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W. Bernard Carlson: "Tesla: Inventor Of The Electric Age"

The inventions of Nikola Tesla at the turn of the 20th century set the stage for how we produce and use electricity today. A new biography examines his visionary approach to invention and the business strategies behind his technological breakthroughs.


Can An Old Massachusetts Fishing Port Light The World Again?

Once known as the City That Lit the World, New Beford's whale oil powered candles and lamps around the country. Now, the Massachusetts city wants to become an energy capital again, but this time with offshore wind.

For Sharpest Views, Scope The Sky With Quick-Change Mirrors

A technology called adaptive optics is enabling astronomers to peer into space as never before. The specialized telescopes, which have mirrors that can adjust their shapes up to 1,000 times per second, compensate for the blurring that happens when light passes through Earth's atmosphere.

Tawny Crazy Ants Invade Southern States

Tawny crazy ants are invading ecosystems and homes in states including Texas and Florida, wiping out other ant species and overwhelming homeowners. Weekend Edition Saturday host Scott Simon talks to Texas A&M research scientist Robert Puckett, who says the ants are "ecological steamrollers" that reproduce so fast they are nearly impossible to get rid of.

Goodnight Moon, Goodnight Math

Should you skip the bedtime stories and do math problems instead? Laura Overdeck, the founder of "Bedtime Math," thinks so. Overdeck discusses her program for tucking kids in with equations, and tells why she thinks it helps kids keep up their math skills over summer vacation.

E.O. Wilson's Advice for Future Scientists

In his new book, Letters to a Young Scientist, biologist and two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Edward O. Wilson aims to inspire a new generation of scientists. Among his observations and advice: Geniuses don't make the best scientists, and don't worry if you aren't good at math.

Vegetables Respond to a Daily Clock, Even After Harvest

Vegetables plucked from grocery store shelves can be made to respond to patterns of light and darkness, according to a report in the journal Current Biology. Janet Braam and colleagues found that cabbages change their levels of phytonutrients throughout a daily cycle.

Beaming Internet to the Boondocks, Via Balloon

Rather than relying on cell towers, phone lines, or fiber optics, Google plans to beam 3G-speed Internet to the world's most inaccessible corners using helium balloons. The experiment is called "Project Loon." Leader Mike Cassidy talks about the project's first step: providing balloon Internet to New Zealand and the 40th parallel south.

Supermoon To Dominate Weekend Sky

The full moon will be at its closest to the Earth all year, making it appear 14 percent to 30 percent brighter than normal.

A Calculating Win for China's New Supercomputer

China's "Tianhe-2" (Milky Way 2) supercomputer took first place in one recent speed test, clocking in at 30 quadrillion calculations per second--about twice as fast as the best American machines. The U.S. still has more supercomputers than any other nation, but some experts say computer speed is a measure of a country's scientific innovation, and worry the U.S. is lagging behind.