Science

7:47am

Tue January 14, 2014
Krulwich Wonders...

Who's Got A Pregnant Brain?

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 11:36 am

Robert Krulwich NPR

Imagine a couple of million years ago, a curious young alien from the planet Zantar — let's call him a grad student — lands on Earth, looks around and asks, "Who's the brainiest critter on this planet? Relative to body size, who's got the biggest brain?"

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8:53pm

Mon January 13, 2014
Around the Nation

The Big Impact Of A Little-Known Chemical In W.Va. Spill

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 10:06 am

The chemical that was found last week to be contaminating the drinking water of hundreds of thousands of West Virginians is used to clean coal. But very little is known about how toxic it is to people or to the environment when it spills.

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12:07pm

Mon January 13, 2014
Science

We Have A Science Tumblr, And Its Name Is 'Skunk Bear'

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 1:47 pm

Haoxiang Luo Vanderbilt University

This week, we're launching Skunk Bear, our new science tumblr.

What will I find on this tumblr?

Cool things! Cool science things!! Stuff we make or discover on the Internet that makes us laugh, or think, or turn to each other and say, "Hey, look at this cool thing!"

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11:21am

Mon January 13, 2014
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Why We Need Compassionate Conservation

A black rhino and a giraffe stop for a drink in Namibia's Etosha National Park. Only about 5,000 black rhinos remain in the world.
Frans Lanting DPA/Landov

Over the weekend someone at an auction in the United States paid $350,000 for a permit to kill a black rhino in Namibia. Black rhinos are endangered: only about 5,000 are still alive in the entire world.

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11:09am

Mon January 13, 2014
The Salt

California's Pot Farms Could Leave Salmon Runs Truly Smoked

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 5:08 pm

This dead juvenile coho salmon was found in a tributary of California's South Fork Eel River. About 20 large-scale marijuana farms are located upstream from the watershed pictured. All of them divert water from the stream.
Courtesy Scott Bauer

For many users and advocates of marijuana, the boom in the West Coast growing industry may be all good and groovy. But in California, critics say the recent explosion of the marijuana industry along the state's North Coast — a region called the "emerald triangle" — could put a permanent buzz kill on struggling salmon populations.

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9:21am

Mon January 13, 2014
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Why Personalized Internet Ads Are Kind Of Creepy

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 3:58 pm

iStockphoto

As humans, we aren't always good at remembering how, when, and where we acquire particular bits of information. But we are very good at tracking the social structures through which information flows.

Even my 3-year-old can reconstruct, with uncanny accuracy, the social structure of her preschool. If asked, she'll readily report whom each child plays with, which children sit together at lunchtime, and who drops off and picks up each classmate.

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8:28am

Sun January 12, 2014
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Seeing The World Is Like Dancing With It

iStockphoto

When we gaze up into the night sky, we look out into the past. Adam Frank makes this point eloquently in a recent post. And it is a point redolent with consequence in the field of physics. It is the starting point of Einstein's special theory of relativity.

But is it right to suggest, as Adam does, that when I look into the face of my loved one across the table from me, what I see, really, is how she looked a tiny fraction of a second earlier? Adam writes:

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10:05am

Sat January 11, 2014
Animals

Rare Scottish Bird Reveals Its Long-Secret Winter Home

Originally published on Sat January 11, 2014 12:53 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Big aviation news this week: the red-necked phalarope is one of Scotland's rarest breeding birds and was thought to migrate to its winter grounds in the Arabian Sea. This past week, it was reported that a new tiny tracking device reveals that the phalarope actually flies across the Atlantic Ocean down to the Caribbean, all the way to South America. So, is the phalarope a Scottish bird or a South American one? Malcie Smith is from the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and he joins us from Scotland. Thanks very much for being with us.

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10:05am

Sat January 11, 2014
Technology

Wearable Sensor Turns Color-Blind Man Into 'Cyborg'

Originally published on Sat January 11, 2014 12:53 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Neil Harbisson is an artist who was born with total colorblindness. That means he sees only in shades of black and white. But a sensor attached to his head has expanded his world by translating colors into sound frequencies. And for this reason, Mr. Harbisson considers himself to be a cyborg. Neil Harbisson joins us now from the studios of the BBC in London. Thanks so much for being with us.

NEIL HARBISSON: Thank you.

SIMON: Why do you consider yourself a cyborg and not just a guy who wears a device?

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8:02am

Sat January 11, 2014
Krulwich Wonders...

Go Where Raisins Swell Into Grapes, And Lemons Light The Sky

Originally published on Sat January 11, 2014 11:42 am

Courtesy of Pierre Javelle & Akiko Ida

There's a book by the novelist China Mieville that describes two cities plopped one on top of the other. One is large-scale, the other smaller-scale, and while they live in entangled proximity, both cities have the same rule. Each says to its citizens, pay no attention — on pain of punishment — to what the "others" around you are doing. See your own kind. "Unsee" the others.

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