Science

4:16pm

Wed July 18, 2012
Environment

Drought In Danger Of Beaching Mississippi Barges

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 7:30 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And now we turn to the Mississippi River. The drought has brought parts of the Mississippi to near record low water levels. Those shallow conditions pose difficulties for barge traffic on the river and we turn now to Mark Mestemacher who is co-owner of Ceres Barge Line. It's based in East St. Louis. Welcome to the program.

MARK MESTEMACHER: Thank you.

SIEGEL: And how low is the river in East St. Louis?

Read more

11:29am

Wed July 18, 2012
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Higgs And Aristotle: A Parable Of Ethers

Aristotle and Peter Higgs walk into a pub. Higgs, as usual, orders a malt. Aristotle, more of a wine fellow, stays close to his Greek roots.

"So, I hear they found it," says Aristotle, with a twinkle in his eye.

"It sure took a long time, but I guess they did," answers Higgs, beaming.

"You think 40-odd years is a long time? I waited 23 centuries!"

"What are you talking about?" asks Higgs. "You don't mean to say that ... "

"Of course I do," retorts Aristotle. "You call it a field, I call it the ether. In the end, it doesn't matter much, does it?"

Read more

9:48am

Wed July 18, 2012
Krulwich Wonders...

If You Are Hit By Two Atomic Bombs, Should You Have Kids?

Originally published on Mon July 23, 2012 12:34 pm

U.S. Army via Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum AP

Tsutomu Yamaguchi was late for work. It was August 1945, and he'd just finished designing a 5,000-ton tanker for his company, Mitsubishi. He was heading to the office to finish up, clear out and head home, and that's when he saw the plane, high up in the sky over Hiroshima. He watched it drop a silvery speck into the air, and instinctively, says science writer Sam Kean, "he dove to the ground and covered his eyes and plugged his ears with his thumbs."

This was no ordinary bomb. The earth below shook, Yamaguchi was thrown up in the air, then smashed down and lost consciousness.

Read more

11:49am

Tue July 17, 2012
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

How Good Were Climate Models 30 Years Ago?

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 5:10 pm

Climate change as predicted in 1981. Grey shows predictions from global temperature rise via computer models run of Hansen et al 198. Red shows real world data taken since paper was published.
Geert Jan van Oldenborgh and Rein Haarsma, KNMI, RealClimate

Pretty good it appears.

Read more

11:12am

Tue July 17, 2012
Krulwich Wonders...

Five Men Agree To Stand Directly Under An Exploding Nuclear Bomb

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 2:23 pm

Atom Central/YouTube

4:48am

Tue July 17, 2012
Research News

For Seeds, Rodents Are Like Taxis

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 12:17 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

This next story takes on some new scientific research involving wily rodents, rodents that run around through the rainforest stealing mercilessly from one another. That doesn't sound very nice, but they're actually providing a service for the forest that may once have been provided by wooly mammoths.

NPR's Richard Harris could not resist telling a story with such an intriguing cast of characters.

Read more

2:01am

Tue July 17, 2012
Science

With Funding Gone, Last Undersea Lab Could Surface

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 12:25 pm

Researchers Sylvia Earle (left) and Mark Patterson are trying to raise funds to save the Aquarius Reef Base.
Greg Allen NPR

While you're enjoying your coffee this morning, half a dozen scientists are already at work. They're not sitting at desks, however, but a few miles off the Florida Keys, 60 feet down on the ocean bottom.

Read more

5:04pm

Mon July 16, 2012
Science

Can Science Plant Brain Seeds That Make You Vote?

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 7:03 pm

Adam Cole NPR

In 2008, just a few days before the Democratic presidential primary between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in Pennsylvania, a large group of Pennsylvania voters got a very unusual phone call.

It was one of those get-out-the-vote reminder calls that people get every election cycle, but in addition to the bland exhortations about the importance of the election, potential voters were asked a series of carefully constructed questions:

Read more

1:58pm

Mon July 16, 2012
Health

Plugging In For A Better Night's Sleep

Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 2:46 pm

High-tech gadgets, like smartphones, keep us connected at all hours and are making it more difficult to get a good night's sleep. But several new smartphone apps claim to help users sleep better. New York Times health and fitness reporter Anahad O'Connor explains the science behind apps.

4:30am

Mon July 16, 2012
Science

FDA Monitors Critical Scientists' Emails

Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 7:00 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Read more

Pages