Adam Cole

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If you want to see a wild island fox, you have to visit the remote Channel Islands off the coast of Southern California. This special species doesn't live anywhere else.

When a relationship ends but love remains, it can be both frustrating and embarrassing.

Dessa, a well-known rapper, singer and writer from Minneapolis, knows the feeling well. She'd spent years trying to get over an ex-boyfriend, but she was still stuck on him.

"You're not only suffering," she says, "you're just sort of ridiculous. Discipline and dedication are my strong suits — it really bothered me that, no matter how much effort I tried to expend in trying to solve this problem, I was stuck."

Once, the sky was full of stories. Ancient cultures filled the heavens with heroes and monsters, and spent nights telling epics and memorizing patterns in the stars.

Your body needs oxygen to function — and that was true even before you were born. As you grew inside your mother's womb, even before you had working lungs, your cells were crying out for oxygen. And your mother kindly answered that call. Oxygen and nutrients from her blood made their way down your umbilical cord, through your belly button, and fueled your body.

Love is complicated, scientifically speaking. There's no single, specific "love chemical" that surges through our bodies when we see our beloved, and we can't point to a specific corner of the brain where love resides.

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Tuesday is an anniversary worth noting: On Jan. 30, 1868, Charles Darwin published a follow-up to his masterpiece On The Origin Of Species.

In July of 1878, Vassar professor Maria Mitchell led a team of astronomers to the new state of Colorado to observe a total solar eclipse. In a field outside of Denver, they watched as the sun went dark and a feathery fan of bright tendrils — the solar corona — faded into view.

NPR's YouTube channel, Skunk Bear, answers your science questions. This week, we picked one in honor of David Bowie.

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This winter brings the latest instal

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Grant Ernhart works with the U.S.

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The Amorphophallus titanum is a striking plant even before you get close enough to smell it.

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The latest episode of the podcast Invisibilia explores the idea that pe

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At the end of 2013, snowy owls started showing up far south of their usual winter range.

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Finding success in science requires smarts, determination — and sometimes a bit of luck.

Author Isaac Asimov once wrote, "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but, 'That's funny ... ' "

Good scientists search for the significance of surprises, coincidences and mistakes. With a little curiosity and perseverance, they can turn unexpected incidents into new insights.

The history of science is full of happy accidents — most folks have heard that penicillin was discovered in 1928, when a few mold spores landed on some neglected petri dishes in a London lab. But sometimes serendipity's role is a bit less ... mainstream.

Hennig Brand was a German alchemist in the 1660s. I'm not saying he was a gold digger — but he did marry first one rich lady, and then, after her death, a second rich lady. And he used their money to literally try to make gold.

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Editor's note: It's National Popcorn Day!

The armed militants occupying Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Eastern Oregon come from as far away as Texas and Montana. But they are hardly the refuge's first out-of-state visitors.

On Monday, NASA started accepting applications for its new class of astronauts. Applying is simple: Just log in to USAjobs.gov, search for "astronaut," and upload your resume and references. The job description says "Frequent travel may be required."

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Watch a scary movie and your skin crawls. Goose bumps have become so associated with fear that the word is synonymous with thrills and chills.

When it comes to feats of speed and strength, Homo sapiens is a pretty pitiful species. The list of animals that can outsprint us is embarrassing. There's the cheetah, of course, but also horses, ostriches, greyhounds, grizzly bears, kangaroos, wild boars, even some house cats.

Usain Bolt, the fastest man alive, ran 100 meters in 9.58 seconds. A cheetah has done it in 5.95.

The Nobel Prize in medicine was awarded Monday to three scientists for their work on parasitic diseases.

William C. Campbell and Satoshi Omura were recognized for discovering a compound that effectively kills roundworm parasites. A Chinese scientist, Dr. Youyou Tu, won for her work in isolating a powerful drug in the 1970s to fight malaria.

Hundreds of you sent in questions for Skunk Bear's live conversation with three astronauts and NASA's chief scientist on Tuesday. Thanks! The most common question was: "What happens when you get your period in space?"

I didn't end up asking them this question because:

a) The question itself has a lot of historical baggage;
b) The answer is pretty boring.

But since people were genuinely curious, I decided to answer it here.

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In the history of life on Earth, evolutionary forces have pushed some species to become incredibly large.

Make Lava, Not War

Jun 25, 2015

Artist Bob Wysocki and geologist Jeff Karson, both of Syracuse University in upstate New York, have their own personal volcano. It's an old furnace that used to melt bronze for statues. Now, it melts hundreds of pounds of basaltic gravel at a time, mimicking the process inside the earth's crust that creates lava.

The Man v. Horse Marathon starts out like a typical cross-country race. Hundreds of runners stream past the starting line, through the town of Llanwrtyd Wells and then up into the Welsh hills.

But 15 minutes later, a second set of competitors takes off. Fifty horses and their riders chase the runners up and down ridges, across streams, and past hundreds of bewildered sheep.

NPR has this tribute to the Hubble Space Telescope — a parody of Iggy Azalea's "Trouble."

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

It's March, and that means college basketball fans are gearing up for the NCAA tournament. But there's another tournament taking place this month — and animals aren't the mascots, they're the competitors.

"Mammal March Madness" is organized by a team of evolutionary biologists. They choose 65 animal competitors and then imagine the outcome of a series of simulated interspecies battles. Who would win if a kangaroo took on a warthog? Or if an orca fought a polar bear?

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