Science & Environment

Shots - Health News
2:39 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Even If You Don't Have Symptoms, You May Still Have The Flu

Just the sniffles? Could be the flu.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 7:33 pm

Fever, muscle aches, nausea — these are what we usually associate with having the flu.

But just because you don't exhibit these symptoms, it doesn't mean you don't have the flu, researchers say. And you could be just as contagious. In fact, their study found that roughly three-quarters of people with seasonal or pandemic flu show either no symptoms or mild ones that aren't usually linked to flu.

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The Two-Way
1:14 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Scientists Announce A Big-Bang Breakthrough

This image released Monday by Harvard-led researchers represents the gravitational waves in the Cosmic Microwave Background in the microsecond after the Big Bang.
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 4:19 pm

This post was update at 4:00 p.m. ET.

Researchers say they've discovered that gravitational waves rippled through the fabric of space-time in the first sliver of a second after the Big Bang — the first direct evidence for a mysterious, ultrarapid expansion at the dawn of the universe. If confirmed, it would represent one of the most profound insights in decades to emerge from the field of cosmology.

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Technology
5:04 pm
Sun March 16, 2014

Photo Identification: The 'Best And Worst Way' To ID People

How easy is it to spot a fake ID?
Lai Seng Sin AP

Originally published on Sun March 16, 2014 6:35 pm

As an international armada of planes, ships and helicopters continues to comb the Indian Ocean for any sign of Malaysian Airlines flight 370, now missing for more than a week, Interpol confirms that two passengers aboard that flight were traveling on stolen passports.

Aviation experts say the incident highlights a major security gap at many airports: It is simply too easy to board a flight using someone else's photo ID.

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Shots - Health News
5:04 pm
Sun March 16, 2014

Parenting In The Age Of Apps: Is That iPad Help Or Harm?

With tablet technology still relatively new, pediatricians are trying to understand how interactive media affects children.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 11:32 am

When it comes to media, parents all want to know: How much is too much for my child?

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All Tech Considered
2:14 pm
Sun March 16, 2014

Physicists, Generals And CEOs Agree: Ditch The PowerPoint

John Paul Chou (right), a physics professor at Rutgers University, uses a whiteboard and answers questions during a forum at Fermilab.
Amanda Solliday Fermilab

Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 3:53 pm

About six months ago, a group of physicists in the U.S. working on the Large Hadron Collider addressed a problem they've been having for a while: Whenever they had meetings, everyone stuck to the prepared slides and couldn't really answer questions that weren't immediately relevant to what was on the screen.

The point of the forum is to start discussions, so the physicists banned PowerPoint — from then on, they could only use a board and a marker.

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Humans
7:47 am
Sun March 16, 2014

Not-So-Objective Scientists Cling To Accepted Wisdom

Originally published on Sun March 16, 2014 11:32 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Scientists are usually portrayed as highly rational seekers of the truth - and they are that. But they also have qualities that make them more similar to you and me than you might think. NPR's Joe Palca has a story that reveals that quite dramatically. Joe's been immersed in an NPR series called Joe's Big Idea, where he explores the minds and motivations of scientists and inventors. And from time to time, he drops by to share some of the interesting things he's learned. Hi, Joe.

JOE PALCA, BYLINE: Hi, Rachel.

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Author Interviews
7:45 am
Sat March 15, 2014

Why'd The Scientist Cross The Road? To Figure Out Why You're Laughing

iStockphoto

Originally published on Sat March 15, 2014 6:03 pm

Here's a joke: A man is sitting on the porch with his wife one night when, out of the blue he says, "I love you." His wife says, "Was that you? Or was that the beer talking?" The man says, "That was me — talking to the beer."

Maybe you laughed at that and maybe you didn't, but either way, cognitive neuroscientist Scott Weems wants to know whether you found it funny. In his new book HA! Weems explores the science "of when we laugh and why."

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Around the Nation
7:45 am
Sat March 15, 2014

Drought Closes Oregon Resort Before The Season Even Opens

Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 2:03 pm

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Jacki Lyden. This was supposed to be a special year for the Mount Ashland ski area in Southern Oregon as it celebrated its 50th anniversary. But after a long drought this summer, Mount Ashland had to call it a season early. Yesterday, it declared slope season was over due to a lack of snow. NPR's Tom Goldman reports.

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Krulwich Wonders...
7:13 am
Sat March 15, 2014

You're Old. You're a Rock. You Can See

The Salt
5:01 am
Sat March 15, 2014

Rethinking The Five-Second Rule: With Carpet, There's No Rush

Bacteria don't wear wristwatches. But they can take their sweet time hopping onto a potato chip.
Greg Williams/Wikimedia Commons

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 5:47 pm

Many of us will happily eat a gummy bear or cookie after it falls on the floor, as long as we snatch it up quickly. Say, five seconds or less, right?

Well, science just gave us another excuse to continue this food-saving habit, especially when it comes to carpet-dusted snacks.

Biology students at the Aston University in Birmingham, U.K., measured how quickly two common bacteria hop aboard foods dropped on tiles, linoleum and carpet.

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