Science & Environment

Science
8:37 am
Wed April 9, 2014

What Does Sound Look Like?

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

When light passes between areas of different air density, it bends. You've probably noticed the way distant pavement seems to shimmer on a hot day, or the way stars appear to twinkle. You're seeing light that has been distorted as it passes through varying air densities, which are in turn created by varying temperatures and pressures.

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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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Shots - Health News
3:44 am
Tue April 8, 2014

How Mouse Studies Lead Medical Research Down Dead Ends

I'm not trying to lead you astray. It's just that scientists are not skeptical enough about their mouse studies.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 8:59 am

Most experimental drugs fail before they make it through all the tests required to figure out if they actually work and if they're safe. But some drugs get fairly far down that road, at the cost of hundreds of millions of dollars, based on poorly conducted studies at the outset.

Medical researchers reviewing this sorry state of affairs say the drug-development process needs serious improvement.

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Shots - Health News
6:58 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

Play It Again And Again, Sam

Rick Blaine, the sentimental tough guy in Casablanca, pined for "As Time Goes By."
The Kobal Collection

Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 8:57 am

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The Salt
5:57 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

Can Fish Farms Thrive In The USA?

Live tilapia are loaded into a truck bound for New York.
Dan Charles NPR

Originally published on

Why hasn't fish farming taken off in the United States?

It's certainly not for lack of demand for the fish. Slowly but surely, seafood that's grown in aquaculture is taking over the seafood section at your supermarket, and the vast majority is imported. The shrimp and tilapia typically come from warm-water ponds in southeast Asia and Latin America. Farmed salmon come from big net pens in the coastal waters of Norway or Chile.

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