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Science

Humberto Expected To Become First Hurricane Of Atlantic Season

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The tropical storm is forecast to strengthen to hurricane status, marking a first for an Atlantic season that has been lackluster thus far.

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Warding Off Polar Bears? There's An App For That

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

A man in Churchill, Manitoba, saved his life by using the light from his cellphone to distract an attacking polar bear.

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The Takeaway

Why is the Expansion of the Universe Accelerating?

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

What if you could see a movie of cosmic history? Amazingly, a collaboration of research institutes and universities have begun to do just that. The project is called the Dark Energy Survey and it is employing the use of a giant digital camera to snap pictures of far out galaxies and exploding stars. Joshua Frieman is director of the Dark Energy Survey and a scientist at Fermilab. He's also a professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Chicago.

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A New Kind Of 'More'

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

If you care about the environment, if you're a good person, you try (in many little ways) to cut back, do with less, live more simply. But when nobody's watching, when you're feeling naughty, you dream of "More-ing," which is both totally irresponsible and crazy fun.

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NASA's Latest Mission To The Moon Is On Track

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

NASA's Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer is on its way to the Moon. It lifted off on time Friday night from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Some early software problems have been successfully resolved.

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Rye Bother? An Inside-The-Barrel Look At American Whiskeys

Monday, September 09, 2013

America is in the midst of a rye whiskey renaissance. Lovers of the spirit say it's spicier, edgier and less sweet than bourbons. But when scientists look at the flavor signatures of American whiskeys, what matters the most isn't always the grain in the bottle.

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Purple Sweet Potato A Contender To Replace Artificial Food Dyes

Monday, September 09, 2013

Consumers are demanding "natural" food dyes, and scientists say the purple sweet potato is the most promising source of pigments to make them. But it may be a while before your red Popsicle is made with this kind of vegetable-based dye.

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From Birth, Our Microbes Become As Personal As A Fingerprint

Monday, September 09, 2013

Trillions of microbes live on and in the human body, tucked into very different ecosystems. Some like the dark, warm confines of the mouth. Others prefer the desert-dry skin of the forearm. The biggest and most active collection of microbes hangs out in the gut.

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It's OK To Protest In China, Just Don't March

Monday, September 09, 2013

China runs the largest censorship machine in human history, researchers say. But Harvard studies of Internet postings in China suggest that even vitriolic criticisms of leaders and state policies are not what officials want to censor.

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Answering The Cranes' Call: 40 Years Of Preserving Grace

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Cranes are elegant and endangered. For four decades, the International Crane Foundation has focused on their conservation. NPR's Jacki Lyden talks to one of the organization's co-founders, George Archibald, about a life spent researching his feathered friends all around the world.

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From The Fall Of Failure, Success Can Take Flight

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Risking and embracing failure is part of the job for explorers and adventurers like aeronaut Salomon August Andrée. His fatal attempt at reaching the North Pole motivated others to push their own limits. The September issue of National Geographic investigates "famous failures" and why they mattered.

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'Memory Pinball' And Other Reasons You Need A Nap

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Researchers have found that sleep helps you learn and that when you don't have it, you get cranky. But fundamental questions about this complex function go unanswered. For starters, why do we sleep to begin with?

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Billy Crystal, Up Since 1948

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Comedian Billy Crystal has long suffered from insomnia. He tells NPR's Scott Simon his mind is constantly racing, and jokes that he sleeps like a baby — he's up every two hours.

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How Sounds Undermine Sleep

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Why can some people sleep through a jackhammer at the window, while others waken with the lightest whisper? Host Rachel Martin speaks to Johns Hopkins Sleep Disorders Center researcher Jeffrey Ellenbogen about his new study on how noises interrupt sleep.

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Climate Change Leaves Hares Wearing The Wrong Colors

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Snowshoe hares rely on camouflage, turning white in the winter to match the snow, and then turning brown for the summer. But a changing climate could mean fewer days with snow on the ground, and more days when they're visible to prey.

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The Mysteries Of Sleep Were Just Too Mysterious

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Before he was a journalist, NPR science correspondent Joe Palca studied psychology, and focused on sleep research. He found it frustrating to study sleep: Though there are many questions about why and how we sleep, scientists have very few answers.

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Dreams: The Telling Tells More Than The Contents

Sunday, September 08, 2013

How we describe our dreams can be more important than what they contain. Host Rachel Martin talks with Stephen Grosz, a practicing psychoanalyst and the author of The Examined Life: How We Lose and Find Ourselves. Grosz uses dreams to better understand his patients' motivations and feelings.

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E-Cigarettes May Match The Patch In Helping Smokers Quit

Saturday, September 07, 2013

An experiment to test the value of e-cigarettes as a quitting aid found them as good as the nicotine patch, but there weren't enough people in the study to say they're a good bet for quitting. Public health officials worry that e-cigarettes will encourage tobacco use.

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NASA Lunar Orbiter Solves Snag After Successful Launch

Saturday, September 07, 2013

The LADEE spacecraft, which began its trip to the moon last night in a launch on Virginia's coast, ran into some mechanical problems, NASA says. But officials say the robotic probe remains on track to reach the moon next month.

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Captured Sounds From Ausable Marsh

Saturday, September 07, 2013

Summer's winding down, but it's still hot and muggy enough for a canoe trek to one of the wildest places in New York state. North Country Public Radio's Brian Mann sends an audio postcard from Ausable Marsh, in the Champlain Valley.

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