Wed March 5, 2014

Remembering The Doctor Who Spoke Hard Truths About Dying

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 8:42 pm



20 years after Sherwin Nuland changed the way we talk about dying, the surgeon and best-selling author of the book "How We Die" has died himself. Dr. Nuland died on Monday at the age of 83. The cause was prostate cancer. In "How We Die," Nuland sought to demythologize the process of dying by offering up a frank discussion of the details of physical deterioration. Here he is speaking on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED in early 1994.


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Wed March 5, 2014
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

The Playfulness Of Invention

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 4:21 pm

Brazilian aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont's 14-bis biplane takes off from a French field in 1906.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

It's Ash Wednesday, and while we freeze up here in New England, the people of Brazil are picking up the mess after four days of rampage and decadent partying during their legendary Carnival celebrations. But even if Carnival's reputation is due to the wild dancing, singing and flirting, it is also a time to open up and be what you want but can't — or are afraid — to be. It's a celebration of the imagination and of personal freedom, a marriage of the sacred and the profane.

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Wed March 5, 2014
The Salt

Chipotle Says There's No 'Guacapocalypse' Looming

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 3:16 pm

An employee prepares to make fresh guacamole at a Chipotle restaurant in Hollywood, Calif.
Patrick T. Fallon Bloomberg

Looks like reports of a looming "guacapocalypse" have been vastly overstated.

This morning, guacamole lovers woke to headlines warning that Mexican fast-food chain Chipotle could eventually be forced to drop the dip from its menu, if changing global weather patterns continue to drive volatility in the price of avocados.

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Wed March 5, 2014
Krulwich Wonders...

Is That Someone's House? What Astronauts Can See Looking Down

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 12:41 pm


It's nighttime. You are hovering high off the planet looking down. Things are happening. Strange, beautiful, wonderful things.

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Tue March 4, 2014
The Two-Way

WATCH: Drone Catches Video Of Stampeding Dolphins, Whale Calf

Video screen-grab of drone footage of a dolphin stampede off California coast.
Dave Anderson Capt Dave's Dolphin and Whale Safari

Dave Anderson, who runs whale-watching charters out of Dana Point, Calif., used a small camera-equipped drone to capture video of a "mega-pod" of hundreds of common dolphins as well as three gray whale migrating off the coast of San Clemente. In a separate sortie, the drone returned footage of a family of humpback whales off of Maui.

Anderson, who runs Capt Dave's Dolphin and Whale Safari produced the footage into this stunning five-minute video.

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Tue March 4, 2014
The Two-Way

Virus Locked In Siberian Ice For 30,000 Years Is Revived In Lab

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 8:27 am

This electron microscope image provided by researchers shows a section of a Pithovirus particle, dark outline, inside an infected Acanthamoeba castellanii cell.
Julia Bartoli, Chantal Abergel AP

Scientists at a laboratory in France have thawed out and revived an ancient virus found in the Siberian permafrost, making it infectious again for the first time in 30,000 years.

The giant virus known as Pithovirus sibericum was discovered about 100 feet deep in coastal tundra. The pathogen infects tiny amoebas — simple, one-celled organisms.

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Tue March 4, 2014
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Alzheimer's Challenges Notions Of Memory And Identity

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 11:27 am

Actor and Alzheimer's advocate Seth Rogen testifies before the Senate Committee on Appropriations about the disease's damaging effects on patients and their loved ones.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Last week, comedian, actor and activist Seth Rogen testified before Congress about the importance of research on Alzheimer's disease, highlighting the emotional and financial burden the disease places on families — like his own — whose loved ones are affected.

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Tue March 4, 2014
The Salt

Our Supercomputer Overlord Is Now Running A Food Truck

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 12:55 pm

Watson's culinary concoctions were served up from an IBM food truck at a tech conference in Las Vegas last week. Next stop: Austin.
IBM Research/Flickr

These days, there's a lot of pressure on chefs to think up the most fantastical, cutting-edge dishes. We live in an age of cronuts, PB&J fries and pecan pie potato chips.

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Tue March 4, 2014
The Two-Way

Nepal Cracks Down On Messy Everest Climbers

Originally published on Tue March 4, 2014 12:08 pm

A Nepalese Sherpa collecting garbage, left by climbers, at an altitude of 26,250 feet during a special Everest clean-up expedition.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

As Everest climbing season gets started this week, Nepal is enforcing a rule for scaling the world's tallest mountain that might sound like it came from your mother: Pick up after yourself.

While it's technically not a new rule, it has rarely if ever been enforced.

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Tue March 4, 2014
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Watch And Be Amazed By The Machinery Of Life

Life, up close.

Sometimes the visible world is all we need to be astonished at this weird thing called reality. For example that big, warm, yellow ball makes it into the sky every day. And every year, somehow, Spring makes it back to us. (Hello Spring! Sooner rather than later would be nice.) But sometimes it's the invisible world that makes your head explode in wonder.

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