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TAI ASKS WHY: Transcripts | Listen

Fifteen-year-old Tai Poole won’t rest until he’s uncovered the mysteries of the universe, one probing question at a time. In Season 4 of his Webby-winning podcast, Tai talks to everyone from NASA scientists to stand-up comedians to his equally curious little brother Kien. If you’ve ever wondered why nothing feels as good as a deep belly laugh or why it’s impossible not to finish a bag of Doritos, Tai has you covered.

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Fifteen-year-old Tai Poole won't rest until he's uncovered the mysteries of the universe, one probing question at a time. In Season 4 of his Webby-winning podcast, Tai talks to everyone from NASA scientists to stand-up comedians to his equally curious little brother Kien. If you've ever wondered why nothing feels as good as a deep belly laugh or why it's impossible not to finish a bag of Doritos, Tai has you covered.

For a full list of production credits, scroll to the bottom of this page.


SEASON 1:

Episode 1: What is love?

Love is weird. How can this thing take over your body and bend it to its will? Tai looks to science, philosophy and his mom for answers. Find transcripts for Tai Asks Why Here: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/podcastnews/tai-asks-why-transcripts-listen-1.6747759

Access the transcript for this episode here.

Episode 2: Why do we dream?

We've all heard the saying trust your gut, but is that scientifically accurate? Tai grapples with what that really means. If our guts are making decisions does that mean there's a brain in our gut? Find transcripts for Tai Asks Why Here: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/podcastnews/tai-asks-why-transcripts-listen-1.6747759

Access the transcript for this episode here.

Episode 3: Should we trust our gut?

The death of his grandfather has Tai thinking about the afterlife. The idea that our bodies and consciousness become nothing is really weird and confusing. So Tai turns to different religions for answers. Find transcripts for Tai Asks Why Here: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/podcastnews/tai-asks-why-transcripts-listen-1.6747759

Access the transcript for this episode here.

Episode 4: How will we fix climate change?

After thinking through a recent terrifying nightmare, Tai starts to question the importance of dreams. Why can't our minds just do nothing when we sleep? Find transcripts for Tai Asks Why Here: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/podcastnews/tai-asks-why-transcripts-listen-1.6747759

Access the transcript for this episode here.

Episode 5: What happens after you die?

Before he fully spoke English, Tai's first language was math. He loves numbers! Now he's talking to mathematicians about the ultimate coolness of two very special numbers: zero and infinity. Find transcripts for Tai Asks Why Here: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/podcastnews/tai-asks-why-transcripts-listen-1.6747759

Access the transcript for this episode here.

Episode 6: Which is cooler, zero or infinity?

Tai is freaking out about climate change. He's worried we're doomed. Tides are rising, species are dying from all of the heat. He's finding it hard to have hope...until he meets a man from NASA. Find transcripts for Tai Asks Why Here: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/podcastnews/tai-asks-why-transcripts-listen-1.6747759

Access the transcript for this episode here.


SEASON 2:

Episode 1: What are Animals Saying to Each Other?

Tai’s brother Kien thinks he can talk to ducks. We’ve taught our animals to sit and stay, but that’s not the same as us learning their language, you know? Do animals have language? And if they do, could we learn it? Can we ever really know what animals are saying to each other? Find transcripts for Tai Asks Why Here: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/podcastnews/tai-asks-why-transcripts-listen-1.6747759

Access the transcript for this episode here.

Episode 2: Deja Vu

You know that feeling when you feel like you have lived a moment already? Well that’s deja vu (French for already seen) and apparently, it happens to over 60 per cent of people! But why? Is it a good thing or a bad thing? What is Deja Vu? Find transcripts for Tai Asks Why Here: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/podcastnews/tai-asks-why-transcripts-listen-1.6747759

Access the transcript for this episode here.

Episode 3: What Is the Science Behind Bullying?

Tai and his friends all have experiences of being bullied. And, as he learns, it’s a pretty universal thing - even trees are known to bully other trees! Why is such an unpleasant thing so widespread? What is the science behind bullying? Find transcripts for Tai Asks Why Here: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/podcastnews/tai-asks-why-transcripts-listen-1.6747759

Access the transcript for this episode here.

Episode 4: When the dinosaurs died, how did other animals survive?

Tai spends a lot of time imagining how the apocalypse might go down. So, he turns to animals that have survived past apocalypses—like the one that killed the dinosaurs—to see what traits the true survivors have in common. Find transcripts for Tai Asks Why Here: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/podcastnews/tai-asks-why-transcripts-listen-1.6747759

Access the transcript for this episode here.

Episode 5: Why is space so dark if it's full of stars?

Tai is fascinated by what’s in the dark spaces between the stars. Considering there are trillions of stars in the universe (and counting!), it seems a bit odd that the universe isn’t just a blinding ball of light. So then, why is space so dark? Find transcripts for Tai Asks Why Here: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/podcastnews/tai-asks-why-transcripts-listen-1.6747759

Access the transcript for this episode here.

Episode 6: How does a song get stuck in your head?

Whether it’s a doot doot doot of an opening riff or a random mix of words from the chorus, 99 per cent of people admit to getting songs stuck in their heads. So what is it about certain songs that make them so catchy? How does a song get stuck in your head? Find transcripts for Tai Asks Why Here: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/podcastnews/tai-asks-why-transcripts-listen-1.6747759

Access the transcript for this episode here.


SEASON 3:

Episode 1: What's Happening In My Teen Brain?

Tai’s 14 now. As he goes through adolescence, there are all sorts of weird things happening in his brain that are literally reshaping it, getting him ready for adulthood! But what’s happening in there? Why do humans even have an adolescent phase? And how can Tai harness his mental superpowers while he has them? This week Tai spoke to: - Frances Jensen, Chair of Neurology in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania - Juliet Davidow, psychology professor who developed the Learning and Brain Development Lab at Northeastern University Find transcripts for Tai Asks Why Here: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/podcastnews/tai-asks-why-transcripts-listen-1.6747759

Access the transcript for this episode here.

Episode 2: Why Are Viruses So Good At What They Do?

If you ever feel alone, you shouldn’t, because you are actually surrounded by viruses. They’re in you, they’re on you and, in fact, there are more viruses in the world than there are stars in the sky. So why aren’t we sick all the time? In this episode Tai looks at how viruses work, how they travel, and the ways in which they shape our lives—both bad and good. This week Tai spoke with: - Seema Yasmin, physician, writer and science communicator based at Stanford University - Lena Ciric, environmental engineer and lecturer at University College London Find transcripts for Tai Asks Why Here: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/podcastnews/tai-asks-why-transcripts-listen-1.6747759

Access the transcript for this episode here.

Episode 3: Why Do Humans Dance?

Don’t tell anyone: Tai thinks he has two left feet and he still loves to dance when no one’s watching. But why do humans like to dance at all? What’s going on in the brain when people boogie? In this episode, Tai tangos into the activity that has helped humans and communities survive for thousands of years, with the help of his whole family. Find transcripts for Tai Asks Why Here: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/podcastnews/tai-asks-why-transcripts-listen-1.6747759 This week Tai spoke with: - Peter Lovatt, psychologist, author of The Dance Cure - Ashley ‘Colours’ Perez, dancer and teacher @classwithcolours

Access the transcript for this episode here.

Episode 4: How Do I Know What's True On The Internet?

It’s easier than ever to be bamboozled by bad information. Tai and his friends are no exception—even smarty pants like them fall for things online. In this episode, Tai tries to figure out how to spot misinformation and how to stop it from spreading. This week Tai spoke with: - Andrea Bellemare, a CBC journalist who specializes in covering disinformation - Seema Yasmin, disease expert - Jemmika Anderson, media literacy expert and creator of I Am Not the Media Find transcripts for Tai Asks Why Here: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/podcastnews/tai-asks-why-transcripts-listen-1.6747759

Access the transcript for this episode here.

Episode 5: What Is At The Bottom Of The Ocean?

The ocean covers over 70% of our planet, and yet, we’ve only mapped about a tenth of it. We know more about the far side of the moon than we know about our own ocean! In this episode, Tai explores the deep ocean to learn about its mysteries and what survives in its darkest corners. This week Tai spoke with: - Verena Tunnicliffe, a marine biologist who has spent 30 years studying all the weird and wacky animals that thrive on the bottom of the ocean - Melissa Omand, Assistant Professor of Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island. She’s an explorer who uses robots to explore the ocean depths - Bob Dziak, NOAA’s acoustic engineer, who has dropped sound recorders into places like the Mariana Trench. Find transcripts for Tai Asks Why Here: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/podcastnews/tai-asks-why-transcripts-listen-1.6747759

Access the transcript for this episode here.

Episode 6: How Much Screen Time Is Too Much?

Tai and all of his friends are in a constant war with their parents over one big thing — screen time. For years, their parents have been telling them that screen time is bad and needs to be limited. But is it really? Tai finds out. In this episode Tai talks to: - Kara Bagot, child and adolescent psychiatrist at the Icahn School of Medicine - Madeleine George, psychologist and analyst at RTI International - Jenny Odell, writer and artist, author of How to Do Nothing. Find transcripts for Tai Asks Why Here: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/podcastnews/tai-asks-why-transcripts-listen-1.6747759

Access the transcript for this episode here.

Episode 7: How Else Can We Power The Planet?

Nothing on our planet could function without pooower! Even though energy is all around us, harnessing that energy and turning it into power is a massive challenge. Powering our day-to-day lives makes up almost half of fossil fuel emissions, which is causing climate change! Tai tries to find out if there's a better way to power the planet. In this episode Tai talks to: - Richard Randell, engineer and PhD candidate at Stanford's Mechanical Engineering program - Daniel Ddiba, research associate at the Stockholm Environment Institute. He conducts research into how poop can be used as fuel for industries and other applications in African cities - Jim Green, chief scientist at NASA, who tells Tai how NASA's planning on providing power for future colonies on Mars, 140 million kilometres away. Find transcripts for Tai Asks Why Here: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/podcastnews/tai-asks-why-transcripts-listen-1.6747759

Access the transcript for this episode here.

Episode 8: Where Is The Internet?

For Tai, the internet has always been there, and it's hard to imagine life without it. It seems almost like it's everywhere, all at once, like magical little clouds filled with information above us. But he learns there's a very real, physical system that allows him to send memes to friends or submit his homework. And more importantly, not everyone has equal access to it. In this episode Tai talks to: - Nicole Starosielski, Associate Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University - Janice Gates, Director of the Equitable Internet Initiative by the Detroit Community Technology Project. Find transcripts for Tai Asks Why Here: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/podcastnews/tai-asks-why-transcripts-listen-1.6747759

Access the transcript for this episode here.

Episode 9: How is the Universe going to end?

Not to be a downer, but the universe could end any minute. Or it could take a hundred million years. Give or take. So we don't know *when* it will happen, but we can be a bit more certain about *how* the universe will end. In this episode, Tai unpacks the science of the end times. In this episode Tai talks to: - Katie Mack, theoretical astrophysicist and the author of The End of Everything (Astrophysically Speaking), - Christopher Kochanek, professor of astronomy at the Ohio State University. His current research focuses on "massive stars behaving badly." Find transcripts for Tai Asks Why Here: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/podcastnews/tai-asks-why-transcripts-listen-1.6747759

Access the transcript for this episode here.

Episode 10: Is It Possible To Tell The Future?

These are anxious times, and Tai just wants to know… what’s going to happen? He can’t look into a crystal ball, but there are actually people who spend their lives predicting the future. With their help, he looks towards the great unknown. In this episode Tai speaks to: - Rose Eveleth, the creator of Flash Forward Presents, a podcast network that demystifies the future, with shows like Flash Forward and Advice For And From The Future - Tim Chartier, Professor of Mathematics at Davidson College. He often uses data analytics to predict outcomes in sports - Satyan Devadoss, Fletcher Jones Chair of Applied Mathematics at the University of San Diego and author of Mage Merlin's Unsolved Mathematical Mysteries. This is the last episode of Season 3, thanks so much for tuning in! Find transcripts for Tai Asks Why Here: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/podcastnews/tai-asks-why-transcripts-listen-1.6747759

Access the transcript for this episode here.

 

SEASON 4:

Episode 1: Can we keep eating meat without destroying the planet?

To Tai, nothing beats cutting into a perfectly cooked steak or wolfing down a big, juicy cheeseburger. But lately he’s been paying more attention to the buzz around going meatless in the fight against climate change. “Plant-based” foods like beefless burgers and chickenless nuggets have made their way into grocery aisles and fast food chains. But are those actually better for the environment? What exactly is our appetite for meat doing to the planet? Tai investigates. In this episode Tai talks to: - Brent Kim, researcher at the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future - Jody Puglisi, professor of structural biology at Stanford University For transcripts of this series, please visit: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/podcastnews/tai-asks-why-transcripts-listen-1.6747759

Access the transcript for this episode here.

Episode 2: What will money look like in the future?

Tai loves paying for stuff with his mobile wallet. It's quick, convenient and his pockets have never been lighter! Technology has made it easier than ever to interact with money, which has Tai wondering: will physical cash eventually be a thing of the past? From cows to cryptocurrency, Tai traces the evolution of money to see if its history can offer clues to where it’s headed next. In this episode Tai talks to: - Stephen McKeon, associate professor of finance at the University of Oregon - Gina Pieters, assistant instructional professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Chicago - Nikhil Raghuveera, nonresident fellow at the Atlantic Council's GeoTech Center For transcripts of this series, please visit: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/podcastnews/tai-asks-why-transcripts-listen-1.6747759

Access the transcript for this episode here.

Episode 3: What can I do when I'm anxious?

Tai’s recently been experiencing a new, unsettling feeling that he just can’t always shake. His parents suggest it’s anxiety, and according to his friends, he’s not alone. But why does it have to feel so awful? In this episode, Tai looks for ways to manage his anxiety and where he can turn to for help. In this episode Tai talks to: - Adiaha I.A. Spinks-Franklin, developmental behavioral pediatrician and associate professor of pediatrics for Baylor College of Medicine - Phoebe Chin, registered psychotherapist and art therapist For transcripts of this series, please visit: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/podcastnews/tai-asks-why-transcripts-listen-1.6747759

Access the transcript for this episode here.

Episode 4: How reliable are our memories?

Whether they're happy, sad or the embarrassing kind we'd rather forget, memories play a big part in our lives. They shape our identities, help us connect with others and allow us to learn from our past. But can we trust that our memories are accurate? In this episode, Tai digs deep into how memory works in the brain, and enlists the help of experts to interpret a particularly scary childhood memory. In this episode Tai talks to: - Ayanna Thomas, professor of psychology at Tufts University - Steve Ramirez, professor of neuroscience at Boston University For transcripts of this series, please visit: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/podcastnews/tai-asks-why-transcripts-listen-1.6747759

Access the transcript for this episode here.

Episode 5: What is math so hard to love?

To listeners of this podcast, it’s no secret that Tai loves math. But he knows that a lot of people, including his friends, definitely don’t feel the same way. In this episode, Tai uncovers why math gets such a bad rap, and if there’s any truth to the well-worn phrase: “I’m just not a math person!” In this episode Tai talks to: - Sian Beilock, cognitive scientist and president of Barnard College at Columbia University - Daniel Ansari, Canada Research Chair in Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience & Learning at Western University - Mariam Hazhir, math teacher in Surrey, B.C. For transcripts of this series, please visit: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/podcastnews/tai-asks-why-transcripts-listen-1.6747759

Access the transcript for this episode here.

Episode 6: How do animals know where they're going?

We know birds can travel large distances day or night, rain or shine, even if they’ve never migrated before. If you confuse a spiny lobster and drop it far from home, it can still find its way back. How do they do that? In this episode, Tai discovers the mysterious and mind-boggling ways animals navigate. In this episode Tai talks to: - David Barrie, researcher and author of Supernavigators: Exploring the Wonders of How Animals Find Their Way - Ken Lohmann, biology professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill - Samantha Patrick, senior lecturer in marine biology at the University of Liverpool For transcripts of this series, please visit: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/podcastnews/tai-asks-why-transcripts-listen-1.6747759

Access the transcript for this episode here.

Episode 7: Are we alone in the universe?

So far, the only intelligent life we know of is right here on Earth — us! But could there be life on other planets just waiting to be discovered? In this episode, Tai goes deep in the cosmos to explore how scientists are searching for signs of life beyond our little blue dot, and what their work can tell us about our place in the universe. In this episode Tai talks to: - Nathalie Cabrol, astrobiologist and director of research at the SETI Institute - Jacob Haqq-Misra, senior research investigator at the Blue Marble Space Institute of Science - Heidi White, astrophysicist at the University of Toronto For transcripts of this series, please visit: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/podcastnews/tai-asks-why-transcripts-listen-1.6747759

Access the transcript for this episode here.


Production Credits

Host: Tai Poole
Producers: Tai Poole, Eunice Kim, Judy Ziyi Gu and Rachel Levy-McLaughlin
Sound Design: Graham MacDonald
Theme Music: Johnny Spence
Digital Producer: S.K. Robert
Senior Producer: Tina Verma

Special thanks to:
Minh Nguyen
Nicky Poole
Austin Pomeroy
Tai's friends Kaden, Pyper, Finn and Mei-lin

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