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One Man. One Cat. Multiplied

Friday, December 20, 2013

I'm thinking of a man and his cat. A real man. His real cat. Then I'm imagining a bunch of world-famous cartoonists, Calvin & Hobbes' Bill Watterson, Wile E. Coyote's Chuck Jones, Gary Larson, Maurice Sendak — all of them drawing this same man and his cat. Then I'm staring at very different men and very different cats. Then I'm giggling.

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Finding Grandpa On My Dinner Plate (Part 2)

Thursday, December 19, 2013

You order a lobster and the waiter shows you an animal that is, he says, older than you are. It's had more birthdays than you. For some people, this is a meal-stopper. Especially, if you are on in years, and what's on the plate is just as elderly (and just as wise?) as you are.

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John McCluskey’s Brain

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

In our Blame episode, we asked whether the condition of a criminal’s brain should lessen the punishment for his crime. Now there’s a headline-making story about this very question.

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Why We Need Grandpas And Grandmas (Part 1)

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The idea seemed sensible: Send young elephants from a crowded national park in South Africa to an emptier one, where they could form a new herd and thrive. The problem? Elephants need elders. Without them, all hell breaks loose.

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What's That Clinging To The Towering Wall And Why Doesn't It Fall Off?

Monday, December 16, 2013

They look, at first, like dangerously protruding rocks on this towering, almost vertical wall in the Italian Alps. But then, uncannily, they move. What are they? And why don't they fall off? What are they doing?

 

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What Happened On Easter Island — A New (Even Scarier) Scenario

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Whatever happened on Easter Island, it wasn't good. Polynesians landed there, farmed, thrived, built their famous statues, and then things went very bad, very fast. Sixteen million trees vanished. What happened? Was this a case of ecological collapse? Not exactly, say two anthropologists. It was, arguably, worse than that.

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How Important Is A Bee?

Friday, December 06, 2013

When bees disappeared from central China years ago, Chinese apple farmers had to pollinate by hand. Embarrassing — people doing bees' work, but then came the big discovery –- a surprise that still haunts the conservation movement. What if people outperform bees?

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How To Keep The Dust Off Your White Pants With 7 Desk Fans

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Look inside most machines today and what do you find? Computer chips functioning mysteriously. Gaze at a 1920's Rube Goldberg cartoon and what do you find? Machines powered by hungry parrots and angry ladies. Will future tools stay inscrutable or become more Rube-like? Here's a guess.

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Science Reporter Emily Graslie Reads Her Mail — And It's Not So Nice

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Reporter Emily Graslie explores natural history museums, showing us what's going on behind the scenes. Her viewers write her, of course, and in this video, she reads some of those letters. They're not about science. Or Museums. They're about Emily. And it's embarrassing.

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On Thanksgiving, Everybody Needs A Friend — And That Means Everybody

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Today's a day to share, so that's why I want to share this moment: Two girls are on a city street, trying to figure out who's going to be friends with the nastiest person they can think of. Not an easy problem, but they solve it. Gorgeously.

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Born Wet, Human Babies Are 75 Percent Water. Then Comes Drying

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

A fresh tomato is 93.5 percent water. A fresh baby girl or boy is 75 percent water. A banana, 74 percent. We all start wet, and then, inevitably, dry. A 1-year-old baby carries 10 percent less water; a male adult 15 percent less. Life is a slow evaporation, with some curious exceptions.

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Otzi Confirms: Tattoos Have Always Been Cool

Monday, November 25, 2013

Producer Andy Mills takes a close look at Ötzi's ink -- the roughly 5,300-year-old Iceman has more than 50 tattoos etched into his skin. (PS: If you haven't listened yet, check out our latest short, all about Ötzi, An Ice-Cold Case).

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An Eyeful of Otzi

Monday, November 25, 2013

After you listen to our latest short, An Ice-Cold Case, check out these photos of Ötzi the Iceman (seriously, listen first or else this post will ruin a few surprises...).

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The Iceman Speaks

Friday, November 22, 2013

Stefan Merrill Block, a novelist and friend of our show, reads his haunting short story from the perspective of Ötzi the Iceman (the mysterious figure at the center of our latest short, An Ice-Cold Case).

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My Wine Won't Stop Crying — A Mystery In A Wineglass

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Something strange happens when you slosh wine in a wineglass. The wine doesn't just settle. Some of it starts to "cry." That is, little droplets of wine slide down and then mysteriously creep up again, dripping, then climbing, dripping, climbing, over and over, pushed by some force that doesn't seem to end. What's going on?

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The Sludge at the Bottom of the Sea

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Whatever happened to all that poop New York City dumped out in the ocean?

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Behind the Scenes Video: Apocalyptical Scoring

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

A quick dispatch from the road. Glenn Kotche and Darin Gray are on tour with us and they're insane. They make up the band On Fillmore, and Glenn also plays with Wilco. Each night, during the show, they create excellent noises to go along with our stories. Just ...

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Seasons of Smell

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Fall: cinnamon. Winter: pine. Spring: lilacs. Each season smells different, right? Well, sorta.

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Falling Into The Sky And Other Tales Of Gravity

Friday, November 01, 2013

You're high, high up. You lean over and look way, way down. Then you leap. Meet my favorite leapers: An Austrian who falls for 24 continuous miles, a medieval musician who leaps off a tower, a movie stuntman who lands on a chain of cardboard boxes, and my favorite, a man who almost falls into the sky.

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Putting On Einstein's Glasses

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Whenever you look at the teeming, rich and oh-so-various world, if you've got the right eyes, if you've got the eyes of a mathematician, you will find patterns — simple, elegant forms hiding in everything you see.

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