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Podcast

Tai Asks Why

Tai Poole is trying to find answers to life's biggest questions. What happens after we die? What’s happening in my teen brain? How can we fix climate change? He may not solve them all, but give him a break ... he's only 14 years old

Episodes

  • Is it possible to predict the future?

    Mar 17 2021

    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. H...more

  • How is the universe going to end?

    Mar 10 2021

    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. Hi...more

  • Where is the internet?

    Mar 03 2021

    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 Un...more

  • How else can we power the planet?

    Feb 24 2021

    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 t...more

  • How much screen time is too much?

    Feb 17 2021

    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

  • What is at the bottom of the ocean?

    Feb 10 2021

    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 Oceanogr...more

  • How do I know what’s true on the internet?

    Feb 03 2021

    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 Jimmeka Anderson, media literacy expert and creator of I Am Not the Media

  • Why do humans dance?

    Jan 27 2021

    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. This week Tai spoke with: Peter Lovatt, psychologist, author of The Dance Cure Ashley ‘Colours’ Perez, dancer and teacher @classwithcolours

  • Why are viruses so good at what they do?

    Jan 20 2021

    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, environme...more

  • What's happening in my teen brain?

    Jan 13 2021

    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 L...more

  • New year, new Tai

    Jan 06 2021

    Notice anything different about Tai? It’s 2021 and he’s in high school now. A lot has changed, but not his insatiable quest for ANSWERS! Season 3 of Tai Asks Why will be out Wednesday, January 13. Catch you then.

  • How does a song get stuck in your head?

    Nov 05 2020

    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?

  • Ask Tai Why: Silence, no more humans, and the glow of the earth’s core

    Oct 29 2020

    In this week's bonus segment Ask Tai Why, Tai takes questions from: Penelope Cook, Toronto: Is there such a thing as complete silence? Griff, Yukon: What comes after humans? Finley, Wakefield, Quebec: Does the core of the earth glow?

  • Why is space so dark if it’s full of stars?

    Oct 22 2020

    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?

  • Ask Tai Why: Fear, time and the colour of colours

    Oct 15 2020

    In this week's bonus segment Ask Tai Why, Tai takes questions from: Charlotte, Toronto: What is fear, and why were we born with it? Desmond: What is Time? George, Toronto: What makes colour a colour?

  • When the dinosaurs died, how did other animals survive?

    Oct 08 2020

    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.

  • Ask Tai Why: Freckles, video games, and climate-changing farts

    Oct 01 2020

    In bonus segment Ask Tai Why, Tai answers some questions for a change. This week, he takes questions from: Grace, Hamilton: Why do I have freckles Henry: Why are Video Games so violent? Alex, Halifax: Are farts changing the climate?

  • What’s the science behind bullying?

    Sep 24 2020

    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?

  • Ask Tai Why: Cuteness, hotness and the origins of English

    Sep 17 2020

    In a new bonus segment called Ask Tai Why, Tai answers some questions for a change. This week, he takes questions from: Von Lewis, Halifax: Why do cute animals make us smile? Hamzah, Ontario: Why is the sun hot? Rhea, Ontario: Who invented the English Language?

  • What are animals saying to each other?

    Sep 10 2020

    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?

  • What is Deja Vu

    Sep 03 2020

    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?

  • How will we fix climate change?

    Aug 27 2020

    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.

  • Which is cooler, zero or infinity?

    Aug 20 2020

    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.

  • Why do we dream?

    Aug 13 2020

    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?

  • What happens after you die?

    Aug 06 2020

    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.

  • Should we trust our gut?

    Jul 30 2020

    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?

  • What is love?

    Jul 23 2020

    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.

  • Trailer

    Jul 13 2020

    Meet Tai Poole - a little guy with big questions. Join him as he heads from universities to playgrounds seeking answers. He may not solve all the mysteries of life, but give him a break ... he's only 11 years old.