In the first half of the program, author Steve Alten talked about his latest work, Sharkman, as well as his research into Nessie and the mysterious Lake Vostok of Antarctica. Alten revealed that Sharkman, which tells the story of a paralyzed man using experimental shark stem cells to heal himself, was actually inspired by his own treatment to battle Parkinson's disease. He explained that, after being diagnosed with Parkinson's, he was introduced to one of the world's leading stem cell resarchers and was subsequently administered a drug which caused his bone marrow to secrete a high volume of stem cells that seek out parts of the body needing repair. Based on this experience and adding in elements of science fiction, Alten penned Sharkman, which he likened to Spiderman or The Fly, since the main character's use of shark stem cells unwittingly leads to him transforming "in some pretty amazing ways."
Alten also detailed how his next book centers around Antarctica's mysterious Lake Vostok, which is "a 6,000 square mile, liquid lake buried beneath two and a half miles of ice cap." According to him, accessing Vostok is fraught with challenges, since it is kept in a liquid form by the pressure of the ice above and this tension could be compromised by attempts to access the lake. Additionally, since the lake has been untouched for 15 million years, researchers must be extremely careful not to contaminate the location should they manage to reach it. Moreover, Alten marveled, Vostok appears to contain some kind of anomaly which emanates powerful electromagnetic energy that scientists cannot ascribe to any natural phenomenon, leading to some speculation that an ET craft could be lurking beneath the surface.
The latter half of the program was devoted to Open Lines and featured a special "Scared to Death" line for listeners to share their scariest experiences. Keith in Canada recalled an incident which occurred when he was camping in the mountains of British Columbia during the early 1970's. While sitting in a clearing, he heard a rumbling noise and the sound of small trees cracking. Suddenly, a grizzly bear that was "the size of a Volkswagen Super Beetle" burst out of the woods toward him. After deciding not to shoot the massive beast, Keith mimicked the animal's sound which caused it to briefly stand on its hind legs and then run back into the woods. Fortunately for Keith, the hasty retreat saved his life, he was so far into the mountains that he never would have been able to survive even a minor bear attack.
Other callers during the evening included Bill in Connecticut, who shared his suggestion that, when the Orion craft begins taking humans to lunar orbit in 2018, the United States should invite two Russian cosmonauts to make the maiden journey with a pair of American astronauts. Such a scenario, Bill opined, would help foster peace between the two nations and set an example of cooperation for the rest of the planet. Later in the program, John in Canada detailed his plan to build a time machine that will utilize strong magnetic energy and lasers. Should construction prove successful, he hopes to travel to both the 1950's and 1970's in order to research those eras and possibly interact with people from the past.
Bumper music from Friday January 2, 2015
Midnight Express (The Chase)
Nights in White Satin
Little by Little
House of the Rising Sun
Eric Burdon & Animals
Time After Time
Dave Matthews Band
Somewhere Over The Rainbow