12:26pm

Fri August 16, 2013
Shots - Health News

Strange Bedfellows Among Groups Helping Insurance Buyers

He'll be right back. He's inside buying insurance.
iStockphoto.com

If you thought the doldrums of August meant a lower boil for controversy over the rollout of the federal health law, you're mostly right.

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12:12pm

Fri August 16, 2013
The Two-Way

A 'Dilemma Zone' For Red-Light Cameras: Safety Vs. Cash

Traffic engineers face "a new conundrum" in dealing with red-light cameras such as this one in New Mexico, according to a recent study looking at how cameras are operated and the perception that they are used to generate revenue.
Susan Montoya Bryan AP

What's the point of a red-light camera — to make intersections safer or to generate revenue? That's the question prompted by researchers at the University of Tennessee, who say the cameras are sometimes used in ways that are more likely to make money than to improve safety.

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12:00pm

Fri August 16, 2013
Monkey See

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Jodie Foster's Accent, Fall TV, And Other Masterpieces

NPR
  • Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour

I am very happy to be back this week after being gone for two episodes (thank you to Audie Cornish, Gene Demby and Kat Chow for being great while I was gone).

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11:56am

Fri August 16, 2013
Technology

Hyperloop: Hype or Future Transportation?

Elon Musk, founder of SpaceX and Tesla Motors, unveiled his designs for Hyperloop. The high-speed transit system could make the 400-mile trip from San Francisco and Los Angeles in 30 minutes. Tim De Chant, senior digital editor at NOVA, discusses the plans and whether the system could answer our transit problems.

11:56am

Fri August 16, 2013
Education

The STEM Gender Gap

The number of girls and women studying the sciences has steadily increased each year, but there is still a gender gap in higher education and the work force. Researchers Andresse St. Rose and Catherine Riegle-Crumb and Linda Kekelis, executive director of Techbridge, discuss the social and environmental factors that contribute to this disparity.

11:56am

Fri August 16, 2013
Energy

Strengthening the Grid, Ten Years Later

Ten years ago this week, a massive electrical blackout struck the northeastern US and parts of Canada, affecting some 55 million people. IEEE Spectrum journalist Bill Sweet describes the causes of the outage and how the electrical grid has changed since the 2003 failure.

11:56am

Fri August 16, 2013
Environment

For a Greener Yard, Lose the Lawn

Across the Southwest, cities are banning water-thirsty front lawns. Cado Daily of the University of Arizona's Water Wise Program views that as an opportunity to plant a "rainscape" — a yard with drought-friendly native plants that she says can look as lush as a lawn, and lure wildlife back, too.

11:56am

Fri August 16, 2013
Performing Arts

Experimenting on Consciousness, Through Art

Performance artist Marina Abramovic's piece Measuring the Magic of Mutual Gaze is both art installation and science experiment, in which volunteers sit facing one another while having their brain waves measured. Abramovic discusses these arts and science experiments with neuroscientist Christof Koch, an expert in consciousness.

11:47am

Fri August 16, 2013
The Two-Way

Did You Know? Area 51 Nearly Killed 4 Important Visitors

Don't go there: A warning sign marks the boundary of Area 51 in Nevada.
Dan Callister Getty Images

OK, our headline may be a bit of a stretch. But you'll see why we said that in this quick guide to some of the interesting things about the mysterious Area 51 that are part of a recently declassified CIA history of the U-2 spy plane program:

-- It Almost Killed Some Important Visitors (Sort Of).

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11:45am

Fri August 16, 2013
The Salt

Eating On Mars? Be Sure To Pack The Tortillas

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 4:27 pm

Mission to Mars: Six explorers lived in this simulated Mars habitat in Hawaii for four months, part of a NASA study to test the role of cooking and food on an extended space mission.
Sian Proctor NASA HI-SEAS

After several months of freeze-dried food, even the most committed carnivores would probably reach for the fresh produce.

So it's no surprise that the six explorers who were cooped up studying space-friendly foods on a simulated mission to Mars for the past four months went right for the mangoes and pineapple during their first meal outside their habitat Aug. 13.

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