Geoff Brumfiel http://apr.org en To Stop Cheating, Nuclear Officers Ditch The Grades http://apr.org/post/stop-cheating-nuclear-officers-ditch-grades The young officers at <a href="http://www.warren.af.mil/">F.E. Warren Air Force Base</a> have an enormous job: to keep 150 nuclear-tipped missiles ready to launch at a moment's notice.<p>Understandably, they're expected to know exactly what they're doing.<p>Three times a month, they're tested on the weapons and the codes used to launch them. Anything less than 90 percent is a fail.<p>But until recently, even 90 percent wasn't really good enough. "I was told that if I got a 90 on a test, I was a D student — and I would be treated that way," says Lt. Mon, 28 Jul 2014 17:19:00 +0000 Geoff Brumfiel 56616 at http://apr.org To Stop Cheating, Nuclear Officers Ditch The Grades What Brought Down The Malaysian Airliner? http://apr.org/post/what-brought-down-malaysian-airliner Shortly after news broke that a Malaysia Airlines flight crashed in eastern Ukraine, suspicions began to swirl that the plane had been shot down. NPR's Geoff Brumfiel speaks with Audie Cornish about the feasibility that a missile brought down the airliner. <div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2014 NPR. Thu, 17 Jul 2014 20:27:00 +0000 Geoff Brumfiel 55981 at http://apr.org Physicists Crush Diamonds With Giant Laser http://apr.org/post/physicists-crush-diamonds-giant-laser Physicists have used the world's most powerful laser to zap diamonds. The results, they say, could tell us more about the cores of giant planets.<p>"Diamonds have very special properties, besides being very expensive and used for jewelrey etc.," says <a href="https://www-pls.llnl.gov/?url=about_pls-scientific_staff-smith_r">Raymond Smith</a>, a researcher at <a href="https://www.llnl.gov/">Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory</a> in California. "It's the hardest substance known to man."<p>And diamonds aren't just here on Earth. Thu, 17 Jul 2014 07:34:00 +0000 Geoff Brumfiel 55919 at http://apr.org Physicists Crush Diamonds With Giant Laser In A Lab Store Room, An Unsettling Surprise: Lost Vials Of Smallpox http://apr.org/post/lab-fridge-unsettling-surprise-lost-vials-smallpox Scientists at the National Institutes of Health made an unpleasant discovery last week as they cleaned out an old laboratory: The lab contained vials of the smallpox virus, previously unknown to authorities. The vials have since been transferred to a secure lab at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. <div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2014 NPR. Tue, 08 Jul 2014 20:40:00 +0000 Geoff Brumfiel 55360 at http://apr.org Carbon Observatory To Monitor Greenhouse Gas From Space http://apr.org/post/carbon-observatory-monitor-greenhouse-gas-space NASA is preparing to launch a new satellite to observe carbon dioxide from space. The satellite could revolutionize our understanding of where this greenhouse gas comes from and where it goes. Tue, 01 Jul 2014 09:09:00 +0000 Geoff Brumfiel 54901 at http://apr.org Carbon-Sensing Satellite Prepares For Second Launch http://apr.org/post/carbon-sensing-satellite-prepares-second-launch NASA is preparing to launch a satellite capable of monitoring carbon dioxide emissions from space. The <a href="http://oco.jpl.nasa.gov/">Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2</a> (OCO-2) will be the first U.S. spacecraft dedicated to seeing the greenhouse gas from orbit, and could pave the way for new technology to enforce future global warming treaties.<p>But first OCO-2 needs to make it off the ground. Mon, 30 Jun 2014 20:42:00 +0000 Geoff Brumfiel 54873 at http://apr.org Carbon-Sensing Satellite Prepares For Second Launch World's Chemical Weapons Watchdog Clears Syria http://apr.org/post/worlds-chemical-weapons-watchdog-clears-syria Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.<p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>And I'm Audie Cornish. Syria has handed over the last of its declared chemical weapons. That's according to the world's chemical weapons watchdog. The move is a key step in a deal negotiated last fall, after the U.S. had threatened to conduct airstrikes against Syria. But many questions remain about Syria's use of chemical weapons and whether remnants of its chemical stockpile remain. Joining me to discuss all this is NPR's Geoff Brumfiel. Mon, 23 Jun 2014 20:07:00 +0000 Geoff Brumfiel 54422 at http://apr.org Dust Clouds Big Bang Signal http://apr.org/post/dust-clouds-big-bang-signal In March, a team of physicists announced <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/03/17/290866227/scientists-announce-a-big-bang-breakthrough">it had found a signal from the very first moments after the Big Bang</a>. Fri, 20 Jun 2014 21:35:00 +0000 Geoff Brumfiel 54304 at http://apr.org Dust Clouds Big Bang Signal Scientists Keep A Careful Eye On The World Cup Ball http://apr.org/post/scientists-keep-careful-eye-world-cup-ball <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PH7cbLfxmbM</p> Fri, 20 Jun 2014 07:38:00 +0000 Geoff Brumfiel 54241 at http://apr.org Scientists Keep A Careful Eye On The World Cup Ball Bye-Bye To The Home Of A Favorite Internet Conspiracy Theory http://apr.org/post/bye-bye-home-favorite-internet-conspiracy-theory It sure <em>looks</em> suspicious: a remote military compound in the south-central Alaskan wilderness filled with 180 weird-looking antennas.<p>It's the home of the <a href="http://www.nrl.navy.mil/research/nrl-review/2004/atmospheric-science-and-technology/kennedy/">High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program</a> (HAARP). Conspiracy theorists have accused the program of doing everything from mind control to global communications jamming.<p>Now HAARP's many conspiracies, along with its legitimate research, may finally be at an end. Tue, 10 Jun 2014 20:00:00 +0000 Geoff Brumfiel 53614 at http://apr.org Bye-Bye To The Home Of A Favorite Internet Conspiracy Theory Ice Wall May Stop Radioactive Leak At Japanese Nuclear Plant http://apr.org/post/ice-wall-may-stop-radioactive-leak-japanese-nuclear-plant Transcript <p>STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: <p>Earlier this week, workers in Japan began construction of an underground ice wall around the melted-down nuclear reactors at Fukushima. It is hard to even say that sentence without feeling like you're relating some science fiction tale. But it's true. The ice wall is designed to stop hundreds of tons of radioactive groundwater from leaking into the nearby Pacific Ocean. NPR's Geoff Brumfiel has been covering this story for a long time. Thu, 05 Jun 2014 09:16:00 +0000 Geoff Brumfiel 53278 at http://apr.org SpaceX Unveils A Sleek New Ride To Orbit http://apr.org/post/spacex-unveils-sleek-new-ride-orbit <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cf_-g3UWQ04</p> Fri, 30 May 2014 20:38:00 +0000 Geoff Brumfiel 52979 at http://apr.org SpaceX Unveils A Sleek New Ride To Orbit SpaceX Founder Elon Musk Reveals New Spacecraft http://apr.org/post/spacex-founder-elon-musk-reveals-new-spacecraft Transcript <p>DAVID GREENE, HOST: <p>NPR's Business News begins with - not kidding - riding a dragon. Last night, the private spaceflight company, SpaceX, unveiled a new capsule called Dragon to take astronauts into orbit. Fri, 30 May 2014 09:24:00 +0000 Geoff Brumfiel 52932 at http://apr.org Rumors Of An Intergalactic Explosion Are Greatly Exaggerated http://apr.org/post/rumors-intergalactic-explosion-are-greatly-exaggerated Tuesday afternoon, astronomers thought they saw a powerful explosion in the nearby Andromeda galaxy.<p>The Internet went wild with speculation about what it could be: Had two superdense neutron stars collided? Did a supermassive star explode?<p>"When I got up this morning and turned on my phone, I had a lot of emails and my Twitter feed was burning," says <a href="http://www.star.le.ac.uk/~pae9/">Phil Evans</a>, an astronomer at the University of Leicester in Britain.<p>Evans is on a small team of intergalactic storm chasers. Wed, 28 May 2014 17:18:00 +0000 Geoff Brumfiel 52807 at http://apr.org Rumors Of An Intergalactic Explosion Are Greatly Exaggerated Organic Cat Litter Chief Suspect In Nuclear Waste Accident http://apr.org/post/organic-kitty-litter-chief-suspect-nuclear-waste-accident In February, a 55-gallon drum of radioactive waste burst open inside America's only nuclear dump, <a href="http://wipp.energy.gov/wipprecovery/recovery.html">the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant</a> in New Mexico.<p>Now investigators believe the cause may have been a pet store purchase gone bad.<p>"It was the wrong kitty litter," says <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesconca/">James Conca</a>, a geochemist in Richland, Wash., who has spent decades in the nuclear waste business.<p>It turns out there's more to cat litter than you think. Fri, 23 May 2014 20:43:00 +0000 Geoff Brumfiel 52565 at http://apr.org Organic Cat Litter Chief Suspect In Nuclear Waste Accident