The State Department says that production of Canadian tar-sand crude, which has a bigger greenhouse gas footprint than other types of oil, is unlikely to be increased if the Keystone XL pipeline goes ahead â and therefore would do little to contribute to climate change.
Australian authorities have approved a controversial plan to dump dredged sediment in the Great Barrier Reef marine park, potentially upsetting one of the world's most fragile ecosystems.
The massive dredging operation would make way for deep-draft ships to enter the Abbot Point coal port in northern Queensland. About 106 million cubic feet of dredged mud will be dumped within the marine park under the plan, according to The Associated Press.
My son didn't weep when his beloved 49ers lost to the Seahawks in the NFC championship. His team may have been vanquished, but at least there was ground for hope that the Broncos would stop the enemy from winning the Super Bowl.
Ah, the ways of love and hate in the world of the fan!
Scientists may have filled in a gap in one the fundamental theories of physics. We've always been told that magnets have two poles, north and south. But theory suggests there should be something called a magnetic monopole, a magnet that has either a north pole or a south pole but not both of them. So far no one has found this elusive magnetic monopole.
Now let's turn to a thought experiment. Imagine you're riding one of those glass elevators that takes you to the top of a skyscraper. You go higher and higher. The view gets better. The cars on the ground, the people down there look puny like ants. Researchers say if you imagine this, it can make you feel unaccountably better about yourself. It briefly raises your self esteem. But researchers also say this feeling can be bad for you.
NPR's social science correspondent Shankar Vedantam is here to explain why. Hi, Shankar.
There's a patch of seashore along the coast of Argentina where hundreds of thousands of penguins make their home. It's called Punta Tombo. Dee Boersma, a conservation biologist at the University of Washington, has been going there for 30 years, and she's discovered that a changing climate is killing those penguins.
Researchers are a bit closer to understanding one of the brain's greatest accomplishments: making sense out of spoken language.
An area of the brain that interprets speech contains cells that respond to the dozen or so basic units of sound we use to form words, according to a team from the University of California, San Francisco.
Some of these cells respond specifically to plosives, like the initial "puh" sounds in "Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers," the team found. Other neurons respond to fricative consonants, like the "f" sound in the word "fish."
Amy Chua is known as the Tiger Mom. Ever since writing a book called Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother about raising her daughter according to the strict â and very high â expectations of her own Chinese-immigrant parents, she's been a lightning rod for controversy about parenting and our notion of success in this country.