Originally published on Wed November 27, 2013 1:00 am
A dozen goats tromp around on their very own playground while traffic zooms by in Southeast Portland's industrial district.
Here, on the city's so-called "goat block," bike tours and families with children stop to visit the goat herd outside a chain-link fence. Each goat has a name and a "friendliness" rating posted outside the fence and once a day, a caretaker walks one of the friendly goats around the neighborhood for people to pet.
The US Fish and Wildlife Service plans to destroy six tons of elephant ivory on Thursday to draw attention to the ongoing decimation of wild elephants by poachers. Wildlife service officials will grind up tusks, trinkets and carvings seized from traffickers over the past 25 years. The tusks are typically trafficked in the illegal Chinese and Japanese ivory market.
"What does the fox say?" — the viral video in which a child’s barnyard sounds book goes “Gangnam Style” — has spurred many parodies, including one from longtime local drive time show, Bob Rivers on KJR. Their Twisted Tunes team spun the tune into a pep rally ditty for the Seattle Seahawks.
This inspired KUOW host Bill Radke to ponder — and answer — the cosmic question himself. Play the audio clip to find out exactly what a fox says.
The world is a mysterious place. In labs and observatories around the world, people are trying to make sense of nature’s secrets. This hour on The Conversation we talk to scientists and science writers about the natural world around us and what scientists are doing to harness its power.
Isabella Rossellini became famous for high-fashion modeling and for her acting roles in over 60 films and television shows. But she also makes films about sex. Specifically, the sex lives of animals. From the elephant seal to the little anchovy — all erotic encounters are on the table. Isabella Rossellini joined us back in 2009.
"All children are born artists. The problem is to remain artists as we grow up," says Sir Ken Robinson, an international expert on creativity. School, he says, encourages us to become good workers, not creative thinkers. So how do we fix it? Marcie Sillman talked with Sir Robinson in 2009 about his book, "The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything," and the challenges of teaching creativity.
A Conversation With "Game Of Thrones" Author George R.R. Martin
With HBO's "Game of Thrones," George R.R. Martin's world of Westeros is seducing TV viewers much as it captured readers. Martin began writing science fiction stories in the 1970s, and early on his stories were nominated for awards. Raised in a housing project in New Jersey, he used to write monster tales for the neighborhood kids. Steve Scher talked with George Martin in 2012.
Of all the creatures in the sea, one of the most majestic and mysterious is the whale shark. It's the biggest shark there is, 30 feet or more in length and weighing in at around 10 tons.
Among the mysteries is where this mighty fish migrates and where it gives birth. Now scientists have completed the biggest study ever of whale sharks, and they think they have some answers to those questions.
Originally published on Mon August 19, 2013 12:30 pm
Two chimpanzees living in the Northwest are competing in a national art contest. The chimps and their caretakers are trying to win a $10,000 first prize for their respective sanctuaries.
The abstract artwork entered by Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest in Cle Elum, Washington was created using children's finger paint enhanced with sunflower seed shells. "It's kind of a mixed media piece," says sanctuary outreach director Diana Goodrich. She says the chimp artist is a retired biomedical study subject named Jamie.
Some animals display very human behaviors: chimps grieve, rats love to be tickled, and moths remember living as caterpillars.
Science journalist Virginia Morell explores the complex minds of animals in her new book, "Animal Wise." From field sites to laboratories, Morell shows how animal cognition research has evolved, and how animals possess traits many feel are unique to humans.
She spoke at the Elliott Bay Book Company on April 8, 2013.
Bernie Green is a supervisor with the Department of Defense's Military Working Dog Breeding Program. Experts say dogs can suffer from PTSD-like conditions that can affect their military capabilities later on.
Credit Ryan Loyd / KSTX
Tech. Sgt. Joe Null kneels with Layka, a combat dog who lost her legs overseas. She was given an award for animals that serve heroically in combat.
For years, PTSD — or post-traumatic stress disorder — has been an issue for military members returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.
But humans aren't the only ones with problems. Military dogs returning from war zones are also showing signs of PTSD. And there's evidence that these canines need some extra tender loving care after their tours of duty.
Ultraviolet (false color). Bees and other pollinators can see the ultraviolet end of the spectrum. They are guided by patterns on flowers that are invisible to humans.
Credit Adam Cole / NPR
Fragrance plume (artist's depiction). Bees follow specific odors to locate flowers and, once they arrive, use scent maps to move toward the center of the flower. Fragrance that clings to a bee provides information for other bees back at the hive.
Credit Adam Cole / NPR
Electric field (artist's depiction). Flowers have a weak negative electric charge relative to the air around them. Different flowers have different electric fields, often with charge concentrated at the tips of the petals.
Credit Kevin Collins
Visible spectrum. Certain bright colors and petal shapes attract certain pollinators.
Flowers are nature's ad men. They'll do anything to attract the attention of the pollinators that help them reproduce. That means spending precious energy on bright pigments, enticing fragrances and dazzling patterns.
Now, scientists have found another element that contributes to flowers' brand: their distinct electric field.
Anne Leonard, who studies bees at the University of Nevada, says our understanding of pollinator-flower communication has been expanding for decades.
People in the Northwest are among the most likely in the nation to have pets. That's according to a new survey by the American Veterinary Medical Foundation. Washington, Oregon and Idaho rank in the top 10 for pet-owning households — with Oregon at No. 4, Washington at No. 6 and Idaho at No. 9. Maybe you’re one of the Northwest’s many pet people. If you are, you know that owning a dog can be e lot of work. But what if you had help? Free help. Sound too good to be true? According to Eric Husk it isn’t. He is the founder of City Dog Share, which he describes as a dog-sitting co-op. Ross Reynolds gets the details.