Science & Environment

The Salt
1:48 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

For A Faster-Aged Bourbon, You Need The Motion Of The Ocean

Jefferson's Ocean bourbon is aged on the high seas, a technique that takes advantage of basic physical chemistry. The bottles sell for $200 a piece.
Courtesy of OCEARCH

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 10:48 am

From its earliest days as America's homegrown whiskey elixir, Kentucky bourbon has been traveling on boats.

In fact, boats were a key reason why Kentucky became the king of bourbon. In the late 1700s, trade depended on waterways, and distillers in the state had a big advantage: the Ohio River. They'd load their barrels onto flatboats on the Ohio, which flowed into the Mississippi, taking their golden liquor as far down as New Orleans.

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The Two-Way
11:32 am
Tue March 11, 2014

NASA Offers $35,000 For Help In Tracking Asteroids

For helping to find asteroids, NASA has set up a contest with cash awards. In 2012, the agency said that "more potentially hazardous asteroids, or PHAs, are closely aligned with the plane of our solar system than previous models suggested."
NASA

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 11:58 am

Cash prizes await "citizen scientists" who can improve algorithms that help NASA find and identify asteroids in our solar system, the agency says. A contest to find more asteroids begins next week, in what NASA calls an attempt to crowdsource innovation.

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Science
5:28 am
Tue March 11, 2014

Trapping And Tracking The Mysterious Snowy Owl

Meredith Rizzo/NPR

Originally published on Tue April 29, 2014 7:04 pm

This is Hungerford, a large female snowy owl. Last summer she was just a hatchling — a gray ball of fuzz in the middle of the Arctic tundra. In the fall, newly equipped with adult plumage, she flew thousands of miles south until she reached the coast of Maryland. And this winter, she became an important part of an unprecedented research project.

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The Salt
3:06 am
Tue March 11, 2014

Turning Food Waste Into Fuel Takes Gumption And Trillions Of Bacteria

The digester eggs at Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant in Brooklyn contain millions of gallons of black sludge.
Courtesy of New York City Department of Environmental Protection

Originally published on Wed March 12, 2014 1:12 pm

Every year, Americans send millions of tons of food to the landfill. What if you could use all of those pizza crusts and rotten vegetables to heat your home? That's already happening in one unlikely laboratory: the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant in Brooklyn.

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All Tech Considered
5:34 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

SXSW: Software, Apps Still Rule But A Hardware Resurgence Is On

A set of littleBits comes with more than 40 different types of electronic pieces that connect with magnets.
NPR

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 7:59 pm

The task of building your very own toy, or robot, or radio can seem daunting for someone without much background in engineering. But a set of color-coded electronic bits that can be magnetically snapped together called littleBits is aiming to make creating your own electronics easy for everyone. It's like Legos, if only Legos could be connected into circuits that light up, move or make music.

"Circuits in seconds," promises the outside of the box.

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Shots - Health News
3:48 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Memories Can Go Astray When We Step Outside Our Bodies

The illusion of an out-of-body experience made it harder for people to remember what happened.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 2:19 pm

Our bodies may help us remember our lives, fixing experiences in place. By using virtual reality, scientists can make people feel like they're outside their own bodies. And when they do, the brain struggles to remember what happened.

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Science
6:32 pm
Sun March 9, 2014

The '60s Are Gone, But Psychedelic Research Trip Continues

A volunteer participates in LSD research in Viejas, Calif., in 1966. Researchers are continuing work with psychedelics today, despite barriers, saying there are potential medical benefits.
AP

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 10:00 am

In 1966, psychedelic drug advocate and former Harvard professor Timothy Leary appeared on the Merv Griffin Show.

"I'm in the unfortunate situation of being about 20 years ahead of my time," Leary said. When asked how many times he'd taken LSD, he answered 311. The audience gasped.

Leary was fired for experimenting with psychedelics on undergraduates, and before long, LSD was classified as a Schedule I drug, meaning it had "no known medical use." Research on the medical uses of LSD and other psychedelics came to a halt.

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Sports
7:59 am
Sun March 9, 2014

The Rebound, The Intersection Of Self-Containing Half Spaces

Originally published on Sun March 9, 2014 12:00 pm

Did you miss the MIT conference on sports analytics? Slate's Mike Pesca tells NPR's Rachel Martin about the new tracking technology used in basketball, which puts rebounding in whole new light.

Energy
4:09 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

Concerns About Russia Fuel New Calls For Gas Exports

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 7:29 pm

Russia is the world's top natural gas exporter, but the U.S. is the top producer. Jason Bordoff, director of the Center on Global Energy Policy, explains efforts to get American gas to Europe.

NPR News Investigations
4:09 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

U.S. Grave Science Marked By Risk Aversion And Bureaucracy

Elyse Butler for NPR

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 11:02 am

In part two of a joint investigation by NPR and ProPublica, we look at the agency charged with bringing home and identifying the 83,000 American war dead. It's stymied by an extreme aversion to risk. See the

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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