Tue January 29, 2013
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Is There A Place For The Mind In Physics? Part I

Originally published on Sat February 23, 2013 11:30 am

Where does the mind fit within the cosmos? Are they separate, intertwined or one and the same?
F. Comeron ESO

So I want you to do something for me. I want you to think of a blue monkey. Are you ready? OK, go! Visualize it in your head. Any kind of monkey will do (as long as it's blue). Take a moment. Really, see the little blue dude! Got it? Great. Now, here is the question: Where did that thought fit into reality? How was it real? Where was it real?

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Tue January 29, 2013
Research News

Bird, Plane, Bacteria? Microbes Thrive In Storm Clouds

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 8:36 am

The eye of Hurricane Earl in the Atlantic Ocean, seen from a NASA research aircraft on Aug. 30, 2010. This flight through the eyewall caught Earl just as it was intensifying from a Category 2 to a Category 4 hurricane. Researchers collected air samples on this flight from about 30,000 feet over both land and sea and close to 100 different species of bacteria.
Jane Peterson NASA

Microbes are known to be able to thrive in extreme environments, from inside fiery volcanoes to down on the bottom of the ocean. Now scientists have found a surprising number of them living in storm clouds tens of thousands of feet above the Earth. And those airborne microbes could play a role in global climate.

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Mon January 28, 2013
The Salt

How Mountain Grass Makes The Cheese Stand Alone

Cows graze in front of the Rosengarten mountain massif in northern Italy. Pasture grazing is practiced throughout the Alps.
Matthias Schrader Associated Press

Herding cattle up the side of a mountain might seem like a lot of extra work, but for thousands of years, people have hauled their cows into the Alps to graze during the summer months. Why? It's all about great-tasting cheese.

In places like Italy, some traditional cheeses, like bra d'alpeggio or Formai de Mut dell'Alta Valle Brembana, can only be made with milk from mountainside-munching cows.

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Mon January 28, 2013
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Be Like A Bat? Sound Can Show You The Way

Echolocation is second nature to animals such as bats and dolphins. Can humans also find their way using sound as a tool?
Ian Waldie Getty Images

In 1974, the philosopher Thomas Nagel wrote a classic paper in which he asked, "What is it like to be a bat?" Nagel's choice of a bat was especially apt for making the point that some kinds of knowledge are bound by our own experience.

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Mon January 28, 2013
Krulwich Wonders...

My Yeast Let Me Down: A Love Song

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 11:33 am


In a moment, there's going to be singing. It will be a love song, sung by Nathaniel, a sad-eyed, blue-gloved scientist who gave his heart to an organism, but then did her wrong. (Or maybe she did him wrong. These things get complicated.)

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Mon January 28, 2013

Energy Department Encourages New Energy Technology

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 10:11 am



The Defense Department's Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, has incubated many important technologies over the decades in computer networking and other areas. The Energy Department wants to make similar strides with an agency called ARPA-E. Over three years now in operation, ARPA-E has spent nearly $800 million on 285 experimental projects.

We invited the agency's deputy director, Cheryl Martin, into our studio so we can find out more about these projects. Good morning.

CHERYL MARTIN: Good morning.

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Sun January 27, 2013

Focus On Fracking Diverts Attention From Horizontal Drilling

Originally published on Sun January 27, 2013 10:00 am

Opponents of fracking demonstrate during the Winter X Games 2012 in Aspen, Colo.
Doug Pensinger Getty Images

Mention the recent surge in oil and natural gas production in the U.S. and one word comes to mind for a lot of people: "fracking." Hydraulic fracturing is a controversial technique that uses water, sand and potentially hazardous chemicals to break up rock deep underground to release oil and natural gas.

But there's another technology that is just as responsible for drilling booms happening across the country: horizontal drilling.

Environmental Consequences

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Sat January 26, 2013
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Seeing U.S. Laboratory Chimpanzees For Who They Are

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 8:59 am

By now, you probably know that the National Institutes of Health last week announced its plans to retire to sanctuaries hundreds of chimpanzees used for research, including invasive biomedical research. The story was big news nationally, including here at NPR, and resulted also in posts by animal advocacy groups such as PETA.

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Sat January 26, 2013
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Making Disks Around Orbiting Stars

Originally published on Sat January 26, 2013 11:51 am

Here is a link to a story about new results showing the evolution of binary stars (which make up half of all stars in the galaxy).

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Sat January 26, 2013
Krulwich Wonders...

Weekend Special: The Slobbering Cat That Stole My Heart

Courtesy of The Oatmeal

Maybe you already know about this, maybe I'm in love, maybe this is just me and my particular craziness, but I want you to click on the image below. It's Mathew Inman's (who calls himself "The Oatmeal") story, handwritten, hand drawn, about his cat, Domino.

There are, we all know, wonderful sites all over the web, but every so often somebody comes along and rejuggles words, pictures and plays with space, remixing elements to very quietly find new beats, new ways to tell a story. That is what Mathew did here. At least I think so.

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