Science & Health

Digital Life
9:09 am
Fri July 12, 2013

Protecting Your Online Privacy

With the NSA conducting surveillance on our data and Google scanning our email, how can we protect our personal information? Jon Xavier, digital producer at Silicon Valley Business Journal, discusses the services that you can use to make your information more secure and private.

TED Radio Hour
8:51 am
Fri July 12, 2013

What Motivates Us To Collaborate?

Clay Shirky speaking at TED.
Robert Leslie TED

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 9:02 am

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode Why We Collaborate.

About Clay Shirky's TEDTalk

Social media guru Clay Shirky looks at "cognitive surplus" — the shared, online work we do with our spare brain cycles. While we're busy contributing to the web in our small ways, we're building a better, more cooperative world.

About Clay Shirky

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TED Radio Hour
8:51 am
Fri July 12, 2013

Can You Crowdsource Without Even Knowing It?

Luis von Ahn speaking at TEDxCMU
Tom Strong TED

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 8:59 am

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode Why We Collaborate.

About Luis Von Ahn's TEDTalk

Computer programmer Luis von Ahn wondered how else to use small contributions done by millions on the Internet for greater good. He put CAPTCHAs, those online puzzles to verify you're not a robot, to work by digitizing books and teaching foreign languages.

About Luis Von Ahn

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TED Radio Hour
8:51 am
Fri July 12, 2013

Why We Collaborate

How do you channel mass chaos into order?
Joos Mind Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 8:53 am

What motivates dozens, thousands, even millions of people to come together on the Internet and commit their time to a project for free? In this hour, TED speakers unravel ideas behind the mystery of mass collaborations that build a better world.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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TED Radio Hour
8:51 am
Fri July 12, 2013

Why Does Wikipedia Work?

Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia, speaking at TED.
Robert Leslie TED

Originally published on Fri May 16, 2014 8:47 am

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode Why We Collaborate.

About Jimmy Wales' TEDTalk

Founder of Wikipedia Jimmy Wales recalls how he assembled "a ragtag band of volunteers," gave them tools for collaborating to create a self-organizing, self-correcting, never-finished online encyclopedia.

About Jimmy Wales

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Environment
1:46 am
Fri July 12, 2013

Sweeping Parts Of Southern Seas Could Become A Nature Preserve

The "Giant Tabular Iceberg" floats in Antarctica's Ross Sea in December 2011. Under a proposed new international agreement, large sections of the oceans around Antarctica would become protected as a marine preserve.
Camille Seaman Barcroft Media/Landov

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 7:37 pm

The area of ocean set aside as a nature preserve could double or triple in the coming days, depending on the outcome of a meeting in Germany. Representatives from 24 countries and the European Union are considering setting aside large portions of ocean around Antarctica as a protected area. And the deal may hinge on preserving some fishing rights.

There are two proposals on the table: One would set aside huge parts of the Southern Ocean around East Antarctica; the other would focus on the Ross Sea, south of New Zealand.

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The Salt
5:01 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Are Antibiotics On The Farm Risky Business?

These pigs, newly weaned from their mothers, are at their most vulnerable stage of life. They're getting antibiotics in their water to ward off bacterial infection.
Dan Charles NPR

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 4:25 pm

You've probably seen the labels on meat in the store: "Raised without antibiotics." They're a selling point for people who don't like how many drugs are used on chickens, turkey, hogs and beef cattle.

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Shots - Health News
4:26 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Failure To Communicate Between Doctors And Men About PSA Test

At least they're talking.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon July 15, 2013 8:11 am

The PSA test has been dissed a lot lately. The nation's preventive medicine task force, for one, says the test is so unreliable in figuring out who's at risk for deadly prostate cancer that most men shouldn't bother getting one.

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Environment
3:53 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Wastewater Wells, Geothermal Power Triggering Earthquakes

A geothermal energy plant near the Salton Sea in California taps deep underground heat from the southern San Andreas Fault rift zone. A new study ties the amount of water pulled from the ground by the geothermal plant here to the frequency of earthquakes.
David McNew Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 4:55 pm

The continental U.S. experiences small earthquakes every day. But over the past few years, their numbers have been increasing. Geoscientists say the new epidemic of quakes is related to industrial wastewater being pumped into underground storage wells.

Now there's new research that reveals two trigger mechanisms that may be setting off these wastewater quakes — other, larger earthquakes (some as far away as Indonesia), and the activity at geothermal power plants.

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The Two-Way
1:13 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

True, Blue Planet Found Orbiting Nearby Star

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 1:37 pm

Move over, Earth. There's another blue planet in town — or at least in our corner of the Milky Way.

Astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope deduced for the first time the atmospheric hue of a planet outside our own solar system — and it turns out to be a "deep cobalt blue."

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All Tech Considered
11:24 am
Thu July 11, 2013

The Man Who Predicted Google Glass Forecasts The Near Future

Physicist and writer David Brin, in Xian, China.
Courtesy of David Brin

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 11:44 am

Google Glass isn't even available to the public yet. But the wearable technology that packs a tiny computer into a lightweight frame has already faced mockery, condemnation, fear and threats of regulation. As NPR's Steve Henn reported in May:

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Race
11:04 am
Thu July 11, 2013

Study: Whites Think Black People Feel Less Pain

Racial disparities exist, but what causes them can be complicated. Harvard anthropology student Jason Silverstein says it has to do with a lack of empathy. Host Michel Michel Martin talks with Silverstein about a Slate article he wrote titled, 'I Don't Feel Your Pain.'

Environment
2:01 am
Thu July 11, 2013

Saving One Species At The Expense Of Another

Antelopes stand at alert at the presence of a human visitor in the sparsely populated Centennial Valley of Montana.
John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 3:52 pm

To keep America's wilderness anything like it used to be when the country was truly wild takes the help of biologists. They have to balance the needs of wildlife with those of cattle-ranching and tourism, and even weigh the value of one species against another. Ultimately, they have to pick and choose who makes it onto the ark. And, as scientists in Montana's Centennial Valley have discovered, all that choosing can be tricky.

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Animals
4:29 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

Barking Up The Family Tree: American Dogs Have Surprising Genetic Roots

Modern Chihuahuas trace their genetic roots in America to back before the arrival of Europeans, a new study suggests.
mpikula iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 7:58 pm

America is as much of a melting pot for dogs as it is for their human friends. Walk through any dog park and you'll find a range of breeds from Europe, Asia, even Australia and mutts and mixes of every kind.

But a few indigenous breeds in North America have a purer pedigree — at least one has genetic roots in the continent that stretch back 1,000 years or more, according to a new study. These modern North American breeds — including that current urban darling, the Chihuahua — descended from the continent's original canine inhabitants and have not mixed much with European breeds.

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The Salt
3:28 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

The Science Of Twinkies: How Do They Last So Darned Long?

Unlike the dodo that sits next to it on an NPR Science Desk shelf, this year-and-a-half-old Twinkie is still around — but that doesn't mean you want to eat it.
Heather Rousseau NPR

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 11:56 am

We have to confess: When we heard that Twinkies will have nearly double the shelf life, 45 days, when they return to stores next week, our first reaction was — days? Not years?

Urban legend has long deemed Twinkies the cockroaches of the snack food world, a treat that can survive for decades, what humanity would have left to eat come the apocalypse. The true shelf life — which used to be 26 days — seems somewhat less impressive by comparison.

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