Science & Environment

NPR Story
12:01 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

How E-Waste Is Becoming a Big, Global Problem

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 1:03 pm

According to the EPA, more than 2.5 million tons of electronic waste, or e-waste, is produced each year in the U.S. Derek Markham, a contributing writer for Treehugger.com, discusses the global impacts, and why you should think twice before discarding your old cell phone.

NPR Story
12:01 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

Simulating The Red Planet, On The Pale Blue Dot

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 1:03 pm

What's it like to live--and cook--on Mars? To find out, researchers are simulating Mars missions in Russia, and on the slopes of a Hawaiian volcano. Kim Binsted talks about her study to whip up tastier space food. Porcini mushroom risotto, anyone? And sleep expert Charles Czeisler talks about how humans adapt to the 24.65-hour Martian day.

Krulwich Wonders...
10:05 am
Fri January 11, 2013

The Oldest Rock In The World Tells Us A Story

Steve Munsinger Photo Researchers Inc.

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 1:51 pm

It's hard to imagine how this teeny little rock — it's not even a whole rock, it's just a grain, a miniscule droplet of mineral barely the thickness of a human hair — could rewrite the history of our planet. But that's what seems to be happening.

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Opinion
3:55 am
Fri January 11, 2013

The True Weight Of Water

Craig Childs walks in the desert surrounding the Colorado River delta.
Courtesy of Craig Childs

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 8:35 am

Part of the nation's physical landscape is changing. Nature writer and commentator Craig Childs has been watching the dramatic transformation of a mighty river that is running dry.

Small porpoises once swam in the brackish estuaries of the Colorado River delta. Jaguars stalked the river channels and marshes. It's not like that any more, though. The Colorado River no longer reaches the sea in Northern Mexico. It hasn't since 1983.

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The Salt
3:34 am
Fri January 11, 2013

This Butter Sculpture Could Power A Farm For 3 Days

A 1,000-pound butter sculpture is unveiled at the 97th Pennsylvania Farm Show in Harrisburg last week.
Bradley C. Bower AP

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 9:49 pm

For more than a week, it was the belle of the ball, the butter with no better: a giant 1,000-pound dairy sculpture that occupied the place of honor at the annual Farm Show in Harrisburg, Pa.

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The Two-Way
3:57 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

Agreed, Baby Pandas Are Cute. But Why?

Tai Shan and his mother, Mei Xiang, enjoy frozen fruit treats at the National Zoo in 2006.
Avie Schneider NPR

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 1:05 pm

Xiao Liwu made his public debut Thursday at the San Diego Zoo. Fans crowded around the exhibit, their camera lenses extended, hoping to catch a glimpse of the 5-month-old giant panda cub. If they're lucky and actually do see the 16-pound panda (his Chinese name means "Little Gift"), there'll be much oooing and aaahing.

You'd have to be heartless not to agree that pandas, especially the youngest of them, are as cute as all get-out. Right? But why?

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The Salt
11:13 am
Thu January 10, 2013

Artist's State-Shaped Steaks Explore Beef's Origins

Sarah Hallacher came up with the idea to represent the beef industry as "raw" steaks while she was researching on the web about where her own steak dinner came from.
Courtesy of Sarah Hallacher

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 1:14 pm

If there's one thing we love more than talking about beef here at The Salt, it's visualizing the U.S.'s insatiable appetite for meat through infographics and charts.

So when we ran across Sarah Hallacher's Beef Stakes project over at Fast Company's Co.Design blog, our eyes lit up like the charcoal grill on Super Bowl Sunday.

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Shots - Health News
2:16 pm
Wed January 9, 2013

Alzheimer's Drug Dials Back Deafness In Mice

If you know some mice that took This Is Spinal Tap too literally, they might want to know about an experiment to restore hearing with a failed Alzheimer's drug.
The Kobal Collection

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 8:34 am

If you've spent years CRANKING YOUR MUSIC UP TO 11, this item's for you.

A drug developed for Alzheimer's disease can partially reverse hearing loss caused by exposure to extremely loud sounds, an international team reports in the journal Neuron.

Before you go back to rocking the house with your Van Halen collection, though, consider that the drug has only been tried in mice so far. And it has never been approved for human use.

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The Picture Show
11:18 am
Wed January 9, 2013

Under Construction: The World's Largest Thermal Solar Plant

The three solar fields and their respective towers. October 2012.
Jamey Stillings

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 4:48 pm

According to photographer Jamey Stillings, the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System (ISEGS) will be the "world's largest concentrated solar thermal power plant" when complete at the end of this year. That's if we want to get all technical.

In plain terms: There's a huge solar plant under construction in the middle of the Mojave Desert, and Stillings has been documenting the process since the very beginning. Did you know this was happening? I didn't.

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Krulwich Wonders...
10:05 am
Wed January 9, 2013

New Man On The Moon (And His Name Is Dean)

Vimeo

Originally published on Wed January 9, 2013 11:20 am

You can't see him at first.

He's off at the lower left, waiting for filmmaker Bryan Smith to say go. Then Dean Potter starts to climb, moving with no pack, no ropes, nothing, up the side of Cathedral Peak in Yosemite until he reaches the highline that will take him straight to the moon. He steps out, arms stretched, no pole; you can watch the line sag a little as it takes his weight, and he's off ...

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