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Look What You've Done, North America!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

When the Isthmus of Panama connected North and South America, two independent dynasties of horses, rhinos, elephants, shrews, weasels, cats and dogs were free to mingle, fight, dominate or die. Who won?

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Live stream tonight: Jad & Robert at Tekserve

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Jad and Robert will be at Tekserve in NYC tonight to talk a bit about how the show is made and answer listener questions. Watch the live stream at 6pm ET.

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Who Does A Better Wave? Sports Fans Or Hippos?

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Professor William Barklow was on vacation when this happened. He was in Tanzania sitting on a river bank gazing about, when all of a sudden a hippopotamus pushed its head out of the river right in front of him, opened its huge mouth and bellowed.

...
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Let's Spoon for Forty Years

Sunday, July 21, 2013

You've got them... under your skin... Well, hopefully not. But if you did get infected with blood flukes, would it make you feel better to know they're monogamous creatures, pairing up and sticking together for years, sometimes even decades? Warms the heart.

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Getting Cozy With Baby Butterflies ... So Cozy, They Whisper A Wriggly Secret

Saturday, July 20, 2013

You thought, didn't you, that when a caterpillar gets ready to turn itself into a butterfly, it spins itself a cocoon, using silk. I thought that. But, apparently, what happens is different, more like a scene from the movie Alien.

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I Like Ant Butts And I Cannot Lie

Saturday, July 20, 2013

We pay tribute to the ingenious (and stomach-churning) ways that parasites hook up with hosts in our Parasites episode. Case in point: the parasitic nematode, which turns an ant's rear end into a ripe-looking red morsel that, to a hungry bird, looks like a juicy berry.

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Just Like Van Gogh, Ocean Waves Paint Clouds In The Sky

Friday, July 19, 2013

Vincent van Gogh painted rolling, tumbling air in the sky. He used paint and a brush. Ocean waves are also Van Goghs when they crash onto beaches. They paint the sky with salt.

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Seeking Cockroaches, Any Age

Friday, July 19, 2013

Are those butterflies in your stomach... or did something else worm its way into your system? In honor of our Parasites episode, we imagine how some of our favorite (most disgustingly fascinating?) parasites might look for love (and a stable host) online. Up first...the Paaarasitic Wasp!

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What Is 10 Trillion Times More Powerful Than A Heartbeat?

Thursday, July 18, 2013

How loud is the loudest sound we can produce? Kiss fans got a taste at an Ottawa concert, but Chris Butler got closer in his sealed, reinforced, amped-up car. Bombs aside, (we'd rather not, thank you ) can we go louder? How much louder

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I Bet I Can Freeze A Battle Cry For 25 Million Years, Says Biologist E.O. Wilson

Monday, July 15, 2013

The world's most famous ant scholar likes a good prank. His secret fantasy, he told the novelist Michael Crichton, would be to steal a 25 million year old alarm signal from an ancient ant and use it to panic a modern nest. Oh, what fun! But can he do it?

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'Why You? Why Now?' A Med Student's Journal

Saturday, July 13, 2013

A med student is paired with a patient her age. She does her job. They talk. They bond. The patient gets better. She's thrilled. And then ...

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The Hardest Thing To Find In The Universe?

Friday, July 12, 2013

Look where you like through the 13,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 pounds of our planet, and you will find only one ounce of it. It's really, really, really rare. Possibly the rarest thing in the universe.

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Where's My Dinner? It Was Here A Second Ago — The Sandpiper's Dilemma

Monday, July 08, 2013

At first, you couldn't ask for a better meal plan. The food is free, delivered straight to you. It lands, literally, right at your feet. All you have to do is bend over and eat. Except: the portions are very small and tend to slip away rather quickly. That's why sandpipers seem so frantic when you see them at the beach. Their food keeps disappearing.

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Democracy, My Mother And Toast

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

It's America's birthday this week, when we celebrate government of, by and for the People, which has me thinking of two particular people, my mother and my aunt, who argued politics at our family dinner table. If families in this country are anything like mine, America's democratic achievement is nothing short of a miracle.

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A Beautiful Notion: That Caterpillars Killed Off The Dinosaurs

Monday, July 01, 2013

One of the great dinosaur puzzles, the dinosaur mystery, is why did they suddenly die off? Scientists have been debating this question for almost a hundred years and one of the most beautiful notions came from an insect scholar who thought maybe caterpillars did it.

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Stroke, Stroke, Stroke — The Atlantic Ocean's Dazzling Oarsmen

Saturday, June 29, 2013

At night, in the ocean, they look like little Broadway billboards with dazzling trills of rainbow colored light. They have eight little runways on their bodies for light display. What are they?

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Artist Plays Detective: Can I Reconstruct A Face From A Piece Of Hair?

Friday, June 28, 2013

You find a hair on a table top. A cigarette butt on the street. You take it home, and using not especially sophisticated tools, you recover traces of DNA. Can you now reconstruct the face of the person whose hair that was? Who smoked that cigarette?

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7 Billion People And Trillions Of Creatures To Be Photographed Together on July 19

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Carl Sagan once wrote a mischievous paper called "A Search for Life on Earth from the Galileo Spacecraft". Being a living Earthling, he knew he'd find life here. So what was he really up to? The experiment he ran in 1990 is about to be repeated in a few weeks. Here's my closer look.

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The Man With A 'Battery Operated Brain'

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Every so often you see something deeply, truly, can't-believe-they-can-do-this astonishing. This is one of those. A small invention, inserted into a brain, that can silence a neural nightmare with the push of a button. Andrew Johnson is going to push that button.

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The Hypnotist and the Warts

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Back in the 1950's, a young doctor decided to try hypnosis on a teenager suffering from the worst case of warts he'd ever seen. And it worked...even though it turned out the boy didn't have warts, but an incurable disease. Check out the before and after photos from the story in our Placebo show.

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