Science

3:15am

Wed August 8, 2012
Environment

A Clear And Present Danger: How Glass Kills Birds

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 12:05 pm

Experts say glass buildings kill millions of birds every year. Scientists at Powdermill Avian Research Center are studying ways to help prevent this. Here, a volunteer tags a black hooded warbler in Rector, Pa., in May.
Maggie Starbard NPR

First of a two-part series. Read Part 2.

Modern architecture loves glass. Glass makes interiors brighter and adds sparkle to cityscapes. But glass also kills millions of birds every year when they collide with windows. Biologists say as more glass buildings go up, more birds are dying.

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4:58pm

Tue August 7, 2012
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

'Curiosity' Signals From Mars That We Can Solve Our Problems On Earth

Originally published on Tue August 7, 2012 9:36 pm

This artist concept shows NASA's Curiosity rover as it will look once it starts investigating the Martian surface for the ability to sustain microbial life — past or present.
JPL-Caltech NASA

Our world seems so broken now and so much of it seems our own fault. The whole of our infrastructure — from highways to high schools, power-grids to public universities — seem on the verge of crumbling. The resources to repair or expand these arteries of public life are gone, we are told, in part because four years ago the economy was jerked to halt through (what appear to be) selective acts of titanic greed and apocalyptic mismanagement.

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11:57am

Tue August 7, 2012
Krulwich Wonders...

The Worst Way To Stay Alive Forever

Robert Krulwich NPR

Some say it will happen soon.

Critics say it will take a long, long, time.

Many neuroscientists and philosophers think it ain't gonna happen, ever.

We're talking about building a machine that functions as the equivalent, or maybe as superior to, a human mind.

A synthetic brain doesn't have to be the exact equivalent of a human brain, but there are humans, the brilliant inventor Ray Kurzweil in particular, who hope one day to dump their minds into such a machine, boot up and go on living, disembodied, but mentally intact, forever.

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3:27am

Tue August 7, 2012
World

Growing Pains: Nations Balance Growth, Power Needs

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 2:39 pm

Muslim girls study by candlelight inside a religious school in Noida, near New Delhi, on July 31. The collapse of three regional power grids last week caused a massive power outage that blacked out more than half of India.
Parivatran Sharma Reuters /Landov

It may take some time to pinpoint the exact cause of India's massive blackouts last week, but the underlying issue for India and many other parts of the developing world is that supply is struggling to keep up with the growing demand for power — an imbalance that can affect the reliability of electric grids.

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5:19pm

Mon August 6, 2012
Space

Curiosity Is On Mars, Now What?

Originally published on Mon August 6, 2012 6:44 pm

Joe Palca describes the mood of NASA Mars scientists in the wake of the landing overnight, what the latest pictures and data are from the surface of the red planet and what mission scientists are going to do next with Curiosity.

5:07pm

Mon August 6, 2012
Environment

Are Recent Heat Waves A Result Of Climate Change?

Originally published on Mon August 6, 2012 6:51 pm

Cattle use a tree for shade as temperatures rose above 100 degrees in a pasture July 28, 2011, near Canadian, Texas.
Scott Olson Getty Images

The last couple of years have certainly felt unusually hot in many parts of the U.S., but are they really all that unusual?

Many people wonder whether a warming climate is turning up the temperature or whether it's all just part of the normal variation in the weather. Among scientists, there's a growing view that these latest heat waves are indeed a result of climate change.

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4:29pm

Mon August 6, 2012
All Tech Considered

New Moo-Bile App Helps Keep Cows Cool And Farmers Updated

Originally published on Mon August 6, 2012 6:44 pm

Dairy cows feed at Heins Family Farm near Higginsville, Mo. Fans and misters keep the barns cool during this summer's record temperatures.
Scott Pham for NPR

When it's hot and humid, you probably don't want to move much and aren't very hungry. The same goes for cows; but when they don't eat, farmers lose money.

Researchers at the University of Missouri think they can help avoid those losses. They've produced a new mobile app that can detect the threat of heat stress in cows using nothing more than a smartphone.

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2:56pm

Mon August 6, 2012
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Legalize It: An Argument For 'Doping' In Sports

Originally published on Mon August 6, 2012 4:07 pm

A victim of the confused thinking around performance-enhancing drugs? High jumper Dimitrios Chondrokoukis of Greece skipped the 2012 Olympics in London after failing an anti-doping test in the run-up to the games.
Adrian Dennis AFP/Getty Images

Rocky's coach forbade him to have sex with his girlfriend while he was in training. Was this because he would be so tired out by sex? Or was it that the coach believed it would alter Rocky's drive, or mindset, somehow making him happy and relaxed, depriving him of the disturbed drive, the hunger, to win? I was just a kid when I saw the movie. I didn't really understand.

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2:11pm

Mon August 6, 2012
Space

Curious About Curiosity: What We'll Learn From Mars

The Mars Science Laboratory rover, named Curiosity, made a successful landing on the surface of the red planet, drawing shouts and cheers from the mission control staff at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. University of Redlands professor Tyler Nordgren explains what Curiosity may discover.

2:05pm

Mon August 6, 2012
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Crying For Einstein, Living For Shakespeare

Originally published on Mon August 6, 2012 4:18 pm

Circa 1610, a portrait of William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616).
Hulton Archive Getty Images

I wish to write of our humanity, and begin autobiographically. How many of us at 16 begin to sense our adult selves, only glimpsed at that age? Two streams in my own life began then. Einstein died that year. I cried. I had just begun to try to understand special and general Relativity. Their beauty and his daring drew my love. How I hoped someday to do scientific work of value.

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