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PI Day, a crazy jetpack story and everything solar eclipse with Astronomer-Physicist Spencer Wilken



Spencer Wilken is back on La Crosse Talk PM to discuss the upcoming solar eclipse, how her PhD is going in Astronomy at the University of Illinois and, we’re still doing our regular segment, where we break news that happened from 50-150 years ago.

La Crosse Talk PM airs weekdays at 5:06 p.m. Listen on the WIZM app, online here, or on 92.3 FM / 1410 AM / 106.7 FM (north of Onalaska). Find all the podcasts here or subscribe to La Crosse Talk PM wherever you get your podcasts.

We saved that for last, but it has to deal with the invention of the jetpack and how the three men involved ended up being, kidnapped, murdered and serving jail — all while the original jetpack was hidden and has still never been found.

Wilken also gives me a basic astronomy quiz (below) that college students take, including knowing the difference between astronomy and astrology (27:00). She also gives a kind of amazing fact about astrology, for those who identify with a certain sign — you may not actually be that sign anymore.

But, we began the show just getting an update on studying for an astronomy PhD and how Wilken takes to heart being a woman in science and inspiring girls to also be interested in the field.

After that, we discuss multiple facets of the eclipse (9:30), including the weird things animals do — like tortoises getting down (23:55).

In the midst of the show, (21:05), we discuss PI Day as a science, and as a restaurant owner. Wilken offers her condolences to those running pie shops, like the Pie Hole.

And, we wrapped up with the great jetpack origins story (32:20), as part of our ongoing segment of breaking (old) news.

Host of WIZM's La Crosse Talk PM | University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point graduate | Hometown: Greenville, Wis | Avid noonball basketball player and sand volleyballer in La Crosse

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