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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/.

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'Star Wars' Editors Defy Hollywood Conventions

In a film industry often dominated by men, there's at least one exception: Many editors are women. Maryann Brandon and Mary Jo Markey speak about their work on the new Star Wars.
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Florida Says Its Fruits, Vegetables Are Safe From Invasive Fruit Fly

Since September, Florida has been fighting an infestation of the Oriental fruit fly, an invasive pest that threatened more than 400 crops. The state declared the insect eradicated as of Saturday.
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7 Things To Know About Presidential Appointments To The Supreme Court

Republicans are adamant they will stop anyone President Obama names to replace for Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court. It's possible Obama's nominee would face the longest wait in history for a vote.
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West Point Students' Plan To Counter ISIS Online Strategy

The State Department sponsored a contest to find the best ways to combat ISIS propaganda online. A group of cadets from West Point got second prize. Rachel Martin speaks with team member CJ Drew.

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