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Environment

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0FVbsji_Icc Attention, New Englanders: You may see a seal pup on the beach this weekend, and you may be tempted to take a selfie with it. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is asking that you please resist that urge. There will be more babies about because it's pupping season in the region, but it's not good for you or the seal to get too close, says the Greater Atlantic Region of the NOAA Fisheries. You might get bitten, a statement from the...

BB and HH / Creative Commons

The story goes that during World War II, the English started using radar to detect Nazi bombers.

Travel forecasters are predicting busy highways this Memorial Day weekend. AAA expects more than 38 million people to travel over the holiday, the highest volume in a decade.

Long Island residents are getting their first chance to see the details of the plan to build a third track between Floral Park and Hicksville on the Long Island Rail Road as the MTA held its first of six public meetings on Tuesday.

NASA / Flickr

The man who once walked on the moon, and helped America define itself as a leader in space travel is now out with a new book. It reads half as a memoir, and half as a motivational speech to the next generation of explorers who he hopes will carry on America's legacy.

Patrick Skahill / WNPR

Take a trip out to the Housatonic River Valley over the next few days, and if you’re lucky, you might spot a peculiar-looking fungus that’s a tasty trophy for mushroom hunters.

Rafael Medina / Creative Commons

There's a lot of concern about pollinating insects and butterflies. As native populations dwindle, gardeners are rallying to support them.

Mention the concept of food waste, and for many people, it's likely to conjure images of rotting fruit and vegetables or stale meals unfit for consumption. But a lot of the food that gets tossed out in America — some $162 billion worth each year, enough to fill 44 skyscrapers — is fresh, nutritious and downright delicious: think plump eggplants, bright yellow squashes, giant, vibrant-orange carrots with a crisp bite. The kind of beautiful produce that would be perfectly at home in, say, this...

Liz West / Creative Commons

Colin has a "pet" raccoon that visits his porch. The raccoon will press her tiny paw up against the outstretched palm of Colin's significant other, which rests on the indoor side of the glass. Eventually, the raccoon gets a bit of food because "she" is too cute to resist. The pleased raccoon now visits on a regular basis. Colin fears this cannot end well.

An Amtrak engineer might have lost track of where he was right before a passenger train derailed, killing eight people and injuring scores of others, federal investigators have found. In a briefing with reporters Tuesday, investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board said Brandon Bostian might have thought he was past a curve when he accelerated to 106 mph. As we've reported, Bostian has told investigators he cannot remember what happened during the moments before the crash in...

Emily Mocarski/flickr creative commons

Last week, police and wildlife officials were called in to tranquilize and relocate two bears within four days.

Courtesy Clearwater

The sloop Clearwater is being readied for a return to the Hudson River after a winter of restoration work.

State officials are apologizing for the way theyve handled a plan to use an island in the Quabbin Reservoir in central Massachusetts as a breeding ground for endangered timber rattlesnakes. They say they are now looking at alternatives. A legislative hearing held near the reservoir in Athol Tuesday brought out some strong opposition and showed what a major political issue rattlesnakes have become in that part of the state. Turning The Tables First came the apologies, beginning with Secretary...

One year after an Amtrak train derailed in Philadelphia, killing 8 passengers and injuring scores of others, a key question remains unanswered: Why was the train going so fast? The train, Amtrak #188 en route to New York City, had left the 30 th Street Philadelphia station and gradually increased speed to over 100 MPH, but it was supposed to slow down to 50 MPH as it entered the Frankford curve. Instead, the train continued to gain velocity, hitting top speed of 106 MPH. The engineer did...

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

As Schuyler Thomson lead a group of paddlers down the Housatonic River in northwest Connecticut, he squinted through the morning sunlight on the water.

mystuart / Creative Commons

We all know peonies for their audaciously large, colorful flowers.

Updated at 3 p.m. ET. Out in the Nevada desert today, the world got a good look at the first public test of the Hyperloop — a concept that could someday become a new mode of transportation. Don't call it a Wright Brothers' "Kitty Hawk" moment just yet, though. The demo focused on only one piece of a very complicated system. The Hyperloop, envisioned by Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk, would move passenger-filled pods through special tubes at incredibly high speeds — as in possibly crossing...

NASA announced Tuesday the discovery of an unprecedented number of planets beyond our solar system — astronomers have confirmed the existence of 1,284 new worlds orbiting distant stars. These planets beyond our solar system — exoplanets — were discovered with the help of NASA's Kepler Space Telescope , which launched in 2009. "When NASA decided to build and launch the Kepler Space Telescope, we did not know if exoplanets — especially small, rocky exoplanets — were common or rare in the galaxy...

Adam Frenier / NEPR

A Berkshire Superior Court judge has granted Kinder Morgan an injunction, allowing it to go forward with a natural gas pipeline in Sandisfield, Massachusetts, on its way to Connecticut. But the judge did issue conditions.

Patrick Skahill / WNPR

From floods to fires -- burst pipes to a man overboard, when something goes wrong on a commercial fishing vessel -- crew members at sea need to act fast. But how do they prepare?

A change in the weather has helped firefighters battling a massive blaze in Fort McMurray, a Canadian oil-sands town in the province of Alberta. Cooler temperatures and light rain have officials sounding optimistic, hopeful that the wildfire — which continues to burn — might have reached a "turning point" that will lead to its containment. "This is great firefighting weather," Alberta fire official Chad Morrison said at a weekend news conference. "We can really get in there and really get a...

Patrick Skahill / WNPR

Police dogs are great at sniffing out hidden drugs -- and as more crime goes digital, state police in Connecticut are training canines to sniff out evidence on computers and cell phones.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IEkkCaBTgZ8 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nhORZ6Ep_jE http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QKmtAh6Sat0 Stargazers, ready your (solar-filtered) telescopes: Mercury is passing directly across the sun for the first time in nearly a decade. The innermost planet of our solar system will look like a small, dark circle cutting across the sun's disc. In the U.S., the transit begins shortly after 7 a.m. ET on Monday and will continue for more than seven hours. In this...

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx was in Burlington this afternoon to discuss a $10 million federal grant Vermont will receive to improve the rail corridor between Burlington and Rutland.

Scientists have had a literal breakthrough off the coast of Mexico. After weeks of drilling from an offshore platform in the Gulf of Mexico, they have reached rocks left over from the day the Earth was hit by a killer asteroid . The cataclysm is believed to have wiped out the dinosaurs. "This was probably the most important event in the last 100 million years," says Joanna Morgan , a geophysicist at Imperial College in London and a leader of the expedition. Since the 1980s, researchers have...

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