Health, Science, Environment

3:04pm

Tue March 13, 2012
Health, Science, Environment

Non-native species colonize San Francisco Bay

Julia Scott

Take a trip to the bottom of San Francisco Bay, and you’d find a lot of critters that aren’t supposed to be here at all. Hundreds of tiny, exotic organisms now live there, too.

“It’s unfortunately on the rarer side to find those things that should be here,” says Chris Brown, a biologist with the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, based in Marin. His lab works to locate and identify foreign marine life. Brown says the Bay is like an underwater zoo, with species from all over the world.

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2:48pm

Tue March 13, 2012
Arts & Culture

Listeners respond to "Science versus the sacred"

Last month on the show, we aired a story about the controversy over how UC Berkeley is a center for unearthing and studying the remains of native Californians. UC Berkeley In it, Professor Tim White says of the study of native remains:

“It is a holistic study, just like a crime scene investigation, but these are very cold cases with very ancient evidence."

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5:58pm

Mon March 12, 2012
Health, Science, Environment

San Bruno settles lawsuit with PG&E

Damage from the San Bruno PG&E pipeline explosion.
Thomas Hawk, Flickr

PG&E announced it will pay the city of San Bruno $70 million in restitution from pipeline explosion of September 2010, which killed eight people and destroyed dozens of homes. Jim Ruane is the mayor of San Bruno, which has a population of about 40,000 people. KALW's Holly Kernan spoke with Ruane about what the settlement means for the city. 

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5:22pm

Mon March 12, 2012
Health, Science, Environment

Historically smart land design

California's outer coast once boasted 27 miles of Bay Area beaches. Up until the 20th Century, these beaches provided a natural buffer for the inner land areas; then came freeways, airports and downtowns. KALW's Ben Trefny spoke with Robin M. Grossinger, Senior Scientist and Historical Ecology Program Director at the San Francisco Estuary Institute about California beaches, landscape heritage and how some of these areas have rebuilt themselves.

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4:52pm

Mon March 12, 2012
Arts & Culture

At the Exploratorium, there's no such thing as too much Pi

Pi Day founder Larry Shaw.
Casey Miner

The basic definition of the number pi is that it’s doesn’t have an exact value – it’s an infinite calculation. But it is possible to know the exact number of people required to sing a fully orchestrated song about it – sixteen.

I visited San Francisco’s Exploratorium a few days before this year’s Pi Day celebration, to watch a rehearsal of the 16-person band in question. They’re called Buffon’s Needle, a reference to an 18th Century French mathematician who approximated the value of pi by throwing pine needles on the ground.

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