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American Experience: Poisoner's Handbook

Thu, 01/02/2014 - 10:31am -- WCVE

In the early 20th century, the average American medicine cabinet was a would-be poisoner’s treasure chest: radioactive radium in health tonics, thallium in depilatory creams, morphine in teething medicine and potassium cyanide in cleaning supplies. While the tools of the murderer’s trade multiplied as the pace of industrial innovation increased, the scientific knowledge (and political will) to detect and prevent the crimes lagged behind. Unnatural deaths were handled by the coroner, a position handed out to the corrupt and unqualified as political payback.

Science Wednesdays: Ultimate Mars Challenge

Tue, 12/10/2013 - 10:17am -- WCVE

In August, a rover named Curiosity touched down inside Mars’ Gale Crater, carrying 10 new instruments that will advance the quest for signs that Mars might once have been suitable for life. But Curiosity’s mission is risky. After parachuting through the Martian atmosphere at twice the speed of sound, Curiosity was gently lowered to the planet’s surface by a “sky crane.” This first-of-its-kind system has been tested on Earth, but there was no guarantee it would work on Mars.

Inside Nature’s Giants: Giant Squid

Mon, 12/03/2012 - 9:19am -- WCVE

Thought by many to be the stuff of legend, it was only in the late-19th century that the giant squid was first officially recorded by scientists, after one leviathan washed up on a New Zealand beach. Related to slugs and snails, this monster from the deep, along with its cousin the colossal squid, is the largest invertebrate in the world.  It's never been filmed in its natural habitat, thousands of feet underwater, but occasionally specimens are brought to the surface by deep-sea trawlers.

NOVA: Ultimate Mars Challenge

Tue, 11/13/2012 - 10:56am -- WCVE

In August, a rover named Curiosity touched down inside Mars’ Gale Crater, carrying 10 new instruments that will advance the quest for signs that Mars might once have been suitable for life. But Curiosity’s mission is risky. After parachuting through the Martian atmosphere at twice the speed of sound, Curiosity was gently lowered to the planet’s surface by a “sky crane.” This first-of-its-kind system has been tested on Earth, but there was no guarantee it would work on Mars.

What Are Animals Thinking?

Fri, 11/02/2012 - 9:33am -- WCVE

Have you ever wondered what's going on inside an animal's head? How does an animal see the world — and us? Is your dog really feeling guilty when it gives you that famous “guilty look?” Do pigeon brains possess “superpowers” that allow them to find their way home across hundreds of unfamiliar miles? Is it possible that swarms of bees communicate in patterns similar to human brain cells?

How Smart Can We Get?

Fri, 10/19/2012 - 11:18am -- WCVE

How do you get a genius brain? Is it all in your DNA? Or is it hard work? Is it possible that everyone’s brain has untapped genius — just waiting for the right circumstances so it can be unleashed? From a man who suddenly acquired an extraordinary musical gift after a freak head injury to a “memory athlete” who can remember strings of hundreds of random numbers, David Pogue meets people stretching the boundaries of what the human mind can do in NOVA scienceNOW: How Smart Can We Get?

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