Cover art for podcast Tai Asks Why

Tai Asks Why

45 EpisodesProduced by CBC PodcastsWebsite

Fifteen-year-old Tai Poole won’t rest until he’s uncovered the mysteries of the universe, one probing question at a time. In Season 4 of his Webby-winning podcast, Tai talks to everyone from NASA scientists to stand-up comedians to his equally curious little brother Kien. If you’ve ever wondered why… read more

45 Episodes | 2018 - 2022

Are we alone in the universe?

June 22nd, 2022

28:50

So far, the only intelligent life we know of is right here on Earth — us! But could there be life on other planets just waiting to be discovered? In …

Why do we laugh?

June 15th, 2022

25:45

Laughing makes us feel real good, whether you’re in on the joke or not. But does it serve a specific purpose? Why do we find some jokes hilarious and others to be total groaners? In this episode, Tai peels the science …

How do animals know where they’re going?

June 1st, 2022

27:52

We know birds can travel large distances day or night, rain or shine, even if they’ve never migrated before. If you confuse a spiny lobster and drop it far from home, it can still find its way back. How do they do that? …

Why is math so hard to love?

May 25th, 2022

29:11

To listeners of this podcast, it’s no secret that Tai loves math. But he knows that a lot of people, including his friends, definitely don’t feel the same way. In this episode, Tai uncovers why math gets such a bad rap, …

Why do we love junk food so much?

May 18th, 2022

31:09

Pizza, chips, gummy worms and wings — these are a few of Tai’s favourite things! He just can’t get enough of their sugary, fatty, salty goodness, even though he knows they’re not exactly good *for* you. But why does he …

How reliable are our memories?

May 11th, 2022

31:14

Whether they're happy, sad or the embarrassing kind we'd rather forget, memories play a big part in our lives. They shape our identities, help us connect with others and allow us to learn from our past. But can we trust …

What can I do when I’m anxious?

May 4th, 2022

34:27

Tai’s recently been experiencing a new, unsettling feeling that he just can’t always shake. His parents suggest it’s anxiety, and according to his …

What will money look like in the future?

April 27th, 2022

30:33

Tai loves paying for stuff with his mobile wallet. It's quick, convenient and his pockets have never been lighter! Technology has made it easier than …

Can we keep eating meat without destroying the planet?

April 20th, 2022

30:39

To Tai, nothing beats cutting into a perfectly cooked steak or wolfing down a big, juicy cheeseburger. But lately he’s been paying more attention to …

Tai’s back

April 7th, 2022

2:25

Ever wondered why nothing feels better than a deep belly laugh? Or why it’s impossible to not inhale a bag of chips in one sitting? You’re not alone — and you bet Tai’s got you covered. Season 4 of Tai Asks Why starts …

Special episode: How powerful is NASA's new space telescope?

December 17th, 2021

17:07

So, there's a MAJOR event happening in space science. NASA is set to launch the enormous James Webb Space Telescope. Why is this such a big deal? …

Introducing: Unlocking the Fountain

October 1st, 2021

4:22

What if there were a pill that could add decades to your life? Would you take it? For thousands of years, people have searched for elixirs that could …

Is it possible to predict the future?

March 17th, 2021

25:51

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 …

How is the universe going to end?

March 10th, 2021

23:28

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 …

Where is the internet?

March 3rd, 2021

27:58

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 …

How else can we power the planet?

February 24th, 2021

24:38

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 …

How much screen time is too much?

February 17th, 2021

26:26

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? …

What is at the bottom of the ocean?

February 10th, 2021

25:30

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 …

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

February 3rd, 2021

27:44

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 …

Why do humans dance?

January 27th, 2021

22:58

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 …

Why are viruses so good at what they do?

January 20th, 2021

21:50

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 …

What's happening in my teen brain?

January 13th, 2021

22:48

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 …

New year, new Tai

January 6th, 2021

2:32

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 …

Introducing Circle Round from WBUR

November 26th, 2019

14:32

Created and produced by parents of young children, Circle Round adapts carefully-selected folktales from around the world into sound- and music-rich …

Introducing: CBC Podcasts in Class

September 26th, 2019

1:34

Free teaching resources have been developed for select episodes of Tai Asks Why! If you — or someone you know — teaches middle-school science, …

How does a song get stuck in your head?

September 25th, 2019

25:51

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? …

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

September 23rd, 2019

8:33

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 …

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

September 18th, 2019

24:53

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 …

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

September 16th, 2019

7:48

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 …

When the dinosaurs died, how did other animals survive?

September 11th, 2019

25:14

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 …

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

September 9th, 2019

6:45

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

What’s the science behind bullying?

September 4th, 2019

28:00

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 …

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

September 2nd, 2019

8:58

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, …

What are animals saying to each other?

August 28th, 2019

26:50

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 …

What is Deja Vu?

August 28th, 2019

24:01

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 …

Tai is back!

August 21st, 2019

2:16

Tai Poole is back - and he has no time for small talk. He’d rather discuss why space is so dark, the real reason for deja vu, and the science behind …

Introducing The Two Princes from Gimlet

June 20th, 2019

25:00

When Prince Rupert sets out to break the mysterious curse that’s destroying his kingdom, he’s ready to face whatever dastardly villain or vile monster stands in his way. What he isn’t prepared for are the bewildering …

Tai is coming back for season 2...and he needs your help!

April 9th, 2019

1:51

Tai is coming back for a second season this September. Do you have a question you'd like Tai to answer? Send them our way! Plus, Tai Asks Why has been nominated for a Webby Award! But to win, we need your vote! Head to …

How will we fix climate change?

November 21st, 2018

21:20

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?

November 14th, 2018

18:55

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 …

Why do we dream?

November 7th, 2018

24:10

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?

October 30th, 2018

21:54

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?

October 23rd, 2018

23:46

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?

October 23rd, 2018

21:15

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.

Tai Says Hi

August 28th, 2018

2:24

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 …

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