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Science

David Tipling / Yale University Press

Yes we’ve gotten a few inches of snow already, but winter officially starts next week.

For animals, preparing for the season means undertaking major lifestyle changes in order to survive.

This week, the skywatchers will experience a flashy double feature: The Geminid meteor shower — one of the year's best — will coincide with an unusually close encounter by an asteroid.

That asteroid? It's called 3200 Phaethon, discovered by a NASA satellite in 1983. With a diameter of about 3 miles, it's the third-largest near-Earth asteroid classified by the space agency as "potentially hazardous."

C Watts / flickr creative commons

In 1959, Soviet geneticist Dmitri Belyaev started an ambitious experiment to study the origins of domestication -- he would attempt to breed domesticated wild foxes by selecting on their behavior alone, a process he imagined our ancestors carried out with dogs thousands of years before.

NASA/Crew of STS-129

The International Space Station is the most expensive thing ever built. It's about the size of a football field, it weighs a million pounds, and it's up there flying around in the sky at 17,000 mph, but... we don't really ever hear much about it, do we?

Well, so, this hour we hear about it.

Greg Marmal / Flickr

There are few monsters more iconic or enduring than Frankenstein's. From Mary Shelley's 1818 novel, to the 1931 Hollywood film, to the countless plays, comics and other adaptations that have followed, Frankenstein continues to resonate with fans around the world.

Fronteiras do Pensamento / flickr creative commons

Richard Dawkins is probably the best-known ethologist and evolutionary biologist in the world. And he's maybe the best-known atheist and secularist -- he would say "rationalist" -- in the world.

Michael Hunter / Wikimedia Commons

The Emerald Ash Borer, the Asian longhorn beetle, now the Southern Pine Beetle. This hour, we learn about the newest in a series of pests and diseases decimating species of trees in New England.

BerndH / Wikimedia Commons

Winter is coming but that doesn’t mean you’re done in the garden.

Research shows girls and boys perform equally well in science, technology, engineering and math while in school. But that doesn't always follow into careers in the STEM workforce where, particularly in certain fields, there's still a gender gap.

Wikimedia Commons

What started as one scientist's hunch turned into a decade of research, which now claims a positive link between an invasive shrub called Japanese barberry and deer ticks.

Kris Krüg/PopTech / flickr creative commons

Kurt Andersen's new book is Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire. It's a 500-year history "of America jumping the shark." The idea, largely, is that our present post-fact, fake-news moment is... nothing new.

This hour, we look back at the history. We look at our present -- which is to say, we look at our present president: "To describe [Trump] is practically to summarize this book," Andersen says in Fantasyland. And we wonder if there's any way to regain and retain reality in America.

zenilorac / flickr creative commons

Numbers are so fundamental to our understanding of the world around us that we maybe tend to think of them as an intrinsic part of the world around us. But they aren't. Humans invented numbers just as much as we invented all of language.

David Tipling / Yale University Press

The days have gotten shorter and the leaves continue to change -- all signs autumn is definitely here. But for animals, the beginning of fall means undertaking major lifestyle changes -- in order to survive the winter.

Patrick Skahill / WNPR

Connecticut’s monarch butterflies are now making their annual migration thousands of miles south to Mexico. 

Jeffrey Beall / Creative Commons

The family of Aaron Hernandez has filed suit against the NFL after it was revealed by an autopsy that the former Patriots player had advanced degenerative brain disease when he died. 

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