Science & Health

TED Radio Hour
8:42 am
Fri July 26, 2013

Are Earth's Deepest Caves The Last Frontier?

Robert Leslie TED

Originally published on Thu December 26, 2013 12:39 pm

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode To The Edge.

About Bill Stone's TEDTalk

Bill Stone is a maverick cave explorer who has plumbed Earth's deepest abysses. In this talk, he explains what it's like to descend into the deepest caves in complete darkness for days on end — and why he keeps doing it.

About Bill Stone

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TED Radio Hour
8:42 am
Fri July 26, 2013

What's It Take To Become A Polar Explorer?

frogdesignmind

Originally published on Thu December 26, 2013 12:39 pm

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode To The Edge.

About Ben Saunders' TEDTalk

Explorer Ben Saunders wants you to go outside. Not because it's always pleasant and happy, but because that's where the meat of life is, "the juice that we can suck out of our hours and days." In 2004, Saunders skied solo to the North Pole. Saunders' next outdoor excursion? To try to be the first in the world to walk from the coast of Antarctica to the South Pole and back again.

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TED Radio Hour
8:41 am
Fri July 26, 2013

To The Edge

What motivates explorers to venture into the unknown?
TED

Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 9:02 am

"Certainly to enter a world of terror, you should not be pushed by someone. You should be called. You should be curious. You should have the heart of an explorer." — Philippe Petit, high-wire artist

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Shots - Health News
1:58 am
Fri July 26, 2013

Don't Blame Your Lousy Night's Sleep On The Moon — Yet

Anton-Marlot iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri July 26, 2013 2:10 pm

From madness to seizures, to crime and lack of sleep, people have long blamed the full moon for a range of problems. Research, on the other hand, has found little evidence over the years to support these anecdotal accounts of the moon's powers over the human body and brain.

But scientists in Switzerland decided to look again at one of those putative effects — disturbed sleep — and were surprised to see there might be something to the claim after all.

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Shots - Health News
4:52 pm
Thu July 25, 2013

Why Mosquitoes Love Me, And Other Mysteries Revealed

The mosquitoes that feed on people are attracted to over 300 gases and other compounds emitted by human skin.
CDC Public Health Image Library

Originally published on Fri July 26, 2013 12:44 pm

Come summertime, some of us here at Shots are reminded, as we lounge on decks and venture into overgrown gardens, that we are irresistible to mosquitoes. As we gripe about our itchy, pocked limbs, we can't help but wonder just why they unfailingly devour us and pass over our friends and loved ones. And when it comes to repellent, it's hard to tell just what works best.

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Science
4:43 pm
Thu July 25, 2013

If You Want A Doughnut Hole, Don't Ask A Mathematician

Originally published on Tue August 27, 2013 10:27 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

A program such as ours is timed to the exact second, and occasionally, there are small holes when our mix of news and features doesn't quite fill up our two-hour slot.

So NPR's Joe Palca offered to come to our rescue with some short math and sciencey hole-filling stories, stories about what else - holes.

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Krulwich Wonders...
10:48 am
Thu July 25, 2013

Look What You've Done, North America!

Robert Krulwich NPR

Originally published on Mon August 5, 2013 3:25 pm

This is the story of two continents doing battle, North America versus South America. It is also a biological mystery.

For a very long time, North America and South America were separate land masses. The Pacific Ocean slipped between them, flowing into the Caribbean. The Isthmus of Panama was there, but it was underwater. The two continents didn't touch.

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Science & Health
7:31 am
Thu July 25, 2013

New Boat Accommodates Disabled Ala. Veterans

The Warrior is a boat at Fort Rucker customized to fit the needs of physically disabled people.
army.mil

The outdoor recreation branch at Fort Rucker has developed a boat to allow wounded warriors and disabled people go fishing and participate in other boating adventures.

   Fort Rucker spokeswoman Janice Erdlitz tells AL.com (http://bit.ly/19iqTWj ) the boat, named "The Warrior," is customized to fit the needs of physically disabled people. She says the decision to build the boat came after veterans offered feedback on things they felt could improve their quality of life.

The Two-Way
4:27 am
Thu July 25, 2013

Steam And Groundwater Raise Concern At Japanese Nuclear Plant

Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) workers work on waste water tanks at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in the town of Okuma, Fukushima prefecture in Japan on June 12, 2013.
Noboru Hashimoto AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 25, 2013 9:01 am

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Environment
2:38 am
Thu July 25, 2013

La. Flood Board Sues Oil Industry Over Wetlands

Canals created for navigation and oil and gas pipelines cut through the marsh off the coast of Louisiana, seen in 2010.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 25, 2013 10:49 am

Since the 1930s, Louisiana has lost roughly as much land as makes up the state of Delaware.

"If you put the state of Delaware between New Orleans and the ocean, we wouldn't need any levees at all," says John Barry, vice president of the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East. "There is this large buffer of land that has disappeared, and that buffer makes New Orleans much more vulnerable to hurricanes."

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Environment
4:48 pm
Wed July 24, 2013

What's Swimming In The River? Just Look For DNA

Biologists normally look for the hellbender slamander, which is known by the nickname "snot otter," under rocks in streams. But now there's a gentler way: They can take water samples and look for traces of the animals' DNA.
Robert J. Erwin Science Source

Originally published on Wed July 24, 2013 6:34 pm

If you want to protect rare species, first you have to find them. In the past few years, biologists have developed a powerful new tool to do that. They've discovered that they can often find traces of animal DNA in streams, ponds — even oceans.

The idea took root just five years ago, when biologists in France found they could detect invasive American bullfrogs simply by sampling pond water and looking for an exact genetic match to the frogs' DNA.

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Krulwich Wonders...
7:13 am
Wed July 24, 2013

Who Does A Better Wave? Sports Fans Or Hippos?

Robert Krulwich NPR

Originally published on Wed July 24, 2013 9:43 am

Professor William Barklow was on vacation when this happened. He was in Tanzania sitting on a river bank gazing about, when all of a sudden a hippopotamus pushed its head out of the river right in front of him, opened its huge mouth and bellowed.

It was really loud. Barklow could feel sound waves hitting his chest, his neck; he could hear the cry echoing along the riverbank. He knew next to nothing about hippos being himself a bird man, a specialist on the North American loon, but he was intrigued by what happened next.

Hippo Chorusing

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Code Switch
2:04 am
Wed July 24, 2013

Being In The Minority Can Cost You And Your Company

Originally published on Wed July 24, 2013 10:59 am

The racial wage gap in the United States — the gap in salary between whites and blacks with similar levels of education and experience — is shaped by geography, according to new social science research.

The larger the city, the larger the racial wage gap, according to researchers Elizabeth Ananat, Shihe Fu and Stephen L. Ross, whose findings were recently published by the National Bureau of Economic Research.

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Animals
5:16 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

Nevada Wildfire Could Snuff Out A Rare Butterfly

The Mount Charleston blue butterfly is a rare species found only in a few small areas high up in Nevada's Spring Mountains.
Corey Kallstrom USFWS

Originally published on Tue July 23, 2013 6:10 pm

A big wildfire in a mountain range just west of Las Vegas has put at risk the Mount Charleston blue butterfly, a rare species found in the U.S.

The fire is dying down, but it may be weeks before experts can get to the remarkable area where this butterfly lives to see if it made it through.

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Space
3:13 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

NASA Uses Photo Of Earth From Saturn To Boost Space Interest

Originally published on Tue August 27, 2013 10:29 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This week, NASA is trying to do its part to raise science literacy. To give people a better understanding of Earth's position in the solar system, the agency's posted a picture of our planet taken from a billion miles away, give or take 100 million miles or so. And joining me now to talk about the picture, and why NASA took it, is NPR's Joe Palca. Joe, good to see you.

JOE PALCA, BYLINE: Good to see you.

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