Science

5:36pm

Thu January 3, 2013
Energy

Wind Industry Secures Tax Credit, But Damage May Be Done

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 6:10 pm

Wind turbines dwarf a church near Wilson, Kan. Although Congress voted to extend a wind energy tax credit, the temporary uncertainty dealt a blow to the industry.
Charlie Riedel AP

The wind energy industry is dependent on something even more unpredictable than wind: Congress. Hidden in the turmoil over the "fiscal cliff" compromise was a tax credit for wind energy.

Uncertainty over the credit had lingered long before the last-minute political push, causing the industry to put off further long-term planning. So while the now-approved tax credit revives prospects for an industry facing tens of thousands of layoffs, don't expect to see many new turbines coming up soon.

Growing Uncertainty

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10:59am

Thu January 3, 2013
The Salt

Apes Have Food, Will Share For A Social Payoff

Bonobos sharing food and friendship.
JingZhi Tan Duke University

People have been sharing food with strangers since ancient days, offering up the household's finest fare to mysterious travelers. Think Abraham and the three men of Mamre in the Bible and the folks who take in strangers after natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy. That deep tradition of generous hospitality has long been thought uniquely human.

If so, then bonobos, those gregarious African apes, may be more like us than we thought.

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5:40pm

Wed January 2, 2013
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Dark Matter In A Minute

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 10:43 am

See, it's not that hard to explain. Of course we still don't know what Dark Matter is yet.

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5:10pm

Wed January 2, 2013
Science

'Stand Your Ground' Linked To Increase In Homicides

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 10:54 am

George Zimmerman (left) and his attorney appear in court for a bond hearing in June. Zimmerman's case sparked a nationwide debate about so-called "stand your ground" laws.
Joe Burbank AP

If a stranger attacks you inside your own home, the law has always permitted you to defend yourself. On the other hand, if an altercation breaks out in public, the law requires you to try to retreat. At least, that's what it used to do.

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11:38am

Wed January 2, 2013
Krulwich Wonders...

Grrr, Said The Grylloblattid. I'm Not Leaving. Not Yet.

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 5:01 pm

Robert Krulwich NPR

3:46am

Wed January 2, 2013
Shots - Health News

Can Skinny Models Undermine Your Dieting Goals?

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 11:16 am

Posting a picture like this on the fridge might seem like good motivation for weight loss. But scientists say it might instead inspire weight gain.
iStockphoto.com

The millions of Americans who make New Year's resolutions to lose weight often have pictures in mind.

They're pictures that have been repeatedly supplied by the health and beauty magazines at supermarket checkout lines. They feature skinny models in bikinis, or toned guys with six-pack abs, and captions about how you could look like this by summer.

Some people go so far as to tape these pictures onto their refrigerators and cupboards. When they're tempted to reach for a cookie, they reason, the sight of that toned model might dissuade them from breaking their resolutions.

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10:59am

Tue January 1, 2013
The Two-Way

Oil Drilling Rig Runs Aground In Gulf Of Alaska

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 6:44 am

Waves crash over the Kulluk oil rig, which washed aground on Sitkalidak Island, Alaska. Officials say aircraft have not spotted any signs of a fuel leak from the rig, which reportedly does not contain crude oil.
PA3 Jon Klingenberg Coast Guard

An oil drilling rig holding more than 150,000 gallons of diesel, lubricating oil, and hydraulic fluid has run aground near Kodiak Island in the Gulf of Alaska, after it was being towed during a storm. The crew was evacuated before the rig was incapacitated.

"The rig ran aground in a storm, with waves up to 35 feet and wind to 70 miles per hour," reports Jeff Brady, on NPR's Newscast. The Shell Oil rig is "about 250 miles south of Anchorage," Jeff says.

Update at 6:13 p.m. ET. No Sign of a Leak.

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3:00am

Tue January 1, 2013
Science

The Year Of The Higgs, And Other Tiny Advances In Science

Originally published on Tue January 1, 2013 9:44 am

Scientists at the Large Hadron Collider announced the discovery of the Higgs boson on July 4, the long-sought building block of the universe. This image shows a computer-simulation of data from the collider.
Barcroft Media/Landov

It's a year-end tradition to cobble together a list of the most important advances in science. But, truth be told, many ideas that change the world don't tend to spring from these flashy moments of discovery. Our view of nature — and our technology — often evolve from a sequence of more subtle advances.

Even so, chances are good that this year's list-makers will choose the discovery of the Higgs boson as the most important discovery of 2012.

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12:26pm

Mon December 31, 2012
Krulwich Wonders...

Another Year And I'm Still Here: A New Year's Meditation

Originally published on Tue January 1, 2013 12:17 pm

Rogier Wieland Vimeo

Updated Jan. 1, 2013: I've added a postscript to this post. You can find it at the bottom of this page.

Look at yourself. Right now.

You are muscle,skin, bone, brain, blood, warmed by energy, and all of you, every cell, even the subsets of those cells, all trillions and trillions of them, are going to tire, waste and depart. In 10 years almost every bit of you will have been replaced by new bits.

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5:49am

Mon December 31, 2012
Research News

Why Charities Need To Consider Donors' Politics

As American make contributions to various charities at the end of the year, there is increasing evidence that politics is playing a role in their decisions. Research suggests that the way the charity presses certain ideological buttons predicts whether liberals or conservatives will pony up a donation.

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