Science

8:52am

Wed October 17, 2012
Krulwich Wonders...

Tough Old Lizard To Face Grave Romantic Troubles, Say Scientists

Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 9:44 am

Courtesy of Piotr Naskrecki

Oh, dear.

First off, this lizard? It's not really a lizard. It's an almost vanished species, a reptile like no other.

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1:19pm

Mon October 15, 2012
The Two-Way

Citizen Scientists Discover A Strange Planet In Four-Star System

An artist's illustration of PH1, a planet discovered by volunteers from the Planet Hunters citizen science project. PH1, shown in the foreground, is a circumbinary planet and orbits two suns.
Haven Giguere Yale

The universe continues to surprise us. Two citizen scientists have discovered a very rare world: A planet that orbits two stars and has a second pair of stars revolving around it.

Wired explains just how odd this is:

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8:15am

Mon October 15, 2012
The Two-Way

Mystery Solved: 'Softball-Sized Eyeball' Likely Belongs To A Swordfish

Quite a baby blue.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

We learned two things this morning: First, experts from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission believe that the softball-sized eyeball that washed up in Pompano Beach, Fla. belongs to a swordfish.

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6:43am

Mon October 15, 2012
Krulwich Wonders...

Be Nice To The Moon. Stop Writing On It

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 10:09 am

Kathy Lynch via Panoramio

Dot

Dash

Dot

Dash

This is the moon as Morse code.

Beautiful, yes, but not right. The moon isn't a dot. It's too elegant, too pale, too ghostly to be a bit of "information." It's got moods, changes, and on certain nights it's got a man on it, with eyes and a mouth, and yet some people treat the moon as if it's something you can write on.

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6:15am

Sun October 14, 2012
Science

A Human-Powered Helicopter: Straight Up Difficult

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 8:00 am

Kyle Glusenkamp pilots Gamera, a human-powered helicopter.
Maggie Starbard NPR

"I grew up wanting to fly," says Graham Bowen-Davies. "I guess I just settled for being an engineer."

He's standing on an indoor track in southern Maryland, watching a giant helicopter take flight. At the end of each of its four spindly arms — arms he helped design and build — a giant rotor churns the air. In the cockpit sits the engine: a 0.7-horsepower, 135-pound graduate student named Kyle Gluesenkamp.

Gluesenkamp is pedaling like crazy to keep the rotors spinning and the craft aloft.

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