Science & Environment

Environment
5:02 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

Federal Plan To Save Prairie Chickens Ruffles State Feathers

A male lesser prairie chicken in the Texas Panhandle. The bird's entire habitat includes parts of Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.
Jon McRoberts AP

Originally published on Tue April 15, 2014 5:29 pm

It's prairie chicken mating season!

Still, it's tough being a lesser prairie chicken these days. This type of grouse once spanned an enormous area, though now they survive mainly in pockets of Oklahoma and Kansas. Their numbers are plummeting; in 2012, the population dropped by half.

But after they were recently listed as a threatened species by the U.S. government, complaints of federal overreach and lawsuits have followed.

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Shots - Health News
3:28 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

Gut-Eating Amoeba Caught On Film

Not nice: A gut-eating amoeba (green) nibbles on a live human cell (purple) under the microscope. The parasite chews on the cell before killing and discarding it.
Courtesy of Katy Ralston

Originally published on Thu April 10, 2014 4:26 pm

Most of us have heard of the brain-eating amoeba. You know, the little guy that crops up in neti pots and backyard swimming holes every now and then.

Now let me introduce you to its cousin: the gut-eating amoeba.

This nasty critter can wreak havoc in your intestinal tract and cause a dreadful case of food poisoning that may last months or years.

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The Salt
11:18 am
Wed April 9, 2014

Food Scraps To Fuel Vertical Farming's Rise In Chicago

Arugula plant beds inside The Plant, a vertical farm operation in Chicago.
Plant Chicago, NFP/Rachel Swenie

Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 1:28 pm

From plant factories fueled by the magenta glow of blue and red LED lights, to the 30-foot tall Ferris wheel for plants in Singapore, we've shown you the design possibilities for growing vegetables up instead of out.

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Science
8:37 am
Wed April 9, 2014

What Does Sound Look Like?

Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 1:23 pm

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U.S.
3:49 am
Wed April 9, 2014

States, Lawmakers Want Feds To Use New Math For FEMA Calculations

About 1,000 homes were damaged or destroyed by a tornado in Washington, Ill., last November. Some senators are pushing for a better disaster formula for communities to get financial help.
Tasos Katopodis Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 8:02 am

It's no question the weather's been brutal for some communities, including Washington, Ill., a town of 15,000 in the central part of the state. When a tornado ripped through the area last November three people died and more than a thousand homes were damaged.

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The Salt
6:53 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

This Pie Chart Is Delicious And Statistically Sound

Melissa Wakefield's completed pie chart.
Courtesy of Melissa Wakefield

Originally published on Thu April 10, 2014 8:17 am

Remember Pie Week? That series of stories, produced with our friends over at Morning Edition in July 2012, was a hit here on The Salt.

Well, thanks to the wonders of Internet search, we have an excuse to revive Pie Week and celebrate the creativity it inspired once again.

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Shots - Health News
5:25 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

The Forgotten Childhood: Why Early Memories Fade

Francis Csedrik remembers details of being bonked hard on the head when he was 4, and having to go to the emergency room.
Meg Vogel NPR

Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 6:13 am

Francis Csedrik, who is 8 and lives in Washington, D.C., remembers a lot of events from when he was 4 or just a bit younger. There was the time he fell "headfirst on a marble floor" and got a concussion, the day someone stole the family car ("my dad had to chase it down the block"), or the morning he found a black bat (the furry kind) in the house.

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The Two-Way
4:38 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

Why Physicists Are In A Film Promoting An Earth-Centered Universe

Lawrence Krauss is among the scientists featured in the pseudoscience documentary. He says interviews of him were taken out of context for the film.
Monika Graff UPI/Landov

Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 10:13 am

It has the look and feel of a fast-paced and riveting science documentary.

The trailer opens with actress Kate Mulgrew (who starred as Capt. Janeway in Star Trek: Voyager) intoning, "Everything we think we know about our universe is wrong." That's followed by heavyweight clips of physicists Michio Kaku and Lawrence Krauss.

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The Two-Way
12:29 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

NASA Image Shows Volcanic Island Has Annexed Its Neighbor

An image taken by the Landsat 8 satellite last month shows the new, larger Nishino-shima.
Landsat 8 NASA

Originally published on Tue April 8, 2014 4:07 pm

There's some new, pristine real estate on the remote Japanese island of Nishino-shima.

Volcanic activity has merged the tiny island with a new neighbor that started to form late last year, creating a single landmass, NASA satellite imagery shows. The island is now a bit more than a half-mile across.

According to NASA:

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Around the Nation
5:14 am
Tue April 8, 2014

Washington Mudslide Creates Environmental Hazards

Originally published on Tue April 8, 2014 8:09 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

A landslide last month northeast of Seattle destroyed dozens of homes and killed at least 33 people. Now the small rural community of Oso on the edge of the Cascade Mountains is moving from search and rescue into clean-up mode. Officials are just beginning to assess the environmental and public health risks in the area.

Ashley Ahearn, from member station KUOW in Seattle, visited the site and has more.

(SOUNDBITE OF MACHINERY)

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