Science

5:45pm

Mon November 11, 2013
Science

Why Typhoon Haiyan Caused So Much Damage

Originally published on Mon November 11, 2013 7:13 pm

This map from the NOAA Environmental Visualization Laboratory shows the amount of heat energy available to Typhoon Haiyan between Oct. 28 and Nov. 3. Darker purple indicates more available energy. Typhoons gain their strength by drawing heat out of the ocean. The path of the storm is marked with the black line in the center of the image.
NOAA Environmental Visualization Laboratory

The deadly typhoon that swept through the Philippines was one of the strongest ever recorded. But storms nearly this powerful are actually common in the eastern Pacific. Typhoon Haiyan's devastation can be chalked up to a series of bad coincidences.

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12:09pm

Mon November 11, 2013
The Two-Way

'Ferrari Of Space' Crashes And Burns In Earth's Atmosphere

Originally published on Mon November 11, 2013 3:41 pm

An artist's rendition of the GOCE satellite shows the craft in its orbit around Earth. After four years of studying oceans and gravity fields, GOCE re-entered the atmosphere over the Southern Atlantic Ocean Sunday night.
ESA /AOES Medialab

More than a ton of advanced electronics, including an ion engine and sensors that help detect variations in gravity, crashed into Earth's atmosphere Sunday night, when the European GOCE satellite ended its four-year mission. Most of the 2,425-pound craft disintegrated when it re-entered the atmosphere over the South Atlantic Ocean; about 25 percent did not.

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3:20am

Mon November 11, 2013
Science

Lessons In Leadership: It's Not About You. (It's About Them)

Originally published on Mon November 11, 2013 7:15 pm

Ronald Heifetz draws on his training as a psychiatrist to coach aspiring leaders at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government.
Ben de la Cruz NPR

Ronald Heifetz has been a professor of public leadership at Harvard's Kennedy School for three decades, teaching classes that have included aspiring business leaders and budding heads of state. Each year, he says, the students start his course thinking they'll learn the answer to one question:

As leaders, how can they get others to follow them?

Heifetz says that whole approach is wrong.

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6:11pm

Sun November 10, 2013
World

Lighting Up The Investigative Path With Polonium-210

Originally published on Sun November 10, 2013 6:58 pm

Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat boards a helicopter in Ramallah, the West Bank, for the start of his journey to a hospital in France on Oct. 29, 2004. He died 2 weeks later.
Scott Nelson Getty Images

With a Swiss forensics investigation pointing to polonium-210 as a possible cause of Yasser Arafat's death, the radioactive element is back in the news.

Confirming whether the Palestinian leader died from an assassination attempt will be difficult, given polonium's short half-life and the fact that Arafat has been dead nine years, science writer Deborah Blum says.

Whatever happened to Arafat, polonium does have a deadly history.

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7:34am

Sun November 10, 2013
Space

Billions Of Planets Could Support Life

Originally published on Sun November 10, 2013 12:54 pm

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Have you ever gazed out your window on a clear, star-filled night and wondered are we really alone?

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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4:32pm

Fri November 8, 2013
The Salt

Can We Eat Our Way To A Healthier Microbiome? It's Complicated

Originally published on Mon November 25, 2013 10:27 am

While no one's sure which foods are good for our microbiomes, eating more veggies can't hurt.
iStockphoto.com

When our colleague Rob Stein got his microbiome analyzed recently in the name of science journalism, we were totally fascinated.

As Stein noted, it may be possible to cultivate a healthier community of bacteria on and inside us by modifying our diets.

Stein was advised to eat more garlic and leeks for his. But we wondered: Are there other foods that promote a healthy microbiome in most people?

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3:37pm

Fri November 8, 2013
The Two-Way

Which Is It? Hurricane, Typhoon Or Tropical Cyclone?

Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 5:21 pm

Typhoon Bhopa scene over the Philippine island of Palawan last December.
NASA Goddard's MODIS Rapid Response Team

What's the difference between a hurricane, a typhoon and a cyclone? Nothing more than location.

As Super Typhoon Haiyan slams into the Philippines, we here at the Two-Way found ourselves revisiting old ground about the nature of tropical storms. In case you need a refresher (as we did), here is the lowdown:

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2:32pm

Fri November 8, 2013
The Two-Way

Astronomers Find Bizarre 'Lawn Sprinkler' Asteroid

Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 5:11 pm

These NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope images reveal a never-before-seen set of six comet-like tails radiating from a body in the asteroid belt designated P/2013 P5.
NASA, ESA, D. Jewitt (University of California, Los Angeles), J. Agarwal (Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research), H. Weaver (Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory), M. Mutchler (STScI), and S. Larson (University of Arizona)

Astronomers using both ground- and space-based telescopes have discovered a new kind of asteroid that sports not one, but six comet-like tails, and has been described as looking something like a rotating lawn sprinkler.

P/2013 P5 was first spotted with the Pan-STARRS 1 telescope at the top of Haleakala volcano in Maui, Hawaii, in August and then followed up with more detailed observations using the Hubble Space Telescope.

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12:32pm

Fri November 8, 2013
The Two-Way

How Tall Is The Washington Monument? Surveyors Take To The Top

Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 1:23 pm

National Geodetic Survey crew members Roy Anderson, left, and Steve Breidenbach set up survey equipment used to measure the height of the Washington Monument.
National Geodetic Survey/NOAA

The National Geodetic Survey doesn't often get the opportunity to take detailed measurements of the massive stone obelisk that sits in the middle of Washington, D.C.

But a 2011 earthquake in nearby Mineral, Va., damaged the Washington Monument enough that to repair it, the tower had to be wrapped in scaffolding. That gave surveyors access to the very top of the structure.

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12:30pm

Fri November 8, 2013
Animals

The Myth of the Woolly Bear

Legend holds that the length of a woolly bear caterpillar's color bands can be used to forecast how severe the winter weather will be. The myth dates back to colonial American folklore but was popularized by a 1948 study. SciFri finds out if there's any truth to the lore, and what the caterpillar's fuzzy bristles are really used for.

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