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Building A Rover Of The Edible Kind

The folks at the California Institute of Technology have built another Mars rover, but this one will never get to leave Earth. Not surprising, really, since it's made of gingerbread.

I first learned about the new rover from my colleague Nina Gregory at NPR West, who spotted it in LA Weekly's restaurant blog. Caltech runs NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and JPL runs that other rover called Curiosity that is working its tail off on the red planet, and tweeting all about it.

So as a kind of culinary homage to his colleagues, the head chef at the Caltech faculty club made a gingerbread rover replica, decorated with pinwheel cookies, gumdrops, candy canes and M&Ms. (Here's the real one, for comparison.)

The gingerbread rover sits on a rock-strewn platform, and to keep it company, there's Yoda, Darth Vader, Buzz Lightyear and a three-eyed Martian nearby. At least I think it's a Martian. We'll have to wait for one of NASA's rovers to take a picture of a Martian to be sure.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Check Out This 1999 Profile Of The Late, Great Juan Gabriel

Juan Gabriel stayed true to his roots, even when it wasn't easy. This LA Times piece takes a look at why that was.
NPR

The Strange, Twisted Story Behind Seattle's Blackberries

Those tangled brambles are everywhere in the city, the legacy of an eccentric named Luther Burbank whose breeding experiments with crops can still be found on many American dinner plates.
WAMU 88.5

State Taxes, School Budgets And The Quality Of Public Education

Budget cutbacks have made it impossible for many states to finance their public schools. But some have bucked the trend by increasing taxes and earmarking those funds for education.

NPR

Surfers And Scientists Team Up To Create The 'Perfect Wave'

Surfers once deemed man-made waves weak and mushy compared to the best that break along the coast. Then engineers and an 11-time world champion surfer showed just how good an artificial wave can be.

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