Science

2:38am

Tue January 8, 2013
Energy

Drilling Rig's Thick Hull Helps Prevent Oil Spill

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 6:06 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The Shell oil drilling rig that ran aground off Alaska last week is now anchored in a quiet harbor so divers can assess the damage. Wildlife officials say they have seen no evidence of a spill from the vessel, which was carrying tanks of diesel fuel. But the accident does raise questions about Shell's plans to drill for oil in the remote and fragile ecosystem of the Arctic.

NPR's Richard Harris reports.

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5:07pm

Mon January 7, 2013
The Salt

The $1.76 Million Tuna: Great For Publicity, Bad For The Species

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 5:52 pm

Sushi chain owner Kiyoshi Kimura poses with a bluefin tuna in front of his Sushi Zanmai restaurant in Tokyo on Saturday. He paid more than $1.7 million for the fish.
Shuji Kajiyama AP

It's become an annual tradition: bidding up an outrageous price for a Pacific bluefin tuna during the first auction of the new year at Toyko's Tsukiji fish market.

And on Saturday, a bluefin tuna big enough to serve up about 10,000 pieces of sushi fetched a mind-boggling price: $1.76 million. That's about three times as much as last year's tuna and equates to about $3,600 per pound for the 489-pound fish.

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4:40pm

Mon January 7, 2013
Space

In The Market For A Very Large Garage? Call NASA.

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 6:19 pm

NASA is facing a conundrum of large proportions; shuttle-sized, in fact. Now that the shuttle program has ended, NASA is no longer using shuttle facilities and equipment. That includes everything from a launch pad to space in the building where rockets were assembled. So NASA is conducting a secret auction. Orlando Sentinel staff writer Scott Powers explains what NASA is selling, why, and who the buyers might be.

1:01pm

Mon January 7, 2013
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Resolving To Be A Better Person This Year? It'll Take More Than Good Intentions

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 1:22 pm

Now that the party is over, are you ready to make good on your New Year's resolutions?
Kurt Desplenter AFP/Getty Images

It's a brand new year for 13.7 (our 4th!), and I'm pleased to kick off our 2013 return to regular posting with some thoughts on the human propensity to say (or think) one thing and do another.

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1:26pm

Fri January 4, 2013
Science

Negative Temperatures That Are Hotter Than The Sun

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 1:33 pm

Scientists have cooled potassium gas to one billionth of a degree below absolute zero. But in the quantum world, that's actually hotter than the Sun. It's hotter, even, than infinity degrees Kelvin. Vladan Vuletić, a quantum physicist at MIT, talks about this 'Bizarro World' temperature.

1:18pm

Fri January 4, 2013
Shots - Health News

As Norovirus Rages, A Robot Named 'Vomiting Larry' Gets His Closeup

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 11:06 am

Vomiting Larry doing what he does best.
U.K. Health and Safety Laboratory

11:06am

Fri January 4, 2013
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Manhattan, Re-imagined For A Climate Changed Era.

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 2:07 pm

Dealing will climate change will demand our best creative capacities. In the wake of Hurricane Sandy the vulnerabilities of New York City have become all to apparent. Clearly a response is required.

A recent post on Atlantic Cities by Roy Strickland gives a great example of what such creative responses to a changing planet on the local level can look like. As he describes it:

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10:50am

Fri January 4, 2013
NPR Story

Science Looked Good In 2012

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 12:23 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

And now joining us is Flora Lichtman. Hi, Flora.

FLORA LICHTMAN, BYLINE: Hi, Ira.

FLATOW: Multimedia editor with our Video Pick of the Week, and it's topical, of course.

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10:50am

Fri January 4, 2013
NPR Story

Cold-Water Fish Break The Ice With Antifreeze

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 1:33 pm

Cold-water fish, snow-dwelling bugs and some grasses have evolved natural antifreeze proteins to avoid turning to ice cubes. Peter Davies, a biologist at Queen's University in Ontario, discusses how these antifreeze substances work, and their applications for human problems--like keeping the ice out of ice cream.

10:50am

Fri January 4, 2013
NPR Story

'Full Planet, Empty Plates'

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 1:33 pm

In Full Planet, Empty Plates: The New Geopolitics of Food Scarcity, Lester Brown says the world's food supply is tightening, and the reasons are many. People in developing countries are eating more meat, a grain-intensive food; farmers are overpumping, causing water tables to fall; and crop yields have plateaued, despite technological advances.

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