Science

11:28am

Thu March 6, 2014
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Did Humans Evolve On The Savanna? The Debate Heats Up

Originally published on Thu March 6, 2014 7:45 pm

Don Emmert AFP/Getty Images

"Without original research or new data, Dominguez-Rodrigo attempts to resurrect 'the spirit of the old savanna hypothesis' via word games and revisionist history ... This attempted resurrection of an obsolete mind-set will stand as a monument to futility. — paleoanthropologist Tim White, in response to prehistorian M.

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10:14am

Thu March 6, 2014
The Salt

Moo-d Music: Do Cows Really Prefer Slow Jams?

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 3:46 pm

The Ingenues, an all-girl band and vaudeville act, serenade the cows in the University of Wisconsin, Madison's dairy barn in 1930. The show was apparently part of an experiment to see whether the soothing strains of music boosted the cows' milk production.
Angus B. McVicar/Wisconsin Historical Society

When it's time to buckle down and focus, plenty of office workers will put on headphones to help them drown out distractions and be more productive. But can music also help dairy cows get down to business?

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8:18am

Thu March 6, 2014
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

An Update From Barbara

I want to thank so many of you who have kindly inquired how I'm doing. Since last spring, I've written three times at 13.7 about my cancer diagnosis.

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4:46pm

Wed March 5, 2014
The Salt

Beer As A Post-Workout Recovery Drink? Not As Crazy As It Sounds

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 3:49 pm

An ad for Vampt's Lean Machine "recovery ale," which will be marketed as a sports drink later this year, if funding allows. Researchers say drinking beer after working out has some advantages, but there are big caveats.
Courtesy of VAMPT

There may be some good news brewing for fitness and beer enthusiasts: Somewhere in the north, a Canadian beverage company has concocted a low-alcohol, protein-packed "fit beer" that is expected to be marketed as a sports drink later this year, if funding allows.

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4:35pm

Wed March 5, 2014
Shots - Health News

To Clean Drinking Water, All You Need Is A Stick

Originally published on Tue May 27, 2014 3:25 pm

Current water-filtering technology is costly, but MIT scientists are testing a simpler and cheaper method that uses wood from white pine trees.
Wikimedia Commons

Removing all the dangerous bacteria from drinking water would have enormous health benefits for people around the world.

The technologies exist for doing that, but there's a problem: cost.

Now a scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology thinks he's on to a much less expensive way to clean up water.

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4:35pm

Wed March 5, 2014
Environment

With Waste Dump Closed, Where To Put Nuclear Leftovers?

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 8:42 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

In New Mexico, the nation's only nuclear waste dump is closed. It's been several weeks since radioactive material was detected in the air at the site. As NPR's Geoff Brumfiel reports, the incident is shaping up to be yet another setback in the quest to find a home for America's nuclear waste.

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4:35pm

Wed March 5, 2014
Environment

Even After The Floods, The Drought Continues

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 8:42 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Here's some good news about the water situation in Northern California: More rain is falling today. San Francisco has seen eight inches over the past week and down south, L.A., has seen four. That's more rain than those two cities received over the whole past year. But the drought is still on and is still severe. And California's farmers are still looking at a bleak situation.

Here's NPR's Kirk Siegler.

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4:35pm

Wed March 5, 2014
Remembrances

Remembering The Doctor Who Spoke Hard Truths About Dying

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 8:42 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

20 years after Sherwin Nuland changed the way we talk about dying, the surgeon and best-selling author of the book "How We Die" has died himself. Dr. Nuland died on Monday at the age of 83. The cause was prostate cancer. In "How We Die," Nuland sought to demythologize the process of dying by offering up a frank discussion of the details of physical deterioration. Here he is speaking on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED in early 1994.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED BROADCAST)

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12:55pm

Wed March 5, 2014
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

The Playfulness Of Invention

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 4:21 pm

Brazilian aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont's 14-bis biplane takes off from a French field in 1906.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

It's Ash Wednesday, and while we freeze up here in New England, the people of Brazil are picking up the mess after four days of rampage and decadent partying during their legendary Carnival celebrations. But even if Carnival's reputation is due to the wild dancing, singing and flirting, it is also a time to open up and be what you want but can't — or are afraid — to be. It's a celebration of the imagination and of personal freedom, a marriage of the sacred and the profane.

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11:53am

Wed March 5, 2014
The Salt

Chipotle Says There's No 'Guacapocalypse' Looming

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 3:16 pm

An employee prepares to make fresh guacamole at a Chipotle restaurant in Hollywood, Calif.
Patrick T. Fallon Bloomberg

Looks like reports of a looming "guacapocalypse" have been vastly overstated.

This morning, guacamole lovers woke to headlines warning that Mexican fast-food chain Chipotle could eventually be forced to drop the dip from its menu, if changing global weather patterns continue to drive volatility in the price of avocados.

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