Before summer slips away, North Country Public Radio's Brian Mann decided to take a day off from work for one last hot weather canoe trip in upstate New York. With his wife Susan, Brian paddled and trekked through the Ausable Marshes in the Champlain Valley. He sent back this audio postcard.
Glaciers in the European Alps pose a scientific mystery. Now, they started melting rapidly back in the 1860s, and in the span of about 50 years, some of the biggest glaciers retreated more than half a mile. Nobody could explain why. Now, a new study suggests the glaciers melted because they were covered with soot from the Industrial Revolution. NPR's Richard Harris reports.
Originally published on Tue November 12, 2013 12:10 pm
The world's largest volcano has until now been lurking undiscovered in the depths of the Pacific Ocean, according to a team of scientists who identified the massive object and reported their findings in the latest issue of Nature Geoscience.
Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 9:17 am
Way back in the 1980s, were you the one playing "When Doves Cry" over and over? Well, don't be surprised if your kids wind up doing the same thing.
Young adults have strong positive memories of the music their parents loved when they were the same age, a study finds. That flies in the face of the cultural stereotype that children reject their parents' taste in music.
Originally published on Fri September 6, 2013 12:10 pm
I got two books in the mail that, if they could have, would've poked, scratched and ripped each others' pages out. I don't know if Martin Gardner and Patricia Churchland ever met, but their books show that there are radically, even ferociously, different ways to think about science. Gardner died last year. He was a science writer whose monthly "Mathematical Games" column in Scientific American was wildly popular. Patricia Churchland is a philosopher who teaches at U.C. San Diego.
The issue between them is: How much can we know about the universe?
This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. Back in 1972, during Apollo's final mission to the moon, Apollo 17 astronaut Gene Cernan spotted a strange phenomenon, a glow along the horizon of the moon just before sunrise, followed by mysterious streamers of light, sort of like, you know, the rays of sunlight you see peaking through a cloud. Well, he made a sketch describing it, and since then, scientists have been trying to figure out what the heck he saw.
Next up: wildfires. California's Rim Fire is not 80 percent contained, with some 4,000 firefighters still on the job. All that emergency response, of course, costs money, which federal government budgets for each year. But it doesn't seem to be enough, because three weeks ago, the head of the U.S. Forest Service announced that the Forest Service had burned through its firefighting budget, and would have to drain money earmarked for other things, like fire prevention.
This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. Just about everybody loves penguins, right? They're funny on land. They're amazing underwater, and they're very photogenic, so they show up in lots of ads and movies. But beyond the screen, prospects for the birds are not entirely good. This week, over 200 researches from around the world met in the U.K. to talk penguins, from the prospects of conservation of species to how penguins are able to stay under water so long, to the properties of penguin poop.
This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. This is Alzheimer's Awareness Month, in case you didn't know that. Dr. Alois Alzheimer first described a type of dementia that could go on to - that would go on to bear his name - first described that in 1901. Now over a century later, more than five million people in the U.S. are living with Alzheimer's, according to the Alzheimer's Association, and we still are looking for the exact cause and treatment for the disease.
This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I am Ira Flatow. When we talk about Mars, you know, it's usually about the search for life or water or something like that on the red planet that might be similar to life on earth, right? Is there life on Mars? Was there life on Mars? Was it similar to life on earth? But what if life came from Mars to earth? What if earth was seeded by Martian life forms three billion years ago? It's not a new idea, Martian life forms hitching a ride on a meteorite. But there is a new theory to support it.
This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I am Ira Flatow. Did you know that trillions of bacteria live in your gut, happily dining on the food you eat? And your bacteria community, well, it's different than mine; everyone has a different community and that is important because as a new study published in Science points out, the specific bacteria you shelter can alter your metabolism. It can help determine your health. How do you get the bacteria in your gut? What connection do they have to our well-being?
Originally published on Fri September 6, 2013 11:25 am
One of the most famous scenes in the movie Rain Man unfolds when a waitress drops a box of toothpicks on the floor. Dustin Hoffman's character, Ray, takes a look and says, "82, 82, 82." He quickly sums the numbers, declaring, "Of course, 246 total."