In this episode of Cool Science Radio Mara Grunbaum who has just written Break Down! which is a NatGeo kids book joins Lynn and John. The book explores how things break down, crack, explode, crumple, and shatter. Break Down! explores the world through the lens of what it takes for things to, well, not work. You peer through the smoke and rubble of controlled demolitions to discover the properties of building materials. It shows the inner workings of a cracked cell phone screen, mega-avalanches and sinkholes and it travels back in time to explore the world’s most famous failures.
John's curiosity with science and technology began at the age of 7 with the country's space program. With a subscription his parents gave him to Popular Science and Popular Mechanics along with other periodicals and Walter Cronkite's evening broadcast he studied everything space. He followed the lives of America's test pilots and astronauts who piloted Mercury, Gemini and Apollo spacecraft. His curiosity in how things were built led him to dismantling the family's window fan, toaster and lawnmower. Taking apart things was easy. Putting them back together, well, not so much. John grew up in New York state and Massachusetts with 2 brothers and 2 sisters. He received a BA in Economics and Sociology from the University of Maryland.
Lynn Ware Peek is a long-time contributor to KPCW. She joined the station in 2008 with Tales from the Wasatch Back, was a reporter from 2012 to 2016, and co-hosts and produces two of KPCW’s Public Affairs Hour shows, The Mountain Life, on health and lifestyle, on Wednesdays and Cool Science Radio, tackling science and technology every Thursday.