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The Rat Tickler

A little behind-the-scenes footage from our Laughter show -- what happens when you tickle a rat.

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On-Air This Week: Laughter

Why do we laugh? This hour, we stick our fingers in a rat's cage, tickle a baby, and try to track down the roots of a laughter epidemic in Tanzania. Listen on a station near you.

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Howling Babies Drove Prehistoric Warriors Into Battle?

Can a colicky baby's piercing scream be militarized? As in, made (literally) into a weapon of war? Oh, absolutely, says this scholar, smiling ever so slightly.

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What Makes A Star Starry? Is It Me?

Draw a planet (a circle, right?). Now draw a star (a pointy thing, yes?). Now ask yourself, aren't stars all round? Our sun is. So why do we make them pointy? Come learn the answer.

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Mapping What You Cannot See, Cannot Know, Cannot Visit

We live on a planet, next to a star that's part of a galaxy that's part of ... ah, here comes the new discovery. We are at the very tip of a giant galactic "supercluster." Take a look.

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Tumbling In The Light

Every fall, birds head south and, around Sept. 11, New York sends two beams into the sky. When birds and lights collide, that could mean trouble — but New York is surprisingly gentle.

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Building Me: A Puzzlement

 I am made of atoms — 7,000 trillion trillion of them. How did I teach them to tie my shoes? Or did they teach me?

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Help Rewrite History

In Detective Stories, Jad digs into an ancient trash heap that has reshaped our understanding of history. Now, you can help decode more secrets -- by transcribing scraps of papyrus.

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Roadways You Can Install Like Throw Rugs

You look. You gape. You can't believe your eyes. Well, take a peek at this image and ask yourself, 'How did they do this?'

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