Science

11:24am

Mon December 30, 2013
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Science: A Laughing Matter?

iStockphoto

The Guardian recently published an amusing compilation of science jokes solicited from a variety of scientists. They range from classics you may have come across, like these:

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5:00pm

Sun December 29, 2013
Remembrances

Lost In 2013: Three Nobel Scientists Who Saw Something In Us

Originally published on Sun December 29, 2013 6:41 pm

Pallbearers carry the flag-draped coffin of Francois Jacob, Nobel Prize-winner and World War II veteran, in Paris on April 24.
Reuters/Landov

Before turning the page on 2013, All Things Considered wanted to tell you stories you haven't heard — unknown stories about people you've heard of, and unknown people who have affected your lives in ways you can't imagine.

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8:59am

Sun December 29, 2013
Middle East

Security, Logistics Problems Plague Syria's Weapons Removal

Originally published on Sun December 29, 2013 11:12 am

Transcript

JENNIFER LUDDEN, HOST:

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5:04am

Sun December 29, 2013
Science

Centuries Before China's 'Great Wall,' There Was Another

Originally published on Sun December 29, 2013 11:12 am

In Jiaonan county, the Qi wall incorporates outcrops of bedrock.
Linda Nicholas The Field Museum

The Great Wall of China, built more than 2,000 years ago, stands as one of the monumental feats of ancient engineering. Stretching thousands of miles, it protected the newly unified country from foreign invaders.

But before the Great Wall, warring Chinese dynasties built many other walls for protection. An American archaeologist recently began surveying one of the biggest.

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1:32pm

Sat December 28, 2013
Research News

The Hunt For Meteorites Begins In Antarctica

Originally published on Sun December 29, 2013 10:07 am

The most abundant meteorites found in Antarctica are called chondrites. They are some of the oldest objects known in the solar system.
Katherine Joy Antarctic Search for Meteorites Program / Case Western Reserve University

Antarctica is one of the best places on Earth to spot these fallen stars.

Each winter — which is summer in down south — a team of geologists camps out on an Antarctic glacier in the middle of nowhere, often where no human has ever tread. It's kind of like a space voyage, but a lot cheaper.

And it's the meteorite that's done most of the traveling.

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4:43pm

Fri December 27, 2013
The Salt

Time Is Running Out To Save Florida's Oranges

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 7:15 pm

Ripening fruit in a grove in Plant City, Fla., this month. Florida citrus growers are worried about citrus greening, which causes bacteria to grow on the leaf and fruit, eventually killing the tree.
Chris O'Meara AP

It's not been a good year for Florida's citrus industry. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that, for the second year running, the orange crop is expected to be almost 10 percent lower than the previous year.

The culprit is citrus greening, a disease that has devastated Florida's oranges and grapefruits, and has now begun to spread in Texas and California.

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4:36pm

Fri December 27, 2013
Science

Stretch Or Splat? How A Black Hole Kills You Matters ... A Lot

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 7:15 pm

Never mind holiday stress. Steer clear of black holes, or risk "spaghettification" — or worse.
Katherine Streeter for NPR

It could rightly be called the most massive debate of the year: Physicists are locked in an argument over what happens if you fall into a black hole.

On one side are those who support the traditional view from Albert Einstein. On the other, backers of a radical new theory that preserves the very core of modern physics by destroying space itself.

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4:21pm

Fri December 27, 2013
Animals

After Major Comeback, Is The Gray Wolf Still Endangered?

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 7:15 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

The law that protects endangered species turns 40 tomorrow and perhaps the most controversial thing the government has done under the law is to reintroduce the gray wolf. Ranchers and hunters strongly opposed the move and now the federal government wants to take the gray wolf off the endangered species list. NPR's Elizabeth Shogren reports, this time, it is the scientists who are protesting loudly.

ELIZABETH SHOGREN, BYLINE: Ecologist Carlos Carroll is walking through the snow in a wide valley in Northern California.

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4:21pm

Fri December 27, 2013
Technology

To Make Intersections Smarter, We Need Cars To Be Smarter, Too

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 7:15 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

Car companies have already begun to design cars that can drive themselves. But to make these smart cars really useful, they'll also need smart roads. As part of his series, "Joe's Big Idea," NPR science correspondent Joe Palca has this story about some computer scientists who were designing a smart traffic intersection. How smart? Well, it can keep traffic flowing at least 10 times faster than old-fashioned intersections.

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10:57am

Fri December 27, 2013
The Salt

2013 Was The Year Bills To Criminalize Animal Cruelty Videos Failed

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 3:07 pm

A Humane Society investigation of a Wyoming pig breeding facility to the introduction of an ag-gag bill in Wyoming, which eventually failed.
Courtesy of Humane Society of the U.S.

The past year was a busy one for the animal welfare activists who've turned their hidden cameras on confinement facilities where huge numbers of food animals are raised.

Livestock producers — and the policymakers they influence — were just as busy trying to make it illegal for activists to enter these facilities undercover.

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