Wed March 27, 2013
The Two-Way

Astronomers Say They've Discovered New Type Of Supernova

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 7:30 pm

Artist's conception showing the suspected progenitor of a new kind of supernova called Type Iax.
Christine Pulliam Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

A group of astronomers believe they have found a new kind of "mini" supernovae that appear to share traits with other previously known types.

Until now, only core-collapse supernovae, the grand finale of stars approximately 10 to 100 times more massive than our sun, and Type Ia, which occur when certain conditions exist in binary (two-star) systems, were known to exist.

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Wed March 27, 2013
Krulwich Wonders...

Socrates (In The Form Of A 9-Year-Old) Shows Up In A Suburban Backyard In Washington

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 12:16 pm



Wed March 27, 2013
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

The Origin Of The Universe: From Nothing Everything?

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 9:23 am

A computer simulation of the formation of large-scale structures in the Universe, showing a patch of 100 million light-years and the resulting coherent motions of galaxies flowing towards the highest mass concentration in the centre. The snapshot refers to an epoch about 10 billion years back in time.
Klaus Dolag/VIMOS-VLT Deep Survey ESO

Last week, I started a discussion of what I call "The Three Origins," focusing first on the origin of life. Although we are far from knowing how non-living matter became living organisms on primitive Earth some 3.5 billion years ago (or more), or how to repeat the feat in the laboratory, I consider this the "easiest" of the three questions.

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Wed March 27, 2013

A Hot Topic: Climate Change Coming To Classrooms

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 1:29 pm

For the first time, new nationwide science standards recommend teaching K-12 students about climate change.

By the time today's K-12 students grow up, the challenges posed by climate change are expected to be severe and sweeping. Now, for the first time, new nationwide science standards due out soon will recommend that U.S. public school students learn about the climatic shift taking place.

Mark McCaffrey of the National Center for Science Education says the lessons will fill a big gap.

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Tue March 26, 2013

Op-Ed: It's Time To Beef Up The U.S. Coast Guard



As global warming accelerates, the Arctic Ocean melts and the U.S. Navy estimates that by 2035 it may be ice-free for a month each year - that will mean more activity through the Northwest Passage, the Arctic shipping route which is already busier than ever. In an op-ed in Foreign Policy, James Holmes argues if and when that icy expanse opens regularly to shipping, the Arctic will need policing like any other marine thoroughfare, and he nominates the United States Coast Guard.

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Tue March 26, 2013
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

The Siren Call Of The Wilderness Can Be Heard On Mars, Too

Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 2:00 pm

Coprates Chasma in the Valles Marineris on Mars, photographed by the Mars Express spacecraft. Appearing in the top half of this image, it ranges from 60-100 km wide and drops 8-9 km below the surrounding plains.
G. Neukum ESA/DLR/FU Berlin

You step down from the all-terrain camper and out into the bright sunlight. Your boots crunch on the cold desert soil. It's been three solid months in the office with just Sundays off (at best). But now, finally, you are out in the open once again. Above you the sky is its usual brown-hued butterscotch color. Ahead of you is the trail leading to the canyon. The plan is to spend the day walking a trail at the edge of Coprates Chasma, a canyon almost a thousand kilometers long (more than twice the length of the Grand Canyon, they say).

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Tue March 26, 2013
The Two-Way

SpaceX Dragon Splashes Down In Pacific After Leaving Space Station

Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 2:11 pm

Splashdown of SpaceX Dragon on Tuesday.

The Dragon has landed.

The unmanned cargo capsule built by the private firm SpaceX splashed down in the Pacific Ocean after delivering the goods to the International Space Station.

"SPLASHDOWN! At 9:34am PT [12:34 p.m. ET], Dragon splashed down safely in the Pacific. Welcome home!" SpaceX tweeted.

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Mon March 25, 2013
The Salt

Are Agriculture's Most Popular Insecticides Killing Our Bees?

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 10:42 am

Workers clear honey from dead beehives at a bee farm east of Merced, Calif.
Marcio Jose Sanchez AP

Environmentalists and beekeepers are calling on the government to ban some of the country's most widely used insect-killing chemicals.

The pesticides, called neonicotinoids, became popular among farmers during the 1990s. They're used to coat the seeds of many agricultural crops, including the biggest crop of all: corn. Neonics, as they're called, protect those crops from insect pests.

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Mon March 25, 2013
The Two-Way

President's Pen Establishes New National Monuments

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 1:53 pm

Kayak at Sunset San Juan Islands.
Mark B. Gardner San Juan Islands Visitor Bureau

President Obama on Monday designated five new national monuments, including one in Maryland dedicated to anti-slavery activist Harriet Tubman and another setting aside Washington state's San Juan Islands.

"These sites honor the pioneering heroes, spectacular landscapes and rich history that have shaped our extraordinary country," President Obama said in a statement. "By designating these national monuments today, we will ensure they will continue to inspire and be enjoyed by generations of Americans to come."

Here's a list of the new dedications:

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Mon March 25, 2013
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

The Ironic Success Of Experimental Philosophy