Ryan Kellman | Connecticut Public Radio
WNPR

Ryan Kellman

Fifty years ago, two astronauts became the first humans to set foot on the moon. Like many explorers, they documented their accomplishment in photographs. The images they took are some of the most enduring of the 20th century, traveling from Life magazine to MTV to Twitter.

For most of us, the photos brought back by Apollo 11 are iconic and a little difficult to comprehend. But for astronauts, they represent something more: hours of training, risks taken and the many people on the ground who worked to make the journey possible.

An hour south of Charlotte, N.C., two forks in the road beyond suburbia, a freshly constructed house sits in a wind tunnel waiting to be set on fire.

To the left of the house is a brick wall with a hole in the middle, made by a 2-by-4 propelled at 70 miles per hour.

In front of the house is a metal staircase five stories tall. At the top are the hail guns.

More than 100 fans begin to turn, slowly at first and then faster. The ember generators flicker on. The fire is about to begin.

Can't see the video? Click here.

If you want to see a wild island fox, you have to visit the remote Channel Islands off the coast of Southern California. This special species doesn't live anywhere else.

When a relationship ends but love remains, it can be both frustrating and embarrassing.

Dessa, a well-known rapper, singer and writer from Minneapolis, knows the feeling well. She'd spent years trying to get over an ex-boyfriend, but she was still stuck on him.

"You're not only suffering," she says, "you're just sort of ridiculous. Discipline and dedication are my strong suits — it really bothered me that, no matter how much effort I tried to expend in trying to solve this problem, I was stuck."

Hundreds of years before solar viewing glasses were readily available, scientists and casual spectators could still enjoy these rare celestial events without frying their eyeballs. They'd use a combination of pinholes and mirrors to redirect the sun's rays onto a screen.

The modern Planet of the Apes reboot begins with a research chimpanzee being raised in an American home. It's a pretty plausible premise — that exact scenario has played out in the real world many times.

NPR's Skunk Bear / YouTube

The overwhelming majority of bats are friends of humanity. They gobble up the insects that bite us and ruin our crops.