Science

5:03pm

Sat September 21, 2013
Science

Black Widow Spider Fan Gets Dangerously Close To His Subject

Originally published on Sat September 21, 2013 8:07 pm

Nature writer Jackson Landers kept a black widow alive in a jar on his desk for months.
Courtesy Jackson Landers

The first time Jackson Landers spotted a black widow spider on his front porch, he was transfixed. The nature writer grew curious about the poisonous arachnids and even kept one as a pet in a jar for months.

"When you're confronted by this deadly, venomous thing day after day, you can't help but become interested in it," Landers tells NPR's Arun Rath.

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12:33pm

Fri September 20, 2013
The Two-Way

Powerful Typhoon Has Hong Kong In Its Sights

Originally published on Fri September 20, 2013 3:47 pm

In this NASA image released Thursday, Typhoon Usagi is seen nearing Taiwan and the Philippines.
NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team

Super-typhoon Usagi — the equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane with sustained winds of 150 mph — is expected to skirt the Philippines and Taiwan before slamming into the Chinese coast near Hong Kong over the weekend.

The storm is forecast to skirt the coast of Luzon in the northern Philippines on Friday and brush the southern tip of Taiwan on Saturday. Although it is expected to be downgraded in strength by the time it hits Hong Kong on Sunday evening, Typhoon Usagi could still do considerable damage.

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12:04pm

Fri September 20, 2013
Digital Life

These Smartphone Apps Track Every Step of Your Day

"Quantified self" apps know where you are, how you got there (by foot, bike, or train), who you're with — even how well you slept last night. Ellis Hamburger, a reporter at The Verge, reviews a handful of apps that track your daily movements, such as "Human" and "Moves."

12:04pm

Fri September 20, 2013
Science

Can Mass Transit Solve City Sprawl?

Commuters in Los Angeles spend some 60 hours a year stuck in traffic. But that could change, some experts say, as the city ramps up its mass transit. Guest host John Dankosky talks with a panel of city planners about how to add mass transit to L.A. and other urban areas — and get people to ride it.

12:04pm

Fri September 20, 2013
Environment

Why Climate Change Ups the Odds of Fires, Floods

Colorado's record-breaking flood was caused, in part, by a blocking pattern parked over western North America. That same pattern also led to extreme drought in the West, worsening California's Rim Fire. Rutgers atmospheric scientist Jennifer Francis talks about possible connections between climate change and severe events like these.

12:04pm

Fri September 20, 2013
Animals

A Chronicle of a Whale's Life, Captured in Earwax

Transcript

JOHN DANKOSKY, HOST:

Now you've probably seen a cutaway section of a tree trunk, those rings inside? Well, they tell a story about the conditions the tree faced year after year. It turns out that whales contain a similar record inside their ears. Joining me now to talk about it are two researchers looking into this record. Stephen Trumble is an assistant professor of biology. Sascha Usenko is an assistant professor of environmental science. They're both at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. Welcome to SCIENCE FRIDAY.

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12:04pm

Fri September 20, 2013
Animals

Birding the Fall Migration

September is peak season for the fall bird migration. Hummingbirds have already made the trip south while songbirds have been slow to move this year. Naturalist and author Kenn Kaufman shares tips on spotting different species and making your yard bird-friendly.

12:04pm

Fri September 20, 2013
Science

Science Fairs 2.0

The science fair is a nearly century-old right of passage for students. What role does the traditional science fair play in the digital age? How can these competitions be reworked to include broader participation and encourage students, and teachers, to explore hands-on learning?

11:41am

Fri September 20, 2013
Krulwich Wonders...

Doing A Da Vinci — If Only Leonardo Could See This

Leonardo da Vinci wikipaintings.org

More than 500 years ago, Leonardo da Vinci tried to imagine what it would be like to soar over mountains, to dip, to glide like a bird. He'd sit on Italian hillsides, sketching, imagining, dreaming. In 1502, he drew one of the first ever, looking-down-from-the-sky panoramas of the Earth — in this case a bit of Tuscany, as if seen by a high flying eagle.

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9:16am

Fri September 20, 2013
Shots - Health News

Even As MERS Epidemic Grows, The Source Eludes Scientists

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 10:17 am

Camel jockeys compete at a festival on the outskirts of Saudi Arabia's capital Riyadh, a focal point for the Middle East respiratory syndrome virus.
Fayez Nureldine AFP/Getty Images

A year after doctors first identified an illness that came to be known as Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome researchers are reporting fresh genetic information about the virus that causes it.

The findings don't bring scientists any closer to understanding where MERS is coming from. In fact, the main news is that researchers were wrong about the source of some infections in the largest cluster of cases so far.

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