Victor Hess first discovered cosmic rays using a Geiger counter and a hot air balloon in 1911. Today physicists are using hundreds of giant water tanks scattered across the Argentine pampas to try to figure out where the mysterious particles come from, I learned in an interview for this week’s Nature’s podcast. Here’s the podcast [mp3], or see a transcript [html].
I also wrote a news story this week about an experiment in which writing short essays about their personal values helped low-performing African-Americans to improve their performance and attitudes towards school for the next two years. And I blogged about claims that genetically-modified crops do not actually improve yields, the first images taken by the planet-hunting space telescope Kepler, and new satellite imagery of the effects of the L’Aquila earthquake in Italy earlier this month.