Conor Gearin

India’s reusable space plane takes its first test flight

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India’s reusable space plane takes its first test flight

Read Conor Gearin’s coverage of the India Space Research Organization’s launch or a reusable shuttle.  In NewScientist: https://www.newscientist.com/article/2089757-indias-reusable-space-plane-takes-its-first-test-flight/?utm_source=NSNS&utm_medium=SOC&utm_campaign=hoot&cmpid=SOC|NSNS|2016-GLOBAL-hoot

Against Mowing: The Case from Jazz and Science

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One December night my family and my girlfriend both visited me in the small Missouri town where I went to college. As large flakes of snow fell, we walked to the school auditorium, where student jazz combos were giving a concert with a special guest. It’s thrilling to watch student performances, because there’s no guarantee it won’t be a complete disaster. In this case, it was far from that: the bands played perfect covers of “Dear Old Stockholm” and “Caravan.” The horn players launched into deeply felt, unpredictable solos—you could sense both the rigor of years of endless scales in the practice room and the need to prove they could do much more, the desire to surprise. Full Article »

This New Nanogenerator Can Power 20 LEDs with the Tap of a Finger

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The solution to saving energy might not be something big—it could be small. Nanoscale, to be exact.  Read more in Conor Gearin’s article at NOVA Next.    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/next/tech/this-new-nanogenerator-can-power-20-leds-with-the-tap-of-a-finger/

Black Bears Can Help Fruit Trees Escape Climate Change

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Trees can flee from climate change—with a little help from a burly friend.

Humans, we hope, can retreat from the effects of global warming. But trees—though they have limbs—can’t uproot themselves to find a new home. If a tree species has adapted to a particular temperature range, it needs a way to stay in that range or risk extinction.  Read the rest in NOVA Next.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/next/nature/black-bears-can-help-fruit-trees-escape-climate-change/

The Kuiper Belt: Thousands of Icy Worlds Instead of Just One

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When people heard in 2006 that Pluto was no longer a planet, many were outraged. The beloved ninth planet, the satisfying conclusion to the list of the solar system’s members rattled off by many a schoolchild, was no longer special. Some accused celebrity astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson of killing Pluto; Tyson confessed only to driving the “getaway car.” The real villain was California Institute of Technology astronomer Mike Brown, who discovered an object called Eris that’s slightly bigger than Pluto. This observation suggested that Pluto was just one among many other “dwarf planets.” Full Article »

How to Stop a Bird-Murdering Cat

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Can this new technology stop pet cats from killing local birds?  Conor Gearin reports in the Atlantic. http://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2015/12/accessories-for-your-murderous-pet/419601/

Doctors Finally Decide When a Mole Is Benign and When It’s Cancerous

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Conor Gearin reports on how doctors can tell when a mole begins to turn cancerous.  Read more at NOVA Next: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/next/body/doctors-finally-decide-when-a-mole-is-benign-and-when-its-cancer/

MIT’s Weisskopf Understood the Human Side of Physics

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In which sense does the Universe make sense?

In the sense you sense a sense.

—Victor Weisskopf Full Article »

Psychologists Discover Easy Ways to Make Standardized Testing Less Biased

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Deeply ingrained stereotypes like “girls can’t do math” tend to make people underperform. It’s an effect known as stereotype threat, which arises when people fear that they’ll confirm a negative stereotype about their group. Negative stereotypes about testing can lead to lower scores on standardized tests like the SAT and GRE. Yet that stereotype threat can also motivate students to score higher than their socially privileged peers, according to a forthcoming study in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. With a subtle change to the format of a math test, the psychologists showed how students can reverse stereotype threat’s effect. Read more at NOVA Next.

Controlled Fires Could Actually Save Forests and Fight Climate Change

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Controlled Fires Could Actually Save Forests and Fight Climate Change

at Nova Next, by Conor Gearin

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/next/earth/controlled-fires-could-actually-save-forests-and-fight-climate-change/

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