Science

8:13am

Wed July 24, 2013
Krulwich Wonders...

Who Does A Better Wave? Sports Fans Or Hippos?

Originally published on Wed July 24, 2013 10:43 am

Robert Krulwich NPR

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

Read more

3:04am

Wed July 24, 2013
Code Switch

Being In The Minority Can Cost You And Your Company

Originally published on Wed July 24, 2013 11:59 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.

Read more

6:16pm

Tue July 23, 2013
Animals

Nevada Wildfire Could Snuff Out A Rare Butterfly

Originally published on Tue July 23, 2013 7:10 pm

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

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.

Read more

4:30pm

Tue July 23, 2013
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Can You Trust A Robot? Let's Find Out

Originally published on Tue July 23, 2013 4:47 pm

While Hollywood has firmly planted the idea in our minds that robots may very well turn out to be evil, academic research into dangerous interactions between humans and robots has only just begun.
The Halcyon Company The Halcyon Company

When they come — and they are coming — will the robots we deploy into human culture be capable of evil? Well, perhaps "evil" is too strong a word. Will they be capable of inflicting harm on human beings in ways that go beyond their programing?

While this may seem like a question for the next installment of The Terminator franchise (or The Matrix or whatever, pick your favorite), it's a serious question in robotics and it's being taken up by researchers now.

Read more

4:13pm

Tue July 23, 2013
Space

NASA Uses Photo Of Earth From Saturn To Boost Space Interest

Originally published on Tue August 27, 2013 11:29 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.

Read more

3:54pm

Tue July 23, 2013
The Two-Way

The Big Stink: D.C.'s Corpse Flower Put On A Show

Originally published on Tue July 23, 2013 8:50 pm

The color of the corpse flower is meant to mimic the color of rotting flesh and raw meat.
Heather Rousseau NPR

The line to see the thing that was supposed to smell like rotting flesh wrapped around the U.S. Botanic Garden in Washington, D.C., on Monday night. Most folks who braved the heat and hourlong wait weren't greeted with the overwhelming stench of death, but rather the smell of sweat and intense, intense humidity.

Read more

10:42am

Tue July 23, 2013
Shots - Health News

Unusual Tick-Borne Virus Lurks In Missouri's Woods

Originally published on Wed July 24, 2013 10:11 am

A harmful trio (from left): a deer tick, lone star tick and dog tick.
Getty Images

Last year, scientists got the chance to solve a medical mystery — well, at least half of it. This week the final puzzle pieces fell into place, as investigators tracked the newly identified virus to an eight-legged bug.

The mystery actually began with two Missouri farmers who came down with a strange illness in 2009. They had high fevers, diarrhea and nausea. Their platelet counts dropped dramatically, though they didn't experience any abnormal bleeding.

Read more

6:28am

Tue July 23, 2013
Shots - Health News

A Scientist Debunks The 'Magic' Of Vitamins And Supplements

Originally published on Tue July 23, 2013 4:21 pm

Ads often tout dietary supplements and vitamins as "natural" remedies. But studies show megadoses of some vitamins can actually boost the risk of heart disease and cancer, warns Dr. Paul Offit.
iStockphoto.com

A pediatrician who spent years defending childhood vaccines against the likes of actress/activist Jenny McCarthy has launched an assault on megavitamins and dietary supplements.

Read more

5:40pm

Mon July 22, 2013
Animals

We Call Him Flipper. But What Do The Dolphins Call Him?

Originally published on Mon July 22, 2013 9:02 pm

Bottle-nosed dolphins leap out of the water near Dana Point, Calif.
David McNew Getty Images

Dolphins are like humans in many ways: They're part of complex social networks and, just as in people, a dolphin's brain is big, relative to the size of its body. But there's something else, too — a study published Monday shows these acrobats of the sea use name-like whistles to identify and communicate with each other.

Read more

4:09pm

Mon July 22, 2013
Strange News

Lure Of Flower's Putrid Essence Draws Crowd

Originally published on Mon July 22, 2013 9:02 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

A crowd formed today at the U.S. Botanic Garden here in Washington, D.C. It's a place to see beautiful flowers and usually ones that smell fantastic. But today, one exotic specimen on display was the opposite of that. It's the titan arum and NPR's Allison Keyes tells us people flocked to the greenhouse in hopes of getting a rare whiff of the flower's putrid essence.

ALLISON KEYES, BYLINE: From the line and the excited faces of titan arum fans hurrying down the path to the door, you'd think The Beatles were here.

Read more

Pages