Science & Environment

The Salt
5:48 pm
Mon April 13, 2015

Kitchen Science: We Used Peeps To Calculate The Speed Of Light

NPR's Skunk Bear NPR

Originally published on Thu April 16, 2015 2:38 pm

In the week after Easter, we had a lot of old Peeps lying around. No one seemed that interested in eating them, so we used them to measure the speed of light.

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Environment
4:45 pm
Mon April 13, 2015

Harvard Students Block Campus Building To Push Fossil Fuel Divestment

Originally published on Tue April 14, 2015 2:32 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Student activists are demonstrating in Harvard Yard, demanding that the world's wealthiest university sell its shares in big oil and coal companies. From member station WGBH, Kirk Carapezza reports.

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Shots - Health News
3:30 am
Mon April 13, 2015

Why Some Doctors Hesitate To Screen Smokers For Lung Cancer

This spiral CT image of the chest shows a large malignant mass (purple) in one lung. A conventional chest X-ray could have missed this tumor, radiologists say.
Medical Body Scans Science Source

Originally published on Tue April 14, 2015 12:23 pm

In February, Medicare announced that it would pay for an annual lung cancer screening test for certain long-term smokers. Medicare recipients between the ages of 55 and 77 who have smoked the equivalent of a pack a day for 30 years are now eligible for the annual test, known as a spiral CT scan.

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Business
3:29 am
Mon April 13, 2015

In Pennsylvania, Employment Booms Amid Oil And Natural Gas Bust

Students at the Pennsylvania College of Technology are learning a technique called "tripping pipe," moving a pipe from a stack into a horizontal position and lowering it down into a well. The students train on a practice drilling rig to learn how to be roustabouts.
Jeff Brady NPR

Originally published on Mon April 13, 2015 8:00 am

Lower oil and natural gas prices have the petroleum industry laying off tens of thousands of workers. It looks like a decade-long trend of job growth in the U.S. oil business may end.

But there are parts of the country where those job numbers are still rising. Pennsylvania is one of them.

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Shots - Health News
3:27 am
Mon April 13, 2015

The Hidden Cost Of Mammograms: More Testing And Overtreatment

Originally published on Mon April 13, 2015 8:00 am

There's no question mammograms can save lives by detecting breast cancer early. But they can also result in unnecessary testing and treatment that can be alarming and costly.

In fact, each year the U.S. spends $4 billion on follow-up tests and treatments that result from inaccurate mammograms, scientists report in the current issue of Health Affairs.

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Science
5:25 pm
Sun April 12, 2015

No, Yes, Definitely: On The Rise Of 'No, Totally' As Linguistic Quirk

NPR

Originally published on Mon April 13, 2015 5:32 am

"Yep. Nope. Very definitely."

Kathryn Schulz, a writer for The New Yorker, heard that seemingly-contradictory response to a question recently. And once she started listening for it, she heard it everywhere: people agreeing by saying "No, totally," or "No, definitely," or "No, for sure."

In a recent article, Schulz digs into what's behind this linguistic quirk. She found out that the English language used to have more options than just "yes" and "no."

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The Two-Way
11:01 am
Sun April 12, 2015

Stephen Hawking Covers Monty Python's 'Galaxy Song'

Stephen Hawking flying through the universe in a new video of Monty Python's Galaxy Song.
Monty Python YouTube

Originally published on Tue April 14, 2015 9:01 am

Has life gotten you down?

Do things seem hard or tough?

We might have just the antidote: Stephen Hawking covering Monty Python's "Galaxy Song."

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The Two-Way
9:26 am
Sun April 12, 2015

Australia To Stop Payments To Families Who Refuse Child Vaccinations

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott looks during a news conference at Parliament House in Canberra, Australia, last month. Abbott announced Sunday that his government would close a loophole to discourage families from refusing childhood vaccinations.
Lukas Coch EPA/Landov

Originally published on Tue April 14, 2015 1:25 pm

Updated at 12:50 p.m. ET

Australia has announced plans to halt welfare payments and child care rebates to families that refuse to have their children vaccinated — an aggressive move aimed at clamping down on a rising number of parents who opt out of immunizations.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Sunday that the government was closing a loophole and would stop payments of up to $11,500 per child (15,000 Australian dollars) for parents who don't get their kids immunized by claiming to be "conscientious objectors."

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Around the Nation
9:02 am
Sun April 12, 2015

Better Than 'Survivor': Wild Drama Hooks Viewers On Nest Web Cams

One of the two female ospreys that scuffled over the male on the Boulder County, Colo., nest web cam.
Boulder County

Originally published on Mon April 13, 2015 10:37 am

Fans of Boulder County's osprey nest cam saw a bit of drama last season.

Two females and a male were living in the nest, when a third female arrived and kicked the original female out. Observers said she bonded with the male.

"People called it ... the 'home-wrecker osprey,' " says Nik Brockman, Boulder County's web specialist.

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The Salt
7:25 am
Sun April 12, 2015

Beyond Almonds: A Rogue's Gallery of Guzzlers In California's Drought

Leif Parsons for NPR

Originally published on Wed April 15, 2015 5:54 am

California is parched. Wells are running dry. Vegetable fields have been left fallow and lawns are dying. There must be some villain behind all this, right?

Of course there is. In fact, have your pick. As a public service, The Salt is bringing you several of the leading candidates. They have been nominated by widely respected national publications and interest groups.

There's just one problem: Not all of these shady characters live up to their nefarious job description. Let us explain.

1. Almonds

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