Tue August 14, 2012
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Is War Inevitable? A View From The Stars

Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 9:59 am

Are we doomed to war? It seems like one of humanity's oldest questions.

Everyone claims to hate war, its cruelty and its waste. Yet collectively we jump into armed conflicts at the drop of a hat, or the drop of an insult, or a threat, or the perception of riches. Some wars seem "good," with solid justification for the call to arms, while others clearly spring from baser motives. In either case, war seems to be something we are stuck with as a species.

But are we really stuck?

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Tue August 14, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

How A Virus In Snakes Could Offer Clues To Ebola In Humans

Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 1:55 pm

A newly discovered disease in boa constrictors could provide the missing link in the latent Ebola virus.


Mon August 13, 2012

Feds Conclude Probe Of Polar Bear Scientists

Originally published on Mon August 13, 2012 12:46 pm

A polar bear on fresh ice in the Hudson Bay in November 2007.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

A federal investigation into two researchers who wrote a famous report on drowned polar bears is finally over, according to their lawyer.

But the scientists still haven't been allowed to see a copy of the investigation report or its conclusions, says attorney Jeff Ruch of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility.

Critics have charged that the two-year investigation was a witch hunt into researchers whose work had political implications.

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Mon August 13, 2012
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Dying, The Greatest Generation, Courage and Integrity

Originally published on Mon August 13, 2012 6:28 pm

Gary Cooper, in the saddle
Hulton Archive Getty Images

My wife of 45 years knows she is probably dying of a serious disease. She faces this with, of course, fear, but also with stunning generosity. I love and admire her humanity and integrity.

We are watching Ken Burns' powerful documentary The War together. It's about World War II. I was born in September 1939 and my first memories include the war and its aftermath. My older cousins, Norman and Bob Kauffman, flew B-29 bombers.

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Mon August 13, 2012
Joe's Big Idea

Summer Science: What's A Meteor Shower?

Originally published on Mon August 13, 2012 4:23 am

In this photo released by, a Perseid meteor flashes across the constellation Andromeda on Aug. 12, 1997.
Rick Scott and Joe Orman AP

NPR science correspondent Joe Palca is on a mission this summer to answer the deep, burning questions of summertime. So far he's taught us how to build a campfire, explained the best way to roast a perfect marshmallow and explored the icy mystery of brain freeze.

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Sun August 12, 2012
The Salt

On The Road To Olympic Gold, Kenyan Marathoners Fuel Up On Carbs

Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 11:38 am

Every day at 9 a.m. sharp in Iten, Kenya, 200 or so runners train on the dirt roads surrounding the town.
John Burnett NPR

For a couple of days last month, I ate the same foods as some of the fastest people on the planet — the Kenyans.

I stayed at the same hotel and ate in the same dining room as the Kenya Olympic Marathon team while working on a radio story about how this impoverished nation produces some of the best endurance runners in the world.

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Sat August 11, 2012
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

William Shatner Does Rocket Man

William Shatner does Rocket Man.

Um... wow. Like, wow.

Enjoy. I think.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit


Sat August 11, 2012
Krulwich Wonders...

Weekend Special: Underwater Torpedo Adopted by A Group Of Traveling Mammals

Originally published on Sat August 11, 2012 3:06 pm


Why Mark Peters and his friends Jeremy, Dave and William had a torpedo onboard their fishing boat, I don't know.

These four guys were looking for tuna 20 miles off Santa Cruz, and not doing too badly. In the first minute of this video, shot last week on Aug. 6, they catch a nice fish. Then they take the torpedo, which Mark built to carry a GoPro high-definition camera, drop it in the water, and something crazy happens.

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Sat August 11, 2012
The Picture Show

A New Species Discovered ... On Flickr

Guek Hock Ping ZooKeys

One day in May of 2011, Shaun Winterton was looking at pictures of bugs on the Internet when something unusual caught his eye.

It was a close shot of a green lacewing — an insect he knew well — but on its wing was an unfamiliar network of black lines and a few flecks of blue.

Winterton, a senior entomologist at the California Department of Food and Agriculture, has seen a lot of bugs. But he hadn't seen this species before.

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Fri August 10, 2012

'Kitty Cam' Reveals The Secret Life Of Roaming Cats

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 5:47 pm

Researchers at the University of Georgia, working with the National Geographic Society, are revealing the hidden lives of cats. Small video cameras on the necks of dozens of domestic cats show surprising hunting habits, and cats cheating on their owners. Melissa Block talks with wildlife ecologist Kerrie Anne Loyd.