Science

12:21pm

Wed June 19, 2013
Krulwich Wonders...

The Love That Dared Not Speak Its Name, Of A Beetle For A Beer Bottle

Originally published on Thu June 27, 2013 5:35 pm

YouTube

10:15am

Wed June 19, 2013
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Does Life Have A Purpose?

Kind of cute. But pretty stupid. A scale model of a baby sauropod in its egg.
Tim Boyle Getty Images

I don't mean our private lives, our personal choices and hopes, the plans we make along the years. I imagine that each and every one of us believes our lives do have a purpose, or many. What I mean is life as a natural phenomenon, this strange assembly of matter endowed with autonomy, capable of absorbing energy from the environment and preserving itself through reproduction.

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3:16am

Wed June 19, 2013
Animals

Animal CSI: Inside The Smithsonian's Feather Forensics Lab

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 9:40 am

The ornithologist works through the feathers of the stuffed birds to find one that matches her sample.
Marie McGrory NPR

Carla Dove smiles as she tears open a small, flat cardboard box. She is sitting at a lab bench in her office at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History.

"It's kind of like Christmas for me because I never know what's going to be in the packages," she says.

Inside the box are a bunch of sealed sandwich-size bags. Dove counts the bags.

"Eight samples today," she notes. Each sample consists of grayish pieces of feathers, and sometimes bones, all from inside the stomachs and intestines of Burmese pythons.

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12:58pm

Tue June 18, 2013
Shots - Health News

How To Make Museums More Inviting For Kids With Autism

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 12:33 pm

Dylan Murphy, 3, plays with a swan at the Please Touch Museum in Philadelphia. It was his first trip to a museum that didn't overwhelm him.
Courtesy of Noelle Murphy

Last January, Noelle Murphy and her family were on their way to the Please Touch Museum for children in Philadelphia. Right before they arrived, 3-year-old Dylan had an accident.

"He wet himself," Murphy said, "And we were thinking, 'Oh no, how are we going to deal with this?' "

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12:48pm

Tue June 18, 2013
Krulwich Wonders...

Isn't That King David? Nope, It's Just Dave

Photo and idea conception: Léo Caillard; Retouching: Alexis Persani

Usually they're naked, ancient and stony. But all of a sudden, they could live next door.

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10:09am

Tue June 18, 2013
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Will Commerce Open The Doors To 'Eastern' Philosophy?

Hulton Archive Getty Images

Let's play a game. Quickly name three philosophers of any historical era and write them down. If you are really ambitious, name five.

Take your time and think about it. It's OK. I'll wait.

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9:44am

Tue June 18, 2013
Shots - Health News

How Men's Choice Of Mates May Have Led To Menopause

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 12:34 pm

Darling, can we talk?
iStockphoto.com

A dapper older gentleman spurns his mate of a certain age to take a fresh-faced young lover. You've seen that movie before, right?

Well, this choice of youth may turn out to be more than a Hollywood trope. Researchers say decisions like that one may have been the evolutionary source of menopause.

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4:14am

Tue June 18, 2013
Shots - Health News

3-D Printer Brings Dexterity To Children With No Fingers

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 3:24 pm

The newest version of the Robohand is made of snap-together parts, reducing the amount of hardware needed.
Courtesy of Jen Owen of Jen Martin Studios

Richard Van As was working in his home near Johannesburg, South Africa, in May of 2011, when he lost control of his table saw.

"It's a possibility that it was a lack of concentration," he says. "It's just that the inevitable happened."

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5:45pm

Mon June 17, 2013
Shots - Health News

The Human Voice May Not Spark Pleasure In Children With Autism

Originally published on Tue June 18, 2013 11:31 am

Instructional assistant Jessica Reeder touches her nose to get Jacob Day, 3, who has autism, to focus his attention on her during a therapy session in April 2007.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

The human voice appears to trigger pleasure circuits in the brains of typical kids, but not children with autism, a Stanford University team reports. The finding could explain why many children with autism seem indifferent to spoken words.

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1:32pm

Mon June 17, 2013
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Name Five Women In Philosophy. Bet You Can't.

A rare moment of gender parity in philosophy: Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre at a Paris cafe in May 1970.
STF AFP/Getty Images

Last Friday I found myself in a lovely lecture hall at Brown University with some 50 philosophers and psychologists attending the annual meeting of the Society for Philosophy and Psychology, affectionately known as "SPP." Daniel Dennett was in the seat just ahead of me; additional luminaries were scattered about the room.

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