Originally published on Thu September 5, 2013 1:25 pm
From gross to gourmet. That pretty much sums up civet poop coffee.
The beans are literally harvested from the feces of the tree-dwelling civet cat in Indonesia. The idea is that a trip through the animal's digestive tract partially ferments the beans and imparts a much-sought-after flavor to the coffee.
Allegations that U.S. agents spied on Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto when he was a candidate during last year's campaign have led Mexico to summon U.S. Ambassador Anthony Wayne and demanded "a thorough investigation."
Originally published on Wed September 4, 2013 10:40 am
The United Nations' Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says if his inspectors find that chemical weapons were used in Syria, it would represent a "serious violation of international law and an outrageous war crime."
"Our common humanity compels us to ensure that chemical weapons do not become a tool of war or terror in the 21st century," Ban said before departing for a G-20 meeting in Russia. "Any perpetrators must be brought to justice. There should be no impunity."
Would there be a troll under the new Bay Bridge that links San Francisco and Oakland?
That seemingly silly question was being taken pretty seriously by some in California until Monday evening, when the official Twitter page of the San Francisco-Bay Bridge put out the word that, yes, there will be a little fellow under the new span. He'll be there to "protect" travelers.
Originally published on Tue September 3, 2013 6:24 pm
Two alligators, each weighing more than 720 pounds, were caught in Mississippi this past weekend, setting a new state record for heaviest male alligator. Both animals measured more than 13 feet in length; it took hours to get the trophies into the hunters' boats.
The huge reptiles were brought down on the same day, setting a state record that stood for less than two hours before it was broken again.
It didn't take long for people to figure out that Facebook could be a great place to connect with other people dealing with the same health problems. But public health officials have moved cautiously, lest their efforts backfire. Do you really want to "like" STDs?
But there is now evidence the social media approach can help, even when the health condition is sensitive. Facebook can play a role in persuading people at high risk of HIV/AIDS to use a home HIV test kit, a study finds.
Originally published on Tue September 3, 2013 2:30 pm
President Obama's call for Congress to give him the go-ahead to strike targets in Syria has put House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., on the same side of an important issue for one of the few times in recent years.
Calling Syrian President Bashar Assad's alleged use of chemical weapons "a barbarous act," Boehner emerged from a meeting at the White House to say he supports Obama's request.
Originally published on Tue September 3, 2013 12:51 pm
The Space Fence is down. That's the message we get from the SatWatch site, following up on our report last month that the U.S. Air Force was poised to shut down the radar system that tracks thousands of objects orbiting Earth. It had been in operation since 1961.
Originally published on Tue September 3, 2013 4:03 pm
Today I'll walk into a classroom of advanced undergraduate physics students and begin teaching them about the stars. It will take 13 weeks, beginning with the basic principles of astrophysics and ending with the structure of the Milky Way. I will chart that path, as I do every year, by kickin' it old school with chalk on a blackboard. And today, as I do every year, I'll wonder if I'm doing the right thing.
In a world of PowerPoint, YouTube, automated homework and massive open online courses, what the hell am I doing with a stick of chalk in my hand?
If the volume of reader email is any indication, people are finally thinking hard about how the health care overhaul will affect them.
Online health insurance marketplaces will open in less than a month. Some people who get insurance through employers want to know if it's OK to buy a plan on an exchange instead. The answer is yes, but the purchasers may not qualify for subsidies.
Originally published on Tue September 3, 2013 11:25 am
The White House is working with congressional leaders to shape a resolution that authorizes the type of military action that would send a "clear message" to President Bashar Assad and cripple the Syrian leader's "capability to use chemical weapons not just now but in the future," President Obama said Tuesday.
Sitting with leaders from both major parties, the president also said he is confident lawmakers are "going to be able to come up with something that hits that mark."
By "taking out Bashar Assad's delivery capabilities of chemical weapons" the U.S. can make it much harder for the Syrian leader to wage war against his people and perhaps level the fighting field or turn it in favor of Assad's opponents, Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona said Tuesday on Morning Edition.