Science

5:12pm

Tue July 22, 2014
Risk And Reason

Pop Quiz: 20 Percent Chance Of Rain. Do You Need An Umbrella?

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 6:04 pm

Will it rain or not? How you interpret the forecast could mean the difference between getting soaked or staying safe.
Maria Pavlova iStockphoto

This week, All Things Considered is exploring how people interpret probability. What does it mean to us, for example, when a doctor says an operation has a 70 percent chance of success?

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4:14pm

Tue July 22, 2014
Animals

Thousands Of Migrating Birds Take Their Layover In A Texas Parking Lot

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 6:18 pm

For one month every summer, hundreds of thousands of purple martins stop by an abandoned shopping mall parking lot in Austin, Texas, on their way to the Amazon Basin. Reporter Luke Quinton visited this year's roosting and offers a glimpse of the phenomenon.

3:31pm

Tue July 22, 2014
Goats and Soda

Don't Pop That Bubble Wrap! Scientists Turn Trash Into Test Tubes

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 5:47 pm

Clear and clean, bubble wrap is well-suited to serve as an array of tiny test tubes. Here a dye solution is injected into the bubbles to measure the hemoglobin concentration in blood.
American Chemical Society

Hate to burst your bubble, glass lab gear. But plastic bubble wrap also works pretty well at running science experiments.

Scientists at Harvard University have figured out a way to use these petite pouches as an inexpensive alternate to glass test tubes and culture dishes. They even ran glucose tests on artificial urine and anemia tests on blood, all with the samples sitting inside bubble wrap.

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1:55pm

Tue July 22, 2014
Krulwich Wonders...

What's Better Than A Total Eclipse Of The Sun? Check This

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 2:54 pm

NASA/JPL-Caltech

Any eclipse is worth seeing. A total eclipse — where the moon completely blots out the sun, where day turns to night, where solar flares ring the moon's shadow like a crown of flame — that's the eclipse everybody wants to see, the alpha eclipse that eclipses all the other eclipses. Everybody knows this (me included), until I saw this ...

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10:43am

Tue July 22, 2014
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Rituals That Work And Why

It took more than superstition to build Egypt's famous pyramids. It took some very clever engineering to move the heavy stones used in construction across the area's shifting sands.
Patrick Baz AFP/Getty Images
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5:25am

Tue July 22, 2014
Mental Health

Son's Mental Illness Prompts Billionaire's Big Donation To Psychiatric Research

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 4:43 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

A billionaire businessman today is making the largest ever donation toward psychiatric research. Ted Stanley is giving $650 million to the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. The money will fund efforts to find and treat the genetic underpinnings of mental illness. From member station WBUR in Boston, Curt Nickisch reports Stanley's gift was motivated by a family experience.

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4:45am

Tue July 22, 2014
Space

Rosetta Spacecraft Readies For Rendezvous With Comet

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 1:13 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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5:31pm

Sun July 20, 2014
Science

Sixth-Grader's Science Fair Finding Shocks Ecologists

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 8:09 am

Scientists previously underestimated the ability of the lionfish to live in less salty water.
Mark Ralston AFP/Getty Images

When 12-year-old Lauren Arrington heard about her sixth-grade science project, she knew she wanted to study lionfish. Growing up in Jupiter, Fla., she saw them in the ocean while snorkeling and fishing with her dad.

Her project showed that the lionfish can survive in nearly fresh water. The results blew away professional ecologists. The invasive species has no predators on the Florida coast, so if they were to migrate upstream in rivers, they could pose a threat to the ecosystem.

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12:40pm

Sun July 20, 2014
The Two-Way

45 Years Ago, Armstrong Took His 'One Small Step'

Originally published on Sun July 20, 2014 3:32 pm

NASA image taken in 2012 by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) shows astronauts' footprints and equipment left on the moon by Apollo 11.
Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) NASA

Forty-five years ago today, in arguably the greatest technological feat of the 20th Century, two Americans stepped off the ladder of their small landing craft and walked on the surface of the moon.

The first of them, Neil Armstrong, 38, of Wapakoneta, Ohio, pronounced his accomplishment "one small step for [a] man; one giant leap for mankind." The second, 39-year-old New Jersey native Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, Jr., described what he saw as "magnificent desolation."

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11:13am

Sun July 20, 2014
The Sunday Conversation

Astronaut Who Walked On The Moon: 'It Was Science Fiction To Us'

Originally published on Sun July 20, 2014 2:20 pm

During the Apollo 12 mission, astronaut Alan Bean holds a container of lunar soil. The astronaut Charles "Pete" Conrad, who took the photograph, is reflected in Bean's faceshield. Bean says he used to think that in his lifetime, we'd build a base on the moon and start preparing to travel to Mars.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

In November of 1969, astronaut Alan Bean became the fourth man to walk on the moon. His mission, Apollo 12, arrived at the moon a few months after Apollo 11 made the first moon landing. That historic event celebrates its 45th anniversary Sunday.

Apollo 12 got off to a dramatic start: A storm rolled in as the rocket was scheduled to launch. Bean, with fellow astronauts Pete Conrad and Dick Gordon, sat inside the spacecraft while the bad weather threatened the operation.

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