Science

9:22am

Wed August 8, 2012
Krulwich Wonders...

Discussing The Mars Landing With My 137-Year-Old Grandfather

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 10:23 am

Percival Lowell's drawings of "canals" on Mars.
Universal History Archive Getty Images

Yes, it was an amazing landing, an engineering triumph, a 150-million-mile slam dunk, spectacular in every way, except ... I think my grandpa would be disappointed. I'm not sure of this, since he died 50 years ago, but I have a hunch.

It starts with a handwritten letter he wrote back in 1907. He was a travelling salesman. He sold men's hats, and his job was to visit retailers all over the country. "One evening," he wrote, "train riding between Chicago and Kansas City or St. Louis, sitting the club car, I read a magazine, The Century..."

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3:02pm

Tue August 7, 2012
Sciencey Stuff

What The Heck Is A Troxler 3430 Surface Moisture Density Gauge?

Screencap from the Troxler 3430 product brochure
Troxler

That's certainly a mouthful. Iā€™m also insanely curious, because the Denver Post is reporting that one was stolen last week.

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9:57am

Tue August 7, 2012
Krulwich Wonders...

The Worst Way To Stay Alive Forever

Robert Krulwich NPR

Some say it will happen soon.

Critics say it will take a long, long, time.

Many neuroscientists and philosophers think it ain't gonna happen, ever.

We're talking about building a machine that functions as the equivalent, or maybe as superior to, a human mind.

A synthetic brain doesn't have to be the exact equivalent of a human brain, but there are humans, the brilliant inventor Ray Kurzweil in particular, who hope one day to dump their minds into such a machine, boot up and go on living, disembodied, but mentally intact, forever.

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5:20am

Tue August 7, 2012
Around the Nation

Rocket Scientist With Mohawk Is Web Sensation

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 12:39 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. While NASA put a rover on Mars, audiences were riveted by the high- stakes landing, and also by some high hair. Bobak Ferdowsi was on the mission control team when suddenly, his haircut made him famous. It's a mohawk, streaked in red and with stars dyed on the sides of his head.

"Mohawk Guy" has become an Internet star. He says he gets a new haircut for each mission, with colleagues voting on the design.

It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.

4:58pm

Mon August 6, 2012
The Two-Way

After A Historic Landing, A Postcard From The Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Originally published on Tue August 7, 2012 6:42 am

NASA Associate Administrator John Grunsfeld waits for landing inside the Spaceflight Operations Facility for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover at Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. on Sunday.
Brian van der Brug AP

The newsroom at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory is beginning to thin out as the Mars Science Laboratory transitions from an exciting news story, to a long duration ā€” possibly very long duration ā€” exploration of the geologic and environmental history of Mars.

For the reporters still in the newsroom, fatigue is beginning to set in. BBC science correspondent Jonathan Amos has been at it nonstop for 30 hours. I feel a bit guilty for stepping out and getting a few hours sleep.

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