WAMU 88.5 : The Diane Rehm Show

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The Science Of Sinkholes

A man in Florida died after a sinkhole opened beneath his bedroom, swallowing him as he slept. A golfer broke his shoulder when a sinkhole opened on a golf course in Illinois. Suddenly it seems sinkholes are making news everywhere. But scientists insist they're a common and naturally occurring geologic phenomenon. Sinkholes usually occur on the fragile terrain called “karst," which underlies about 20 percent of the United States. Sinkholes also can be triggered by human activity. We learn what sinkholes reveal about the interconnectedness of life above and below ground, our freshwater supplies and climate change.

Sinkhole Map

This simplified map shows the areas with potential for sinkholes and karst in the conterminous United States (Source: U.S. Geological Survey)


'Purple Rain' — As Retold In A Language Without A Word For Purple

Prince's '80s-era classic has gotten a modern update — in Niger. Directed by Christopher Kirkley, starring Tuareg tribe members, this Purple Rain remake drops the kissing but keeps the attitude.

How Do We Get To Love At 'First Bite'?

It's the season of food, and British food writer Bee Wilson has a book on how our food tastes are formed. NPR's Scott Simon speaks with her about her new book, "First Bite: How We Learn to Eat."

Osceola At The 50-Yard Line

The Seminole Tribe of Florida works with Florida State University to ensure it that its football team accurately presents Seminole traditions and imagery.

Reviving Payoff For Prediction – Of Terrorism Risk

Could an electronic market where people bet on the likelihood of attacks deter terrorism? NPR's Scott Simon speaks with Stephen Carter about the potential for a terror prediction market.

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