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Nelson Mandela, who died in 2013, would have been 100 years old on Wednesday. A new book is out to mark the occasion, The Prison Letters of Nelson Mandela.

These deeply personal letters, many to his wife, his children and his closest friends, have never previously been published.

How To Be A Savvy Consumer Of Science News

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The news overload we all feel can extend to the world of science. Our friend from the world of astrophysics, Adam Frank, has offered to provide some tools to help make us all savvier consumers of science news. Adam Frank, welcome back. It's good to talk to you.

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Rich Pedroncelli at AP

Journalists, researchers and political campaigns that receive voter data must tell California officials if it may have been stolen under a new law Gov. Jerry Brown announced he signed Monday. 

 

It requires people and organizations that have California voter registration data to report security breaches affecting the storage of that information, which can include names, birth dates and addresses. 

Andrew Bowen for Capital Public Radio

State Senator Kevin de León got a boost over the weekend in his underdog campaign to unseat California’s U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein: an endorsement from the state Democratic Party. But it might not bring as much help as his backers hope. 

De León used his connections from his four years leading the California Senate to trounce Feinstein, with 65 percent support from the party’s executive board.  

On 7/13 we visit Chico Theater Company to talk with director and actors from "I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change," a collection of musical theater sketches about contemporary life and love.  We also talk with a teacher from Yuba City High about a ceramic mural made by her students, a mural about the life-cycle of salmon, for display at the Feather River Fish Hatchery. 

Todd Hall

A wildfire burning in Upper Bidwell Park at the base of the Sierra foothills east of Chico has swelled to about 500 acres this morning with firefighters and other assets streaming into the area.

Rick Carhart is a spokesman for Calfire Butte County.

"I’ve seen one helicopter and two air tankers, and I heard an order for two more bucket helicopters, oh and there is the skycrane, I just see it coming in right now, the big, giant 2,000 gallon water dropping helicopter."

Summer travel season means it is time to hit the road. This one is very long if not winding as we learn about what it would be like to travel to planets beyond our solar system! Dave visits with Eric Mamajek, Deputy Project Scientist for NASA's Exoplanet Exploration Program. Dr. Mamajek gives an overview of the history of detecting planets beyond our solar system as well as the many different kinds of worlds that we have discovered in the past few decades. Then we visit with Arielle Samuelson. Arielle is a web manager who has helped pool the resources of scientists and artists to create the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Exoplanet Travel Bureau. You can see what it would be like to travel to an alien landscape with virtual reality simulations and whimsical travel posters promoting destinations light years away from our solar system. FInally, Sheryl Hosler, aka The Roving Naturalist, joins us for her report on strange lifeforms on our own planet that emit their own light in a story about bioluminescence.

Photo used courtesy of Beth Chatto Gardens

In May of this year, the gardening world – specifically the ecologically based gardening world – lost one of it’s great leaders, Beth Chatto. This August her gardens and educational trust are hosting a symposium to honor her life and her work. On Cultivating Place this week we hear more about the woman and her legacy – join us!

For photos visit cultivatingplace.com. The show is available as a podcast on SoundCloudiTunesGoogle Play and Stitcher

Palo Cedo author Steven Callan learned a love of nature from his game warden father, and Steve himself had a 30-year career as a wildlife protection officer for the California Department of Fish and Game conducting investigations that thwarted outlaws and saved wildlife. This week join Nancy for a conversation with the author of The Game Warden's Son.

Today our guest is Nashville songwriter, Nicki Bluhm. Originally based out of San Francisco, Bluhm is perhaps best known from her band Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers, which she led alongside her former husband Tim Bluhm. After the couple split in 2015, Nicki moved to Nashville for a change of pace and to process her thoughts the best way she knows how, through her songwriting. We talk with Bluhm about her latest album, To Rise You Gotta Fall.

We visit two viual-art venues in Chico. We explore the current exhibition of finely observed views of a garden and flowers painted by watercolorist Candy Matthews.. We also talk with the proprietors of the James Snidle Gallery which is closing at the end of this year. We'll hear about exhibits planned for the final six months -- artshows that include a showcase of paintings by the late revered artist Ann Pierce.

Our nation's fleet of weather satellites are one of our greatest orbital assets. They provide the data that is fed into sophisticated computer models which are then used by forecasters to give us accurate 5 to 7 day outlooks on the weather. In November, the Joint Polar Satellite System or JPSS-1 was launched with amazing instrumental capabilities. In the image above, you can see the smoke plumes from the devastating Thomas Fire, the largest wildfire in California history. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Weather Service operate the nation's weather satellites and provide their products for local forecasters, firefighters and disaster planners as well as commerce and industry. In this episode, Dave talks to Mitch Goldberg, the Program Scientist for the JPSS and an expert on all types of weather satellites. In the second half of the show, a three way discussion ensues with Joe Pica, the Director of Observations for the NWS and Rob Elvington, a television meteorologist with a deep level of understanding of how to use satellite data and imagery for his daily forecasts.

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Fire Updates

Find updates on fires burning throughout the North State.

With our new series Since You Asked, we're turning to YOU. What have you always wondered about the North State? What questions do you have about this place we call home?

Blue Dot, named after Carl Sagan's famous speech about our place in the universe, features interviews with guests from all over the regional, national and worldwide scientific communities.

On Cultivating Place, we speak with people passionate about plants, gardens, and natural history. We explore what gardens mean to us and how they speak to us.

Each week host Nancy Wiegman talks to local, regional and national writers about their latest projects.

There’s still time to head up the road for a late-summer adventure. Plan a trip with help from this new map of California destinations featured by Kim Weir on her show Up the Road on NSPR.

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