Science & Health

Animals
4:33 pm
Sun September 8, 2013

Answering The Cranes' Call: 40 Years Of Preserving Grace

Mated pairs of red-crowned cranes perform a "unison call," a complex and extended series of calls between the male and female that reinforces the pair bond.
Sture Traneving

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 5:26 pm

Of all the world's birds, perhaps none are more mystical than cranes.

From Asia to North America, these tall birds with haunting cries have been woven into paintings, literature and folk tales. But today, 10 of the world's 15 crane species are threatened, and some are on the brink of extinction.

Their grass and wetland habitats are devastated all over the world. The International Crane Foundation, based in Wisconsin, has been studying and advocating for the birds for 40 years. George Archibald founded it with another young ornithologist on a family farm near Baraboo.

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Humans
4:33 pm
Sun September 8, 2013

From The Fall Of Failure, Success Can Take Flight

Members of S. A. Andrée's 1897 journey survey their downed vessel. This photo was recovered from a camera when their remains were found 33 years later.
Courtesy of Grenna Museum, Andréexpeditionen Polarcenter/Swedish Society for Anthropology and Geography/National Geographic

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 5:26 pm

Diana Nyad's successful swim from Cuba to Key West on Monday was made all the sweeter because she had tried — and failed — four times before.

She learned you should "never, ever give up," but she also learned some practical lessons to help beat the elements in those earlier attempts. Out of failure, she innovated. And out of innovation, she succeeded.

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Science
6:14 am
Sun September 8, 2013

The Mysteries Of Sleep Were Just Too Mysterious

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 12:40 pm

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

We've been exploring the mystery of sleep this morning - how we're not getting enough of it and why we need it in the first place.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MARTIN: We asked our listeners to share their sleep troubles.

EMILY MCMAMEE: So, I have always sleptwalked and slept-talked and it's always been amusing for everybody else around me. I learn about it the next morning when people tell me, you know, did you know that you just did this?

MARTIN: Emily McMamee is from Starksboro, Vermont.

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Science
6:14 am
Sun September 8, 2013

Dreams: The Telling Tells More Than The Contents

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 12:40 pm

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

So like many people, Billy Crystal can't sleep. And if you're not sleeping you're not dreaming, which could also be problematic.

Psychoanalyst Stephen Grosz says dreams are crucial.

DR. STEPHEN GROSZ: They seem to be a part of what it is to be human, and something which has been a part of human life for as long as we know.

MARTIN: In his book, "The Examined Life," Grosz writes about how dreams often reveal things about his patients that they hide even from themselves.

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Dance
6:14 am
Sun September 8, 2013

Billy Crystal, Up Since 1948

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 12:40 pm

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "MR. SANDMAN")

THE CHORDETTES: (Singing) Bum, bum, bum, bum, bum, bum, bum, bum. Bum, bum, bum, bum, bum. Bum...

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

We're talking this morning about sleep - why we do it, why we can't seem to get more of it.

Yesterday, WEEKEND EDITION's Scott Simon chatted with a comedian who has his own sleep troubles. Billy Crystal writes about them in his new book, "Still Fooling Them."

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Has insomnia been an important part of your life?

BILLY CRYSTAL: I've been up since 1948.

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Science
6:14 am
Sun September 8, 2013

How Sounds Undermine Sleep

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 12:40 pm

Why can some people sleep through a jackhammer at the window, while others waken with the lightest whisper? Host Rachel Martin speaks to Johns Hopkins Sleep Disorders Center researcher Jeffrey Ellenbogen about his new study on how noises interrupt sleep.

Science
6:14 am
Sun September 8, 2013

'Memory Pinball' And Other Reasons You Need A Nap

On the surface, sleep may seem like an evolutionary disaster, but its benefits have come to outweigh its potential downsides.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 12:40 pm

We spend about one-third of our lives sleeping, but much of that function remains a mystery. Weekend Edition Sunday is asking some pretty fundamental, yet complicated, questions about why we do it and why we can't seem to get more of it.

Dr. Matthew Walker says the question of why we sleep remains "that archetypal mystery."

Walker, the principal investigator at the sleep lab the University of California, Berkeley, works with patients who suffer from sleep abnormalities. He says the complexity of sleep makes the research that much more fascinating.

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Environment
4:32 am
Sun September 8, 2013

Climate Change Leaves Hares Wearing The Wrong Colors

A white snowshoe hare against a brown background makes the animal easy prey.
L.S. Mills Research Photo

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 12:40 pm

The effects of climate change often happen on a large scale, like drought or a rise in sea level. In the hills outside Missoula, Mont., wildlife biologists are looking at a change to something very small: the snowshoe hare.

Life as snowshoe hare is pretty stressful. For one, almost everything in the forest wants to eat you.

Alex Kumar, a graduate student at the University of Montana, lists the animals that are hungry for hares.

"Lynx, foxes, coyotes, raptors, birds of prey. Interestingly enough, young hares, their main predator is actually red squirrels."

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Shots - Health News
5:55 pm
Sat September 7, 2013

E-Cigarettes May Match The Patch In Helping Smokers Quit

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 9:18 am

Electronic cigarettes are sparking lots of skepticism from public health types worried they may be a gateway to regular smoking.

But the cigarettes, which use water vapor to deliver nicotine into the lungs, may be as good as the patch when it comes to stop-smoking aids, a study finds.

Smokers who used e-cigarettes in an attempt to quit the old-fashioned kind of cigarettes did about as well at stopping smoking as the people who tried the patch.

After six months, 7.3 percent of e-smokers had dropped cigarettes, compared to 5.8 percent of people wearing the patch.

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The Two-Way
9:17 am
Sat September 7, 2013

NASA Lunar Orbiter Solves Snag After Successful Launch

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden speaks before Friday night's launch of the LADEE moon orbiter. The craft has run into a small technical issue, NASA says, which it will fix before it arrives at the moon next month.
Carla Cioffi NASA

Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 12:59 pm

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Environment
6:23 am
Sat September 7, 2013

Captured Sounds From Ausable Marsh

Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 12:01 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Before summer slips away, North Country Public Radio's Brian Mann decided to take a day off from work for one last hot weather canoe trip in upstate New York. With his wife Susan, Brian paddled and trekked through the Ausable Marshes in the Champlain Valley. He sent back this audio postcard.

(SOUNDBITE OF WATER SPLASHING)

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Research News
6:23 am
Sat September 7, 2013

Industrial Soot May Have Melted Europe's Glaciers

Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 12:01 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Glaciers in the European Alps pose a scientific mystery. Now, they started melting rapidly back in the 1860s, and in the span of about 50 years, some of the biggest glaciers retreated more than half a mile. Nobody could explain why. Now, a new study suggests the glaciers melted because they were covered with soot from the Industrial Revolution. NPR's Richard Harris reports.

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The Two-Way
1:26 pm
Fri September 6, 2013

Deep In The Pacific, Scientists Discover Biggest Volcano On Earth

Tamu Massif 3D map
William Sager University of Houston

Originally published on Tue November 12, 2013 12:10 pm

The world's largest volcano has until now been lurking undiscovered in the depths of the Pacific Ocean, according to a team of scientists who identified the massive object and reported their findings in the latest issue of Nature Geoscience.

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Television
1:23 pm
Fri September 6, 2013

Radio Rewind: Monty Hall

In 1993, Monty Hall, host of the game show Let's Make a Deal, joined us on the program to discuss how contestants used risk and probability to win big prizes.

Shots - Health News
12:53 pm
Fri September 6, 2013

Turns Out Your Kids Really Did Love That Music You Played

Mom loved him. You love him. Prince performing in 1985.
Ron Wolfson Landov

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 9:17 am

Way back in the 1980s, were you the one playing "When Doves Cry" over and over? Well, don't be surprised if your kids wind up doing the same thing.

Young adults have strong positive memories of the music their parents loved when they were the same age, a study finds. That flies in the face of the cultural stereotype that children reject their parents' taste in music.

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