Science Podcast: Views Of Magnetars, When Human Brains Got Complex

Host Sarah Crespi talks with Contributing Correspondent Joshua Sokol about magnetars—highly magnetized neutron stars. A recent intense outburst of gamma rays from a nearby galaxy has given astronomers a whole new view on these mysterious magnetic monsters. 

Also on this week’s show, Christoph Zollikofer, a professor of anthropology at the University of Zurich, talks about the evolution of humanlike brains. His team’s work with brain-case fossils suggests the complex brains we carry around today were not present in the early hominins to leave Africa, but later developed in the cousins they left behind. 

Analysis: Electric Car Startups Vs. Tesla (Video)

Lucid, Fisker, Rivian and Canoo are among the well-funded startups racing to release new electric vehicles. WSJ asked CEOs and industry insiders how new auto companies plan to challenge Tesla’s market dominance and take on legacy car makers. Photo composite: George Downs

Analysis: The Electric Vehicle Battery Shortage

U.S. automakers are finally making bold commitments to electrify their fleets, but in the short-term, there may not be enough lithium-ion batteries to go around. While China dominates the battery manufacturing supply chain, and Europe is working to catch up, the U.S. still lags far behind.

As batteries become a matter of energy independence and national security, here’s what the U.S. can do to catch up. As automakers continue to grapple with a semiconductor shortage, some experts say the next supply chain crisis for the U.S. could involve lithium-ion batteries. As companies like GM, Ford and a slew of start-ups are ramping up their electric vehicle ambitions, current battery production in the U.S. will not be able to keep up with demand.

Interview: Writer Paul Theroux – ‘Under The Wave At Waimea’ (Podcast)

What can a travel writer learn from staying at home? Anne McElvoy asks the prolific travel author Paul Theroux about the virtues of being homebound during the pandemic. 

The author of “Under the Wave at Waimea” reveals that his friend and one-time foe V.S. Naipaul inspired a character in his new book about big-wave surfing in Hawaii. Also, verbal fencing with his sons Louis and Marcel and his ultimate travel destination.

Guided Tours: ‘Quebec City -Quebec, Canada’ (Video)

Take a peek into the rich history of Quebec with this informative walking tour. We learn about the founding of this historic city and explore legendary attractions such as Morrin Centre, Petit Champlain Street, Notre-Dame de Quebec Basilica-Cathedral, and The Ice Hotel!

Video timeline: ​ 0:00​ Introduction 0:34​ Founding and Independence of Quebec City 1:36​ Dufferin Terrace 2:10​ Aux Anciens Canadiens 2:44​ La Buche 4:00​ Morrin Centre 5:20​ Quebec City Hall 5:56​ Notre-Dame de Quebec Basilica-Cathedral 7:09​ Quebec Seminary 8:00​ Petit Champlain Street 8:48​ The Fudgerie 10:00​ Quebec’s building architecture 10:45​ Saint-Pierre Street 11:24​ Place Royale Town Square 12:21​ Instagram worthy Fresco 13:00​ Saint John Street 13:50​ The Ice Hotel 15:40​ Conclusion

Street Walks: ‘Janakpur – Southeast Nepal’ (4K Video)

Janakpurdham or Janakpur is a sub-metropolitan city in Dhanusa District, Province No. 2, Nepal. The city is a hub for religious and cultural tourism. It has been declared as the temporary capital for Province No. 2 until the Province Assembly votes for a permanent capital. 

Morning News Podcast: New Gun Regulations, Covid-19 Surges In Brazil

President Joe Biden is following through on a campaign promise to implement common sense gun laws. He is expected to introduce regulations for certain types of firearms and accessories. 

 COVID-19 deaths are surging in Brazil, yet President Jair Bolsonaro refuses to lockdown the country. And, Derek Chauvin’s defense is trying to make the case that George Floyd’s death had less to do with use of force and more to do with his opioid addiction and underlying health concerns.

Home Tours: Gwangju – South Korea (Video)

With the aim of expressing historical values and artistic achievements in architecture, five large-scale projects were implemented to integrate the merits of the traditional construction method of hanok, the techniques involved in building palaces during the Joseon Dynasty and restoring these cultural properties, as well as modern architectural techniques. Therefore, it was designed and constructed in a way that its artistry can be retained even after 1,000 years. The process of material selection was stringent in order to ensure that only the best is chosen, regardless the cost.

Gwangju is a city in Gyeonggi Province, South Korea, a suburb southeast of Seoul. The city is not to be confused with the much larger Gwangju Metropolitan City, former capital of South Jeolla Province, South Korea.