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Big If True
Big If True is a biweekly podcast for kids dedicated to exploring the truth behind big things. You can find shownotes and other extras at bigiftrue.abbymullen.org!
Sep 20, 2021
The Appalachian Trail (re-release)
We're re-releasing our very first episode! Our guest on that show, Mills Kelly, has a new podcast called The Green Tunnel, all about the history of the Appalachian Trail. You should check it out wherever you get your podcasts!
Sep 6, 2021
Today we're learning about hair that's larger than life! In the past, rich and powerful folks have used their hair to show off how great they were--but all that hair power comes with a price. We talk to Emma Markiewicz about hair and big wigs on today's episode.
Aug 23, 2021
This week we're launching into space! We're learning all about the rocket that propelled astronauts all the way to the moon: the Saturn V. Our guest, Michael Neufeld of the National Air and Space Museum, tells us all about what these giant rockets are, what they do, and why we stopped using them. Show notes, including a full transcript, available at bigiftrue.abbymullen.org.
Aug 5, 2021
Airships are giant balloons with engines! They've been used for recreation, espionage, defense, and more. Our guest Brett Holman tells us about these giant airborne vehicles, and what happens when people get a little bit too paranoid about them...
Jul 22, 2021
The Tokyo 2020(1) Olympics are starting! So we wanted to find out a little more about what the Olympics are, and why they work the way they do. We talk to Dr. Matt Hodler, a historian of sport, to learn more about this big sporting event. Show notes are available at bigiftrue.abbymullen.org.
Jul 1, 2021
In this special July 4-themed episode, we're talking about a staple of many people's Independence Day celebration: giant explosions! Whether you love fireworks or hate them, you'll learn something about where they come from and how they're made with our expert Simon Werrett! Show notes at https://bigiftrue.abbymullen.org/uncategorized/fireworks/.
Jun 10, 2021
In this episode of Big If True, we travel to ancient Egypt---or a fictional version of ancient Egypt, which is the setting for Aida, an opera by Giuseppe Verdi. Today we're talking to Steven White about this grand opera, and what it takes to make such a production. This episode is for you even if you don't know anything about opera, or you think you don't like opera! Shownotes, including full transcript and links to full recordings of the opera, at bigiftrue.abbymullen.org.
May 29, 2021
World War II
In today’s episode, we’re talking about World War II on Memorial Day weekend. We don’t have time to talk about even a fraction of the war, so we’re just touching on a few topics that we’re interested in about how American soldiers got to the front. Our guest, Kim Guise of the National World War II Museum in New Orleans, Louisiana, answers all our questions! Show notes are at https://bigiftrue.abbymullen.org/uncategorized/world-war-ii/.
May 20, 2021
Volcanoes are really big and really dangerous! Right now, one volcano in a big chain of volcanoes in the Caribbean is erupting. It's called La Soufriere de Saint Vincent. We talked to Charlie Mandeville of the US Geological Survey's Volcano Hazards Program about La Soufriere, and about volcanoes more generally. Show notes, including a full transcript and lots of additional information, are at https://bigiftrue.abbymullen.org/uncategorized/la-soufriere/.
May 6, 2021
Did you hear the story about the ship that got stuck in the Suez Canal? Did you find the story super confusing because it seemed so improbable? Today's episode is about the Ever Given, the ship that got stuck in the Suez Canal at the end of March. Our expert, Sal Mercogliano, talks us through what container ships are, why they're so important, and what in the world happened to the Ever Given! Big If True is a podcast for curious kids and kids at heart, where a nine-year-old and her mom explore things that are big and true. You can find our shownotes, including a full transcript, at bigiftrue.abbymullen.org.
Apr 22, 2021
Today we're talking about a BIG GAME--it's big because you can build big things in it, and it's big because a huge number of people play it. It's Minecraft! Guided by our expert, Anne Ladyem McDivitt, we explore why Minecraft is so cool, and how big it really is. Plus we got some help from you, our listeners! (Even cooler: we've got actual Minecraft music, from C418. Thanks, C418!) Shownotes, including full transcript, at bigiftrue.abbymullen.org.
Apr 8, 2021
In this episode, we visit one of the most iconic national parks in the United States: Yellowstone. Megan Kate Nelson talks to us about how Yellowstone came to be a park, as well as how all the amazing geothermal features and animals came to be in the area. Show notes and full transcript at bigiftrue.abbymullen.org.
Mar 25, 2021
In this week's episode, we're talking about something that's big and also true---from a certain point of view. We're kicking off an intermittent series called Big If True in Literature and Culture with a discussion of ents, giant tree-people in J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings series. We learn about what they are, what they do, and why they're so cool. Check out our show notes at bigiftrue.abbymullen.org!
Mar 18, 2021
A special edition of Big If True: Today we're talking about big news companies: who they are, what they do, and how they make sure what they're telling us is fair and accurate. We'll hear from two experts: Yoni Appelbaum, a senior editor at The Atlantic, and Steve Inskeep, the co-host of several shows at NPR. Be sure to check out our show notes at https://bigiftrue.abbymullen.org/.
Mar 11, 2021
In this episode, we're exploring the sounds of the ocean---specifically, the sounds made by the biggest animals ever to live: blue whales. Our expert is Dallas Taylor of Twenty Thousand Hertz. Show notes are at bigiftrue.abbymullen.org.
Feb 25, 2021
In this episode, we're learning about the biggest ships in the navy: aircraft carriers! Find out what it's like to live on this gigantic ship and also fly off it at tremendous speed! Shownotes at bigiftrue.abbymullen.org.
Feb 11, 2021
In this episode, we explore the truth about giant clams---and their skills as farmers and sunlight-diverters! Our guest Alison Sweeney tells us about where giant clams live, how they get so big, and why they glow!
Jan 28, 2021
Our show today is all about the technology that makes this app--and this podcast--possible: the Internet! Justine Sherry, a computer scientist at Carnegie Mellon University, takes us through what the Internet is and why we use it for so many things. Shownotes are at bigiftrue.abbymullen.org.
Jan 14, 2021
We investigate a big storm: hurricanes! Matthew Cappucci of the Capital Weather Gang takes us through what hurricanes are, how they form, what they feel like, and why they're so dangerous. More info and shownotes at bigiftrue.abbymullen.org.
Dec 31, 2020
In this episode, we investigate the truth about the biggest instrument in the orchestra: the piano. Our guest, Mark Irchai, not only tells us about the piano, but he plays some fantastic music for us as well! Find our show notes at bigiftrue.abbymullen.org.
Dec 31, 2020
The Appalachian Trail
In our first episode, we're checking out our first big thing: the Appalachian Trail! Our expert guest, Mills Kelly, will take us through how big the trail is and why it's so important. Show notes are available at bigiftrue.abbymullen.org.
Nov 22, 2020
Big If True Trailer
Big If True is a podcast produced every other week by Abby and Maggie, a mom and daughter who love to learn new things. In this podcast, we're learning about BIG THINGS, and we're talking to experts to help us. Join us for 10-20 minutes every other week to learn about lots of big things, from big in size, to big in reach, to big in impact.