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Joe's Big Idea
2:01 am
Wed July 17, 2013

All Charged Up: Engineers Create A Battery Made Of Wood

Wood fibers are coated with carbon nanotubes and then packed into small disks of metal. The sodium ions moving around in the wood fibers create an electric current.
Heather Rousseau NPR

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 4:08 am

The big idea behind Joe's Big Idea is to report on interesting inventions and inventors. When I saw the headline "An Environmentally Friendly Battery Made From Wood," on a press release recently, I figured it fit the bill, so went to investigate.

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The Salt
2:00 am
Wed July 17, 2013

In Oregon, The GMO Wheat Mystery Deepens

Wheat grows in a test field at Oregon State University in Corvallis. Some scientists believe that there's a chance that genetically modified wheat found in one farmer's field in May is still in the seed supply.
Natalie Behring Bloomberg via Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 3:34 pm

The strange case of genetically engineered wheat on a farm in Oregon remains as mysterious as ever. If anything, it's grown more baffling.

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Parallels
1:59 am
Wed July 17, 2013

In Kenya, Using Tech To Put An 'Invisible' Slum On The Map

The Mathare Valley, shown here in an aerial map, is one of the largest and oldest slums in Nairobi, Kenya. Residents are using hand-held GPS devices to map the area, which comprises 13 villages and is home to nearly 200,000 people.
Courtesy of Muungano Support Trust and Jason Corburn, UC Berkeley

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 7:56 pm

If you were to do a search for the Nairobi city slum of Mathare on Google Maps, you'd find little more than gray spaces between unmarked roads.

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Around the Nation
1:58 am
Wed July 17, 2013

Europeans Traverse U.S. On Famous Lincoln Highway

Erik and Mary-Ann Gjermundsen of Norway are making the nearly 3,400-mile trip across the U.S. in their small Messerschmitt.
Jenna Dooley NPR

Originally published on Mon November 4, 2013 9:54 am

This year marks the centennial of America's first transcontinental road: the Lincoln Highway. You might have driven on the highway and not even known it, since it stretches from New York to California, passing through states like Iowa, Nebraska and Colorado, and carrying different state route numbers along the way.

Erik Gjermundsen of Fredrikstad Norway is checking off another item from his bucket list.

"I've been in the U.S. many times and I have always wanted to drive coast-to-coast," Gjermundsen says. "You have to do something in the summer and this was different."

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Fine Art
1:54 am
Wed July 17, 2013

Naked Or Nude? Wesselmann's Models Are A Little Bit Of Both

Nearly 100 years after Edouard Manet painted his scandalous 1863 Olympia, Tom Wesselmann created The Great American Nude #26.
Estate of Tom Wesselmann/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 4:08 am

Sixties pop artist Tom Wesselmann liked women, and saluted them on his canvases — or, sometimes, just parts of them: perfect glossy red mouths with lips parted to reveal pink tongues; nipples, even on the oranges he paints. These are just a few of the images that might make you blush in a Wesselmann retrospective now on view at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond.

"I don't think you could ask for a more literal interpretation of the objectification of parts of the female body," says curator Sarah Eckhardt.

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