Quirks and Quarks is "the national science radio program of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation," (as they say at the end of every broadcast). It can be heard from noon to 1:00PM local time in Canada, and can also be heard on shortwave at various times or any time you like in RealAudio at radio.cbc.ca.
Quirks and Quarks hosts have included Bob McDonald (1992-present, previously of the Wonderstruck TV show), Jay Ingram (1979-1991, a writer of popular science books and later host of The Discovery Channel's @Discovery.ca programme) and Dr. David Suzuki (1975-1979, a prominent environmentalist and later host of The Nature of Things).
The show deals with new advances in all fields of science including biology, astronomy, palaentolgy, physics and medicine. It manages to completely kick the ass of most TLC "educational" television shows for quite a few good reasons:
- It presents new and crucial developments in science, instead of rehashing old tornado footage.
- It has interviews with researchers and scientists and has an informative host instead of a single disembodied announcer saying "tornados are devestating natural phenomena."
- It attempts to present both sides of a scientific debate and the evidence for each side, instead of easy to digest one-sided statements like "a tornado trashed my trailer!" (I mean, how does the tornado feel about it?)
- Being a radio show, there are no pictures of people running from todnados to distract you from the interesting discussion.
- It will actually teach you cool stuff instead of instilling a fear of wind.
Plus, there are great recurring features like "Question of the Week", "Microbe of the Month" and the Science Poetry Contest. Quirks and Quarks is a truly informative science show, and at the very least provides a very good reason for the existence of CBC Radio 1.
If you support the show, you can buy the obligatory t-shirt or computer mousepad or be at the height of fashion with the Quirks and Quarks official lab coat.