Last week, a Swiss investigation found evidence to support the idea that Yasser Arafat was poisoned with polonium-210 — a radioactive element that's safe to carry around in a container, but causes unstoppable death if swallowed. NPR sat down with Deborah Blum, a science writer who specializes in the chemistry of poisonings, to talk about what makes polonium-210 a particularly handy way to off somebody and why it's so hard to bring a polonium poisoner to justice.
Two craters 16m and 18m wide appeared on the moon right next to each other. It's out fault, obviously (obviously?), but the double trouble has scientists aflutter. Astronomers predicted a mysterious object would hit the Moon on March 4 after tracking the debris for months. The object was large, and believed to be a spent… READ THE REST
Below is an image of Thiomargarita magnifica, the world's largest bacterium that scientists just discovered in the French Caribbean hanging out on underwater on decaying leaves from a mangrove tree. The size and shape of a human eyelash, you can see it without a microscope. (The illustration above shows the lil' creature beside a dime.)… READ THE REST
These miniature Brazilian frogs (aka pumpkin toadlets) don't have much balance and thus jump in reallllly awkward ways. Apparently, their inner ears are too small to provide good balance. New research published in Science explains the phenomenon: Miniaturization has evolved repeatedly in frogs in the moist leaf litter environments of rainforests worldwide. Miniaturized frogs are… READ THE REST
As much as you hate it, sometimes we have to search for things in places we never want to go, like the kitchen sink's drain, the dusty attic, or the spider-web-laden area underneath the house. Your shrieks might just bring music to their ears! But as much as we don't want to see what's in these… READ THE REST
Whether you have your own cookie business or run a celebrity gossip blog, having an unimpressive landing page can really slow things down. Sure, hiring a professional developer to create a website would be awesome, but their rates can be pretty steep, and that's not something you want to budget for these days. Just because… READ THE REST
How much of your Mac's storage space is actually stuff you use? Odds are good a significant portion of your hard drive is filled with untouched downloads, duplicate files, and apps you forgot existed. You may not have noticed it, but the gradual slowing of your computer could be due to all those files just sitting… READ THE REST