Science & Technology

The Two-Way
3:38 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

SpaceX Unveils A Sleek New Ride To Orbit

SpaceX's new crew capsule was unveiled yesterday.
SpaceX

Yesterday, entrepreneur Elon Musk sauntered on to stage and unveiled his latest product: not a smart phone, but a spaceship.

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The Salt
3:06 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

Oklahoma's Extreme Drought Has Wheat Farmers Bracing For Worst

Fred and Wayne Schmedt say the drought has withered their wheat plants down from an average height of 24 to 30 inches to just 6 to 8 inches.
Joe Wertz StateImpact Oaklahoma

Originally published on Fri May 30, 2014 6:27 pm

Rainfall totals in southwest Oklahoma are more than 3 inches below normal. And that means that the wheat crop grown in brothers Fred and Wayne Schmedt's farm is several inches shorter than normal as well.

Laughter is key to surviving as a farmer here. Fred Schmedt looks out on his field, then down at his legs and laughs at how short the wheat stalks are.

"What would you call that, high-shoe-top high?" he says. "In a normal year — a really good year — it'd be thigh-high. So we're looking at plants that are 6 to 8 inches tall versus 24 to 30 inches tall."

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Technology
1:45 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

Techies, White House Take Part In National Day Of Civic Hacking

Sameer Verma

Originally published on Fri May 30, 2014 2:07 pm

This weekend, software developers, entrepreneurs, and local governments from around the world are coming together to design and build tools for the common good.

Using publicly released data, participants in the National Day of Civic Hacking will work together to integrate new technology tools to solve community problems.

Todd Khozein is one of the organizers of #HackForChange. He is the co-founder of SecondMuse, a collaborative innovation lab that helps find technological solutions to everyday issues.

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The Salt
1:42 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

How A Food Stylist Made Squirrel And Earthworm Look Appetizing

Left, gray squirrel. Right, crostini with squirrel meat, white mulberry, goat cheese, hazelnut and purslane.
Christopher Testani

Originally published on Thu June 5, 2014 6:44 am

Communities around the world are increasingly overrun by invasive critters. Gray squirrels, which are native to North America, are an ecological nuisance in England. And nutria — or swamp rats, colloquially — from South America are destroying wetlands in the Gulf Coast states.

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The Two-Way
12:08 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

Richard III: Not The Hunchback We Thought He Was?

King Richard III, seen here portrayed by actor Paul Daneman in 1962, has often been described as a hunchback. A new study of his skeleton seeks to set the record straight about the monarch's condition.
John Franks Getty Images

The physical condition of England's King Richard III has been a subject of debate for centuries. Now scientists say 3-D skeletal modeling shows the monarch who lived 500 years ago had a common form of scoliosis and that he's been a victim of spin on a historic scale.

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Planet Money
2:03 am
Fri May 30, 2014

Drone Wars: Who Owns The Air?

Originally published on Thu June 5, 2014 11:50 am

There are lots of entrepreneurs who would love to fly drones — tiny unmanned aircraft — all over the country. They dream of drones delivering packages and taking photos, but there's a battle in the courts right now standing in their way. The battle is about whether it's legal for drones to take to the sky.

The question at the core of the battle: Who owns the air?

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Shots - Health News
2:01 am
Fri May 30, 2014

Anatomy Of A Dance Hit: Why We Love To Boogie With Pharrell

YouTube

Originally published on Mon June 2, 2014 7:32 am

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The Two-Way
7:39 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

After Decades Of Silent Wandering, NASA Probe Phones Home

Whatever name it sailed under — International Sun-Earth Explorer 3, and International Cometary Explorer, among others — this spacecraft has scored a number of firsts over the years, including the first comet flyby.
NASA Goddard Spaceflight Center

Originally published on Fri May 30, 2014 2:19 pm

You might call it the ultimate long shot — a group of space enthusiasts trying to re-establish contact with a wayward satellite launched in 1978. Figuratively speaking, it's been off the radar for decades.

No more.

"The initial contact was a tone followed by specific commands," project organizer Keith Cowing told NPR's Nell Greenfieldboyce by email. "We learned a lot simply by being able to talk to it and get it to do things.

"May not sound like much but that was a huge unknown," he adds.

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Shots - Health News
6:20 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

No Hunch Here: Richard III Suffered From Scoliosis Instead

Portrait of King Richard III.
Getty Images/The Bridgeman Art Library

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 7:03 pm

Shakespeare calls Richard III "rudely stamp'd," with the king's "hunchbacked" form revealing the twisted soul within. Actors have reveled in playing the monarch as a limping, deformed creature with a withered arm.

But when the bones of the 15th century king were unearthed from beneath a British parking lot in 2012, the skeleton showed no evidence of a hunch. Instead, the vertebrae lay in a curve suggesting that Richard might have had scoliosis.

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All Tech Considered
4:54 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Think Internet Data Mining Goes Too Far? Then You Won't Like This

iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 6:32 pm

These days, you can hop on the Internet and buy yourself a consumer-grade brain scanning device for just a few hundred dollars. Technically, they're called brain computer interfaces, or BCIs. As these devices develop, researchers are thinking a few steps ahead — they're worried about how to keep marketers from scanning our brains.

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