Originally published on Sun August 5, 2012 11:41 am
NASA has sent rovers to explore Mars before. But three words explain what makes this latest mission to Mars so different: location, location, location.
The rover Curiosity is slated to land late Sunday in Gale Crater, near the base of a 3-mile-high mountain with layers like the Grand Canyon. Scientists think those rocks could harbor secrets about the history of water — and life — on the Red Planet.
For the past five years, bats have been disappearing at an alarming rate, falling prey to a mysterious disease called white-nose syndrome. But they're making an eerie comeback in a new audio exhibit at a national park in Vermont. The exhibit features manipulated recordings of bat calls that are funneled through glass vessels hanging from a studio ceiling.
Republican Mitt Romney campaigned this weekend in a state that has not seen much of either presidential candidate. Nobody considers Indiana a toss-up in the presidential race.
But the Senate contest there is a different story. It's a very close race, and the result could determine which party controls the Senate next year. So Romney showed up at a barbecue shack in Evansville to give the conservative Republican candidate a boost.
1Q84 by Haruki Murakami: "This epic, complex story begins when a woman named Aomame in 1984 Tokyo has a revelation that she has entered a universe parallel to our own. She calls it 'Q' for question, and in Japanese, Q rhymes with 9. I wanted to represent these two planes of existence with the book's jacket and its paper binding underneath."
"The jacket is made of a semi-transparent vellum and holds part of the woman's image within the lettering of the title. Underneath is the complimentary image on the binding, and together they 'complete the reality.' Even if you don't know anything about the book when you first see it, you are forced to consider the concept of one person 'stradling' two states of being."
The Learners by Chip Kidd: "Since the narrator is essentially me, the cover is a kind of self-portrait — only I'm a terrible draftsman. So I hired the cartoonist and illustrator Charles Burns to draw it, and Chris Ware did the lettering. This is really intended to be 'The Scream' as rendered by two of the best contemporary artists in America."
Life Upon These Shores by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.: "The author wanted an image 'out of time,' not specific to any one era, because the book spans centuries. I culled the conceptual emphasis from the word 'Looking' in the subtitle, and then augmented that with basic elements of the American flag."
American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis: "It always bothered me that the original cover of this book showed the main character's face so clearly straight-on. In fiction covers, I always want to give readers the chance to create what the characters look like in their minds as they read."
The Mind's Eye by Oliver Sacks: "This book by the renown neuro-scientist is about how eyesight works in the brain and how it doesn't. When the author goes to the optometrist for a checkup and the eye chart starts doing strange things, he knows there is a problem. It spurs him on to research the miraculous phenomena of how we see."
In the olden days, a reader might pick up a book because the cover was exciting, intriguing, maybe even beautiful. But in the brave new world of e-books and e-readers, the days when an artist named Chip Kidd could make us reach for a book may be gone.
On-air challenge: You are given two five-letter words. Put the same pair of letters in front of each of them to complete two familiar seven-letter words. The letters that go in front will never be a standard prefix, like "re-." For example, given "quire" and "tress," the answer would be "ac" to make "acquire" and "actress."
While President Obama and Gov. Romney battle for the hearts and minds of the middle class this election season, there's a huge swath of Americans that are largely ignored. It's the poor, and their ranks are growing.
According to a recent survey by The Associated Press, the number of Americans living at or below the poverty line will reach its highest point since President Johnson made his famous declaration of war on poverty in 1964.
Speedo created a new fabric to compress a swimmer's body three times as much as the old LZR Racer suits. Michael Phelps can get into his Fastskin3 swimsuit in a couple minutes, Speedo research manager Joseph Santry says, but for first-timers, it can take much longer.
Ninety-eight percent of medal winners that year wore the company's LZR Racer, a zip-sealed full-body suit that carried many top athletes — including Michael Phelps — to gold.
But after those games, the sport's international governing body changed the rules to outlaw the LZR by banning zippers and restricting mens' suit coverage from the navel to the knees. So Speedo went back to the drawing board and spent years developing what's now known as the Fastskin3 system.