Science

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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10:58am

Mon September 9, 2013
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Science Vs. Religion: A Heated Debate Fueled By Disrespect

Originally published on Mon September 9, 2013 11:26 am

Fire breathing only makes it harder to talk: An activist with the Science and Rationalists' Association of India demonstrates against the claim that Mother Teresa performed a miracle in Calcutta.
Deshakalyan Chowdhury AFP/Getty Images

A few years ago, over dinner, a friend and fellow academic "came out" to me as a theist.

The conversation later struck me as quite funny. Only in my exotic academic enclave, I thought to myself, would two Americans have a conversation in which the Christian theist "came out" to the atheist Jew. In most American communities, my beliefs would be the anomalies, to be revealed selectively and with caution.

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3:30am

Mon September 9, 2013
All Tech Considered

It's OK To Protest In China, Just Don't March

Originally published on Mon September 9, 2013 1:12 pm

Security guards stand outside newspaper offices in Guangdong province in January, where banners and flowers were laid in protest of censorship.
AP

Thousands of messages posted on the Internet every day in China get censored. Until now, little has been known about how the Chinese censorship machine works — except that it is comprehensive.

"It probably is the largest effort ever to selectively censor human expression," says Harvard University social scientist Gary King. "They don't censor everything. There are millions of Chinese [who] talk about millions of things. But the effort to prune the Internet of certain kinds of information is unprecedented."

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3:28am

Mon September 9, 2013
Shots - Health News

From Birth, Our Microbes Become As Personal As A Fingerprint

Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 1:58 pm

We may not see them, but we need them.
iStockphoto.com

Look in the mirror and you won't see your microbiome. But it's there with you from the day you are born. Over time, those bacteria, viruses and fungi multiply until they outnumber your own cells 10 to 1.

As babies, the microbes may teach our immune systems how to fight off bad bugs that make us sick and ignore things that aren't a threat.

We get our first dose of microbes from our mothers, both in the birth canal and in breast milk. Family members tend to have similar microbiomes.

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