Discarded plastic shampoo and juice bottles are finding new life in unlikely places--as bridges, railroad ties and pilings. Jim Kerstein, CTO and founder of Axion International, talks about how his company transforms plastic waste into structures strong enough to support trucks, trains and tanks.
By tracking the blinking light of distant stars, NASA's Kepler space telescope has identified the first Earth-sized exoplanets, and another which orbits its star in the "Goldilocks zone," where liquid water--and possibly life--could exist. Principal investigator William Borucki talks about the newly discovered worlds.
The 112th Audubon Christmas Bird Count is underway. Citizen scientists armed with binoculars are recording data vital to monitoring bird health and conservation. But before you can count a Snowy Owl or a Rufous Hummingbird, you need to identify it. Birder Richard Crossley has some tips.
No one is sure whether the Imperial woodpecker is extinct--the two-foot-tall relative of the Ivory-billed woodpecker lives in a remote mountain range in Mexico, and was last credibly spotted in the 1990s. Tim Gallagher, editor of Cornell Lab of Ornithology's Living Bird magazine, describes a hair-raising expedition to try to save the woodpecker and make it home unscathed.
Three days of intense pressure persuaded House Republicans to give in and approve a short-term extension of the payroll tax cut and unemployment compensation benefits. Linda Wertheimer talks to NPR's Tamara Keith about the reversal by GOP leaders in the House.
As Eater reported this week, some politicians believe this country is awash in food waste. But this isn't the stuff in the garbage — it's the way we pour money into building restaurants, promoting American food products abroad, and encouraging the purchase of local foods.
When the histories of the current 111th Congress are finally written, maybe it all will become clear.
But for right now, there seem to be many more questions than answers.
For instance, why did House Republicans ever think it was a good idea to stake out a position on the payroll-tax issue that would leave them holding the bag for a new year's tax increase for 160 million workers? That has now been averted with Congress' passage Friday morning of a two-month extension of the current payroll-tax holiday.