Science Friday for Friday, November 22, 2013

Using Modern Ballistics to Crack 'Cold Case JFK'

If the JFK assassination happened today, would we have the tools to crack the case? Ballistics experts Luke and Mike Haag apply 3D laser and Doppler technology to the crime scene for new insights into the "single bullet theory" and the "grassy knoll."

How to Avoid 'Food Failures' This Thanksgiving

Remember last year's overcooked, dried-out turkey? Don't let it become a tradition. In this episode of "Food Failures," Jeff Potter, author of Cooking for Geeks: Real Science, Great Hacks, and Good Food, dishes up a few tips for Turkey Day--like cooking turkey breasts separately from the legs, or microwaving potatoes to free up real estate on the stove.

When Water Flows Uphill

In the Leidenfrost Effect, a water droplet will float on a layer of its own vapor if heated to a certain temperature. This common cooking phenomenon takes center stage in a series of playful experiments by physicists at England's University of Bath, who discovered new and fun means to manipulate the movement of water.

ISON: The Comet of the Century... or Is It?

When astronomers spotted Comet ISON in 2012, some christened it the "Comet of the Century." It initially failed to live up to the hype. But this month, ISON blazed brighter and sprouted several tails. Astronomers like Andrew Fraknoi are following the comet as it scrapes past the sun, where it could be destroyed--or emerge, even more spectacular than before.

A Handful of Nuts, a Lifetime of Benefits?

In a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine, researchers reported an association between daily nut consumption and a reduction in the risk of dying from cancer, heart disease, and other major chronic diseases. Lead author Charles Fuchs discusses these findings.

Stores Are Snooping Into Your Smartphone

Retailers have used various techniques to analyze in-store buying behavior, such as surveys, video surveillance, and buyer reward programs. Some stores have been tapping into the technology in smartphones to track shoppers' actions. New York Times reporter Quentin Hardy discusses how they're doing this and what information they can gather.

Budget Cuts Leave Curiosity and Cassini in Limbo

Upcoming NASA budget cuts may force the agency to choose between two of its flagship planetary missions--the Mars Curiosity rover and the Cassini mission to Saturn. Wired reporter Adam Mann discuss how much it takes to run these missions and what discoveries we could miss out on.
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