Science

11:56am

Fri August 16, 2013
Performing Arts

Experimenting on Consciousness, Through Art

Performance artist Marina Abramovic's piece Measuring the Magic of Mutual Gaze is both art installation and science experiment, in which volunteers sit facing one another while having their brain waves measured. Abramovic discusses these arts and science experiments with neuroscientist Christof Koch, an expert in consciousness.

11:56am

Fri August 16, 2013
Environment

For a Greener Yard, Lose the Lawn

Across the Southwest, cities are banning water-thirsty front lawns. Cado Daily of the University of Arizona's Water Wise Program views that as an opportunity to plant a "rainscape" — a yard with drought-friendly native plants that she says can look as lush as a lawn, and lure wildlife back, too.

11:56am

Fri August 16, 2013
Energy

Strengthening the Grid, Ten Years Later

Ten years ago this week, a massive electrical blackout struck the northeastern US and parts of Canada, affecting some 55 million people. IEEE Spectrum journalist Bill Sweet describes the causes of the outage and how the electrical grid has changed since the 2003 failure.

11:56am

Fri August 16, 2013
Education

The STEM Gender Gap

The number of girls and women studying the sciences has steadily increased each year, but there is still a gender gap in higher education and the work force. Researchers Andresse St. Rose and Catherine Riegle-Crumb and Linda Kekelis, executive director of Techbridge, discuss the social and environmental factors that contribute to this disparity.

11:56am

Fri August 16, 2013
Technology

Hyperloop: Hype or Future Transportation?

Elon Musk, founder of SpaceX and Tesla Motors, unveiled his designs for Hyperloop. The high-speed transit system could make the 400-mile trip from San Francisco and Los Angeles in 30 minutes. Tim De Chant, senior digital editor at NOVA, discusses the plans and whether the system could answer our transit problems.

11:45am

Fri August 16, 2013
The Salt

Eating On Mars? Be Sure To Pack The Tortillas

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 4:27 pm

Mission to Mars: Six explorers lived in this simulated Mars habitat in Hawaii for four months, part of a NASA study to test the role of cooking and food on an extended space mission.
Sian Proctor NASA HI-SEAS

After several months of freeze-dried food, even the most committed carnivores would probably reach for the fresh produce.

So it's no surprise that the six explorers who were cooped up studying space-friendly foods on a simulated mission to Mars for the past four months went right for the mangoes and pineapple during their first meal outside their habitat Aug. 13.

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11:24am

Fri August 16, 2013
Politics

What's Making Headlines Outside Of Washington?

Congress has gone home for its annual August recess, so Tell Me More takes a look at headlines in places across the country. Guest host Celeste Headlee talks with Mike Leary from the San Antonio Express-News and Dana Coffield of The Denver Post.

10:24am

Fri August 16, 2013
The Two-Way

China Says It Will Stop Taking Organs From Executed Inmates

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 11:52 am

A paramilitary guard stands before the bars of a main gate to a detention center during a government guided tour in Beijing last year.
Ed Jones AFP/Getty Images

China says it plans to phase out the harvesting of organs from executed prisoners, ending a controversial practice that reportedly supplies most of the country's transplant patients.

Huang Jiefu, a surgeon and former deputy health minister who is in charge of organ transplants, says that beginning in November, China will scale back and eliminate the harvesting of inmate organs. Huang says that will be replaced by a nationwide voluntary donor system.

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8:40am

Fri August 16, 2013
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

What's The Big Deal About Privacy?

iStockphoto.com

Privacy is the state of being unobserved.

Looking back at history and prehistory, privacy is the rarest luxury. It requires walls or seclusion. It is not our natural condition.

In recent times people have taken privacy for granted, the same way we take other modern conveniences for granted. There's nothing natural about privacy, just as there is nothing inalienable about cheap fast food.

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5:45am

Fri August 16, 2013
Space

Kepler Space Telescope Is Beyond Repair, NASA Says

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 10:31 am

An artist's illustration of Kepler-22b, a planet that circles its star in the "goldilocks" zone.
Ames/JPL-Caltech/NASA Getty Images

There's some sad news from NASA: The space agency says its Kepler space telescope is beyond repair.

The $600 million planet-hunting probe whose mission was to search other solar systems for Earth-like planets has lost its ability to keep its gaze on target.

Two of the four gyroscope-like reaction wheels that keep Kepler pointed in the right direction have broken down and can't be fixed, but NASA is still hoping it can find some less-stressful work for the orbiting observatory.

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