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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

Chasing Food Dreams Across U.S., Nigerian Chef Tests Immigration System

Tunde Wey wanted to share the food of his West African childhood. So he crossed the U.S. by bus, hosting pop-up dinners along the way. But Wey, like many immigrants, found success can unravel quickly.
NPR

Why Sit-Down Meals May Be Just As Unhealthful As Fast Food

Fast-food restaurants are often demonized as the epitome of unhealthfulness. But a study suggests sit-down joints may be no better when it comes to sodium, saturated fat and the risk of overeating.
WAMU 88.5

New Challenges To Recycling In The United States

Falling commodity prices are putting a squeeze on American recycling companies. What this means for cities, counties and the future of recycling programs in the United States.

WAMU 88.5

UMBC President Freeman Hrabowski

The president of University of Maryland, Baltimore County, chats about the future of higher education — and what he's doing to steer African-American students into science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

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