tar. Plants reflect sunlight, cool air, and help avoid sewage problems during rain storm - sadly, the costs of having one currently don't weigh up to the measurable benefits.

On the big screens audiences usually don't mind when things don't exactly add up - especially when bad astronomy and horrendous physics make for an exciting story. IEEE Spectrum asks Phil Plait and Tom Rogers, who run their own websites debunking Hollywood science, to sift out the good science in movies and TV from the awful. They argue that bad science reinforces common misconceptions. In fact, considering movies such as Armageddon, finding what is correct is often easier than pointing out what is wrong: not a lot.

This program was originally broadcast on IEEE Spectrum Radio.

This free podcast is from our IEEE Spectrum Radio series.

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