Science & Environment

Goats and Soda
10:38 am
Mon July 14, 2014

Facing A Toxic Dump In South Africa, He Cleaned Up

Desmond D'Sa stands by the landfill he helped shut down in Durban.
Goldman Environmental Prize

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 3:07 pm

Desmond D'Sa helped shut down a toxic landfill.

The landfill was located in South Durban — an industrialized city teeming with petrochemical plants, paper mills and oil refineries. D'Sa and his family had been forcibly relocated to the area by the apartheid government in the 1970s, together with thousands of other Indian and black South Africans. The apartheid government was notorious for forcing nonwhite laborers to live in the industrial areas where they worked.

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Space
5:12 pm
Sun July 13, 2014

Mark Your Calendars: In A Year, We'll Arrive At Pluto

An artist's concept shows the New Horizons spacecraft as it approaches Pluto and its largest moon, Charon, in July 2015.
Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 9:36 am

Planetary scientist Alan Stern is counting down the days — just 365 of them now. He has spent the past 8 1/2 years waiting for the New Horizons spacecraft to make a close encounter with Pluto. Next year, on July 14, the spacecraft will reach its destination.

"Not only did we choose the date, by the way, we chose the hour and the minute. And we're on track," says Stern, the principal investigator for NASA's Pluto-Kuiper Belt Mission.

In January 2006, the New Horizons spacecraft left Earth on the 3-billion-mile journey to Pluto and beyond.

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The Two-Way
12:28 pm
Sun July 13, 2014

Antares Blasts Off On ISS Supply Mission

In a photo provided by NASA, the Orbital Sciences Corporation Antares rocket launches with the Cygnus spacecraft aboard, on Sunday from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.
Bill Ingalls AP

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 2:25 pm

This post was updated at 2:05 p.m. ET.

Private space venture Orbital Sciences Corp. launched its second resupply mission to the International Space Station in a perfect launch from at Wallops Island, Va, after several delays.

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Science
9:52 am
Sun July 13, 2014

Like Humans, Chimps Fall For Fashion Trends

Originally published on Sun July 13, 2014 11:47 am

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

You're not special. Sorry, not to be rude. I don't mean just you in particular. I mean the whole human species. We used to think using tools and complex problem-solving set us apart, but crows proved us wrong. Songbirds got us on culture. Now a new study adds to the list what seem to be fashion trends. Katherine Cronin of the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics co-authored the study. And she joins me now from the Netherlands. Welcome to the program, Katherine.

KATHERINE CRONIN: Thank you. Thank you for having me.

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Around the Nation
9:52 am
Sun July 13, 2014

Why A Texas City May Ban Fracking

Originally published on Sun July 13, 2014 1:12 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

The town of Denton, Texas is embroiled in a debate over fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, to extract natural gas. Fracking has brought a steady stream of revenue to Denton for years, but this Tuesday, the Denton city council will consider banning fracking because of environmental concerns. For more, I spoke with Abrahm Lustgarten. He's an environmental reporter for ProPublica, and he explained what some residents of Denton are worried about.

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Krulwich Wonders...
5:30 am
Sun July 13, 2014

The Most Astonishing Wave-Tracking Experiment Ever

Sean Gallup Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 9:58 am

I'm standing on a beach and I see, a few hundred yards out, a mound of water heading right at me. It's not a wave, not yet, but a swollen patch of ocean, like the top of a moving beach ball, what sailors call a "swell." As it gets closer, its bottom hits the rising shore below, forcing the water up, then over, sending it tumbling onto the beach, a tongue of foam coming right up to my toes — and that's when I look down, as the wave melts into the sand and I say,

"Hi, I'm from New York. But what about you? Where are you from?"

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Environment
4:54 pm
Sat July 12, 2014

Well, I'll Be Un-Dammed: Colorado River (Briefly) Reached The Sea

Twelve hours after they had halted at the river's end, the team woke up to see that the previous night's small stream had become a river. Two weeks after this photo was taken, the leading edge of the water reached the estuary that was the river's final destination.
Courtesy Fred Phillips

Originally published on Sun July 13, 2014 11:20 am

For a few weeks this spring, the Colorado River flowed all the way to the sea for the first time in a half a century. And during that window of opportunity, writer Rowan Jacobsen took the paddleboarding trip of a lifetime.

The river starts in the Rocky Mountains, and for more than 1,400 miles, it wends its way south. Along the way it's dammed and diverted dozens of times, to cities and fields all over the American West. Tens of millions of people depend on the river as a water source.

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The Two-Way
7:43 am
Sat July 12, 2014

The Moon Puts On A Triple Super Summer Spectacle

The moon appeared bigger and brighter when it went supermoon on June 23, 2013 — especially when it was seen next to objects on the horizon, such as the helicopter from the original Batman television show at the New Jersey State Fair last year.
Julio Cortez AP

Summer 2014 promises to be more super than most, and not just because of the World Cup or LeBron James returning to Cleveland.

This summer, the moon will reach "super" status not once, not twice, but three times — and the first time happens Saturday night.

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The Two-Way
3:11 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

WATCH: Giant Undulating Anchovy School

A massive school of anchovies off La Jolla, filmed on Tuesday.
Scripps Institution of Oceanography — UC San Diego

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 3:35 pm

It's the biggest aggregation of anchovies seen in near-shore waters in three decades, according to scientists at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego.

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The Two-Way
10:32 am
Fri July 11, 2014

Elephant Featured In Film 'Alexander' Killed By Thai Poachers

A photo released by the Ayutthaya Elephant Palace and Royal Kraal, shows Thai police officers examining the slain elephant.
AP

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 10:33 am

Poachers in Thailand killed a 50-year-old elephant who appeared in Oliver Stone's 2004 film Alexander before crudely hacking off the animal's giant tusks, according to The Bangkok Post.

The Asian elephant, named Phlai Khlao, was used in scenes from the movie starring Colin Farrell and Angelina Jolie. The animal had also been part of ceremonial performances for Thailand's royal family.

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