Science & Environment

Science
3:59 am
Thu October 31, 2013

Burn, Bury Or Scorch? Why Destroying Syria's Chemical Weapons Is Hard

Workers in protective suits hold dummy munition during a demonstration at a chemical weapons disposal facility in Muenster, Germany, on Wednesday.
Philipp Guelland AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 12:04 pm

International monitors announced Thursday that Syria has completely destroyed its equipment for making and filling chemical weapons. But the destruction of the chemicals themselves — more than 1,000 tons of toxic ingredients — is going to be a far more daunting task.

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The Salt
3:58 am
Thu October 31, 2013

Why Are Kids Who Get Less Candy Happier On Halloween?

Kids might be more satisfied if they get one good treat instead of one good treat and one lesser treat.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 11:03 am

What makes trick-or-treaters happy is candy. And more candy is better, right?

Well, it turns out that might not actually be the case. A few years ago researchers did a study on Halloween night where some trick-or-treaters were given a candy bar, and others were given the candy bar and a piece of bubble gum.

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Superstorm Sandy: Before, During And Beyond
4:08 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

In Sandy's Wake, Flood Zones And Insurance Rates Re-Examined

An emergency responder helps evacuate two people with a boat after their neighborhood in Little Ferry, N.J., was flooded.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 6:00 pm

When Sandy blew into East Coast communities a year ago, it was flooding that did the most damage.

That's in part because the average sea level has risen over the past century — about a foot along the mid-Atlantic coast. That made it easier for the storm to push the ocean onto the land.

And scientists say there will be many more Sandy-style storms — that is, torrential rain and wind that create heavy coastal flooding — and they'll be more frequent than in the past. But preparing people for that means changing the way they live, and that's proving politically difficult.

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The Salt
11:09 am
Wed October 30, 2013

How Much Water Actually Goes Into Making A Bottle Of Water?

The amount of water to make the bottle could be up to six or seven times what's inside the bottle, according to the Water Footprint Network.
Steven Depolo Flickr

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 12:22 pm

Environmental activists have long claimed that bottled water is wasteful. Usually, they point to the roughly 50 billion (mostly plastic) bottles we throw away every year.

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Krulwich Wonders...
10:29 am
Wed October 30, 2013

Putting On Einstein's Glasses

Vimeo

Whenever you look at the teeming, rich and oh-so-various world, if you've got the right eyes, if you've got the eyes of a mathematician, you will find patterns — simple, elegant forms hiding in everything you see. Those patterns explain why sugar dissolves in a cup of coffee, why clouds release rain, why a heavy plane can climb into the sky.

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Science & Environment
3:56 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

Court Orders EPA To Review Coal Ash Regulations

A federal judge has ordered the EPA to decide whether the byproduct from burning coal is a hazardous material that must be regulated. That decision will have big implications for North Carolina.


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The Salt
1:57 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

A Japanese iPhone Gadget Teases The Tummy With Food Smells

Simply plug the Scentee device into your iPhone jack and let the scent of grilled meat waft your way.
YouTube

Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 3:35 pm

Have you ever wished that your iPhone could bring you the smell of coffee, curry or steak?

No? Well, there's a gadget for that.

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The Two-Way
7:43 pm
Mon October 28, 2013

Scientists: Asian Carp Breeding In Great Lake Tributaries

Tommy Goszewski, a technician with the U.S. Geological Survey, holds a grass carp taken from a pond at an agency lab in Columbia, Mo., in spring 2013.
AP

Scientists have confirmed for the first time that at least one variety of Asian carp is living and breeding in the Great Lakes watershed, where it threatens stocks of native fish.

A U.S. Geological Survey and Bowling Green State University study published Monday says Asian carp taken from the Sandusky River in Ohio show the fish are "the result of natural reproduction within the Lake Erie basin."

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Science
6:11 pm
Mon October 28, 2013

Science On Shaky Ground As Automatic Budget Cutbacks Drag On

Budget cutbacks threaten a planned upgrade of the massive Titan supercomputer, seen here, at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
Charles Brooks Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 12:15 pm

At Oak Ridge National Laboratory, scientists use a powerful computer known as Titan to simulate everything from the inner workings of a nuclear reactor to the complicated effects of climate change on human populations — on a global scale. Until recently, Titan was the most powerful supercomputer on the planet, but now there's a new No. 1.

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NPR Story
5:21 pm
Mon October 28, 2013

How To See Forever On Your Dirty Car

Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 12:15 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

When you're in love with science, ordinary everyday stuff can suddenly seem extraordinary. At least that's how NPR blogger and astrophysicist Adam Frank sees it, even down to the dust on his car.

ADAM FRANK, BYLINE: Carl Sagan, an astronomer with the soul of a poet, liked to remind us that we are all star stuff. It was without a doubt one of his most beautiful images. But what really was Carl Sagan talking about? Well, there are two answers to this question.

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