According to HRL Laboratories that is an "ultralight metallic microlattice" sitting atop a dandelion. The material was developed by scientists at HRL, The California Institute of Technology and the University of California, Irvine.
The material is 99.99 percent air and 100 times lighter than styrofoam.
There's no Peggy Sue — or even a Margaret or a Susan, for that matter — in the British folk-rock band Peggy Sue. There is, however, a hard-driving group that has just released its second album, Acrobats. Peggy Sue is the trio of singers and guitarists Rosa Slade and Katy Young, and drummer Olly Joyce.
At an Aravind hospital in Madurai, a city on India's southern tip, the waiting room is packed. A clinical assistant calls out the names of patients, and they're escorted to examination rooms. This hospital alone screens around 2,000 patients a day — and tour guide Shawas Philip says this day is busier than usual.
"We might break that record today — of the number of patients that are seen on a particular day. That's exciting," he says.
One Friday night at The Waiting Room in Omaha, Neb., more than 150 people are milling around waiting for A.A. Bondy to take the stage. His new album, Believers, came out two months ago and caught fans like Andre Steinbergs by surprise.
The self-help guru responsible for three deaths at a 2009 sweat lodge ceremony in the Arizona desert was sentenced to two years in prison, today.
At his sentencing James Arthur Ray begged for forgiveness. The AP reports:
"Ray said during his sentencing hearing that he would have stopped the ceremony near Sedona had he known people were dying or in distress. He turned to the more than a dozen family members seated in the courtroom, tearfully taking full responsibility for the pain and anguish he caused them.
Republican Newt Gingrich's presidential stock is rising in the polls. And his newfound popularity is also bringing new scrutiny to what he's been up to since he stepped down as Speaker of the House in 1998.
Joe Paterno's son said his father has lung cancer, but that it was treatable.
The AP reports:
Scott Paterno says in a statement provided to The Associated Press by a family representative that the 84-year-old Joe Paterno is undergoing treatment and that "his doctors are optimistic he will make a full recovery."
The government of Myanmar bars or severely restricts reporting by foreign correspondents. NPR is withholding the name of the veteran journalist who recently entered the country and filed this story, in order to protect his identity and his ability to return in the future.
The newest — and nicest — road in Myanmar is, paradoxically, one of the emptiest as well: Only a handful of cars travel along the desolate four-lane highway to nowhere, or so it seems.
Saying it is deeply troubled by "tragic events" alleged to have happened at Penn State, the NCAA has told the school it is launching an examination of whether the university has "institutional control over its intercollegiate athletics program, as well as the actions, and inactions, of relevant ... personnel."
Originally published on Mon November 21, 2011 1:41 pm
It's hard to miss the irony: Leon Panetta, as President Clinton's budget guru, backed billions of dollars in Pentagon cuts. Now, as secretary of defense, he's warning that the U.S. could become a "paper tiger" if his department's budget is further reduced.
President Obama says his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will visit Myanmar next month, the first such visit in half a century. Relations between the U.S. and Myanmar have been strained during years of rule by a secretive military junta, but its new president has started a process of reform that the U.S. wants to encourage. Michele Kelemen
The Los Angeles County Sheriff is reopening the investigation into the death of Hollywood legend Natalie Wood. She died in 1981 while on a yacht anchored off Catalina Island with her husband Robert Wagner and actor Christopher Walken. At the time, her death was ruled an accidental drowning. Karen Grigsby Bates
Imagine flying from L.A. to New York in about 30 minutes. That's roughly eight times the speed of sound. And yesterday, the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command managed to launch a missile that flew at that speed. The test missile was sent from Hawaii to hit a site on the Kwajalein Atoll in the South Pacific about 2,400 miles away, and within a half hour, the missile struck its target. And the military is hoping to speed it up even more.
The Roman Catholic Church is about to buy a beacon of Protestant televangelism.
The Crystal Cathedral, a temple of glass in Garden Grove, Calif., will be sold to the Catholic Church for $57 million — a decision that left some congregants furious and their future up in the air.
When the Crystal Cathedral declared bankruptcy last year, it soon became clear that the legendary building would have to be sold. There were several offers, but in the end, the church's board favored the Catholic diocese in Orange County.
Originally published on Fri November 18, 2011 4:55 pm
Brace yourself for more extreme weather. A group of more than 200 scientists convened by the United Nations says in a new report that climate change will bring more heat waves, more intense rainfall and more expensive natural disasters.
These conclusions are from the latest effort of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — a consensus statement from researchers around the world.
Originally published on Fri November 18, 2011 2:17 pm
The Columbia University Lions are 0-9 this season. So after the team's ninth loss of the season against Cornell, the marching band decided to poke a little fun. The Columbia Spectator explains:
"'Every time every game ends, we play 'Roar," said José Delgado, CC '12 and the band's manager. 'There's music, there's a part in between when we sing lyrics, and there's music again—that's where it happened.'
Originally published on Fri November 18, 2011 5:49 pm
Not all the people who have been protesting in New York's Zuccotti Park are trying to Occupy Wall Street. Some are trying to Occupy Big Food, and are ready to march. That includes boycotting that Thanksgiving icon, the Butterball turkey.
Citing "capital scarcity" the Geron Corporation said it will abandon its research into using human embryonic stem cells to treat spinal cord injuries. Stem cell expert Leonard Zon discusses the announcement and what it means for the future of embryonic stem cell research.
For years, a theory has held that Earth's large moon played a critical role in stabilizing the planet's tilt, damping down differences between the seasons. Now, astronomer Jason Barnes says that life on our planet would endure even without a moon, a finding that might increase the number of potentially habitable planets in our galaxy.
Seven solar companies have filed a trade complaint with the federal government, accusing China of dumping artificially cheap solar panels on the US market. But solar installers welcome the low prices. Ira Flatow and guests discuss what's best for the domestic solar industry--and US jobs--in the long run.
Toilets, as most of us know them, haven't changed much since the 1800s--they use a lot of water, and require an infrastructure that many communities can't afford. Ira Flatow and guests look at the problem of access to sanitation, and how engineers are making toilets better.
Reporting in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers write that complete strangers are capable of spotting individuals with a genetic predisposition to empathy and sociable behavior. Author Sarina Saturn discusses the study, and how sociability has evolved across cultures.
With the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade less than a week away, it's crunch time for the balloon technicians. Science Friday goes behind the scenes at Macy's design studio to find out about the final preparations for the parade.