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'Mad Science' Looks At Groundbreaking Inventors

You may not know that the traffic signal, the firehouse pole, and instant coffee were all invented by people of color. The stories behind those inventions and many more are included in the new book, Mad Science. Editor Randy Alfred speaks with guest host Celeste Headlee.
NPR

Students Crack Code Of Rhode Island Founder

Recently, a team of students at Brown University was able to crack the secret code scribbled in the margins of century old book. The coded message turned out to be the last known theological work of Roger Williams, an early proponent of religious freedom and founder of Providence Plantation, in what is now Rhode Island. Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin talks with Lucas Mason Brown, who helped break the code.
NPR

Survived The Mayan Apocalypse? Here Come The Radish People

Each Dec. 23, they descend upon Oaxaca's main plaza: giant root vegetables carved into human figures and other vivid forms. The Night of the Radishes is a major tourist draw these days, but it all started with Spanish missionaries in the 1500s. When a new religion and imported crops met indigenous woodcarvers, a novel art form was born.
WAMU 88.5

Lee Sandlin: "Storm Kings: The Untold Story Of America's First Tornado Chasers"

The United States sees an average of 1,000 tornadoes a year. The history and the latest research on American twisters.

NPR

Debunking Doomsday And Exploring Maya Science

The ancient Maya had many scientific accomplishments: they tracked the Moon and the planets, knew a solar year was 365 days, and even invented the concept of zero. As for the 2012 apocalypse? It's simply a misinterpretation of the Maya calendar, say archaeologists Marcello Canuto and William Saturno.
NPR

'Miss Subways': A Trip Back In Time To New York's Melting Pot

Between 1941 and 1976, New York commuters were charmed by posters of regular New York women while riding the city's trains and buses. "Miss Subways" was selected each month by New Yorkers, in a pageant that reflected America's diversity long before the nation's other beauty contests.
NPR

Elixirs Made To Fight Malaria Still Shine On The Modern Bar

Many modern day liqueurs, like Campari and Pimm's, started off as 19th century medicinal tonics made to cure an array of ailments, including malaria. So if you're sipping a French aperitif or an absinth cocktail this holiday season, chances are you're also imbibing a bit of malaria history.

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