Science

1:12pm

Fri November 2, 2012
Environment

Seeing Sandy From Space

Originally published on Fri November 2, 2012 1:40 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Next stop, our Sandy coverage continues with the Video Pick of the Week. Hi, Flora. Flora Lichtman's here.

FLORA LICHTMAN, BYLINE: Hi, Ira. Yeah, how could we resist?

FLATOW: And how can we add something no one has ever seen?

LICHTMAN: I think we might be able to this week.

FLATOW: Yeah, yeah.

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1:09pm

Fri November 2, 2012
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

After Sandy: What Do We Do Now?

Originally published on Fri November 2, 2012 6:26 pm

A condemned house in the Ocean Breeze area of New York City's Staten Island. Most homes in the seaside community were inundated by the ocean surge from superstorm Sandy.
John Moore Getty Images

Sandy is scary. And it's scary to think that there's more where she came from. This may be a turning point. Finally, it seems, fear wins.

The fear dynamic has been at the heart of the debate about climate change in the United States, or rather, at the heart of the lack of debate.

Americans are not climate-change deniers. Americans just haven't gotten the memo that they're supposed to be scared.

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1:03pm

Fri November 2, 2012
Research News

Genetic Clues May Help Unravel Cause of Crohn's

Originally published on Fri November 2, 2012 1:40 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Up next, a look at what current research tells us about what causes inflammatory bowel disease and the potentially simple way to treat it.

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12:47pm

Fri November 2, 2012
Krulwich Wonders...

Sunflowers Seen Flying Through Empty Desert. Why?

Vincent Liota

I've been hearing strange wind stories all my life. The best ones are both wildly improbable but still true, like how the Empire State Building gets hit by wafts of barley flying in on jet streams from Iowa, or how tons of sand from the Saharan desert rain down every year onto Brazilian rainforests. You never know what the wind will bring. The wind decides.

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12:27pm

Fri November 2, 2012
NPR Story

How Secure are Electronic Voting Machines?

Originally published on Fri November 2, 2012 1:40 pm

Election Day 2012 is just around the corner, and many Americans will be casting their ballots on electronic voting machines. But how reliable are these devices? Michael Alvarez, professor of political science at Caltech, discusses the technologies at your polling station.

12:27pm

Fri November 2, 2012
NPR Story

Past is Present in 'An Enemy Of The People'

Originally published on Fri November 2, 2012 1:40 pm

Although it was written in 1882, Henrik Ibsen's play An Enemy of the People still resonates today. Richard Thomas and Boyd Gaines, the stars of a new production of the play, join Ira Flatow to talk about the play's themes of power and truth, and the role of whistle-blowers.

5:04am

Fri November 2, 2012
Energy

Fixing NYC's Underground Power Grid Is No Easy Task

Originally published on Fri November 2, 2012 11:43 am

Consolidated Edison workers try to repair damage near the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

The fury of the great storm Sandy shocked a lot of people, like John Miksad, vice president of the New York electric utility Consolidated Edison. "We hit 14-foot tides — that was the biggest surprise," he told a press conference this week. "The water just kept rising and rising and rising."

That rising water flooded streets, buildings and parts of the city's underground electricity grid. Hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers lost power. But it might have been worse if the power lines had not been underground.

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8:00pm

Thu November 1, 2012
Animals

Move Over, Parrot: Elephant Mimics Trainer At Zoo

Originally published on Fri November 2, 2012 11:43 am

Koshi, an elephant, makes sounds that imitate Korean words.
Stoeger, et. al. Current Biology

Scientists say an Asian elephant at a South Korean zoo can imitate human speech, saying five Korean words that are readily understood by people who speak the language.

The male elephant, named Koshik, invented an unusual method of sound production that involves putting his trunk in his mouth and manipulating his vocal tract.

"This is not the kind of sound that Asian elephants normally make, and it's a dead-on match of the speech of his trainers," says Tecumseh Fitch of the University of Vienna in Austria.

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4:39pm

Thu November 1, 2012
Around the Nation

In Flooded New Jersey, No Oversight For Levees

Originally published on Thu November 1, 2012 6:42 pm

An emergency responder helps residents of Little Ferry, N.J., after their neighborhood was flooded due to Superstorm Sandy.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Residents of Moonachie and Little Ferry, N.J., are beginning to clear the damage after their communities were inundated by floodwaters. The flooding occurred when a system of levees and berms was unable to control the storm surge pushed ashore by Superstorm Sandy.

Geologist Jeffrey Mount of the University of California, Davis, isn't surprised. "There really are only two kinds of levees," he says, "those that have failed, and those that will fail."

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2:28pm

Thu November 1, 2012
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

After Sandy: The Most Highly Evolved Compassion Of All

Originally published on Thu November 1, 2012 5:48 pm

Blaine Badick walks through floodwaters with her dogs in Hoboken, N.J., on Wednesday.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Like millions of others, I've been heartsick this week at the loss of life and destruction caused by Superstorm Sandy, especially along the Jersey Shore near where I grew up. Among the few bright spots have been the selfless acts of rescuers.

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