Science & Environment

Around the Nation
7:00 pm
Sun July 20, 2014

Despite California's Drought, Taps Still Flowing In LA County

A sign over a highway in Glendale, Calif., warned motorists in February to save water in response to the state's severe drought. But a study released earlier this week showed residents in the southern coastal part of the state used more water this spring than they did last year.
Robyn Beck AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 11:52 am

This January, after the driest calendar year in California history, Gov. Jerry Brown declared a drought emergency. He called on residents to reduce their water intake by 20 percent.

But downtown Los Angeles doesn't look like a city devastated by the state's worst drought in decades. The city is green with landscaping, and fountains are running. People still water their lawns, wash their cars and fill their pools.

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Science
5:31 pm
Sun July 20, 2014

Sixth-Grader's Science Fair Finding Shocks Ecologists

Scientists previously underestimated the ability of the lionfish to live in less salty water.
Mark Ralston AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 9:24 am

When 12-year-old Lauren Arrington heard about her sixth-grade science project, she knew she wanted to study lionfish. Growing up in Jupiter, Fla., she saw them in the ocean while snorkeling and fishing with her dad.

Her project showed that the lionfish can survive in nearly fresh water. The results blew away professional ecologists. The invasive species has no predators on the Florida coast, so if they were to migrate upstream in rivers, they could pose a threat to the ecosystem.

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The Two-Way
12:40 pm
Sun July 20, 2014

45 Years Ago, Armstrong Took His 'One Small Step'

NASA image taken in 2012 by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) shows astronauts' footprints and equipment left on the moon by Apollo 11.
Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) NASA

Originally published on Sun July 20, 2014 3:32 pm

Forty-five years ago today, in arguably the greatest technological feat of the 20th Century, two Americans stepped off the ladder of their small landing craft and walked on the surface of the moon.

The first of them, Neil Armstrong, 38, of Wapakoneta, Ohio, pronounced his accomplishment "one small step for [a] man; one giant leap for mankind." The second, 39-year-old New Jersey native Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, Jr., described what he saw as "magnificent desolation."

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The Sunday Conversation
11:13 am
Sun July 20, 2014

Astronaut Who Walked On The Moon: 'It Was Science Fiction To Us'

During the Apollo 12 mission, astronaut Alan Bean holds a container of lunar soil. The astronaut Charles "Pete" Conrad, who took the photograph, is reflected in Bean's faceshield. Bean says he used to think that in his lifetime, we'd build a base on the moon and start preparing to travel to Mars.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Sun July 20, 2014 2:20 pm

In November of 1969, astronaut Alan Bean became the fourth man to walk on the moon. His mission, Apollo 12, arrived at the moon a few months after Apollo 11 made the first moon landing. That historic event celebrates its 45th anniversary Sunday.

Apollo 12 got off to a dramatic start: A storm rolled in as the rocket was scheduled to launch. Bean, with fellow astronauts Pete Conrad and Dick Gordon, sat inside the spacecraft while the bad weather threatened the operation.

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Science
5:05 pm
Sat July 19, 2014

With Malaysia Airlines Crash, A Loss For AIDS Research

Originally published on Sat July 19, 2014 6:18 pm

Transcript

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

Malaysia Airlines has released the manifest of passengers who were on that plane that crashed in Eastern Ukraine. We know that many of them were bound for the world's largest AIDS conference in Australia. At the opening of the conference yesterday there was a moment of silence to remember those who had died. Diane Anderson-Minshall is the editor-in-chief of HIV Plus Magazine and asked her about one of the most prominent AIDS researchers who was killed, Dutch scientist Jope Lange.

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The Two-Way
10:28 am
Sat July 19, 2014

400,000+ Sign Petition To Move 'Sad Bear' To Better Life In Canada

Arturo, the only polar bear in Argentina, lives in captivity at a zoo in Mendoza. The plight of the "sad bear" has spawned more than 400,000 signatures on a petition to get him moved to a "better life" in Canada.
AFP Getty Images

Originally published on Sat July 19, 2014 1:33 pm

Updated at 1:20 p.m. ET.

Social media has dubbed Arturo, a polar bear living in an Argentinian zoo, the "world's saddest animal," and more than 400,000 people have signed an online petition asking that he be moved to a "better life" in Canada.

Photos of Arturo, 29, looking distressed and lying flat out on his stomach that have circulated online prompted the petition. The bear's enclosure mate, Pelusa, died two years ago, the BBC says.

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Animals
8:11 am
Sat July 19, 2014

In Tracking Bats, It Helps To Find Them Adorable

Originally published on Sat July 19, 2014 11:45 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This summer, we're hearing from young people who've landed unusual jobs - sometimes really unusual jobs. Today, we meet 27-year-old Julia Hoeh. Her job is downright batty. Reporter Daniel Potter caught up with her in the mountains of Tennessee and sent us this story.

DANIEL POTTER, BYLINE: Julia Hoeh works late - past midnight - and doesn't get done until around three a.m.

JULIA HOEH: We typically lead kind of the same nocturnal life that bats do.

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Sports
8:11 am
Sat July 19, 2014

What It Takes To Be A Champion

Originally published on Sat July 19, 2014 11:45 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The Olympic motto is faster, higher, stronger. And year after year, athletes seem to live up to those words, but how?

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED BROADCAST)

DAVID EPSTEIN: We definitely are better. Although, it sort of depends how you look at the question because in some ways, we might not be as much better as we like to believe.

SIMON: David Epstein writes about sports science. He spoke to Guy Raz at the Ted Radio Hour.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED BROADCAST)

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Space
8:11 am
Sat July 19, 2014

People Share Moon Landing Memories On YouTube Channel

Originally published on Sat July 19, 2014 8:36 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Tomorrow is the 45th anniversary of man leaving Earth to land on the moon.

NEIL ARMSTRONG: That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.

SIMON: Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin took the first steps on the surface of a world that used to be just a light in our sky.

BUZZ ALDRIN: Beautiful view.

ARMSTRONG: Isn't that something? Magnificent sight out here.

ALDRIN: Magnificent desolation.

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Around the Nation
5:37 am
Fri July 18, 2014

Calif. Officials Debate How To Get Residents To Cut Water Use

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 8:00 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

In California, residents are being urged to conserve water as the state suffers from a historic drought. But a new report says the state's water use has actually gone up over the last year. California enacted statewide water restrictions this week. Those include fines of up to $500 a day. Now, to find out what actually gets people to cut their water use, NPR's Sam Sanders hit the streets of L.A.

SAM SANDERS, BYLINE: Rick Silva has just pulled up on a violator.

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