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Science

I Can't Believe What I'm Seeing: A Springtime (Froggy) Miracle

Saturday, March 22, 2014

A few weeks ago, this little frog was frozen solid, hard like an ashtray, basically dead. And then, we don't know how, this amazing thing happened ...

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Radiolab

I Can't Believe What I'm Seeing: A Springtime (Froggy) Miracle

Saturday, March 22, 2014

NOVA scienceNOW

Two weeks ago this animal was frozen solid. If you found one in the woods, packed in the topsoil, hiding under a leaf, you could pull it from the ground and it would feel like an ashtray. You could bang it (lightly) on ...

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Radiolab

What's The Biggest Animal Gathering Ever? (Was Rod Stewart There?)

Friday, March 21, 2014

It's a small moment in a sprawling Shakespeare play. Most people miss it. A nobleman named Mortimer has been locked up by the king, who decrees: Don't anyone say "Mortimer" in my royal presence. That name is forbidden. But one of Mortimer's allies has a plan. He wants to give ...

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How Your Love Of Burgers May Be Helping To Drive Wildlife Extinct

Friday, March 21, 2014

Many meat-eating animal lovers may not realize that their hankering for hamburgers hurts wildlife. A conservation group says some species have already been driven extinct by the livestock industry.

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Why 500 Million U.S. Seafood Meals Get Dumped In The Sea

Friday, March 21, 2014

Nine American fisheries together throw overboard as much as 340 million pounds of fish and other species they were not trying to catch, a report finds. Much of it is perfectly edible fish.

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Digging Into The Roots Of Gender Differences

Friday, March 21, 2014

When girls act differently from boys, both biological and cultural factors may be at work. But which is primary, and can research on chimpanzees shed light on the answer?

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What's The Biggest Animal Gathering Ever? (Was Rod Stewart There?)

Friday, March 21, 2014

Count the army ants; count the starlings; count the herring, the pigeons and the fans at a Rod Stewart concert in Rio, and then ask: What's the greatest gathering of animals ever?

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Morning Edition

Does Diversity On Research Team Improve Quality Of Science?

Friday, March 21, 2014

As science becomes more diverse, scientific collaborators are growing more diverse, too. New research exploring the effect of this change suggests the diversity of the teams that produce scientific research play a big role in how successful the science turns out to be.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

How Caffeine Helps, Hurts, and Hooks Us

Friday, March 21, 2014

Caffeine is the most popular drug in America. Murray Carpenter why caffeine has such a powerful effect on us—it can boost our mood and improve our athletic performance. He looks at the various ways caffeine is delivered to the body, how it affects us, and why it’s not regulated. He’s the author of Caffeinated: How Our Daily Habit Helps, Hurts, and Hooks Us.

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On The Media

So Many Keys

Friday, March 21, 2014

Four times a year, members of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICAAN, take part in an elaborate ceremony (iris scanners!) designed to assure the world that the organization is doing its best to keep the web connected and safe. Brooke explains the meeting of the keyholders, with insight from Guardian reporter James Ball, who attended one of the ceremonies last month.

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PRI's The World

Even when your dad's a physicist, it's hard to wrap your head around the Big Bang discovery

Friday, March 21, 2014

For someone whose whole career has always centered around music or writing, I’m always being asked about physics.

That’s because of my dad, Alexander Vilenkin. He's a physicist whose work turns up a lot in pop science magazines and TV shows like NOVA, and sometimes, in the news — like this week, when “smoking gun” evidence of the Big Bang was discovered at a lab in the South Pole.

The truth is: I suck at physics.

I barely got a C in high school physics, and that was only with a lot of help from you know who. I went to the same university where my dad still teaches physics, and as a freshman wanted to take his introductory class, which was sort of legendary.

To demonstrate conservation of energy, he’d hold a heavy pendulum to his head and let it swing out across the lecture hall and back while standing stock still.

To illustrate the Leidenfrost Effect, he would stick his hand into a vat of liquid nitrogen. I figured if my dad was going to freeze his hand off in front of hundreds of students, I should at least be one of them.

But he threatened not to teach intro physics if I signed up. Don’t make me flunk my own daughter, he said. I also think I remember him mentioning he could train a monkey to do physics better than me.

I wanted to call and congratulate him about the news in his world — or multi-worlds — and maybe try to wrap my head around it a little.

Okay Dad, so what did they discover?

“What they discovered,” he told me, was “gravitational waves, right? Gravitational waves are, you know, like radio waves, like electromagnetic waves. They are distortions in the geometry of space and time…”

Somehow this is always where I fade out — right when distortions in the geometry of space and time kick in.

I try putting this in my terms, picturing the universe as a burrito, only now it’s somehow crumpled? Like maybe someone sat on it?

Mark Everett, the leader of the rock band Eels, is also the son of a physicist, the late Hugh Everett, whose work in quantum physics made him world-famous.

The BBC actually did a one-hour documentary following Mark as he tried to unpack his father’s theories of parallel worlds. I think that’s when I realized what it would take for me to understand my dad’s work — a six-month boot camp with the world’s greatest physicists, a million-dollar production, a phalanx of consultants — then maybe, just maybe, I’d be able to tell a cosmic string from, like, a shoelace or something.

Or maybe I shouldn’t stress it. According to my dad, there’s a parallel world where I’m the fancy physicist and he’s the one on the radio, joking about how he can’t understand a word I say.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Please Explain: Medical Marijuana

Friday, March 21, 2014

Medical marijuana is legal in 20 states, and is used to treat symptoms of multiple sclerosis, AIDS, side effects of chemotherapy, as well as pain, glaucoma, epilepsy, insomnia, and anxiety. Dr. Igor Grant, Distinguished Professor and Executive Vice-Chair of the Department of Psychiatry at UCSD School of Medicine and Director of the UC Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research, tells us about his research into the possible utility of cannabis compounds in the amelioration of certain severe manifestations of disease. And Jim Rendon, author of Supercharged: How Outlaws, Hippies, and Scientists Reinvented Marijuana, talks about the changing attitudes toward marijuana and how the increasing acceptance of medical marijuana is changing the legal and commercial landscape.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Caffeine; "Nymphomaniac"; Ethnic Cleansing in Greece and Turkey; Please Explain

Friday, March 21, 2014

On today’s show, we’ll find out about America’s favorite addictive drug, caffeine. Charlotte Gainsbourg and Stellan Skarsgård talk about starring in Lars von Trier’s controversial new film, “Nymphomaniac.” We’ll also take a look at why, in the early 1920s, 1.2 million Greek Orthodox people were expelled from Turkey and 400,000 Muslims were expelled from Greece. Plus, this week’s Please Explain is all about medical marijuana.

On The Media

#19 - Project Flame

Thursday, March 20, 2014

In 1966, a bored college freshman created Project Flame, an early computer dating system that promised to pair lonely hearts. Project Flame was an overnight sensation. The only problem was that the guy who founded didn't have a computer. Or any idea how to use one. 

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All Things Considered

Never Mind Eyesight, Your Nose Knows Much More

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The human nose may be able to distinguish more than a trillion different odors and fragrances, research hints. If true, our noses are much more discerning with smells than our eyes are with color.

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All Things Considered

This Freeloading Bird Brings Help — And The Help Smells Gross

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The great spotted cuckoo is a parasitic bird that plops its eggs in nests of other birds, so others can care for its chicks. Those chicks might aid the caretaker bird by helping to repel predators.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Is Stonehenge a Giant Instrument?

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Theories abound about the purpose of Stonehenge, and now there's a new hypothesis: The rocks making up the structure may have been used because of how they sound.

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Science Friday

SciFri: Detecting the ‘Bang’ from the Big Bang

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Researchers detected waves coming just after the Big Bang 13.8 billion years ago.

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Science Friday

SciFri: Scientists Test What the Nose Knows

Thursday, March 20, 2014

A new study claims the human nose can distinguish one trillion unique smells.

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Science Friday

SciFri: Sculpting Science

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Paleo-artist John Gurche and paleoanthropologist Rick Potts discuss the intersection between art and science.

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