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Joe's Big Idea
2:38 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

Coronal Holes: The (Rarely Round) Gaps In The Sun's Atmosphere

NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured this picture of the sun on June 18. The dark blue area in the upper left quadrant of the sun is a huge coronal hole more than 400,000 miles across. Coronal holes are areas of the sun's outermost atmospheric layer — the corona — where the magnetic field opens up and solar material quickly flows out.
NASA/SDO

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 4:21 pm

There's a hole in the sun's corona. But don't worry — that happens from time to time.

"A coronal hole is just a big, dark blotch that we see on the sun in our images," says Dean Pesnell, project scientist for NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory. "We can only see them from space, because when we look at them [through] a regular telescope, they don't appear."

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World Cafe
2:08 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

James Cotton On World Cafe

James Cotton
Christopher Durst Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 1:30 pm

Harmonica master James Cotton is a giant of the blues. Born in 1935 on a cotton plantation in Tunica, Miss., he learned the instrument from Sonny Boy Williamson, who had a radio program right across the river in West Helena, Ark. After listening to the show and imitating him on a harmonica, Cotton met Williamson, who took him under his wing.

At 15, Cotton met and played with Howlin' Wolf, who took him to record at Sun Studios in Memphis. Later, while on tour, Muddy Waters asked Cotton to replace Junior Wells in his band; Cotton stayed on the road with Waters for a dozen years.

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Shots - Health News
1:53 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

How A Change In Gut Microbes Can Affect Weight

Dreaming of slimming gut microbes?
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri September 6, 2013 12:56 pm

The evidence just keeps mounting that the microbes in our digestive systems are a factor in the obesity epidemic.

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The Two-Way
1:33 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

The Incredible Case Of The Bank Robber Who's Now A Law Clerk

After serving almost 11 years in federal prison for bank robbery, Shon Hopwood is a law student at the University of Washington. He's landed a prestigious law clerk's position with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.
Sang Cho Courtesy of The Daily of the University of Washington

Originally published on Sat October 26, 2013 1:03 pm

"I had no prior history with the law other than breaking it."

"I thought, 'this kid is a punk.' "

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The Two-Way
1:29 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

California Inmates Suspend Two-Month-Long Hunger Strike

Inmates at California's Chino State Prison in December 2010.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

After more than two months, 100 California inmates have suspended a hunger strike they launched to protest prison conditions, including the use of solitary confinement by the state.

In a statement, some of the prisoners said they had "collectively" decided to end the strike, despite the fact that most of their demands have not been met.

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