Science

9:16pm

Mon February 24, 2014
The Two-Way

Meteorite Impact On Moon Sets Record As Brightest Ever Seen

The moon is seen over Dresden, Germany, last week. Researchers say they filmed video of a meteorite impact that sets a new record as the brightest ever recorded.
Arno Burgi DPA /LANDOV

A meteorite that smashed into the moon last September caused a bright flash that persisted for 8 seconds, setting a new record for lunar impacts. The high-speed collision was recorded on video and would have been clearly visible to anyone on Earth who happened to look at the moon at the right time, scientists say.

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4:55pm

Mon February 24, 2014
The Salt

Sriracha Chemistry: How Hot Sauces Perk Up Your Food And Your Mood

Originally published on Tue March 4, 2014 11:33 am

Can you name the five main ingredients in Sriracha?
Reactions YouTube

Anyone who has ever drizzled, doused or — heck — drenched their food with Sriracha knows the hot sauce can make almost any dish taste better.

But could these spicy condiments also make us a little happier?

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1:49pm

Mon February 24, 2014
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

How Not To Name Your Baby

Kids, is there a right way to find the right name for them?
iStockphoto

Six weeks ago today, I gave birth to a baby girl. Like her older sister, she spent the first few days of life without a name.

You see, my husband and I wanted to get our children's names just right, and that meant taking some time to consider the options and get a feel for how well they fit each new baby. But we also happen to be cognitive scientists of an evidence-based persuasion so, for us, it also meant gathering and analyzing some data.

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3:28am

Mon February 24, 2014
Science

Industry Challenges EPA's Greenhouse Gas Rules In High Court

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 10:35 am

Not all energy producers find fault with the EPA's rules. Calpine, which helped build the Delta Energy Center in Pittsburg, Calif., says the permitting regulations aren't overly cumbersome.
JAKUB MOSUR AP

The Supreme Court will hear arguments Monday about the Environmental Protection Agency's first-ever greenhouse gas regulations for the biggest polluting facilities.

The case focuses on a 3-year-old requirement that companies get permits anytime they construct new plants or modify existing ones that will emit a lot of greenhouse gases.

EPA's supporters and most of its challengers agree this case is narrow in scope; the court's ruling is not expected to threaten EPA's broader strategy to fight global warming.

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3:27am

Mon February 24, 2014
Science

At 4.4 Billion Years Old, Oz Crystals Confirmed As World's Oldest

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 2:06 pm

The colors of the zircon crystals range from transparent to deep red.
Courtesy of University of Wisconsin

Scientists have used a powerful new technique to prove that some tiny crystals found in Western Australia are indeed the oldest known materials formed on Earth.

Back in 2001, scientists reported that one of the zircon crystals was about 4.4 billion years old — so old that not everyone believed it.

"There have been challenges, because nothing in science goes without being questioned. It always has to be proven," says John Valley, a geochemist at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

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5:12pm

Sun February 23, 2014
Science

Explorers' Aim For Perilous Polar Trek: 'Get Home In One Piece'

Originally published on Sun February 23, 2014 7:00 pm

Ben Saunders and Tarka L'Herpiniere trek from the coast of Antarctica to the South Pole and back, breaking the record for the longest polar journey on foot.
The Scott Expedition

In 1911, explorer and British Royal Navy officer Robert Falcon Scott had big plans. He intended to be the first to reach the South Pole, that holy grail of exploration, and claim the distinction for the British Empire.

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6:18am

Sun February 23, 2014
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Electronic Cigarettes And The Appearance Of Smoking

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 6:34 pm

Electronic cigarettes are actually battery operated devices that use a heating element to atomize a flavored liquid, typically containing nicotine, so that it can be inhaled.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

We see symbols and their power at work in the recent controversy surrounding the effort to extend bans on smoking to the electronic cigarette. An e-cigarette is no more a cigarette than a chocolate cigarette is.

But — as with the case of toy guns — this doesn't mean they are any less dangerous.

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5:00pm

Sat February 22, 2014
Author Interviews

Forecasting The 'Future' By Tapping Into Human Consciousness

Originally published on Sat February 22, 2014 7:18 pm

iStockphoto

Now more than ever before, we have the tools to study the mysteries of consciousness. Memory, dreams, the self are now being examined using high-tech brain scans developed by physicists on the cutting edge of their field.

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8:03am

Sat February 22, 2014
Krulwich Wonders...

I Won't Eat, You Can't Make Me! (And They Couldn't)

Robert Krulwich NPR

It was found in Baja California, in the water, scuttling about. It's an isopod — a many legged, many jointed, bottom-crawler, related to prawns and crabs and it happily eats dead things. Scavengers aren't that particular about what's for dinner. When they find it, they eat it.

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4:27pm

Fri February 21, 2014
The Two-Way

Forget The Local Cold: Worldwide, It Was Another Hot January

Originally published on Fri February 21, 2014 5:07 pm

A chart showing average temperatures around the world for January 2014.
National Climate Data Center NOAA

January will go down in the weather history books as the fourth-warmest on record.

That's right.

No matter how brutal the winter was in North America, especially the Eastern half, it was balanced by warm temperatures elsewhere on the planet.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Climate Data Center says that last month marks the 38th consecutive January and the 347th consecutive month (almost 29 years) that global temperatures have been above the average for the 20th century.

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