Science

5:40am

Sat April 5, 2014
Environment

Feds Hope $5 Billion Settlement A Lesson For Polluters

Originally published on Sat April 5, 2014 11:26 am

A sign at the old Kerr-McGee uranium mill site in Grants, N.M., warns of radioactive material. This week, the Justice Department announced a $5 billion settlement against the mining company to pay for the cleanup of toxic sites the company left across the U.S. over a period of more than eight decades.
Susan Montoya Bryan AP

This week, the federal government announced a record-breaking $5 billion settlement in a remarkable environmental case. The toxic legacy of the company involved, Kerr-McGee, stretches back 85 years and includes scores of sites across the country.

Kerr-McGee ran uranium mines in the Navajo Nation, wood-treating businesses across the Midwest and East Coast, and a perchlorate plant on a tributary of Lake Mead, the nation's largest reservoir — and it was messy.

Read more

5:39am

Sat April 5, 2014
Krulwich Wonders...

The Power Of Poop: A Whale Story

Originally published on Mon April 7, 2014 1:46 pm

Robert Krulwich NPR

This, I would think, should be self-evident: Generally speaking, big creatures eat smaller creatures that, in turn, eat even smaller creatures, like this ...

And just as obviously, one would expect the food chain to be pyramid-shaped: a few big creatures at the top eating more middle-sized creatures in the middle, that eat many, many, many little creatures at the bottom, like so:

Read more

1:14pm

Fri April 4, 2014
Shots - Health News

Could A 'Barbie' Get Real? What A Healthy Fashion Doll Looks Like

Originally published on Fri April 4, 2014 3:35 pm

Look familiar? Artist Nickolay Lamm designed a doll to look like the average 19-year-old walking — or running — on the street.
Courtesy of Lammily

For decades, the Barbie doll has been slammed by parents for promoting an unhealthy female body image. Playing with a Barbie doll for just a few minutes may cause girls to limit their career ambitions, psychologists reported last month.

So why do we keep offering girls bone-thin dolls like Barbie and the popular Monster High crew, asks artist Nickolay Lamm?

Read more

12:29pm

Fri April 4, 2014
The Two-Way

Scientists Say A Lake Superior Lurks On Saturn's Moon Enceladus

Originally published on Fri April 4, 2014 3:02 pm

A photo released by NASA in 2006 shows the surface of Saturn's moon Enceladus as seen from the Cassini spacecraft.
AP

Water, water, everywhere ...

Read more

12:03pm

Fri April 4, 2014
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Deconstructing The Philosophies Of 'RoboCop'

Originally published on Fri April 4, 2014 8:10 pm

Joel Kinnaman (left) as Alex Murphy and Gary Oldman as Dr. Dennett Norton in Robocop.
Kerry Hayes Columbia Pictures

I went to see the new RoboCop the other day with my colleague Hubert Dreyfus. As it happens, the movie features a character named Hubert Dreyfus. The character in the movie isn't based on Professor Dreyfus; it is an homage to him.

Read more

9:28am

Fri April 4, 2014
TED Radio Hour

Could Your Language Affect Your Ability To Save Money?

Why is it that we allow subtle nudges of our language to affect our decision making? --Keith Chen
James Duncan Davidson TED

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Money Paradox.

About Keith Chen's TEDTalk

Behavioral economist Keith Chen says languages that don't have a future tense strongly correlate with higher savings.

About Keith Chen

Read more

9:28am

Fri April 4, 2014
TED Radio Hour

Are We Wired To Be Bad With Money?

Why is it that we keep doing dumb things in the face of bad consequences? — Laurie Santos
James Duncan Davidson TED

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Money Paradox.

About Laurie Santos's TEDTalk

Psychologist Laurie Santos studies human irrationality by observing how primates make decisions — including some not-so-savvy money choices their human relatives often make.

About Laurie Santos

Read more

9:28am

Fri April 4, 2014
TED Radio Hour

Does Money Make You Mean?

As a person's levels of wealth increase, their feelings of compassion and empathy go down, and...their ideology of self-interest increases. --Paul Piff
Margot Duane Courtesy of TED

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Money Paradox.

About Paul Piff's TEDTalk

Social psychologist Paul Piff describes how wealth changes behavior and how almost anyone's behavior can change when they're made to feel rich.

About Paul Piff

Read more

7:14pm

Thu April 3, 2014
Shots - Health News

Shooting Unfairly Links Violence With Mental Illness — Again

Originally published on Fri April 4, 2014 9:05 am

Lt. Gen. Mark Milley speaks to reporters April 2 regarding the second shooting in five years on the Fort Hood Army post in Texas.
Drew Anthony Smith Getty Images

With the Army's disclosure that Army Spc. Ivan Lopez was being evaluated for post-traumatic stress disorder before he went on a shooting rampage Wednesday, there were once again questions about whether the Army could have prevented the violence at Fort Hood.

Read more

6:27pm

Thu April 3, 2014
Rethinking Retirement: The Changing Work Landscape

One More Speed Bump For Your Retirement Fund: Basic Human Impulse

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 7:34 pm

We hate losing twice as much as we love winning, behavioral researchers say. And that gets us into trouble with financial decisions.
iStockphoto

Saving for retirement is a challenge facing most Americans. Research shows the challenge is made harder by our basic human impulses. We know we should be saving. But we don't. We consistently make bad financial decisions.

One thing that leads us astray is what behavioral economists call "loss aversion." In other words, we hate losing. And that gets in the way of us winning — if winning is making smart financial decisions.

How A Smashed Car Is Like A Smashed Nest Egg

Read more

Pages