Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 9:36 am
A band's sound is only as big as its members, and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros' music is huge. The 10 members are a whirl of roving horns, as well as whistles, claps, shouts, strummed string instruments and percussion involving drums, hands and anything else they can find. The group's communal folk sound blew up in 2009 with the heart-pounding, foot-stomping single "Home"; with its universal sentiment, the song includes a back-and-forth between frontman Alex Ebert and bandmate Jade Castrinos.
Mexicans select a new president on July 1, and they want a leader who can reduce the rampant violence in their country. Warring drug cartels have killed more than 50,000 people in the past 5 1/2 years, while thousands have disappeared and some cities have been turned into lawless zones.
With recent news that even Paris has one, food trucks are certainly in vogue these days. In the U.S., they're now spreading from the hot scenes in Los Angeles and New York to smaller cities, like Milwaukee and Madison. Even school systems are jumping on the food truck bandwagon.
A bizarre event has drawn scientists to a beach in Oregon — a floating concrete dock from Japan has washed ashore. It had been ripped from its moorings by last year's tsunami and floated across the Pacific.
The dock is encrusted with mussels, barnacles and other marine life from Asia. Scientists are amazed these organisms survived the 14-month voyage, but they're also worried some of these organisms could become pests in U.S. waters.
This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. Last week, the SpaceX Dragon capsule splashed down in the Pacific, wrapping up a glitch-free journey to the International Space Station. It was an historic first. The Dragon is really the only private spacecraft to have made the trip. This time there was only cargo aboard. But it will be - not be long before astronauts are hitching rides on the Dragon? That's what SpaceX is planning for next, and they hope to have seats ready for travelers by 2015. So you can mark that in your calendar.
You're listening to SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. Our next story is about one person's garbage being another person's treasure. You know how that works. Well, this one is a very interesting story. Last year, the National Reconnaissance Office, they operate America's spy satellites, well, the National Reconnaissance Office called up NASA with an offer: Would NASA like a couple of old spy telescopes? We don't need them. Could you do anything useful with them? We'll give them to you.
This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. If you look up in the sky at night, especially later this year, you can spot the Andromeda Galaxy, it's a small cloudy smudge in space. It's our galaxy, the Milky Way's closest galactic neighbor, about two and a half million light years away.
Alan Alda challenged scientists to explain what a flame is to an 11-year-old. Three months and more than 800 entries later he is back with the winner of the contest. Ira Flatow and guests discuss the winning entry and why the contest was an effective exercise in science communication.