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Brain Fodder Vol. 6

Thursday, December 06, 2012

We don't know about you, but we've got a giant trampoline, a burger refill denied, and buffaloing English grammar on our minds...

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Krulwich Wonders: Strange-Looking Tombstone Tells Of Moving Ice, Ancient Climates And A Restless Mind

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

NPR

It's a tombstone like no other. A rough, clumpy hunk of granite, carried across Europe on a sea of ice, dumped in a valley, shipped across the Atlantic, lugged to Massachusetts — all to honor a restless man.

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Moms and Inheritance: Tracing the Maternal Line

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Ever wonder why so many of the inheritance studies are about men? Molly Webster had that question too...

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Krulwich Wonders: New Superhero, 3,200 Years Old, Turns Air Into Wood Superfast

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

NPR

"The President" is a 3,200-year-old giant sequoia that clocks in at 247 feet tall and counting. And contrary to most living things we can think of, giant sequoias grow faster later in life than earlier in life.

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Krulwich Wonders: Music Video Borrows From 200-Million-Year-Old Artist And Disappears

Saturday, December 01, 2012

NPR

YouTube

It's You Tube's 17th Most Viewed Video of All Time, and the 4th Most Liked, "Somebody That I Used to Know," sung principally by Wouter "Wally" De Backer, also known as "Gotye," who took his clothes off and got a paintjob from designer Emma Hack.

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Krulwich Wonders: Cornstalks Everywhere But Nothing Else, Not Even a Bee

Friday, November 30, 2012

NPR

Nikola Nikolovski/iStockphoto

We'll start in a cornfield — we'll call it an Iowa cornfield in late summer — on a beautiful day. The corn is high. The air is shimmering. There's just one thing missing — and it's a big thing...

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Krulwich Wonders: The Rubik's Cube That Isn't

Thursday, November 29, 2012

NPR

This is your brain making things up.

What you see isn't really there.

Even if I tell you "this isn't what you think," you'll think it anyway -- until I make a simple move, and suddenly -- you know.

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Krulwich Wonders: Is Life a Smoother Ride if You're a Chicken?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

NPR

What happens when we go head to head with chickens -- pitting their gaze-steadying powers against our own? The answer involves a rigging a chicken steadicam, take a look.

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Repeat After Me

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Writer Elizabeth Giddens answers a listener's question about toddlers by pondering repetition, and how all sorts of activities seem to have a Goldilocks amount that's just right...and a "too much" threshold where things can turn transcendent, or get very troubling.

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On Goose Bumps

Monday, November 26, 2012

It turns out these little flashing studs of flesh used to do something very specific (and useful!) for us. Lulu Miller explains how goose bumps used to protect us.

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Krulwich Wonders: Double Thanks

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

NPR

I'm giving thanks in two ways today, first for things that have lasted, persisted (and here's hoping they keep on going), and second -- for change; for our ability to create beauty in new ways. So I'm saying thank you for what's old and what's new.

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Revenge of the Caterpillars: A Footnote to “Contagious Laughter”

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A seemingly cuddly caterpillar becomes the Terminator in Latif Nasser's story about a not-so-distant epidemic in America's bluegrass country...

 

 

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And the Winner Is...

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A clever take on the works of DaVinci wins our first-ever Halloween Costume Contest. And we got so many great entries, we couldn't resist putting together a slideshow of our favorites -- feast your eyes on all the costume greatness.

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Krulwich Wonders: Ferocious Flowers

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

NPR

Nothin' dainty about these flowers. Nope, these guys are pistol-firing, fire-cracking blossoms from photographer/filmmaker Andrew Zuckerman. Click on this image and stand back ...

Foxtail from Andrew Zuckerman Studio on Vimeo.

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Brain Fodder Vol. 5

Monday, November 19, 2012

It appears the Radiolab staff is giving thanks for a lot of videos this week, spanning the spectrum from sand to origami to baseball to dying cartoons (accompanied by folk music, of course). Intrigued? Check it...

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Krulwich Wonders: Why Not Say It Simply? How About Very Simply?

Monday, November 19, 2012

NPR

There are people (and I hear from them constantly) who think if a subject is sophisticated, like science, the language that describes it should be sophisticated, too.

If smart people say torque, ribosome, limbic, stochastic and kinase, then the rest of us should knuckle down, concentrate and figure out what those words mean. That's how we'll know when we've learned something: when we've mastered the technical words.

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Krulwich Wonders: The Big Apple's Mayor Makes A Very Scary Video

Saturday, November 17, 2012

NPR

I didn't know what to make of this when I saw it. I live in Manhattan, in a city where people bike, take buses, subways, trains, live and work in towers where they share elevators, share water, share electricity. I thought my town is setting the example for energy-efficient, communal living. And then, the guy who runs the place, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, releases a study — including (see below) a shocking videothat says, you think New York is great on energy? You think that? Well, check this out...

YouTube

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Krulwich Wonders: Mugged By Sound, Rescued By A Waitress

Thursday, November 15, 2012

NPR

You walk into a room. There are people there, cars outside, dogs, phones ring, the radio is on, somebody coughs; it's the pleasant blur of a busy world, until something, someone catches your attention. Then you lean in, the other sounds fade back, and you focus. That's how listening works -- for most of us.

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Why we fall into a good book

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Writer Jonathan Gottschall explores why the real world falls away when we hear a good story... 

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A history of the Earth -- free lecture!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Lulu recommends a free lecture series you can stream live online on November 15 and 16. The subject: Changing Planet...a look at the past, present, and future of the forces that shape the Earth and its climate.

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