Science + Technology

Environment
3:21 pm
Thu August 16, 2012

When This Oil Spills, It's 'A Whole New Monster'

An oil sheen appears along the shore of the Kalamazoo. More than 800,000 gallons of oil entered Talmadge Creek and flowed into the Kalamazoo River, a Lake Michigan tributary. Heavy rains caused the river to overtop existing dams and carried oil 30 miles downstream.
John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 6:19 pm

Sometime in the next few months, David Daniel probably will have to stand by and watch as bulldozers knock down his thick forest and dig up the streams he loves.

His East Texas property is one of more than 1,000 in the path of a new pipeline, the southern stretch of what is known as the Keystone XL system.

For years, Daniel has tried to avoid this fate — or at least figure out what risks will come with it. But it has been difficult for him to get straight answers about the tar sands oil the pipeline will carry, and what happens when it spills.

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Humans
2:51 am
Wed August 15, 2012

Changing Climate May Have Led To Earliest Mummies

A photo from a recent National Geographic story shows a long-buried corpse, preserved by one of Earth's driest climates, Chile's Atacama Desert, where it has retained centuries-old skin, hair and clothing.
Enrico Ferorelli National Geographic

Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 5:14 am

A couple of thousand years before the Egyptians preserved some of their dead, a much simpler society made the first known mummies.

The Chinchorros, the first mummy makers, lived about 7,000 years ago in South America, on the coast near the border between modern-day Peru and Chile. The desert area where they lived was so dry, dead people turned into mummies naturally.

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Author Interviews
12:51 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

Climate 'Weirdness' Throws Ecosystems 'Out Of Kilter'

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the past year through June 2012 has been the hottest year in the continental U.S. since modern record-keeping started in 1895. Above, New Yorkers flocked to Coney Island to try to beat the heat in early August.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 1:47 pm

Science journalist Michael Lemonick doesn't want to be a doomsday prophet, but he does want to be realistic about the threat of climate change. "Since I started writing about climate change all the way back in 1987, we've known what the cause is, we've known what the likely outcome is, and we've had time to act — and essentially we haven't acted," he tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:32 am
Tue August 14, 2012

How A Virus In Snakes Could Offer Clues To Ebola In Humans

A newly discovered disease in boa constrictors could provide the missing link in the latent Ebola virus.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 1:55 pm

Scientists have found a surprising link between deadly Ebola virus and a disease that's been killing boa constrictors in zoos and aquariums.

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The Picture Show
10:18 am
Mon August 13, 2012

A New Species Discovered ... On Flickr

Guek Hock Ping ZooKeys

Originally published on Sat August 11, 2012 7:05 am

One day in May of 2011, Shaun Winterton was looking at pictures of bugs on the Internet when something unusual caught his eye.

It was a close shot of a green lacewing — an insect he knew well — but on its wing was an unfamiliar network of black lines and a few flecks of blue.

Winterton, a senior entomologist at the California Department of Food and Agriculture, has seen a lot of bugs. But he hadn't seen this species before.

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Science + Technology
5:54 pm
Sat August 11, 2012

2012 Perseid Meteor Shower

NASA's Meteor Counter App
http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2012/10aug_perseids/ NASA

Perseids: here we come! Partly cloudy skies tonight, clear skies after midnight, and a meteor-a-minute. This'll be fun. (If you nab any photos, post 'em on our Facebook page!)  

Click here to read more about the meteor shower on NASA's website!

Krulwich Wonders...
10:33 am
Fri August 10, 2012

Discussing The Mars Landing With My 137-Year-Old Grandfather

Percival Lowell's drawings of "canals" on Mars.
Universal History Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 12:23 pm

Yes, it was an amazing landing, an engineering triumph, a 150-million-mile slam dunk, spectacular in every way, except ... I think my grandpa would be disappointed. I'm not sure of this, since he died 50 years ago, but I have a hunch.

It starts with a handwritten letter he wrote back in 1907. He was a travelling salesman. He sold men's hats, and his job was to visit retailers all over the country. "One evening," he wrote, "train riding between Chicago and Kansas City or St. Louis, sitting the club car, I read a magazine, The Century..."

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The Two-Way
2:44 pm
Thu August 9, 2012

VIDEO: NASA Moon Lander Crashes And Burns During Test Flight

A screengrab of NASA's moon lander in flames.
NASA

Originally published on Thu August 9, 2012 2:57 pm

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The Two-Way
9:31 am
Thu August 9, 2012

Neil Armstrong 'Doing Great' After Heart Surgery

Neil Armstrong last November at the U.S. Capitol, when he and the other astronauts from the Apollo 11 mission were awarded Congressional Gold Medals.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 9, 2012 11:06 am

There's word from the wife of first-man-on-the-moon Neil Armstrong that he's "doing great" after cardiac bypass surgery on Tuesday, NBC News reports.

And that's good, tweets second-man-on-the-moon Buzz Aldrin, because he and Armstrong have "agreed to make it [to] the 50th Apollo Anniv in 2019."

Armstrong turned 82 on Sunday.

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Krulwich Wonders...
9:39 am
Wed August 8, 2012

The World's Tallest Tree Is Hiding Somewhere In California

Del Norte Titan
David Mickelson groveoftitans.com

Originally published on Fri April 8, 2011 11:01 am

Woah, this is one very tall tree. Nine years ago, it was the tallest known plant in the world. (See if you can spot the three people, blue shirted, hanging at different points on the trunk).

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Environment
3:15 am
Wed August 8, 2012

A Clear And Present Danger: How Glass Kills Birds

Experts say glass buildings kill millions of birds every year. Scientists at Powdermill Avian Research Center are studying ways to help prevent this. Here, a volunteer tags a black hooded warbler in Rector, Pa., in May.
Maggie Starbard NPR

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 12:05 pm

First of a two-part series. Read Part 2.

Modern architecture loves glass. Glass makes interiors brighter and adds sparkle to cityscapes. But glass also kills millions of birds every year when they collide with windows. Biologists say as more glass buildings go up, more birds are dying.

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All Tech Considered
1:04 pm
Tue August 7, 2012

How His Life Was Hacked In The Cloud

Originally published on Thu August 9, 2012 8:45 am

  • Mat Honan talks to Morning Edition co-host Renee Montagne

I spent some time at the Defcon and Black Hat conferences in Las Vegas over the past few weeks listening to hackers describe the myriad security holes and flaws in some of the most popular products and applications that roam free in the online world.

While this experience made me nervous, so far at least I have fared better than writer Mat Honan.

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Environment
6:17 pm
Mon August 6, 2012

Are Recent Heat Waves A Result Of Climate Change?

Cattle use a tree for shade as temperatures rose above 100 degrees in a pasture July 28, 2011, near Canadian, Texas.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Mon August 6, 2012 6:51 pm

The last couple of years have certainly felt unusually hot in many parts of the U.S., but are they really all that unusual?

Many people wonder whether a warming climate is turning up the temperature or whether it's all just part of the normal variation in the weather. Among scientists, there's a growing view that these latest heat waves are indeed a result of climate change.

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