I was on a judging panel for the Orpheum’s annual “Celebrity and Chef Cook-off” a few days ago. I have graduated from contestant to judge in the last few years, and I have to say that judging is no less stressful, but it is less sweaty, and I smell better when it’s all over. As a general rule, I dislike cooking competitions, particularly the ones on TV, but the live ones are exciting, with ingredients flying around, and the smell and sizzle and quiet cursing just adding to the party.
In some countries of Africa, there's a land rush under way as investors claim farmland, establish mega-farms and try to cash in on high prices for food and biofuels. These deals are controversial. Critics accuse investors of dispossessing subsistence farmers.
A moray eel, a flock of geese and a shrunken head are just a few of the things found in and around Her Deepness' office. Earle, an explorer-in-residence at the National Geographic, has desks all over the country. A few months ago we stopped by her Oakland home-base for the next installment in our Desktop Diaries series.
Reporting in Science, researchers write that a red disk painted in Spain's El Castillo cave is at least 40,800 years old--making it the oldest known European cave art. Archaeologist Alistair Pike discusses how his team dated the disk, and whether Neanderthals could have painted it.
This is SCIENCE FRIDAY; I'm Ira Flatow. Imagine a cargo plane dropping you off in a remote corner of the African jungle. The area you've just entered is under quarantine for a mysterious plague. Nobody knows how many people it has killed, but all who have fallen sick die within eight days, first high fever, headache, hallucinations, then usually bleeding to death.