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What's New?
3:52 pm
Wed July 3, 2013

More Is Different: Nature's Unruly Complexity

Like layers in a pizza, each layer of material organization in Nature needs to be understood on its own terms and cannot be reduced to a base that explains the whole.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed July 3, 2013 3:03 pm

According to reductionism, every system, no matter how complex, can be understood in terms of the behavior of its basic constituents. The focus is on the bottom layer of the material chain: matter is made of molecules; molecules of atoms; atoms of electrons, protons, and neutrons; protons and neutrons of quarks; we don't know if the buck stops here or not.

At the biological level, organisms are composed of organs; organs of cells; cells of organic macromolecules; those of many atoms, etc.

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11:03 am
Wed July 3, 2013

BURN An Energy Journal: The Nation's Aging Electric Power Grid

Credit National Renewable Energy Laboratory

The nation’s electric grid – a half century-old patchwork system that moves electricity from plants to consumers – is central to our daily lives. BURN’s hour-long special examines the state of America’s aging and often over-burdened electric power grid – the people who keep it running, innovators constantly thinking of ways to make it smarter, and what happens when the grid lets us down.

Listen Friday evening at 8 pm on Public Radio 89.5-1.

 

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What's New?
10:29 am
Wed July 3, 2013

Politics Takes A Holiday: The Capitol Steps Fourth of July 2013 Edition

Credit Wikimedia Commons

THE GANG OF 8 has announced that in order to be a citizen of the United States, you have to listen to the Capitol Steps 4th of July special, "Politics Takes a Holiday!" at 11 am, Thursday the 4th, on Public Radio 89.5-1.

Statistics show that many people who have not listened to past specials have been audited by the IRS. Coincidence? Probably!

So relax and celebrate your country by helping The Capitol Steps make fun of it. It's not like there isn't a lot of material to work with...

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What's New?
10:15 am
Wed July 3, 2013

Democracy, My Mother And Toast

Robert Krulwich NPR

Originally published on Tue July 2, 2013 12:02 pm

When they proposed it in the 1770s, it was such a novel idea. That instead of a king anointed by God, instead of a sage, instead of one leader telling all of us what to do, we should, every four years, all of us, pick our own leader, who would serve for a season, and then, job done, gently depart.

Nothing like this had been tried for thousands of years. Somehow, together we would be wiser than a single king. We would lead ourselves.

In principle, democracy seems noble, beautiful even.

At my family dinner table, I wondered a little. More than a little.

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What's New?
10:11 am
Wed July 3, 2013

U.S. Pushes Businesses' Health Insurance Deadline To 2015

Originally published on Tue July 2, 2013 8:18 pm

U.S. businesses that had been looking at possible penalties if they don't provide health insurance to their employees by January are getting an extra year before they must comply with the new law, the White House says. The requirement, part of the health care overhaul known as "Obamacare," affects all companies that have at least 50 employees.

The Obama administration announced the change Tuesday, citing "ongoing discussions with businesses" about the new health insurance requirements in the Affordable Care Act.

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What's New?
10:10 am
Wed July 3, 2013

Kick The Can: Soda Machines Beg For Experimentation

Rina Rapuano for NPR

Originally published on Wed July 3, 2013 9:42 am

Last year, my husband picked up a nasty little habit — a drinking problem, if you will. Yes, he became addicted to sparkling water. All of a sudden, he was adding mineral water to my weekly grocery list and buying precious little green bottles imported from Italy every time we grabbed a sandwich.

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What's New?
7:03 am
Wed July 3, 2013

Coke Changed Caramel Color To Avoid Cancer Warning; Pepsi In Transition

Pepsi says it plans to reformulate all its colas sold in the U.S. by February 2014 to eliminate 4-MEI, a chemical listed as a carcinogen by the state of California.
PR Newswire

In 2011, the state of California created a problem for the soda industry.

The caramel color that Coke and Pepsi used to give colas that distinctive brown hue contained a chemical, 4-methylimidazole — 4-MEI — that is listed as a carcinogen by the state.

And in accordance with California's Proposition 65 law, the levels of 4-MEI found in sodas would have warranted a cancer warning label on every can sold in the state.

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6:51 am
Wed July 3, 2013

In Israel, Unearthing A Bed Of Flowers For Eternal Rest

Karen Jang places flowers on the the grave of her late boyfriend, Vietnam veteran Francis Yee, during her Memorial Day visit to the Sacramento Valley National Cemetery, in Dixon, Calif.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

Originally published on Wed July 3, 2013 1:37 pm

If you died 55,000 years ago in the lands east of the Mediterranean, you'd be lucky to be buried in an isolated pit with a few animal parts thrown in. But new archaeological evidence shows that by about 12,000 years ago, you might have gotten a flower-lined grave in a small cemetery.

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What's New?
8:37 am
Tue July 2, 2013

An MIT Project That Lets You Spy On Yourself

This is my (Gmail) life.
immersion.mit.media.edu

Originally published on Tue July 2, 2013 8:54 am

Of all the stuff on metadata I've seen in the past few weeks, this is my favorite:

It's my favorite in large part because it's my metadata. It comes from my Gmail account. The relationships it maps are, more or less, my life — orange circles for Planet Money, purple for Brooklyn, brown for college. The big red circle that gets cut off at the bottom of the screengrab is my mom.

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What's New?
5:51 am
Tue July 2, 2013

New Kind Of Ikea Hack: Flat-Packs Head To Refugee Camps

Check out the video at the bottom of the page to see how this box transforms ...
Ikea Foundation

Originally published on Tue July 2, 2013 10:20 am

My name is Maureen, and I am an Ikea-holic. Sure, I laughed knowingly at The Narrator's "slave to Ikea" speech as much as the next Fight Club fan. But the awful truth is, I've got a Beddinge in my bedroom.

And I'm not embarrassed to say so.

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