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)

WAMU 88.5

Is D.C. The Butt Of The Joke Or A Comedy Powerhouse?

Humor isn't often the subject of scientific inquiry, but the results of a new "humor algorithm" devised by the University of Colorado ranks D.C. among the funniest cities in the country.

NPR

Bake Bread Like A Pioneer In Appalachia ... With No Yeast

Bacteria can make a bread rise and give it a cheesy flavor. That's the secret ingredient in salt rising bread, which dates to the late 1700s in Appalachia, when bakers didn't have yeast on hand.
NPR

Obama Assures Japan Of U.S. Security Commitment

The president is on the first stop in an eight-day trip to Asia that also will see him visit Malaysia, the Philippines and South Korea.
NPR

Weekly Innovation: An Inflatable Car Seat That Comes In A Backpack

Parents, you are going to want to read about this prototype from Volvo. It's fully inflatable and designed to make what's normally a clunky and heavy seat both lighter and more portable.

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