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Polar Bear Flip-Flop: People Hated, Then Loved These Photos. What Changed?

Saturday, March 01, 2014

Norbert Rosing /National Geographic/Getty

This couldn't be.

A 1,200 pound male polar bear (especially when it's autumn and he hasn't eaten for four months) doesn't make play-dates with an animal from another species. He doesn't arrive every afternoon to cuddle, nuzzle, hug and roll around ...

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Is Planet Earth Under New Management?

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

A hundred million years from now, when we're all dead and gone, a team of geologists will be digging in a field somewhere ...

Robert Krulwich/NPR

... and they will discover, buried in the rocks below, a thin layer of sediment — very thin, ...

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I Won't Eat, You Can't Make Me! (And They Couldn't)

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Robert Krulwich/NPR

It was found in Baja California, in the water, scuttling about. It's an isopod — a many legged, many jointed, bottom-crawler, related to prawns and crabs and it happily eats dead things. Scavengers aren't that particular about what's for dinner. When they find it, ...

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Trees On The Move As Temperature Zones Shift 3.8 Feet A Day

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

You are a snail. You are a plant. You like where you are. The temperature's right. It suits you.

Robert Krulwich/NPR

But then, gradually, over the years, it gets warmer. Not every day, of course, but on more and more days, the temperature climbs to ...

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Expanding The NPR Brand, Mom By Mom

Monday, February 17, 2014

The other day, I wrote a post about a cartoonist, Connie Sun, and her thoughts about animals. Her mom heard about it, and called Connie to say "Yea!" and then, because she's an honest woman, she asked, "What is NPR?" Here's what happened next:

Connie ...

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'O Wind A-Blowing!'

Saturday, February 15, 2014

WNYC

We're closing in on March, when wind, "blowing in like a lion," takes its big annual bow. Wind is invisible, of course, except for what it moves, touches. "I saw you toss the kites on high," wrote Robert Louis Stevenson. ...

... And blow the birds about the sky;

And ...

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What Lies Beneath

Thursday, February 13, 2014

In “Neither Confirm Nor Deny,” we spend a fair amount of time on the remarkable cover story that disguised a CIA mission to lift the Soviet submarine K-129 from the bottom of the Pacific. That cover story puts the movie-cover-story of “Argo” to shame: from about 1970-74, the ...

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'I Will Fight Gravity For You,' Said Superman To Lois Lane

Thursday, February 13, 2014

He could fly like a speeding bullet, leap tall buildings in a single bound, but that's not what made Superman super. The real source of his power, we learn from five fine dancers, is the love he had for a certain newspaper reporter: A dancer's valentine.

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Parents With Noisy Babies Shouldn't Read This. They'll Be Too Jealous

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

If you've ever had to raise a noisy, fussy, crying baby, consider this alternative: I know a bunch of moms who produce newborns that stay blissfully, totally silent (and still!) for weeks and weeks and weeks. Let me make you jealous.

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The Right Way To Hug A Lion

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

You can cuddle them, live with them, protect them, but when animals look at you — even when they're purring or licking your face — what's really going on in their heads? In yours? A cartoonist explores this question.

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You're The Last. The Very Last One. Now What Happens?

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

When "Benjamin," the world's last captive Tasmanian Tiger, died in 1936, a 23-million-year run of marsupial (pouch-bearing), doglike animals very likely disappeared from the planet. But before Benjy went, he had his revenge on the humans who hunted his kind to extinction.

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Fate, Fortune, and Fishing Birds

Thursday, February 06, 2014

 

We're pret-ty excited to introduce cartoonist Maki Naro to Radiolab. Maki puts pen to paper (well, metaphorically, because he really puts stylus to digital tablet) and creates magical comics inspired by science. For our Fate and Fortune episode, we asked Maki for his take...and he found himself thinking about marshmallows, birds, and beasts (i.e., us). To see his cartoon in its full glory, click on the image to make it full screen. 

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Big Fish Stories Getting Littler

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

She found them in the Key West library: an old stash of "Look at What I Caught!" photos, proud fishermen showing off their big catch of the day back in the 1950s, '60s, '80s. As she looked, she noticed something odd. Something important.

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Even Dead, Really Nasty Pets Are Still ... Um ... Trouble

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Living with a pet is usually a pleasure, but now and again, it isn't. Fate hands you the wrong animal, but it's your animal, so what can you do? You try to love it. This tale of a boy and his parrot is a hard case. Even on its way to parrot heaven, it creates trouble.

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Can It Be? Pigeons, Geese And White-Tailed Deer Were Once Rare

Monday, February 03, 2014

Passenger pigeons went. Dodos went. Buffalo nearly went. But here's the surprise. Three of the weediest, everywhere-ist animals we know (the common pigeon, the white-tailed deer and Canada geese) — they almost went too! Everything, it turns out, is fragile.

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The Starling That Dared To Be Different

Friday, January 31, 2014

There they are, up on the power line, side by side by side by side by side. Starlings, each one like the other — rubber-stamped birds, a mob (or murmuration) of indecipherably similar critters, always the same, sitting or flying. But wait! What if there's such a thing as an Exceptional Starling? I think I've found one (or maybe ... four!), hiding in a video.

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A Hunk Of Planet Dissolves Before Our Eyes

Friday, January 31, 2014

It's been there for thousands, maybe tens of thousands of years — a huge, solid, endless mass of white ice. Then, all of sudden ("It's starting, Adam," says an onlooker) there's a crack, then another, and whoosh, an immense field vanishes — splits, splits again, and right before your eyes (you've got to see this) sinks into the sea. This is how ice leaves our planet.

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Treat Yourself To A 'Huh?'

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Alice had this problem when she went through the looking glass: You start in a known place. You advance, step by steady step. Nothing is amiss, nothing misplaced. But when you land, everything has turned totally weird. Nothing makes sense. All you can do is go, "Huh?" Let's "Huh?" together.

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A Supersilly Super Bowl 'What If ... ?'

Saturday, January 18, 2014

It's getting close to Super Bowl time, so here's a little fantasy. What would happen if a British sports announcer who has no idea how American football works (not a clue) were suddenly thrown on the air and had to do play-by-play for a game between Alabama and Notre Dame? He knows nothing. What would he say?

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