Science

1:54pm

Wed September 11, 2013
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

The 10 Most Important Questions In Science*

Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 4:52 pm

iStockphoto.com

I noticed in The Guardian that there's a book coming out this week listing the 20 biggest challenges for modern science. I'd like to go over 10 of them today, perhaps coming back to the other 10 next week.

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1:48pm

Wed September 11, 2013
Krulwich Wonders...

When The Dutch Keep Secrets, Everybody Notices. A Google Puzzle

Mishka Henner

What is this?

When I saw it for the first time, here's what I knew: It's a Google image found on Google Maps, taken by a satellite, plucked and blogged by photographer/sleuth, Mishka Henner. It's a patch of land near a town called Coevorden, in The Netherlands. There's a road on one side, plowed farmland all about, some trees on the lower left and then, weirdly, grey, black, white, golden, green and brown patches crunched together in an almost-rectangle. Those couldn't be natural, I thought.

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3:26am

Wed September 11, 2013
Around the Nation

Four-Legged Impostors Give Service Dog Owners Pause

Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 7:54 am

Lauren Henderson and her service dog, Phoebe, in Los Angeles. Henderson says she's seeing more dogs in vests that don't appear to be legitimate service dogs.
Lisa Napoli KCRW

Lauren Henderson goes everywhere with her service dog Phoebe — to the grocery store, Disneyland, the beach. For Henderson, who used to be paralyzed, her 100 pound, lumbering Saint Bernard is a necessity.

An actor who lives in Malibu, Calif., Henderson uses her dog for stability and balance. And if she falls, Phoebe helps pull her back on her feet.

"She's basically like a living walker," Henderson says.

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6:32pm

Tue September 10, 2013
The Two-Way

Humberto Expected To Become First Hurricane Of Atlantic Season

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 8:05 pm

Tropical Storms Humberto and Gabrielle. Humberto is expected to become the first hurricane of the Atlantic season.
National Hurricane Center

Tropical Storm Humberto is poised to get a promotion, becoming the first hurricane of an otherwise lackluster Atlantic season to date.

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3:08pm

Tue September 10, 2013
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Life Gives Sight To A Chaotic Universe

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 5:10 pm

iStockphoto.com

This is the latest installment of Adam Frank's series "How to See The Universe In A Grain of Sand: Working To See The Extraordinary In The Ordinary."


Everyone will tell you that time marches on. But no will ever tell you why. Well, on that point, I have good news and bad news.

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10:51am

Tue September 10, 2013
The Two-Way

Warding Off Polar Bears? There's An App For That

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 5:01 pm

A tranquilized subadult polar bear is in a net in 2007 in Churchill, Manitoba, known as the "polar bear capital of the world."
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

Just in time for the release of the new iPhone, a man in Canada has found yet another new use for the cellphone — thwarting a polar bear attack.

Garett Kolsun says he used his cellphone to scare off a 400-pound polar bear on the attack, using the light from the handset to startle the animal long enough to allow his escape.

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8:54am

Tue September 10, 2013
Krulwich Wonders...

A New Kind Of 'More'

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 5:11 pm

The Glue Society

You've heard, maybe, about "Simple Living"? It's what some people do, Gandhi-style, to simplify their lives. They shed possessions. They watch their carbon footprint. They choose to live with less. They have what they need, and that's enough.

What's the opposite of Simple Living? (Everything needs an opposite, right? Read Hegel.) Well, if you want to conjure Simple Living in reverse, it's not gluttony. Anybody can buy too many shoes. No, the opposite of Simple Living should also be a movement with a name, a style — and lots of fans.

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5:11am

Tue September 10, 2013
Space

NASA's Latest Mission To The Moon Is On Track

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 7:08 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NASA's latest mission to the moon is stuck in orbit around the Earth. And that sounds bad. But as NPR Science Correspondent Joe Palca explains, it's actually normal.

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5:20pm

Mon September 9, 2013
The Salt

Rye Bother? An Inside-The-Barrel Look At American Whiskeys

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 2:18 pm

America's Signature Whiskey: Some craft distilleries, like Catoctin Creek in Virginia, are making a whiskey that's 100 percent rye to showcase the grain's spicy, peppery flavor.
Courtesy of Catoctin Creek

Ten years ago rye whiskey was on the brink of extinction.

Despite its venerable history as the whiskey made by George Washington, only a handful of distillers were bottling this quintessentially American spirit. And you definitely couldn't order a rye Manhattan at your local cocktail lounge.

My, how times have changed.

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3:15pm

Mon September 9, 2013
The Salt

Purple Sweet Potato A Contender To Replace Artificial Food Dyes

Originally published on Mon September 9, 2013 4:25 pm

We've grown accustomed to choosing our food from a spectacular rainbow — care for an impossibly pink cupcake, a cerulean blue sports drink or yogurt in preppy lavender?

But there's a growing backlash against the synthetic dyes that give us these eye-popping hues. And now scientists are turning to the little-known (and little-grown) purple sweet potato to develop plant-based dyes that can be labeled as nonthreatening vegetable juice.

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