Astronomers Strike Gravitational Gold In Colliding Neutron Stars

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e7LcmWiclOs For the first time, scientists have caught two neutron stars in the act of colliding, revealing that these strange smashups are the source of heavy elements such as gold and platinum. The discovery, announced Monday at a news conference and in scientific reports written by some 3,500 researchers, solves a long-standing mystery about the origin of these heavy elements — which are found in everything from wedding rings to cellphones to nuclear weapons...

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Daryl Gregory lives in State College and writes fantasy and science fiction novels.  His new book is a collection of short stories called "Unpossible and Other Stories."

This I Believe: I Believe In Bananagrams

Sep 8, 2011

“Take a letter. Okay, take another. Ha! Take a letter!” We all groan, looking at our Z’s ,K’s and Q’s seriously piling up. We exchange looks with each other that say, “Now how is this fair?” while my mom happily continues to build her ultimate crossword. When the tiles are finally gone, my mom throws her hands in the air and yells “WOOO HOOOO!” That was one of the many times that my mom had beaten our butts at Bananagrams, and the feeling of relief that the round of humiliation was over wasn’t unfamiliar. But then, of course, someone says, “Who's in for another round?

This I Believe: I Believe In Second Impressions

Apr 14, 2011

I was just shy of 17 the first time my brother Daniel introduced me to his girlfriend. Her name was Kristen, and I hated her immediately. But my brother loved her. Granted, I may not have known what love was, but in my teenage years, love meant a brother who would rather be with his girlfriend than with his siblings. Call it what you want *cough* jealously *cough*, but I wasn’t happy.

This I Believe: I Believe Life Should Be "Pun"derful

Mar 24, 2011

One morning, I called the local barbershop to make an appointment. Unfortunately, the barber was all booked up for the day. 

"Well, this is a hairy situation," I said to my girlfriend as I hung up the phone. She replied, "They certainly left you stranded." 

Call me a pundit, a glutton for punishment, or just a "pun"derful guy…I believe in puns. 

You want to spice up any conversation, here's some sage advice. Have a little fun with it. That's why it's called a “play on words” after all. 

This I Believe: I Believe In Eating My Convictions

Mar 10, 2011

I believe in eating my convictions. When I was twelve, I stopped eating meat because I liked animals and didn't want to hurt them. My grandmother saw this decision as a personal betrayal. 

Lyndsie Wszola is a Penn State student.

Tim Ziegler next to construction sign on dirt road.
Emily Reddy / WPSU

Marcellus shale drilling across Pennsylvania has expanded tremendously in the last couple of years. To extract the natural gas, companies drill straight down about 5,000 feet then shoot highly-pressured water mixed with chemicals and sand vertically through the shale to release the gas. It’s called hydrofracturing, or “fracking.” The whole process requires heavy equipment and millions of gallons of water to be trucked in over roads built to carry passenger cars.

Penn State professor Alex Hristov
Emily Reddy / WPSU

It’s feeding time at an experimental dairy barn not far from Beaver stadium. A big square machine on wheels spits a pile of hay in front of each cow on one side of the barn, and lab assistant Chan Hee Lee pours a bucket of dried green leaf bits on top.

As the feeding machine finishes up and rolls out of the barn, Alex Hristov says they tried a lot of things before they found oregano reduced cows’ methane output.

“We started with essential oils,” Hristov said. “Lavender, mint. Citrus, onion, anything, you name it.

So why is Hristov focused on cutting methane?

This I Believe: I Believe In Heavy Metal

Mar 11, 2010

I believe heavy metal.
 
When I was 12 years old I saw Metallica’s music video for the song, “One.” The video mixes gritty black and white band footage with excerpts from the film Johnny Got His Gun about a hospitalized soldier who lost his arms, legs, sight, hearing, and speech to a landmine. Over this footage, “One” goes from lament to unstoppable barrage.
 
I believed this song.
 

This I Believe: I Believe In Eating Local

May 25, 2009

This I Believe: I Believe In Public Radio

Apr 2, 2009

For many people, April 15 is TAX DAY! April 15 for me, however, has a different significance…

In 1982, I moved to a small mountain town in Colorado. I thought I’d found the perfect place to live. But there was one thing missing. No public radio. I used to spin the FM dial searching for the voice of the community.  All I would hear was canned music or talk programs packaged somewhere far away and made local only by the commercials injected.

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NPR Stories

It sounds like a joke, but, well — keep reading.

In December 2015, 64-year-old Daniel Rushing had just dropped off a friend at chemotherapy, and was driving home an older woman from his church who worked at the 7-Eleven and would otherwise walk the two miles home.

Richard Wilbur, the former poet laureate and two-time Pulitzer Prize winner renowned for his elegant, exquisitely crafted formal poetry has died at the age of 96.

Former Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein's ouster from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences following numerous allegations of sexual misconduct have prompted others on social media to open up about workplace harassment complaints that have gone unheeded.

Content advisory: The video below contains imagery and language that some may find offensive.


Move over, Eminem.

While Google is busy running its search, email and smart-device businesses, one division of Alphabet — Google’s parent company — is focused on the future.

X is a moonshot laboratory where minds come together to find innovative solutions to the world’s major problems. Some products that have come out of the secretive division include Google Glass, the self-driving car company Waymo and Project Loon, which uses balloons to bring the internet to remote areas.

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At Least 3 Killed As Historic Storm Ophelia Hits Ireland, Turns U.K. Skies Red

Updated at 1:15 p.m. ET The remnants of post-tropical cyclone Ophelia slammed parts of Ireland with wind gusts of more than 90 miles per hour, reportedly causing the deaths of at least three people and bringing strange red skies to the U.K. "A woman died in Waterford County [Ireland] after a tree fell on the car she was in, according to local officials," NPR's Frank Langfitt reports from London. According to the BBC , a man "died near Dundalk, [County] Louth, after his car was struck by a...

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Bowe Bergdahl Pleads Guilty To Desertion, Misconduct

Updated at 11:45 a.m. ET Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was held by the Taliban after leaving his base in Afghanistan in 2009, has pleaded guilty to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy. Bergdahl was freed in 2014 in exchange for five Taliban detainees. Bergdahl, a native of Idaho, pleaded guilty before the military judge in the case, Army Col. Jeffery R. Nance, at a hearing at Fort Bragg, N.C., on Monday, according to The Associated Press . The AP adds, "It's not clear if Bergdahl, 31,...

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Studies Skewed By Focus On Well-Off, Educated Brains

Brain imaging studies have a diversity problem. That's what researchers concluded after they re-analyzed data from a large study that used MRI to measure brain development in children from 3 to 18. Like most brain imaging studies of children, this one included a disproportionate number of kids who have highly educated parents with relatively high household incomes, the team reported Thursday in the journal Nature Communications . For example, parents of study participants were three times...

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Trump On GOP Failures: 'I'm Not Going To Blame Myself, I'll Be Honest'

Updated at 2:20 p.m. ET Not much of significance has gotten through this Congress, despite the House, Senate and White House all being controlled by the same party — Republicans. President Trump says, don't blame him. "We're not getting the job done. And I'm not going to blame myself, I'll be honest," Trump said during short remarks in a Cabinet meeting. He then shifted away from "we" to "they." "They're not getting the job done," the president said of Congress. It's a continued attempt by...

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Astronomers Strike Gravitational Gold In Colliding Neutron Stars

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e7LcmWiclOs For the first time, scientists have caught two neutron stars in the act of colliding, revealing that these strange smashups are the source of heavy elements such as gold and platinum. The discovery, announced Monday at a news conference and in scientific reports written by some 3,500 researchers, solves a long-standing mystery about the origin of these heavy elements — which are found in everything from wedding rings to cellphones to nuclear weapons...

Read More

Iraqi Troops Enter Kirkuk, Seeking To Take Oil-Rich Area Back From Kurds

Updated at 1:35 p.m. ET Iraqi forces took over key positions in the Kurdish city of Kirkuk and nearby oil-rich areas on Monday, after Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said he ordered troops sent in because Iraq is in danger of "partition," citing the Kurdish independence movement. Abadi also ordered the Kurdish flag to be taken down and the Iraqi flag to be raised in disputed areas — and that's what happened at the governor's office and in other official buildings. Kurdish media outlets quoted...

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Austria Election: Center-Right Party Head Likely Next Prime Minister

Update, 12:10 p.m., ET: Preliminary results show Austrian voters have given the right-leaning party of their 31-year-old foreign minister a mandate to form the next government, but not enough to run Austria without partnering with another party. Sebastian Kurz, who is likely to become the next Austrian chancellor, would be Europe's youngest leader. The popular foreign minister is said to be an avid hiker and windsurfer. At a campaign appearance Oct. 13 in his hometown of Vienna, young people...

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Texas Company That Makes Bump Stocks In Spotlight After Las Vegas Shooting

Slide Fire Solutions, a leading maker of bump stocks, is facing scrutiny after a gunman added the device to his rifles on Oct. 1 in Las Vegas to make them more powerful. The company is a large employer in the small town of Moran, Texas. Christopher Connelly ( @hithisischris ) of KERA asked residents what they think about calls to ban bump stocks and what it might mean for their town. Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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In His 15th Season At 'SNL,' Kenan Thompson Still Knows How To Play It Funny

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xWUCOWSet24 It was an odd sketch, tucked near the end of Saturday Night Live 's season premiere, long after Alec Baldwin's crowd-pleasing Trump imitation and two performances by Jay-Z. Actor Ryan Gosling played a soft-spoken rock flutist performing with a motley trio in a run-down bar. He gets a call from the police during the show, and has to tell his bandmate/roommate that his good jeans have been stolen. There was only one reason the sketch was even...

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Tom Hanks Is Obsessed With Typewriters (So He Wrote A Book About Them)

Actor Tom Hanks has made us believe he can be anyone and do anything on the big screen. Now he's taking us on a journey on the page: Tom Hanks has written a book. It's a collection of short stories, with varied subjects: a World War II veteran on Christmas Eve in 1953, a California surfer kid who makes an unsettling discovery. There's time travel. In every story, Hanks sneaks in the machine he's so obsessed with — the typewriter. "I have too many typewriters, David," he says, beginning a riff...

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Chicago's Jewish Community Unites To Be More Inclusive Of People With Disabilities

There's a verse from the biblical prophet Isaiah carved into the walls of many synagogues: "My house shall be called a house of prayer for all people." These wall inscriptions are a reminder to be welcoming to everyone. But one in five Jewish families includes someone with a disability, and many of them say synagogues aren't reaching out to them. A new project in Chicago aims to change that. The region's Jewish community is working together to make congregations more inclusive of people with...

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Trump Pushes Obamacare To Detonation, Forges Path Away From GOP, Democrats

Back in March, after the first Republican legislative failure to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, during the Trump presidency, President Trump went before cameras in the Oval Office and revealed some of his thinking when it comes to the politics of health care. "I've been saying for the last year and a half that the best thing we can do politically speaking is let Obamacare explode," Trump said. "It is exploding right now." Experts said that the ACA wasn't ...

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A School For Kids With Autism Copes With Fire's Physical And Emotional Damage

Among the many buildings destroyed in Northern California wildfires this week, was a nonprofit private school that serves 125 students who have autism. Anova school — located in Santa Rosa, Calif., inside the Luther Burbank Center for the Arts — serves students age 5 to 22 who have been diagnosed "with high functioning autism, social and emotional challenges, learning differences, and other neurodevelopmental impairments," according to the school website. Fortunately, so far, there have been...

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Trump Plans to Pull The U.S. Out Of The Cultural Arm Of The U.N.

Earlier this week, the Trump administration announced the United States will withdraw from UNESCO , the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. President Trump has been critical of the United Nations as a multilateral body, claiming it is "hobbled by bureaucracy and mismanagement, but held out hope for improvement," as reported by NPR's Scott Horsley . The U.S. State Department wrote the withdrawal is, in part, because of what they consider anti-Israel bias at UNESCO...

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Sword Swallower Makes Triumphant Return As He Battles Severe Health Issues

When Johnny Fox was a boy, all his friends were obsessed with superheroes. "Friends of mine were reading comics about Superman and Batman and I thought, 'You know, this is cartoons and made-up stories,' " he says. "I want a real superhero. There's got to be real superheroes out there." When he was 8 or 9, his parents took him to the Eastern States Exposition near Springfield, Mass. That's where he found those real superheroes. "I saw these big banners," he says. "One of them said: 'The Giant...

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As She Evacuated Patients From The Hospital, Her Home Burned

Julayne Smithson was working an overnight shift in the Intensive Care Unit at the Kaiser Permanente hospital in Santa Rosa, Calif., when massive wildfires started racing through the city late last Sunday. Smithson had no idea how close they were. She was too busy taking care of her patient. Then, she says, "One of the nurses came up to me and she said, 'Julayne, I'm sorry, but your house is not going to make it.'" Smithson, 55, recently moved from Indiana and had just bought a new home a few...

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WPSU-FM's Fall Fund Drive

WPSU-FM must reach a $140,000 goal by Friday. As of 5:40pm Monday, we were down to $64,105 left to go. Your donation gets us a step closer. Thanks!

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NPR One: An Award-Winning Cross-Platform Experience

Since launching NPR One in 2014, we've been working to deliver a news and storytelling experience that meets users in all the places they are now and will be in the future. For the Digital Media team, this has meant designing and building focused, yet flexible apps for smartphones, smart TVs, car infotainment systems, wearable devices, voice platforms, and more. That's why we were honored to learn that Google has named NPR One the winner of the 2017 Material Design Award for Platform...

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The Folk Show on WPSU-FM

The Folk Show is back on WPSU-FM Saturday afternoons from 1-5pm, now through December, when the Metropolitain Opera Radio Season begins again. And listen to The Folk Show Sundays from 10pm to 12am.

Public Radio for Central & Northern Pennsylvania

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Keystone Crossroads: Rust or Revival? explores the urgent challenges pressing upon Pennsylvania's cities. WPSU is a contributing station.

WPSU's Community Calendar

Find out what's happening in Central & Northern PA on WPSU's Community Calendar! Submit your group's event at least 2 weeks in advance, and you might hear it announced on WPSU-FM.

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Reasons To Stay

In case you missed WPSU's Regional Murrow Award-winning series, "Reasons to Stay," which explores what keeps people in central Pa, check it out at the link below.

Turn Your Old Car into Public Radio!

Got an old car? The Car Talk Vehicle Donation Program will take it off your hands & turn it into great public radio on WPSU-FM. To donate your car, visit the link below or call 1-866-789-8627. Thanks!

WPSU's Local Food Journey

Our Local Food Journey blog explores what it means to eat local in Central and Northern Pennsylvania.