Posts tagged ‘NPR’
Maryann Frazier has done research on the declining honeybee population in America for years—we actually wrote about her work in our May/June 2007 issue. Frazier ’80, ’83g, a senior extension associate in the College of Ag, is still trying to figure out why these tiny-but-vital members of our ecosystem are dying off. It’s been a difficult process, but recently, members of her research team have stumbled across something hopeful: bees that could be more productive pollinators than honeybees.
According to NPR, Dave Biddinger ’93g is studying Japanese orchard bees, a type of “osmia” bee, and he claims that one of these “all-star bees” can do the work of “roughly 80 honeybees.”
“The honeybee is a little bit lazy,” Biddinger says. “It will only maybe visit one or two flowers per minute. An osmia will do up to 15 flowers per minute … We’ve seen with osmia that they can carry up to 100 times more pollen than what a honeybee can.”
These aren’t the only bees making an impact on Penn State researchers: Grad student Carley Miller is giddy over squash bees she’s observed, calling them “Wall Street bees” because of how quickly they fly around from one place to the next. There’s still a long way to go before either of these little workers can replace honeybees, but they’ve got these Penn State scientists feeling optimistic.
Bill DiFilippo, online editor
Ali Krieger ’07, who shot the winning penalty kick for the U.S. Sunday in a Women’s World Cup quarterfinal against Brazil, got some extended limelight when she was on National Public Radio the next day. You can hear the interview by NPR’s Michele Norris here.
The U.S. women play France in the semifinals today—coverage begins at 11:30 a.m. Eastern on ESPN TV, and there’s also live streaming on ESPN3. I know what I’ll be doing over my lunch hour….
Tina Hay, editor
You might remember Andrew Bieniawski ’89 from our feature in our Jan/Feb 2009 issue, and from previous mentions on this very blog. If not: He’s the guy from the National Nuclear Security Administration who leads special-ops teams into far-away places (mostly the old Eastern bloc nations) to secure loose nuclear material. He was back in the news this week, when England’s Telegraph newspaper and NPR both featured the latest mission by Bieniawski and his team: trucking a load of bomb-grade uranium—enough to build eight nuclear devices—from Poland to Russia, where it will be reprocessed and made safe. The Telegraph reports that this is the project’s biggest shipment yet.
Like comic book superheroes, Bieniawski and his team can go home when it’s over knowing they really did make the world a safer place. I imagine that must feel pretty cool.
Ryan Jones, senior editor
I came late to Twitter, but I’ve come to rely on it and—dare I say?—enjoy it. Why? Because of days like Monday, when author Susan Orlean, whom I follow, alerted me to an NPR interview with Alan Furst ’67g, who has a new book, Spies of the Balkans, coming out today.
The original tweet came from a book critic at The New York Times, Dwight Garner, who wrote: “Alan Furst, charming as hell on Morning Edition. Made me want to pack a few of his novels for the weekend.” Orlean, who re-tweeted Garner’s post, agreed. I dug up the interview (which you can listen to here), and I, too, was charmed.
A couple of highlights from Furst, whom we profiled in our May/June 2008 issue:
—Agreeing with host Steve Inskeep that his favorite characters are the morally ambiguous ones: “Absolutely because those are the readers of the book; those are the people who are going to say, well, what would I do—and no kidding, what would I do? What would I really do? It’s always nice to think that you would be a hero. On the other hand, that might have something to do with what’s going to happen to your wife, what’s going to happen to your children, what’s going to happen to your parents. It’s not a clean business.”
—On why he continually returns to the early years of World War II and the period just before it: “You know, the human spirit was at its worst and at its best. Don’t ask me why. It just was. And this period, 1933 to 1942, I’ve begun to think of it as an enormous room with a thousand corners. There are so many stories and so many places, all of them so different. So it’s always up to me to find another great story.”
And this morning, I found this NPR review of the new book, which says Furst is “working at the top of his powers.”
Lori Shontz, senior editor
If you missed the story about Jean-Pierre “J.P.” Jamous ’07 Behrend that was featured on NPR earlier this week, here’s a great way to catch up: this profile in the Erie Times-News. Jamous’ story—he grew up in Lebanon, was blinded in that country’s civil war at age 14 and now runs his own computer company—is an inspiring one.
Lori Shontz, senior editor
Depending on when you read this—sometime after I’m posting it on Tuesday afternoon, or not until after you get your daily email reminder on Wednesday morning—you might have a chance to catch Penn State alumnus Jean-Pierre “J.P.” Jamous ’07 Behrend on NPR. Jamous grew up in Lebanon and, at age 14, was a casualty of the country’s civil war. Blinded in an explosion, he came to the U.S.—alone—to have surgery on his eyes. The damage couldn’t be undone, but Jamous—who spoke no English—stayed in the States and eventually attended and graduated from Penn State Erie. He’s now an entrepreneur running his own computer business.
Last summer, Mary Connerty, an English instructor at Erie, interviewed Jamous for NPR’s StoryCorps project. Their interview is set to run at 6:08 a.m. Wednesday morning, and again at 8:06 a.m., on NPR’s “Morning Edition.” If you missed it, you should be able to find it soon on the StoryCorps Web site.
Ryan Jones, senior editor