Science & Technology

The Two-Way
11:09 am
Mon November 11, 2013

'Ferrari Of Space' Crashes And Burns In Earth's Atmosphere

An artist's rendition of the GOCE satellite shows the craft in its orbit around Earth. After four years of studying oceans and gravity fields, GOCE re-entered the atmosphere over the Southern Atlantic Ocean Sunday night.
ESA /AOES Medialab

Originally published on Mon November 11, 2013 2:41 pm

More than a ton of advanced electronics, including an ion engine and sensors that help detect variations in gravity, crashed into Earth's atmosphere Sunday night, when the European GOCE satellite ended its four-year mission. Most of the 2,425-pound craft disintegrated when it re-entered the atmosphere over the South Atlantic Ocean; about 25 percent did not.

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The Two-Way
9:22 am
Mon November 11, 2013

Amazon Taps Post Office For Sunday Deliveries; A Win-Win?

These could be on your doorstep some Sunday.
Paul Sakuma AP

Much of the talk in recent years about how the U.S. Postal Service could stem its huge losses has been about the things it might stop doing — most notably, delivering the mail on Saturdays (something Congress won't let it discontinue).

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The Two-Way
7:58 am
Mon November 11, 2013

Book News: Postal Service Strikes Sunday-Delivery Deal With Amazon

USPS carrier Michael McDonald gathers mail before making his delivery run in February in Atlanta.
David Goldman AP

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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Science
2:20 am
Mon November 11, 2013

Lessons In Leadership: It's Not About You. (It's About Them)

Ronald Heifetz draws on his training as a psychiatrist to coach aspiring leaders at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government.
Ben de la Cruz NPR

Originally published on Mon November 11, 2013 6:15 pm

Ronald Heifetz has been a professor of public leadership at Harvard's Kennedy School for three decades, teaching classes that have included aspiring business leaders and budding heads of state. Each year, he says, the students start his course thinking they'll learn the answer to one question:

As leaders, how can they get others to follow them?

Heifetz says that whole approach is wrong.

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World
5:11 pm
Sun November 10, 2013

Lighting Up The Investigative Path With Polonium-210

Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat boards a helicopter in Ramallah, the West Bank, for the start of his journey to a hospital in France on Oct. 29, 2004. He died 2 weeks later.
Scott Nelson Getty Images

Originally published on Sun November 10, 2013 5:58 pm

With a Swiss forensics investigation pointing to polonium-210 as a possible cause of Yasser Arafat's death, the radioactive element is back in the news.

Confirming whether the Palestinian leader died from an assassination attempt will be difficult, given polonium's short half-life and the fact that Arafat has been dead nine years, science writer Deborah Blum says.

Whatever happened to Arafat, polonium does have a deadly history.

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Space
6:34 am
Sun November 10, 2013

Billions Of Planets Could Support Life

Originally published on Sun November 10, 2013 11:54 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Have you ever gazed out your window on a clear, star-filled night and wondered are we really alone?

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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The Salt
3:17 pm
Fri November 8, 2013

Can We Eat Our Way To A Healthier Microbiome? It's Complicated

While no one's sure which foods are good for our microbiomes, eating more veggies can't hurt.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon November 25, 2013 9:27 am

When our colleague Rob Stein got his microbiome analyzed recently in the name of science journalism, we were totally fascinated.

As Stein noted, it may be possible to cultivate a healthier community of bacteria on and inside us by modifying our diets.

Stein was advised to eat more garlic and leeks for his. But we wondered: Are there other foods that promote a healthy microbiome in most people?

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The Two-Way
2:37 pm
Fri November 8, 2013

Which Is It? Hurricane, Typhoon Or Tropical Cyclone?

Typhoon Bhopa scene over the Philippine island of Palawan last December.
NASA Goddard's MODIS Rapid Response Team

Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 4:21 pm

What's the difference between a hurricane, a typhoon and a cyclone? Nothing more than location.

As Super Typhoon Haiyan slams into the Philippines, we here at the Two-Way found ourselves revisiting old ground about the nature of tropical storms. In case you need a refresher (as we did), here is the lowdown:

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All Tech Considered
2:11 pm
Fri November 8, 2013

Tech Week: Twitter Takes Off, Audie Cornish In Silicon Valley

Will It Fly? The Twitter logo decorated a post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday.
Richard Drew AP

It's time for our Friday round-up of the tech and culture stories from NPR and beyond. Here we go ...

ICYMI

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The Two-Way
1:32 pm
Fri November 8, 2013

Astronomers Find Bizarre 'Lawn Sprinkler' Asteroid

These NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope images reveal a never-before-seen set of six comet-like tails radiating from a body in the asteroid belt designated P/2013 P5.
NASA, ESA, D. Jewitt (University of California, Los Angeles), J. Agarwal (Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research), H. Weaver (Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory), M. Mutchler (STScI), and S. Larson (University of Arizona)

Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 4:11 pm

Astronomers using both ground- and space-based telescopes have discovered a new kind of asteroid that sports not one, but six comet-like tails, and has been described as looking something like a rotating lawn sprinkler.

P/2013 P5 was first spotted with the Pan-STARRS 1 telescope at the top of Haleakala volcano in Maui, Hawaii, in August and then followed up with more detailed observations using the Hubble Space Telescope.

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