Science & Environment

The Two-Way
3:41 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

Lawmaker Wants To Ban Orcas At San Diego's SeaWorld

A trainer feeds killer whales ice chunks in a tank at SeaWorld in San Diego in this undated photo.
Sandy Huffaker/Barcroft Media Barcroft Media /Landov

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 7:33 pm

A California lawmaker has proposed a measure that would prohibit SeaWorld San Diego from using orcas in its shows.

Richard Bloom, a Santa Monica Democrat, says the documentary Blackfish, which examines the 2010 death of a SeaWorld trainer who was killed by a captive orca, inspired him to push the bill.

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The Salt
3:18 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

Why We Should Quit Tossing Fish Heads And Eat 'Em Up Instead. Yum!

The head of a cabezon fish prepared by the author.
Alastair Bland for NPR

About a decade ago, I backpacked the coastal desert of Baja California, Mexico, feasting daily on snapper and corvina that I caught and grilled whole over driftwood beach fires.

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Krulwich Wonders...
7:58 am
Fri March 7, 2014

Boy Meets Painting. Painting Grabs Boy. Boy Mystified

Stephen Sandoval Museum of Modern Art, New York City, Lillie P. Bliss Collection

Originally published on Sat March 8, 2014 10:23 am

Here's what I remember: The day it happened, I was around 8 years old, which puts me in the second grade. It was definitely a Sunday (because we never went anywhere on Saturdays). My dad had decided to take me to the Museum of Modern Art to see some paintings, and I always liked going places with my dad, it didn't matter where, so we arrived at the lobby, bought our tickets, handed them to a man who tore them in half, like at the movies. Then we took the escalator, walked into a big gallery, and as we were moving through — that's when it happened.

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Parallels
3:17 am
Fri March 7, 2014

Seeking Energy Independence, Europe Faces Heated Fracking Debate

Many countries in the European Union are drawn to the benefits of fracking: cheap energy and energy independence. But many Europeans, including these protesters standing outside EU headquarters in Brussels, object to the practice on environmental grounds.
Virginia Mayo AP

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 11:39 am

While watching the turmoil in Ukraine unfold, you may feel as though it has little to do with the United States, but the conflict is stirring a contentious debate in Europe over a topic familiar to many Americans: fracking.

Much of the continent depends on Russian natural gas that flows through pipelines in Ukraine. European countries are asking themselves whether to follow the U.S. example and drill for shale gas.

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Shots - Health News
7:50 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

Second Baby Cleared Of HIV. Rare Event, Or Hope For Others?

While not conclusive, the two cases are "quite promising," says Anthony Fauci, a longtime AIDS researcher who directs the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 8:01 am

In only the second documented case of its kind, an infant born with the AIDS virus may have been cured of the infection, thanks to an intensive drug treatment begun just hours after her birth. The baby girl — now 9 months old — from Long Beach, Calif., is still on that regimen of antiretroviral drugs. But researchers who described her case at an AIDS meeting in Boston this week say advanced testing suggests that she is HIV-negative.

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The Salt
1:31 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

How Yosemite Keeps Its Bears' Paws Off Campers' Hamburgers

Researcher Jack Hopkins used barbed-wire snares to collect hair samples from bears in Yosemite. Analysis of isotope ratios in hair samples showed how much of the bears' diets came from human food.
Courtesy of Jack Hopkins

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 2:33 pm

One of the great joys of camping out in a national park is chowing down by the fire. But campers aren't the only ones drawn to burgers and s'mores roasting over an open flame, beneath a mass of twinkling stars.

Those rich aromas can also prove irresistible to the local critters. From bears to foxes to coyotes, biologists have documented wildlife getting irrevocably hooked on our food and food waste. And for good reason: Our food is way more calorie-rich — and thus, better for making babies — than the standard black bear fare of insects and leaves.

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The Salt
10:14 am
Thu March 6, 2014

Moo-d Music: Do Cows Really Prefer Slow Jams?

The Ingenues, an all-girl band and vaudeville act, serenade the cows in the University of Wisconsin, Madison's dairy barn in 1930. The show was apparently part of an experiment to see whether the soothing strains of music boosted the cows' milk production.
Angus B. McVicar/Wisconsin Historical Society

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 3:46 pm

When it's time to buckle down and focus, plenty of office workers will put on headphones to help them drown out distractions and be more productive. But can music also help dairy cows get down to business?

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Around the Nation
5:12 am
Thu March 6, 2014

Law Aims To Keep Chicago From Becoming Petcoke Dumping Ground

Originally published on Thu March 6, 2014 8:39 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Refineries looking for a place to store an ashy petroleum byproduct called pet coke can cross Chicago off their list. A new, tough city ordinance bans new storage facilities and prevents existing ones from expanding.

NPR's Cheryl Corley reports.

CHERYL CORLEY, BYLINE: Before pet coke is shipped overseas where it's burned as fuel, huge piles of it are often stored in open air facilities. Residents in Detroit complained so much about swirling pet coke dust, it ordered a company to move the piles out.

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The Salt
4:41 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

Beer As A Post-Workout Recovery Drink? Not As Crazy As It Sounds

An ad for Vampt's Lean Machine "recovery ale," which will be marketed as a sports drink later this year, if funding allows. Researchers say drinking beer after working out has some advantages, but there are big caveats.
Courtesy of VAMPT

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 3:49 pm

There may be some good news brewing for fitness and beer enthusiasts: Somewhere in the north, a Canadian beverage company has concocted a low-alcohol, protein-packed "fit beer" that is expected to be marketed as a sports drink later this year, if funding allows.

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Remembrances
4:35 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

Remembering The Doctor Who Spoke Hard Truths About Dying

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 8:42 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

20 years after Sherwin Nuland changed the way we talk about dying, the surgeon and best-selling author of the book "How We Die" has died himself. Dr. Nuland died on Monday at the age of 83. The cause was prostate cancer. In "How We Die," Nuland sought to demythologize the process of dying by offering up a frank discussion of the details of physical deterioration. Here he is speaking on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED in early 1994.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED BROADCAST)

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