Fri February 28, 2014
The Two-Way

A Pelican Shows Us What It's Like To Fly

A peli-cam captures the flight of a bird on Tanzania's Lake Tanganyika.

Pelicans have the life. They live by the water, fly over the ocean, and eat lots of fish. Among humans, only T.C. from Magnum P.I. comes close to matching them. And he's just a fictional character, played by Roger E. Mosley.

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Fri February 28, 2014
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

The Limits Of Simulation

Jim Carrey as Truman Burbank, a man living in someone else's dream. The 1998 movie The Truman Show asks us to look at experience and reality with fresh eyes.
Melinda Sue Gordon The Kobal Collection/Paramount

The idea that the world might be living in a simulation — discussed in Marcelo's post this week — is brought to life with wit and power in Peter Weir's 1998 film The Truman Show. Young Truman, who has been raised inside a simulation — a reality TV show! — is free to explore his environment; he can move around and pursue his interests and interrogate and probe.

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Fri February 28, 2014
The Two-Way

Stunning And Amazing: Northern Lights Wow U.K.

Originally published on Fri February 28, 2014 6:15 pm

People view the Northern Lights over Bamburgh Castle Beach Thursday in Northumberland, England. A powerful solar flare caused the aurora borealis to be visible farther south than usual.
Josh Maidwell Barcroft Media/Landov


Fri February 28, 2014
Shots - Health News

A Strong Sex Life Helps Couples Cope With The Trials Of Aging

Originally published on Mon March 3, 2014 7:32 am

Intimacy in a marriage becomes even more important as we get older.
Radius Images Corbis

Health problems can put a strain on a marriage at any age. But as we get older, chronic illnesses can make it even tougher to keep the spark alive.

Scientists at the University of Chicago have uncovered one way couples can offset the stresses of illness and aging: more physical intimacy.

Couples who continue to be sexually active over the years report higher levels of satisfaction in their marriages, the sociologists reported last month.

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Fri February 28, 2014
Around the Nation

13 Workers Exposed To Radiation At N.M. Nuclear Waste Dump

Originally published on Fri February 28, 2014 1:21 pm

A hunk of salt from the underground nuclear waste dump in Carlsbad, New Mexico. A piece of salt is believed to have fallen from a cavern ceiling and crushed drums of waste.
Meg Vogel/NPR

There's never a good week for nuclear waste, but this week has been a particularly bad one. Officials at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico have disclosed that 13 employees inhaled radioactive material after a major accident earlier this month.

While there's no risk to the public and the exposed workers did not need immediate medical treatment, the incident is shaping up to be a major setback for the nation's only dedicated nuclear waste dump.

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Thu February 27, 2014
The Salt

Chickens That Lay Organic Eggs Eat Imported Food, And It's Pricey

Originally published on Tue March 4, 2014 11:26 am

Empty shelves where eggs should be at a Whole Foods Market in Washington, D.C. The store blames increased demand for organic eggs.
Dan Charles NPR

The other morning, I found myself staring at something strange and unfamiliar: empty grocery shelves with the word "eggs" above them. The store, a Whole Foods Market in Washington, D.C., blamed, in another sign, the dearth on "increased demand for organic eggs."

This scene is unfolding in grocery stores across the country. But Whole Foods' sign wasn't telling the whole truth. Demand for organic eggs is indeed increasing, but production is also down.

The reason behind that shortfall highlights an increasingly acute problem in the organic industry.

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Thu February 27, 2014
The Salt

U.S. Lets 141 Trillion Calories Of Food Go To Waste Each Year

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 8:32 pm

Nectarines are sorted at Eastern ProPak Farmers Cooperative in Glassboro, N.J.
Mel Evans AP

The sheer volume of food wasted in the U.S. each year should cause us some shame, given how many people are hungry both in our own backyard and abroad.

Now the U.S. Department of Agriculture has provided us with a way to understand our flagrant annual waste in terms of calories, too. It's pretty mind-boggling — 141 trillion calories down the drain, so to speak, or 1,249 calories per capita per day.

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Thu February 27, 2014

Neil DeGrasse Tyson Explains Why The Cosmos Shouldn't Make You Feel Small

Originally published on Fri February 28, 2014 9:45 am

Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson hosts a new TV series called Cosmos: A Space-Time Odyssey. It's an update of the influential 1980 PBS series Cosmos: A Personal Journey, hosted by Carl Sagan.
Patrick Eccelsine Fox

When it comes to "callings" we usually think of people who feel drawn to religious career paths. But if you ask Neil deGrasse Tyson how he became an astrophysicist he says: "I think the universe called me. I feel like I had no say in the matter."

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Thu February 27, 2014

From Aztecs To Oscars: Popcorn's Beautiful, Explosive Journey

Originally published on Fri February 28, 2014 3:06 pm

Adam Cole NPR

Popcorn is a truly ancient snack. Archaeologists have uncovered popcorn kernels that are 4,000 years old. They were so well-preserved, they could still pop.

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Thu February 27, 2014
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Feeling Down? Watching This Will Help

Two white-headed capuchin monkeys (also known as the white-faced capuchin or white-throated capuchin) on Gorgona island, off Colombia's Pacific coast.
AFP/Getty Images