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Whale, breaching, Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, August 20, 2007.

Week in Geek - Whale vs Whale edition

08/14/16 09:55AM

Marine biologists around the world are a bit baffled by the behavior they've been observing between humpback whales and killer whales (aka orcas). It seems the humpbacks are purposefully interrupting the orcas hunting sessions.

Robert Pitman, a marine ecologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), has been looking into this since 2009 (along with others). They presented their findings in the Journal of Marine Mammal Science. What they found was that this type of interaction between humpbacks and orcas happened at least 115 times (that were observed) over the last 50+ years. In 89% of those interactions, the humpbacks were seen to disrupt orcas who were actively engaged in a hunt. And these instances didn't seem to be prey dependent, as the humpbacks rescued a range of species: sea lions, harbor seals, and gray whales.

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Trump gives away the game on outrageous talk

Trump gives away the game on outrageous talk

08/11/16 08:59PM

Steve Kornacki shows how politicians like John Kerry have been hurt by statements that left room for misinterpretation, but in an interview today Donald Trump revealed that making outrageous statements that warrant clarification is part of his strategy for holding the spotlight. watch

An outburst of Perseid meteors lights up the sky in August 2009 in this time-lapse image.

Moment of Geek - Perseid Meteor Shower

08/11/16 01:50AM

Heads up, space fans! We are in the midst of one of the best annual meteor showers - the Perseids, so called because they appear to radiate from the constellation Perseus.

The Perseids are well loved because they are fairly reliable and because you don't have to get frostbite to see them, like some other meteor showers. The only sacrifice they require on your part is to either stay up quite later or get up before the Sun. This year, I'd actually recommend the latter since the moon is waxing and will be full next week. We astronomers aren't usually anti-Moon, but you'd be surprised at how much of the sky a bright moon can wash out. It's like nature's own form of light pollution.

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About The Rachel Maddow Show

Launched in 2008, “The Rachel Maddow Show” follows the machinations of policy making in America, from local political activism to international diplomacy. Rachel Maddow looks past the distractions of political theater and stunts and focuses on the legislative proposals and policies that shape American life - as well as the people making and influencing those policies and their ultimate outcome, intended or otherwise.

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