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'A screaming comes across the sky'
February 17th, 2013
06:00 AM ET

'A screaming comes across the sky'

By Chip Grabow, CNN

(CNN) - When I saw the images of the meteorite that screamed across the sky this week over Russia's Ural Mountains, it immediately brought to mind that opening sentence in Thomas Pynchon's classic, Gravity's Rainbow.

This week's passing asteroids and crashing meteorites inspire a review of audio stories having to do with outer space.

Have you ever wondered what astronauts in space hear all day while orbiting earth? Wonder no more. We have this recording of an average day on the International Space Station recorded by ISS Commander Chris Hadfield:

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Filed under: Science • Soundwaves • Stories • Sunday #Playlist
February 15th, 2013
10:01 AM ET

Asteroid kind of headed toward Earth

By Jonathan Binder, CNN

Follow on Twitter: @jbinder

Editor's Note: Listen to the full story in our player above, and join the conversation in our comments section below.

It's no Armageddon, but the planet will have a close encounter with an asteroid on Friday. Luckily it will miss the earth by about 17,200 miles. Still, that's considered close by many astronomers.

But how concerning is this event and what would happen if the unthinkable should occur? Dr. Bruce Betts of the Planetary Society, the world's largest space interest group, says this could be more common than most might think:

[3:15] "2012 DA14 [the Asteroid] is a close reminder that we do live in this cosmic shooting gallery."

According to NASA, 9,672 objects have been classified as Near Earth Objects. But Bill Nye the Science Guy says there are more out there. Nye is the CEO of the Planetary Society which provides grants to astronomers around the world to help find these asteroids:

[1:01] "We've been doing it over 15 years. The thing about this is that it takes a long time, it takes very diligent people to find these things. They're very small compared to, say, the earth. And they're like pieces of charcoal – they don't reflect very much light."

Although the timing of the asteroid fly by and the meteoric explosion that happened in Russia Friday morning is eerie, NASA says the two events are unrelated.

Subscribe to this podcast on iTunes or Stitcher. And listen to CNN Soundwaves on our SoundCloud page.

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Filed under: Science • Soundwaves • Stories • Technology
Hunt a snake that can eat a deer?
January 23rd, 2013
06:00 PM ET

Would you hunt a snake that can eat a deer?

By Tommy Andres, CNN

Editor's Note: Listen to the full story in our player above, and join the conversation in our comments section below.

(CNN) –  Graham Rogers unsheathes a long, thick knife from his waist.

[4:30] “This is a very special knife because this has got an engraving of Daniel Boone on it, who’s the great Kentucky outdoorsman and the settler of Kentucky, so we really hope that’s going to buoy us to success today.”

Rogers is wearing a beige fishing shirt and green pants tucked into tall rubber boots. He sports a pencil thin mustache and round, tortoise shell sunglasses that make him look like Howard Hughes on safari. He and his friend Blake Freeman are about to start law school, but before they dive into the books, they’re diving into the bush. They have driven down to southern Florida from Kentucky to join the nearly 1,000 people who have signed up for the first annual Python Challenge.

FULL POST

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Filed under: Culture • Nature • Science • Soundwaves • Sports • Stories
'Don't be stupid': Human behavior in disasters
Downed trees and power lines along Dauphin Street in Mobile, Alabama after a Christmas Day tornado.
December 27th, 2012
09:42 AM ET

'Don't be stupid': Human behavior in disasters

By Libby Lewis, CNN

Editor's Note: Listen to the full story in our player above, and join the conversation in our comments section below.

(CNN) – When it comes to how people react in disaster situations, be it the recent tornadoes in the Southeast or the killer tornado that hit Joplin, Missouri in 2011, some people just don't listen.

It happened with Hurricane Katrina. It happened with Hurricane Sandy.

Thousands of people who were told to evacuate – DIDN’T.

So, what were they thinking?

FULL POST

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Filed under: Behavior • Science • Stories
CNN Profiles: Sandy's Nantucket Warrior
Folgers Marsh in Nantucket Harbor, October 28, 2012, helped protect nearby buildings from the surge caused by Hurricane Sandy.
November 2nd, 2012
09:30 AM ET

CNN Profiles: Sandy's Nantucket Warrior

By Michael Schulder, CNN

Follow on Twitter: @Schuldercnn

(CNN) - The next Sandy is coming. Not tomorrow. But sooner and more often than we’d hope, say the experts, at least in part because of climate change.

So the question for us as a nation now becomes, if we can’t stop future Sandys, can we better protect ourselves from them?

With that critical question we reached out to a woman of the sea: Nantucket oceanographer Sarah Oktay.

She was able to safely watch Sandy arrive from the University of Massachusetts Field Station in Nantucket which she runs, even though it’s just 50 feet from Nantucket Harbor.

What provided that safety was a barrier between the energy of Sandy and her building. The barrier was not concrete. It was nature-made, one that, like the martial art Tai Chi, absorbs the energy of an attack rather than blocks it.

And when you listen to Sarah Oktay on this CNN Profile, you’ll know how imperative it is to create more of these natural barriers along the U.S. coast if we are to become more resilient to the Sandys in our future.

Anyone living near the coast or planning to move to a coastal area must get familiar with what Nantucket oceanographer Sarah Oktay is about to teach us.

It could make the difference between absorbing the blows of a future Sandy with minimal pain, or getting knocked out.

Editor's Note: Listen to the complete interview in the player above.

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