Most historians agree that Galileo's famous experiment atop the Leaning Tower of Pisa never took place. So how did he arrive at and support his alternative to Aristotelian dogma?
Credit Hulton Archive / Getty Images
This past weekend marked the 450th anniversary of Galileo's birth. In articles celebrating his contributions to science, Clara Moskowitz at Scientific American wonders what he'd make of contemporary science, while Dan Vergano at National Geographic credits him with nothing short of the invention of "our own modern world."
The other day, I wrote a post about a cartoonist, Connie Sun, and her thoughts about animals. Her mom heard about it, and called Connie to say "Yea!" and then, because she's an honest woman, she asked, "What is NPR?" Here's what happened next:
I have this conversation all the time. So many people are not aware that NPR writes things, "posts" things. But we are spreading the word. (Going from "What is NPR?" to "NPR is blogs?" — that's progress, I think. No?)
Electronic cigarettes are often billed as a safe way for smokers to try to kick their habit. But it's not just smokers who are getting their fix this way. According to a survey published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 5 middle school students who've tried one say they've never smoked a "real" cigarette. And between 2011 and 2012, e-cigarettes doubled in popularity among middle and high school students.
New research finds a close connection between the flu that devastated the horse population in North America in the 1870s and the avian flu of that period.
Credit Hulton Archive / Getty Images
As flu-watchers like to say, you can always count on influenza virus to surprise.
The latest revelation is that scientists have apparently been wrong about where new flu viruses come from. The dogma is that they always incubate in wild migratory birds, then get into domestic poultry, and then jump into mammals — especially pigs and humans.
Secretary of State John Kerry gestures while speaking about climate change in Jakarta on Sunday.
Credit POOL / Reuters/Landov
Secretary of State John Kerry is continuing a push to move climate change to the top of the global agenda, telling an audience in the archipelago nation of Indonesia that rising global temperatures and sea levels could threaten their "entire way of life."
The jet stream that circles Earth's north pole travels west to east. But when the jet stream interacts with a Rossby wave, as shown here, the winds can wander far north and south, bringing frigid air to normally mild southern states.
Mark Twain once said: "If you don't like the weather in New England now, just wait a few minutes."
I think it's safe to say most of us do not enjoy nightmares - that cold sweat, sitting up straight in bed, our pulse racing. But when Antonio Zadra, professor at the University of Montreal, began working on a study about nightmares he found that the narrative animating those bad dreams tended to be very different between men and women. He is coauthor of a new study that has a lot to say about the differences in the way we dream. He joins us now from Montreal. Welcome to the program.
Scientists have discovered the oldest star in the galaxy. And it's really old, 13.6 billion years. Now to be clear, they had known about this star before but hadn't yet figured out its age. This star is four billion years older than any other star found to date.
Here to more to talk about what this star can tell us about the great beyond is Timothy Beers, of the National Optical Astronomy Observatory in Tucson, Arizona. Thanks so much for being with us.
But wait, there's more: New England is still digging out from the massive snowstorm earlier this week.
Credit Jim Cole / AP
The Northeast is in for another winter punch, with the National Weather Service calling for more than a foot of accumulation in many areas through early Sunday. The double-whammy comes even as many areas are still digging out from the last assault a mere two days ago.