Science

2:10pm

Fri November 30, 2012
Science

Perhaps Another Reason To Spike That Eggnog?

Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 5:02 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Flora Lichtman is here with our Video Pick of the Week. Hi, Flora.

FLORA LICHTMAN, BYLINE: Hi, Ira. We're going to have to switch gears here - big time.

(LAUGHTER)

LICHTMAN: The Video Pick of the Week is not particularly about a healthy thing. This is about holiday decadence. So...

FLATOW: Ooh.

LICHTMAN: ...change your - turn your monitor around.

FLATOW: Deep breath - deep, cleansing breath.

LICHTMAN: Yeah, exactly. Cleansing breath. Exactly.

(LAUGHTER)

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2:05pm

Fri November 30, 2012
Health Care

What Obamacare Means For Patients

Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 5:02 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY, I'm Ira Flatow. Now that President Obama's been re-elected, it's clear that at least the president won't try to repeal Obamacare. But with all the political mud-slinging about the Affordable Care Act, the details sort of got lost, didn't they? Do you actually know what the law does for you, and just as importantly what it doesn't do, what changes to your health care kick in on January 1, what major changes kick in in 2014 and thereafter?

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10:12am

Fri November 30, 2012
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

The Singularity Is Already Here

The human machine in action.
Jeff Haynes AFP/Getty Images

Will machines one day take over the world?

Yes. In fact, they already have.

I don't mean auto-trading computers on Wall Street, unmanned weapons systems, Deep Blue and the World Wide Web.

I mean us. We are machines.

From the dawn of our history we have amplified ourselves with tools. We have cultivated skills that take our basic body schema and extend it out into the world with sticks and rakes and then arrows and guns and rails and phones. Where do you find yourself? Spread out all over the universe. And it has always been so, really.

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8:11am

Fri November 30, 2012
Krulwich Wonders...

Cornstalks Everywhere But Nothing Else, Not Even A Bee

Originally published on Fri November 30, 2012 11:19 am

David Liittschwager

We'll start in a cornfield — we'll call it an Iowa cornfield in late summer — on a beautiful day. The corn is high. The air is shimmering. There's just one thing missing — and it's a big thing...

...a very big thing, but I won't tell you what, not yet.

Instead, let's take a detour. We'll be back to the cornfield in a minute, but just to make things interesting, I'm going to leap halfway around the world to a public park near Cape Town, South Africa, where you will notice a cube, a metal cube, lying there in the grass.

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5:04am

Fri November 30, 2012
Research News

Victory Or Defeat? Emotions Aren't All In The Face

Originally published on Fri November 30, 2012 8:20 pm

Can You Tell Emotion From Faces Alone? A new study suggests that when people evaluated just facial expressions — without cues from the rest of the body — they couldn't tell if the face was showing a positive or negative emotion. Enlarge this photo to see the answers.
Hillel Aviezer The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Photos of athletes in their moment of victory or defeat usually show faces contorted with intense emotion. But a new study suggests that people actually don't use those kinds of extreme facial expressions to judge how a person is feeling.

Instead, surprisingly, people rely on body cues.

Hillel Aviezer, a psychology researcher at Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel, wanted to see how accurately people can read intense, real-world facial expressions — instead of the standardized, posed images of facial expressions that are usually used in lab tests.

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5:19pm

Thu November 29, 2012
Environment

Water Levels Dangerously Low On Mississippi River

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 5:37 pm

Mississippi River water levels are reaching near-record lows. Sections of the middle Mississippi River may become obstructed in December by rock outcrops in southern Illinois. The Army Corps of Engineers plan to remove the rock pinnacles in February, but river navigation industry leaders say that's not soon enough.

5:13pm

Thu November 29, 2012
Space

Which Came First: The Galaxy Or The Black Hole?

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 5:37 pm

Robert Siegel talks with UT-Austin astrophysicist Karl Gebhardt about his team's discovery of a giant black hole in a tiny galaxy. The discovery contradicts traditional theories of galaxy formation.

5:11pm

Thu November 29, 2012
Science

Greenland, Antarctic Ice Is Melting Faster

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 5:44 pm

An iceberg that likely calved from Jakobshavn Isbrae, the fastest glacier in western Greenland.
Ian Joughin Science/AAAS

Superstorm Sandy sparked a lot of interest in rising sea levels when it swept across the Northeast last month and flooded parts of the coast. Over the next century, more water — and higher sea levels — could come from melting ice in Greenland and Antarctica. How much has been unclear.

But now scientists have developed a much clearer view of how quickly that ice has been melting over the past two decades. And that will help researchers forecast the rate of sea-level rise in the years to come.

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4:57pm

Thu November 29, 2012
Business

Lower Water Levels Dry Up Business On Great Lakes

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 5:37 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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3:44pm

Thu November 29, 2012
The Salt

Tastier Winter Tomatoes, Thanks to A Boom in Greenhouse Growing

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 8:36 am

The taste of Mock's tomatoes starts with the seed. He uses only organic varieties, including cherry and several heirloom varieties.
Allison Aubrey NPR

It may sound like an oxymoron: a delicious local, winter tomato — especially if you happen to live in a cold climate.

But increasingly, farmers from West Virginia to Maine and through the Midwest are going indoors to produce tomatoes and other veggies in demand during the winter months. "There's a huge increase in greenhouse operations," Harry Klee of the University of Florida tells us.

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