Adam Cole

Adam Cole appears in the following:

Our 'Golden Mole' Winner Used To Paint Wasps For A Living

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

NPR's Skunk Bear blog received 300 nominations for our Golden Mole Award for Accidental Brilliance. We have a winner: Elizabeth Tibbetts found her luck, and scientific insight, in tiny insect faces.


Whoops! 12 Tales Of Accidental Brilliance In Science

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Author Isaac Asimov once wrote, "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but, 'That's funny ... ' "

Good scientists search for the significance of surprises, coincidences and mistakes. With a little curiosity and perseverance, they can turn unexpected incidents ...


Phosphorus Starts With Pee In This Tale Of Scientific Serendipity

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

German alchemist Hennig Brand started with about 1,500 gallons of urine in his 17th century hunt for gold. Discovering phosphorus was just a nice surprise. Know a modern tale of scientific luck?


NPR Contest: Send Us Your Stories Of Happy Accidents In Science

Thursday, January 28, 2016

In 1928, Alexander Fleming, a British bacteriologist, escaped the London smog to take a family vacation in Suffolk. When he got back to his lab, he discovered he had forgotten to sterilize his petri dishes. They were covered with bacteria. A few even had mold.

As he was cleaning up, ...


Aztec Gold: Watch The History And Science Of Popcorn

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Editor's note: It's National Popcorn Day! We're celebrating by bringing back this tale, first published in 2014, about the history of the beloved snack.

Popcorn is a truly ancient snack. Archaeologists have uncovered popcorn kernels that are 4,000 years old. They were so well-preserved, they could still pop.


These Photos Inspired The Creation Of That Occupied Oregon Refuge

Friday, January 08, 2016

The armed militants occupying Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Eastern Oregon come from as far away as Texas and Montana. But they are hardly the refuge's first out-of-state visitors.

Malheur Lake is a regional hub for hundreds of thousands of migrating waterfowl. By some measures, it boasts ...


NASA Is Seeking Astronauts. Do You Have The Right Stuff?

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Less than 1 percent of applicants make the cut. But there's more than one way in. Passion helps. Be persistent. Oh, and be tops in what you're doing right now.


The Hair-Raising Science Of Goose Bumps

Friday, October 30, 2015

Watch a scary movie and your skin crawls. Goose bumps have become so associated with fear that the word is synonymous with thrills and chills.

But what on earth does scary have do to with chicken-skin bumps? For a long time, it wasn't well understood.

Physiologically, it's fairly simple. Adrenaline ...


Here's How You Can Outrun A Horse

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

When it comes to feats of speed and strength, Homo sapiens is a pretty pitiful species. The list of animals that can outsprint us is embarrassing. There's the cheetah, of course, but also horses, ostriches, greyhounds, grizzly bears, kangaroos, wild boars, even some house cats.

Usain Bolt, the fastest ...


On Orders From Mao, Researchers Set Off On Nobel-Winning Drug Work

Monday, October 05, 2015

In the 1960s, Chairman Mao Zedong ordered scientists to find a malaria antidote to help ailing soldiers in North Vietnam. Today's Nobel Prize for medicine went to one of those researchers.


What Happens When You Get Your Period In Space?

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Hundreds of you sent in questions for Skunk Bear's live conversation with three astronauts and NASA's chief scientist on Tuesday. Thanks! The most common question was: "What happens when you get your period in space?"

I didn't end up asking them this question because:

a) The question itself ...


Before Humans Showed Up, Huge Animals Were The Norm

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

In Earth's history, there have been some incredibly large animals that look sort of like animals we have today, just a lot bigger. In North America, there was a sloth that was the size of an elephant.


12 Ancient Giants: An Ode To The Enormous And Extinct

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

In the history of life on Earth, evolutionary forces have pushed some species to become incredibly large. After most dinosaurs died off 66 million years ago, some mammals and marsupials grew bigger and bigger, taking the dinos' place.

What's so great about living large? A size advantage can help you ...


Pluto Mission Gets A Poetic Tribute

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Tuesday morning, the New Horizons space probe zipped past Pluto going 30,000 miles per hour. It carries the ashes of the man who discovered the dwarf planet, along with several spectrometers to analyze Pluto's surface and one telescopic camera.

That camera has been busy for the past decade, snapping ...


Make Lava, Not War

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Artist Bob Wysocki and geologist Jeff Karson, both of Syracuse University in upstate New York, have their own personal volcano. It's an old furnace that used to melt bronze for statues. Now, it melts hundreds of pounds of basaltic gravel at a time, mimicking the process inside the ...


The Neighs Have It: Horse Outruns Man, But Just Barely

Friday, June 19, 2015

The annual Man v. Horse Marathon in Wales sounds like a lopsided contest favoring racers with four feet. But scientists say that Homo sapiens evolved to be incredible endurance athletes, too.


'That's What Hubble Can See': A Tribute To The Space Telescope

Thursday, April 23, 2015

NPR has this tribute to the Hubble Space Telescope — a parody of Iggy Azalea's "Trouble."


Kitchen Science: We Used Peeps To Calculate The Speed Of Light

Monday, April 13, 2015

In the week after Easter, we had a lot of old Peeps lying around. No one seemed that interested in eating them, so we used them to measure the speed of light.

For centuries the speed of light was an enduring, infuriating mystery. Philosophers, physicists and astronomers from Galileo on ...


Could A Quokka Beat A Numbat? Oddsmakers Say Yes

Friday, March 06, 2015

In "Mammal March Madness," you win or die. No basketball in this tournament — it's a simulated survival-of-the-fittest game set up by evolutionary biologists. The battle cry? Mammals suck ... milk!


Science-Based Artist Gives Celebrity Tortoise A Second Life

Monday, March 02, 2015

Lonesome George was the last surviving member of his species and a conservation icon. When the tortoise died, taxidermist George Dante set out to preserve his body, and his legacy.