Science & Technology

The Salt
4:58 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

No. 1 Most Expensive Coffee Comes From Elephant's No. 2

Elephants, unlike humans or civets, are herbivores. The fermentation happening in their gut as they break down cellulose helps remove the bitterness in the coffee beans.
Michael Sullivan NPR

Originally published on Wed August 20, 2014 7:30 pm

I s#&% you not: The world's most expensive coffee is now being produced in Thailand's Golden Triangle, a region better known for another high-priced, if illegal, export: opium.

Read more
Around the Nation
3:13 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

EPA Wades Into Water Fight With Farmers

Originally published on Wed August 20, 2014 7:30 pm

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

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Read more
The Two-Way
2:25 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

Beheading Video Sets Off Debate Over How — Or Whether — To Portray It

Originally published on Wed August 20, 2014 4:25 pm

A video that shows an American journalist being beheaded by extremist militants has sparked outrage, along with arguments over whether the images should be restricted online.

Read more
The Salt
1:57 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

Why Vegetables Get Freakish In The Land Of The Midnight Sun

Giant Cabbage Weigh-Off 2013 winners (with placards, left to right): Scott Rob (92.10 pounds), Keevan Dinkel (92.30 pounds) and Brian Shunskis (77.40 pounds). The growers are joined by the cabbage fairies, a group of women who for 15 years have volunteered at the cabbage competition.
Clark James Mishler Courtesy of Alaska State Fair

Everything in Alaska is a little bit bigger — even the produce. A 138-pound cabbage, 65-pound cantaloupe and 35-pound broccoli are just a few of the monsters that have sprung forth from Alaska's soil in recent years.

At the annual Alaska State Fair, which opens Thursday in Palmer, the public will have the chance to gawk at giants like these as they're weighed for competition.

Read more
Code Switch
8:56 am
Wed August 20, 2014

Ferguson Killing Inspires Young Black Activists

Tiffany Flowers and Alderman Antonio French in front of QuikTrip in Ferguson, Mo.
Tiffany Flowers

Originally published on Wed August 20, 2014 12:20 pm

The nation has been gripped by the ongoing protests following the shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. But the demonstrations sparked by his death have spread far beyond the streets in his community. Young activists from around the country tell us how the events in Ferguson moved them, and what they hope might come from this moment.

Read more
Shots - Health News
8:23 am
Wed August 20, 2014

What Kids' Drawings Say About Their Future Thinking Skills

Researchers asked 4-year-olds to draw a child. Here's a sample of their artwork.
Twins Early Development Study/King's College in London

Originally published on Wed August 20, 2014 1:00 pm

At age 4, many young children are just beginning to explore their artistic style.

The kid I used to babysit in high school preferred self-portraits, undoubtedly inspired by the later works of Joan Miro. My cousin, a prolific young artist, worked almost exclusively on still lifes of 18-wheelers.

Read more
Krulwich Wonders...
6:03 am
Wed August 20, 2014

If You're Born In The Sky, What's Your Nationality? An Airplane Puzzler

Robert Krulwich NPR

Originally published on Wed August 20, 2014 8:52 am

Here's a puzzle I bet you've never pondered.

Imagine you are very, very pregnant. For the purposes of this mind game, you are a married American woman (with an American spouse) and you are about to board a plane and, pregnant as you are, they let you on.

Your flight, on Lufthansa Airlines, will leave Frankfurt, Germany, and travel nonstop to the Maldive Islands in the Indian Ocean. Germany is cold, wet and unhappy-making, and you crave the aquamarine waters, the balmy skies of the Maldives.

Read more
Business
1:00 am
Wed August 20, 2014

Ex-Microsoft CEO Ballmer Steps Down From Company's Board

Steve Ballmer, the new owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, is stepping down from Microsoft's board. Ballmer, who recently resigned as Microsoft's CEO, is the largest individual shareholder of the company.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 20, 2014 10:52 am

Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, 58, has resigned from the company's board citing other time consuming commitments including his new ownership of the Los Angeles Clippers.

Tuesday's announcement closes a chapter in Ballmer's 34 years with the software giant. He remains the largest individual shareholder in the company.

Ballmer spent $2 billion of his roughly $20 billion fortune on the Clippers purchase, which a judge confirmed last week.

Read more
Goats and Soda
4:17 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Ebola In The Skies? How The Virus Made It To West Africa

Leif Parsons for NPR

Originally published on Tue August 19, 2014 7:37 pm

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa is the most explosive in history. One reason the virus spread so fast is that West Africa was blindsided. Ebola had never erupted in people anywhere close to West Africa before.

The type of Ebola causing the outbreak — called Zaire — is the deadliest strain. Until this year, it had been seen only in Central Africa, about 2,500 miles away. That's about the distance between Boston and San Francisco.

So how did it spread across this giant swath of land without anybody noticing?

Read more
Digital Life
3:19 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

We Are What We Google: How Search Terms Reflect Our Wealth

Originally published on Tue August 19, 2014 6:38 pm

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

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Read more

Pages