A photo from <a href="http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2012/08/pictures/120813-mummies-chinchorro-proceedings-desert-driest-chile/">a recent National Geographic story</a> 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.
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.
Federal regulators have issued a violation to the Tennessee Valley Authority after an inspection at its Browns Ferry nuclear power plant in northern Alabama. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission said in a statement that its staff will increase oversight at the facility. The agency said the "white" finding for all three of the facility's units comes after NRC inspectors found that plant operators and employees were unable to adequately perform newly implemented procedures for a safe plant shutdown. The NRC said it determined that workers were not adequately trained on the new procedures.
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.
Credit Mario Tama / Getty Images
Michael Lemonick was a senior science writer at <em>Time </em>magazine for more than 20 years. He is now a senior writer for Climate Central, a nonprofit organization that focuses on climate change. He teaches science journalism at Princeton University.
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.
Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 10:29 am
If you've been applauding yourself recently for choosing the apple slices over the french fries for your kid's fast food meal, or an apple-laden prepackaged salad for your own dinner, you might want to hit the pause button.
A new study says Alabama is the nation's fourth-fattest state.
The report released Monday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 32 percent of Alabama's adults are obese. That's slightly better than the obesity rates in Mississippi, Louisiana and West Virginia.
The state obesity rate for 2011 is a little less than the number from 2010, but the CDC says the two numbers can't be compared because it changed statistical methods. So it's hard to gauge whether there's been any real improvement in fighting obesity.
Check out some of the world's most important - and threatened - aquifers. <a href="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2012/08/08/aquifers_archive.jpg">Click to see a high-resolution version of this map.</a>
Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 4:49 pm
This map is disturbing, once you understand it. It's a new attempt to visualize an old problem — the shrinking of underground water reserves, in most cases because farmers are pumping out water to irrigate their crops.
Alabama Public Radio News Director Pat Duggins spoke with host Sacha Pfeiffer on NPR station WBUR's nationally broadcast program "Here & Now" about the upcoming landing of NASA's Curiosity Mars rover. Duggins covered NASA for NPR for 25 years, authored the book "Trailblazing Mars," and writes about space for the magazine "Modern Weekly" in China.
PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — NASA has received a flood of new black-and-white pictures from the Curiosity rover on Mars that it will stitch together to make a panorama. The photos began pouring in Wednesday morning after the nuclear-powered rover raised its mast that's equipped with the cameras. The raw images reveal portions of the rover's instrument deck, its shadow on the ground and the Martian horizon. Since touching down inside Gale Crater Sunday night, Curiosity has beamed home a steady stream of images, including the first color view from the landing site.
The coastal town of Fairhope has problem with geese. Officials will hold a public meeting today to discuss how to deal with the large number of birds that gather on the city's public beaches along Mobile Bay. Scientists say water is contaminated near the beaches, and goose waste may be part of the problem.