Science & Environment

Science
7:14 am
Sun September 8, 2013

Dreams: The Telling Tells More Than The Contents

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 1:40 pm

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

So like many people, Billy Crystal can't sleep. And if you're not sleeping you're not dreaming, which could also be problematic.

Psychoanalyst Stephen Grosz says dreams are crucial.

DR. STEPHEN GROSZ: They seem to be a part of what it is to be human, and something which has been a part of human life for as long as we know.

MARTIN: In his book, "The Examined Life," Grosz writes about how dreams often reveal things about his patients that they hide even from themselves.

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Dance
7:14 am
Sun September 8, 2013

Billy Crystal, Up Since 1948

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 1:40 pm

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "MR. SANDMAN")

THE CHORDETTES: (Singing) Bum, bum, bum, bum, bum, bum, bum, bum. Bum, bum, bum, bum, bum. Bum...

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

We're talking this morning about sleep - why we do it, why we can't seem to get more of it.

Yesterday, WEEKEND EDITION's Scott Simon chatted with a comedian who has his own sleep troubles. Billy Crystal writes about them in his new book, "Still Fooling Them."

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Has insomnia been an important part of your life?

BILLY CRYSTAL: I've been up since 1948.

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Science
7:14 am
Sun September 8, 2013

How Sounds Undermine Sleep

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 1:40 pm

Why can some people sleep through a jackhammer at the window, while others waken with the lightest whisper? Host Rachel Martin speaks to Johns Hopkins Sleep Disorders Center researcher Jeffrey Ellenbogen about his new study on how noises interrupt sleep.

Science
7:14 am
Sun September 8, 2013

'Memory Pinball' And Other Reasons You Need A Nap

On the surface, sleep may seem like an evolutionary disaster, but its benefits have come to outweigh its potential downsides.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 1:40 pm

We spend about one-third of our lives sleeping, but much of that function remains a mystery. Weekend Edition Sunday is asking some pretty fundamental, yet complicated, questions about why we do it and why we can't seem to get more of it.

Dr. Matthew Walker says the question of why we sleep remains "that archetypal mystery."

Walker, the principal investigator at the sleep lab the University of California, Berkeley, works with patients who suffer from sleep abnormalities. He says the complexity of sleep makes the research that much more fascinating.

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Environment
5:32 am
Sun September 8, 2013

Climate Change Leaves Hares Wearing The Wrong Colors

A white snowshoe hare against a brown background makes the animal easy prey.
L.S. Mills Research Photo

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 1:40 pm

The effects of climate change often happen on a large scale, like drought or a rise in sea level. In the hills outside Missoula, Mont., wildlife biologists are looking at a change to something very small: the snowshoe hare.

Life as snowshoe hare is pretty stressful. For one, almost everything in the forest wants to eat you.

Alex Kumar, a graduate student at the University of Montana, lists the animals that are hungry for hares.

"Lynx, foxes, coyotes, raptors, birds of prey. Interestingly enough, young hares, their main predator is actually red squirrels."

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Shots - Health News
6:55 pm
Sat September 7, 2013

E-Cigarettes May Match The Patch In Helping Smokers Quit

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 10:18 am

Electronic cigarettes are sparking lots of skepticism from public health types worried they may be a gateway to regular smoking.

But the cigarettes, which use water vapor to deliver nicotine into the lungs, may be as good as the patch when it comes to stop-smoking aids, a study finds.

Smokers who used e-cigarettes in an attempt to quit the old-fashioned kind of cigarettes did about as well at stopping smoking as the people who tried the patch.

After six months, 7.3 percent of e-smokers had dropped cigarettes, compared to 5.8 percent of people wearing the patch.

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The Two-Way
10:17 am
Sat September 7, 2013

NASA Lunar Orbiter Solves Snag After Successful Launch

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden speaks before Friday night's launch of the LADEE moon orbiter. The craft has run into a small technical issue, NASA says, which it will fix before it arrives at the moon next month.
Carla Cioffi NASA

Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 1:59 pm

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Environment
7:23 am
Sat September 7, 2013

Captured Sounds From Ausable Marsh

Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 1:01 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Before summer slips away, North Country Public Radio's Brian Mann decided to take a day off from work for one last hot weather canoe trip in upstate New York. With his wife Susan, Brian paddled and trekked through the Ausable Marshes in the Champlain Valley. He sent back this audio postcard.

(SOUNDBITE OF WATER SPLASHING)

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Research News
7:23 am
Sat September 7, 2013

Industrial Soot May Have Melted Europe's Glaciers

Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 1:01 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Glaciers in the European Alps pose a scientific mystery. Now, they started melting rapidly back in the 1860s, and in the span of about 50 years, some of the biggest glaciers retreated more than half a mile. Nobody could explain why. Now, a new study suggests the glaciers melted because they were covered with soot from the Industrial Revolution. NPR's Richard Harris reports.

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Environment
5:20 pm
Fri September 6, 2013

Immense Underwater Volcano Is The Biggest On Earth

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 5:20 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

In the northwestern Pacific Ocean, scientists have found what they believe to be the biggest volcano on Earth. In fact, to find a volcano of a similar size, you'd have to go to Mars. As NPR's Christopher Joyce reports, the volcano is, fortunately, dormant, but in its prime, it changed the face of the Earth.

CHRISTOPHER JOYCE, BYLINE: William Sager says he brings conversations to a halt when he tells people he's a geophysicist. But now, he says he's got a story that gets people's attention.

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