Science Friday for Friday, October 4, 2013

With Government Shut Down, Science Idles

As the budgetary stalemate in Washington continues, many federally funded science projects are now on hold. Matthew Hourihan of the American Association for the Advancement of Science describes some of the effects of the funding impasse on research programs, from the CDC to NASA.
Soil collected last year by the Mars rover Curiosity may contain two percent water, researchers report. Laurie Leshin of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute describes what else the rover is finding in the soil, and what that information might mean for future expeditions to Mars.

Cracking Open Encryption Standards

Recent revelations about the extent of NSA surveillance have put even the standards by which encryption systems are designed into question. Encryption experts Matthew Green, Phillip Zimmerman, and Martin Hellman discuss what makes a code secure and the limits of privacy in the modern age.
The global population is projected to reach 10 billion by 2050. In his new book, Countdown: Our Last, Best Hope for a Future on Earth?, author Alan Weisman asks how we got here, how many people the planet can support, and what we can do to stabilize growth. Weisman tells SciFri how cultural, scientific, and political communities across the globe are tackling these issues.

DIY Halloween Hacks

Trying to liven up your ghosts and goblins this Halloween? Windell Oskay, cofounder of Mad Evil Scientist, shares homemade hack ideas for a festive fright fest, from LED jack-o'-lanterns, to 3D printed candy, to spooky specimen jars.

Radio Rewind: Leon Lederman

Twenty years ago, physicist and Nobel Laureate Leon Lederman discussed the "malignancy" of the Standard Model of particle physics and how supercolliders could help refine the theory.
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