After the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut on Friday, many parents dropping their kids off at school this morning are facing a lot of anxiety. Today in Your Health, we asked NPR's science correspondent Shankar Vedantam to come by to talk about how tragedies shape our perceptions of risk.
Shankar, good morning.
SHANKAR VEDANTAM, BYLINE: Good morning, David.
GREENE: So tell us what we know from school shootings of the past. I mean, what sort of impact will this tragedy have on parents and how they think?
The Environmental Protection Agency is tightening the standard for how much soot in the air is safe to breathe. Fine particles come from the combustion of fossil fuels by cars and industrial facilities. They're linked to all kinds of health problems, including heart attacks and lung ailments like asthma. States will be required to clean up their air to the level specified by the new standard.
Originally published on Sun December 16, 2012 8:33 pm
Credit Hulton Archive / Getty Images
The winter holidays are upon us, and with them the excuse (or obligation) to buy presents for our loved ones. I was taught that it's the thought that counts; but recent findings in psychology suggest otherwise.
Fifty years ago, on Dec. 14, 1962, reporters gathered for a press briefing at NASA headquarters and heard an unearthly sound: radio signals being beamed back by a spacecraft flying within 22,000 miles of Venus.
The Mariner 2 mission to Venus was the first time any spacecraft had ever gone to another planet.
These days, vivid photographs showing scenes from all around the solar system are so ubiquitous that people might easily forget how mysterious our planetary neighbors used to be.
Did you know plants use quantum mechanics every day? That quantum computers can hack the encryption used in online commerce? Or that a 'quantum internet' could someday teleport your emails? MIT's Seth Lloyd discusses those and other quantum mysteries in this episode of "Ask a quantum mechanic."
Could you handle a world that looked upside down? Marc Abrahams, editor and co-founder of The Annals of Improbable Research, shares a case study in which the subject was made to wear vision-flipping goggles. Ten days later, the man was riding a bicycle and playing catch in the park--his only impairment the strange headgear itself.
Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 1:50 pm
Great Basin's Mayan Maybe? beer has been a fast seller, the company's brewmaster says.
Credit Jazz Aldrich / Great Basin Brewing Company
The world isn't going to end next Friday, but Dec. 21, 2012, has come to be known as the Mayan apocalypse because that's when the Mayan calendar ends. As scientists have told us repeatedly, the end of the calendar year was actually a time for celebration and renewal — the equivalent of an ancient New Year's Eve. So breweries around the country have decided to celebrate with — what else? — beer.