As an international armada of planes, ships and helicopters continues to comb the Indian Ocean for any sign of Malaysian Airlines flight 370, now missing for more than a week, Interpol confirms that two passengers aboard that flight were traveling on stolen passports.
Aviation experts say the incident highlights a major security gap at many airports: It is simply too easy to board a flight using someone else's photo ID.
About six months ago, a group of physicists in the U.S. working on the Large Hadron Collider addressed a problem they've been having for a while: Whenever they had meetings, everyone stuck to the prepared slides, and couldn't really answer questions that weren't immediately relevant to what was on the screen.
The point of the forum is to start discussions, so the physicists banned PowerPoint — from then on, they could only use a board and a marker.
Scientists are usually portrayed as highly rational seekers of the truth - and they are that. But they also have qualities that make them more similar to you and me than you might think. NPR's Joe Palca has a story that reveals that quite dramatically. Joe's been immersed in an NPR series called Joe's Big Idea, where he explores the minds and motivations of scientists and inventors. And from time to time, he drops by to share some of the interesting things he's learned. Hi, Joe.
Here's a joke: A man is sitting on the porch with his wife one night when, out of the blue he says, "I love you." His wife says, "Was that you? Or was that the beer talking?" The man says, "That was me — talking to the beer."
Maybe you laughed at that and maybe you didn't, but either way, cognitive neuroscientist Scott Weems wants to know whether you found it funny. In his new book HA! Weems explores the science "of when we laugh and why."
Next, we're going to meet a little girl in Huntsville, Alabama. She was born without fingers on one hand. And now, thanks to 3D printing technology, she has an affordable prosthetic.
As Dan Carsen of member station WBHM reports, her story is one example of life-altering changes on the horizon.
DAN CARSEN, BYLINE: Kate Berkholtz is a smiley, active two-year-old who's happy to have a new tool that helps her pick things up. Right now, she's trying very hard to hold still before a gymnastics class. Can you tell me your name?
If you want to know what's up with the flu at the moment, you have a few choices: You can get the latest information at Google Flu Trends. Or you can get the official word from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which is based on data that's by now a couple of weeks old.
But a report in the journal Science finds that quicker isn't necessarily better.
Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 4:22 pm
Many of us have those friends who insist that they're coffee connoisseurs and drink exclusively drip brews. But really, there aren't many academic programs that train people in the taste and science of coffee.
That might all change soon. The University of California, Davis, recently founded a Coffee Center dedicated to the study of the world of java. This week, the center held its first research conference.