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I'm standing on a beach and I see, a few hundred yards out, a mound of water heading right at me. It's not a wave, not yet, but a swollen patch of ocean, like the top of a moving beach ball, what sailors call a "swell." As it gets closer, its bottom hits the rising shore below, forcing the water up, then over, sending it tumbling onto the beach, a tongue of foam coming right up to my toes — and that's when I look down, as the wave melts into the sand and I say,

"Hi, I'm from New York. But what about you? Where are you from?"

For a few weeks this spring, the Colorado River flowed all the way to the sea for the first time in a half a century. And during that window of opportunity, writer Rowan Jacobsen took the paddleboarding trip of a lifetime.

The river starts in the Rocky Mountains, and for more than 1,400 miles, it wends its way south. Along the way it's dammed and diverted dozens of times, to cities and fields all over the American West. Tens of millions of people depend on the river as a water source.

There may never be an end to arguments over whether organic food is more nutritious. But a new study is the most ambitious attempt so far to resolve the issue — and it concludes that organic fruit and vegetables offer a key benefit.

It's the biggest aggregation of anchovies seen in near-shore waters in three decades, according to scientists at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego.

Don't have a green thumb but seeking the therapeutic nature of gardening? Want the convenience and satisfaction of growing your own produce at home? Not to worry: All you need is an electrical outlet, a flat surface and some water.

Meet SproutsIO Inc., a "plug-and-play" user-friendly microfarming appliance for people to easily grow fresh fruits and veggies inside their home or office.

Here's how it works:

Every year, more than half of the honeybee hives in the United States are taken to California to pollinate the state's almond crop.

Biologist Laurence Packer says this illustrates both our dependence on honeybees to pollinate many plants people rely on for food and the devastating decline in the domestic honeybee population in recent years.

According to new research, plants can actually hear the sounds of insects chewing. A University of Missouri study is the first work to report that plants can recognize the sound of a predator through the vibrations of their leaves. To learn more, Robert Siegel speaks with Heidi Appel, senior research scientist in the Bond Life Sciences Center at the University of Missouri.

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

You're listening to WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. A study published in the journal "Nature Climate Change" says, the population of Emperor penguins in Antarctica is in danger. Hal Caswell is a scientist emeritus at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. He co-authored the report. And he joins us from Amsterdam. Welcome.

HAL CASWELL: Thank you.

WERTHEIMER: You've been studying the Emperor penguin population in Antarctica. What's happening to them?

"I'm sitting next to a swimming pool and somebody dives in," says the great physicist Richard Feynman in a conversation recorded in 1983. Other people jump in as well.

It's 9 a.m. and the Mekong River at this hour is still peaceful: just a few fishermen casting nets into a large pool below the area called Si Phan Don, or "4,000 islands."

It's a popular tourist destination in Laos, where Southeast Asia's most storied river splits into nearly a dozen channels before coming together again below the islands of Si Phan Don, for the journey to Cambodia, Vietnam and the South China Sea. Cambodia is on my left, Laos to the right.

Suddenly, my guide points and says, "There!"

StateImpact Oklahoma's Joe Wertz reports on a new study that links a "swarm" of earthquakes to four specific, high-volume oil and gas industry disposal wells. It's one of several reports that show oil and gas activity could be causing a rise in earthquake activity.

In southwest Florida, county officials are fighting the state over a new oil drilling process that's known by many different names: acidification, acidizing, acid stimulation and acid fracking.

Collier County has charged that state regulators have been lax in their oversight of the drilling, jeopardizing public health and the environment.

Fabien Cousteau and a crew of scientists and explorers have spent the past 31 days underwater in the Aquarius Reef Base off the coast of Florida. David Greene talks to Cousteau about the experience.

NASA is preparing to launch a new satellite to observe carbon dioxide from space. The satellite could revolutionize our understanding of where this greenhouse gas comes from and where it goes.

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