Connect with UPR:

Elaine Taylor

5:30 News Co-host / Reporter

After graduating with a B.S. in Anthropology from the University of Utah, Elaine developed a love of radio while working long hours in remote parts of Utah as an archaeological field technician. She eventually started interning for the radio show Science Questions and fell completely in love with the medium. Elaine is currently taking classes at Utah State University in preparation for medical school applications. She is a host of UPR’s All Things Considered and a science writer for the Utah Agricultural Experiment Station. Elaine hopes to bring her experiences living abroad in Turkey and Austria into her work.

Pages

Utah News
5:50 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

Camelopardalid Meteor Shower: A Spectacular “Maybe”

Friday's meteor shower may turn out to be nonexistent, but astronomers hope it will be spectacular.
Credit NASA

Earthlings may finally get a glimpse of a meteor shower hundreds of years in the making on Friday, that’s if the comet called 209P/LINEAR left enough space dust in its trail to be visible in Earth’s night sky.

“If, 200 years ago when nobody knew it existed, it was a really active comet that threw off a bunch of stuff, we’re in for a great show. If, however, it was not an active comet, we may be just standing out there watching the sky and not seeing much,” said Utah's NASA Ambassador Patrick Wiggins.

Read more
Utah News
6:19 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

Federal Judge: State Placed Same-Sex Couples In “Legal Limbo”

A federal judge ordered Utah to legally recognize the marriages of same-sex couples married after a ban was struck down in December.
Credit seattle.gov

A federal judge has ordered that the state of Utah must recognize same-sex marriages performed during the 17-day window following the Dec. 20 ruling that struck down a same-sex marriage ban in the state. 1,300 couples were issued licenses in the time between the ruling and the Supreme Court’s temporary halt of the marriages.

In his ruling Monday, federal Judge Dale Kimball wrote that the state has placed the couples in “legal limbo with respect to adoptions, child care and custody, medical decisions,” and other rights associated with marriage.

Read more
Utah News
6:15 pm
Fri May 16, 2014

Is Evolution Predictable? Scientist Turns Over New Leaf In Theory

A new study finds evolution can be predictable, if conditions are right.

Scientists have long wondered if a species would evolve in the same way if you were to go back in time and start its evolution over; or if nature would take a different course the second time around.

Utah State University Assistant Professor of biology Zach Gompert had wondered this too. So, using walking stick insects that call different plants home, he set out to find an answer.

Read more
Utah News
6:09 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

Trib Supporters Say Unfair Deal Killing Newspaper

The renegotiation of the joint agreement between the Deseret News and the Salt Lake Tribune is once again making news. The new agreement, which was put in place at the beginning of the year, changed the Trib’s portion of the two newspapers’ shared revenue from a long-term 58 percent to 30 percent.

Utah Senator Jim Dabakis said the Trib is likely to go under in the next two months, thanks to what he calls an illegal agreement between the Deseret News and Tribune owner Alden Global Capital.

Read more
Utah News
6:39 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

Idaho Judge Refuses To Stay Gay Marriage

Same-sex couples in Idaho will be able to begin marrying Friday after a federal judge refused to put gay marriages on hold.
Credit www.seattle.gov

A federal judge has refused to put gay marriages on hold in Idaho pending an appeal from the state’s governor.

U.S. District Magistrate Judy Candy Dale wrote Wednesday morning that Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter’s appeal isn’t likely to succeed, so there’s no reason to keep same-sex couples from seeking marriage licenses or marrying.

Same-sex couples in Idaho will be able to begin marrying at 9 a.m. Friday.

Read more
Utah Environment
7:00 pm
Tue May 13, 2014

Aspen's Features Create Uniquely Biodiverse Environment

The aspen tree grows in complex underground root systems that link clone trees together.
Credit United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service

Utah’s new official tree, the aspen, may possibly be the largest of all state trees if you look at it like scientists do—as a clone colony, which can grow to weigh 13 million pounds.

The aspen trees you see above the ground are better thought of as stems of a much larger underground organism, according to Utah State University extension agent Jody Gale.

Read more
Utah News
5:43 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

Star Lovers Gather For Astronomy Day

One of the events for National Astronomy Day is a book signing at the Clark Planetarium.
Credit Karl Beckstrand

National Astronomy Day is on Saturday. The holiday marks a day that professional and amateur astronomers gather to enjoy the night sky together. The Clark Planetarium in Salt Lake City is hosting an event in celebration of Astronomy Day, including a book signing by Karl Beckstrand, author of Bright Star, Night Star: An Astronomy Story.

“It’s kind of a primer for kids who are getting their first exposure to astronomy and the night sky,” Beckstrand said.

Read more
Utah Science
6:44 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

Newly Discovered Hypervelocity Star May Explain Dark Matter’s Mysteries

The newly discovered hypervelocity star is traveling at 1 million mph in relation to Earth.
Credit The University of Utah

A new star discovered by a team from the University of Utah, in collaboration with astronomers in China, makes the star at the center of our solar system seem a bit boring.

Read more
My Address Is
6:04 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

Part 6: Aging Alone

LaRue Willis has been adjusting to life alone after her husband passed away three years ago.
Credit Utah Public Radio, Elaine Taylor

"My Address Is" is a Utah Public Radio series exploring Utah issues associated with how and where we live. This is part six of six.

“My name is LaRue, and that's L-a capital R-u-e. It means ‘the street’ and I always figured it meant I’d been walked on all my life [laughter], which is not true. Anyways, my address is ‘home.’”

As baby boomers hit retirement and the U.S. population ages, more and more people are left living alone in their later years. And more are choosing to stay at home.

LaRue Willis was born in Idaho in 1928. She married her husband in 1953 and together they had eight children. Three years ago her husband passed away, leaving LaRue to forge a new life for herself – alone. On the day I met with LaRue in her ranch-style house in northern Cache Valley, she described how hard the last few years had been.

“The hardest part is the loneliness. Sometimes I get panic attacks when I am alone and it’s really difficult.”

Read more
Utah News
5:59 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

Zap, Pow, Bam: Free Comic Book Day Hits Utah

Local comic book stores will be giving away free comics on Saturday.

As many college students graduate around the state this weekend, another May tradition will be underway as well. Free Comic Book Day takes place on the first Saturday of May each year. I called up one local comic book store to learn a little about the holiday.

*Rinnnggg*… “Death Ray Comics, *pew*, *pew*”

Death Ray Comics is a small store in downtown Logan that sells comic books and other nerd-friendly merchandise. Trent Hunsaker is the owner, though he prefers to go by a different title.

Read more

Pages