Fri February 14, 2014
The Two-Way

Shiny And New: World's Largest Solar Plant Opens In California

Originally published on Mon February 17, 2014 2:41 pm

NRG celebrates the future of solar energy at the grand opening of the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System on Thursday in Nipton, Calif.
Jeff Bottari Invision for NRG

The world's largest solar power plant, made up of thousands of mirrors focusing the sun's energy, has officially started operations in the Mojave Desert, just inside southeastern California near the border with Nevada.

The $2.2 billion, 400-megawatt Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, which covers 5 square miles and has three 40-story towers where the light is focused, is a joint project by NRG Energy, Google and BrightSource Energy. The project received a $1.6 billion federal loan guarantee.

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Fri February 14, 2014
TED Radio Hour

How Does Misfortune Affect Long-Term Happiness?

Originally published on Thu March 6, 2014 5:17 pm

Psychologist Dan Gilbert speaking at TED.
Asa Mathat TED

Part 5 of the TED Radio Hour episode Simply Happy.

About Dan Gilbert's TEDTalk

We're doomed to be miserable if we don't get what we want — right? Not quite, says psychologist Dan Gilbert. He says our "psychological immune system" lets us feel truly happy even when things don't go as planned.

About Dan Gilbert

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Fri February 14, 2014
TED Radio Hour

Are We Happier When We Stay In The Moment?

Originally published on Thu March 6, 2014 5:16 pm

Matt Killingsworth speaking at TEDxCambridge in 2011.
Justin Ide TEDxCambridge

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode Simply Happy.

About Matt Killingsworth's TEDTalk

When are humans most happy? To answer this question, researcher Matt Killingsworth built an app, Track Your Happiness, that let people report their feelings in real time. Among the results: We're often happiest when we're lost in the moment.

About Matt Killingsworth

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Fri February 14, 2014
The Two-Way

Massive Volcanic Eruption In Indonesia Blankets Region In Ash

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 2:06 pm

A residential area is covered with ash from the Mount Kelud volcano, in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, on Friday.
Bimo Satrio EPA/Landov

The second major volcanic eruption in as many weeks in Indonesia has killed at least three people and forced the evacuation of tens of thousands on the island of Java, as Mount Kelud spewed ash and debris 12 miles into the sky.

Thursday night's eruption of the volcano, located 50 miles southwest of the country's second-largest city of Surabaya, could be heard up to 125 miles away, Indonesia's disaster agency says, according to The Associated Press.

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Thu February 13, 2014
The Two-Way

Fossil Shows Triassic-Era Sea Creature Gave Birth On Land

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 6:05 pm

Fossil of Chaohusaurus reveals a baby inside its mother (orange) and another stuck in her pelvis (yellow).
Ryosuke Motani UC-Davis

An extraordinary find of a fossil of 250-million-year-old air-breathing sea creature shows that it must have given birth on land, not in the sea as long assumed.

The fossil is of a mother chaohusaurus, which is believed to be a genus of ichthyosaur, who died giving birth. It shows the baby birthing headfirst.

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Thu February 13, 2014

Robot Construction Workers Take Their Cues From Termites

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 7:58 pm

Climbing robots, modeled after termites, can be programmed to work together to build tailor-made structures.
[Image courtesy of Eliza Grinnell, Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

Termites can build huge, elaborate mounds that rise up from the ground like insect skyscrapers; scientists have now created little robots that act like termites to build a made-to-order structure.

"Termites are the real masters of construction in the insect world," says Justin Werfel of the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University. "The largest termite mound on record was 42 feet tall."

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Thu February 13, 2014
Krulwich Wonders...

'I Will Fight Gravity For You,' Said Superman To Lois Lane

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 2:41 pm

Keone and Mari YouTube


Thu February 13, 2014
The Two-Way

China's Moon Rover Wakes Up, But Isn't Out Of The Woods Yet

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 3:56 pm

China's first lunar rover separates from the Chang'e-3 moon lander on Dec. 15. This picture was taken from the screen of the Beijing Aerospace Control Center.
Li Xin Xinhua/Landov

China's troubled Jade Rabbit rover has woken from its hibernation on the moon, sending a message back to its handlers. But its problems aren't over yet.

"Hi, anyone there?" was the post on Jade Rabbit's unofficial Weibo account on Thursday, which got thousands of responses from enthusiastic followers.

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Thu February 13, 2014
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

A Prehistoric Family? Looking For Clues In The Mud

Area A of the Happisburgh archaeology site in Norfolk, Britain, where coastal erosion has revealed mudflats containing 800-thousand-year-old footprints.
Martin Bates/British Museum EPA/Landov

Imagine five people out walking together along a river. Three are adults, the other two of juvenile age. As they walk together, they leave footprints in the mudflats.

Eight-hundred-thousand years later, a team of 12 archaeologists led by Nick Ashton of the British Museum and University College London announced its discovery of those footprints.

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Thu February 13, 2014

Ancient DNA Ties Native Americans From Two Continents To Clovis

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 8:01 pm

Until recently, finding characteristic stone and bone tools was the only way to trace the fate of the Clovis people, whose culture appeared in North America about 13,000 years ago.
Sarah L. Anzick Nature

The mysterious Clovis culture, which appeared in North America about 13,000 years ago, appears to be the forerunner of Native Americans throughout the Americas, according to a study in Nature. Scientists have read the genetic sequence of a baby from a Clovis burial site in Montana to help fill out the story of the earliest Americans.

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