Science & Technology http://tpr.org en Rust Devastates Guatemala's Prime Coffee Crop And Its Farmers http://tpr.org/post/rust-devastates-guatemalas-prime-coffee-crop-and-its-farmers Outside the northern Guatemalan town of Olopa, near the Honduran border, farmer Edwin Fernando Diaz Viera stands in the middle of his tiny coffee field. He says it was his lifelong dream to own a farm here. The area is renowned for producing some of the world's richest Arabica, the smooth-tasting beans beloved by specialty coffee brewers.<p>"My farm was beautiful, it was big," he says.<p>But then, a plant fungus called coffee rust, or <em>roya</em> in Spanish, hit his crop.<p>"Coffee rust appeared and wiped out everything," he says.<p>That was in 2012, and it was Diaz Viera's first crop. Mon, 28 Jul 2014 09:00:00 +0000 Carrie Kahn 35782 at http://tpr.org Rust Devastates Guatemala's Prime Coffee Crop And Its Farmers Shifts In Habitat May Threaten Ruddy Shorebird's Survival http://tpr.org/post/shifts-habitat-may-threaten-ruddy-shorebirds-survival An intrepid bird called the <a href="http://www.fws.gov/northeast/redknot/">red knot</a> migrates from the southern tip of South America to the Arctic and back every year. Mon, 28 Jul 2014 09:00:00 +0000 editor 35784 at http://tpr.org Shifts In Habitat May Threaten Ruddy Shorebird's Survival Why We Think Ignorance Is Bliss, Even When It Hurts Our Health http://tpr.org/post/why-we-think-ignorance-bliss-even-when-it-hurts-our-health Medical tests are rarely a pleasant experience, especially if you're worried that something could be seriously wrong. That's true even though we know that regular screenings and tests often help doctors catch issues early.<p>But of course, humans don't always behave rationally. Sometimes people will go to great lengths to avoid hearing bad news. Social scientists call this sort of behavior information aversion, or the ostrich effect (based on the old myth that ostriches bury their heads in the sand when they're scared). Mon, 28 Jul 2014 09:00:00 +0000 Shankar Vedantam 35785 at http://tpr.org Why We Think Ignorance Is Bliss, Even When It Hurts Our Health How Do You Lose A Half-Million Birds? http://tpr.org/post/how-do-you-lose-half-million-birds In late July and August, something remarkable happens in the air above Lake Murray in South Carolina. Around sunset, hundreds of thousands of <a href="http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Purple_Martin/id">purple martins</a> come streaming toward the center of the lake from every direction, swirling together in a massive flock that darkens the sky. After an hour or so, they settle down on <a href="http://www.lakemurray-sc.com/purplemartins.html">Bomb Island</a> in the center of the lake.<p>It's called a "roost" — a gathering of purple martins that precedes their epic migration to South America. Sun, 27 Jul 2014 22:23:00 +0000 editor 35780 at http://tpr.org How Do You Lose A Half-Million Birds? What It's Like To Own Your Very Own Harrier Jump Jet http://tpr.org/post/what-its-own-your-very-own-harrier-jump-jet The Harrier Jump Jet combines the speed of a jet with the maneuverability of a helicopter.<p>These single-seater planes are known for vertical take-offs and landings, making them ideal for close-air support near the front-lines where runways may be damaged or non-existent.<p>Designed by the British and now flown by the U.S. Sun, 27 Jul 2014 21:44:00 +0000 editor 35779 at http://tpr.org What It's Like To Own Your Very Own Harrier Jump Jet Sorry, Lucy: The Myth Of The Misused Brain Is 100 Percent False http://tpr.org/post/sorry-lucy-myth-misused-brain-100-percent-false <div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.<img src="http://www.google-analytics.com/__utm.gif?utmac=UA-5828686-4&utmdt=Sorry%2C+Lucy%3A+The+Myth+Of+The+Misused+Brain+Is+100+Percent+False&utme=8(APIKey)9(MDAxODc0NzU5MDEyMTgyMDUxMzlkN2IzMw004)"/></div><p> Sun, 27 Jul 2014 21:14:00 +0000 Eric Westervelt 35772 at http://tpr.org How Our Story About A Child's Science Experiment Sparked Controversy http://tpr.org/post/how-our-story-about-childs-science-experiment-sparked-controversy A story that ran last Sunday on <em>All Things Considered</em> about a sixth-grader's science fair project has elicited not just criticism but controversy.<p>Since the student's project built on the work of scientists, she's been accused this week of being a <a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2014/07/plagiarism/374999/" target="_blank">"plagiarist"</a> who <a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2704319/Scientist-insists-13-year-old-girl-ripped-research-groundbreaking-science-project-ecologists-awe.html" target="_blank">"ripped off"</a> earlier work.<p>We think thos Sun, 27 Jul 2014 14:33:00 +0000 Alan Greenblatt 35764 at http://tpr.org At Some Venues, iPads Take The Place Of Opera Glasses http://tpr.org/post/some-venues-ipads-take-place-opera-glasses <div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.<img src="http://www.google-analytics.com/__utm.gif?utmac=UA-5828686-4&utmdt=At+Some+Venues%2C+iPads+Take+The+Place+Of+Opera+Glasses&utme=8(APIKey)9(MDA4MzM1ODU4MDEzMTg5NjcxOTBkZGJhOA004)"/></div><p> Sun, 27 Jul 2014 12:12:00 +0000 editor 35759 at http://tpr.org For Rare Languages, Social Media Provide New Hope http://tpr.org/post/rare-languages-social-media-provide-new-hope At a time when social media users, <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/alltechconsidered/2014/01/16/263096375/researchers-are-totes-studying-how-ppl-shorten-words-on-twitter">for no particularly good reason</a>, are trading in fully formed words for abbreviations ("defs" instead of "definitely"), it may seem that some languages are under threat of deterioration — literally.<p>But social media may actually be beneficial for languages.<p>Of the estimated <a href="http://www.unesco.org/culture/languages-atlas/">7,000 languages</a> that are spoken around the world, UNESCO projects half will disappea Sat, 26 Jul 2014 23:59:00 +0000 Lydia Emmanouilidou 35755 at http://tpr.org For Rare Languages, Social Media Provide New Hope Citizen Evidence Lab Separates Truth From Fiction In Viral Videos http://tpr.org/post/citizen-evidence-lab-separates-truth-fiction-viral-videos <div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit <a href="http://www.npr.org/">http://www.npr.org/</a>.<img src="http://www.google-analytics.com/__utm.gif?utmac=UA-5828686-4&utmdt=Citizen+Evidence+Lab+Separates+Truth+From+Fiction+In+Viral+Videos&utme=8(APIKey)9(MDA3NTY5MTc2MDEzMDY5NDU2MjQ3NDZhOA001)"/></div><p> Sat, 26 Jul 2014 14:33:00 +0000 editor 35736 at http://tpr.org