Science & Technology

The Two-Way
1:18 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

World's Largest Oyster Is Size Of A Man's Shoe

It's alive: At nearly 14 inches long, this oyster has been certified as the world's largest. It's also around the same size as a man's size 10-1/2 or 11 shoe here in the U.S.
Wadden Sea Centre

The world's largest oyster is nearly 14 inches long and resides in Denmark, according to the folks at Guinness World Records. And it's still alive and growing, according to Christine Ditlefsen, the biologist at the Wadden Sea Centre whose world record was recently certified.

The oyster was found in October in Wadden Sea National Park, a shallow area off of the North Sea on Denmark's southwestern coast. Its size and shape could be said to resemble a huge plaintain. But when they found it, the Wadden staff compared the oyster to a large and sturdy shoe.

Read more
Author Interviews
1:03 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

One Man's Quest To Find The 'Sonic Wonders Of The World'

Why does thunder rumble? Acoustic professor Trevor Cox explains that it has to do with the way lightning is a jagged line. "Each little kink is actually generating the sound, and the reason thunder rumbles is because the sound takes different time to come from different kinks because they're all slightly different distances from you," he says.
Mariana Suarez AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 1:38 pm

Ever wonder why your voice sounds so much better when you sing in the shower? It has to do with an acoustic "blur" called reverberation. From classical to pop music, reverberation "makes music sound nicer," acoustic engineer Trevor Cox tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. It helps blend the sound, "but you don't want too much," he warns.

Read more
Shots - Health News
11:48 am
Wed February 19, 2014

Sit More, And You're More Likely To Be Disabled After Age 60

Sure, it's relaxing. But all those hours on the sofa may make it hard to actually stand up on your own.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 1:26 pm

The more you sit, the less physically active you are, which can lead to all sorts of health problems, including an early death.

But too much sitting increasingly looks like a health risk all its own. Researchers at Northwestern University say that for people 60 and older, each additional hour a day spent sitting increases the risk of becoming physically disabled by about 50 percent — no matter how much exercise they get.

Read more
Krulwich Wonders...
10:19 am
Wed February 19, 2014

Trees On The Move As Temperature Zones Shift 3.8 Feet A Day

Robert Krulwich NPR

Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 1:46 pm

You are a snail. You are a plant. You like where you are. The temperature's right. It suits you.

But then, gradually, over the years, it gets warmer. Not every day, of course, but on more and more days, the temperature climbs to uncomfortable highs, drying you out, making you tired, thirsty.

Read more
Technology
4:17 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

In The Dark About Picking A Light Bulb? This FAQ Can Help

(From left) Incandescent, CFL and LED light bulbs. Many people are finding that choosing the right light bulb has a steep learning curve.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed May 7, 2014 8:23 pm

Buying a light bulb used to be a no-brainer. Now it's a brain teaser; the transition to more energy-efficient lighting means choosing from a dazzling array of products.

We've long identified bulbs by their wattage, but that is actually a measure of electricity, not the brightness of a bulb. The amount of light a bulb generates is measured in lumens.

Read more
The Salt
3:12 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Order Up! Food Businesses Find An Appetite For Bitcoin

Bitcoin isn't just for shady business — it can also buy you some delicious goodness. The Old Fitzroy pub in Sydney is one of many food and drink businesses beginning to accept bitcoins as a valid method of payment.
Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 21, 2014 5:22 pm

Hungry for a Philly cheesesteak or a hot Reuben sandwich? That'll be about 0.001 bitcoin, please.

From restaurants to breweries, to even your local farmers market and lemonade stand, the popular cryptocurrency has inched its way into the food industry, as more vendors consider it a valid form of payment.

Read more
Europe
3:02 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

German Chancellor Proposes A Europe-Only Network

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 6:58 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

When German Chancellor Angela Merkel meets with French President Francois Hollande tomorrow, here's one thing that will be on the table: a Europe-only communications network.

CHANCELLOR ANGELA MERKEL: (Foreign language spoken)

Read more
All Tech Considered
10:28 am
Tue February 18, 2014

Jazzpunk: A Spy Game Full Of Jokes, Blokes And Cold War Tropes

In Jazzpunk, you play a spy in a surreal world seemingly ripped from the pulpiest of spy novels.
Necrophone Games/Adult Swim Games

Originally published on Fri February 21, 2014 9:21 am

Just last week I was lamenting a severe lack of comedy-based video games, where perhaps getting a hearty laugh is the goal rather than quelling a rebellion or fighting off hordes of zombies.

Read more
Around the Nation
2:33 am
Tue February 18, 2014

Battling Blight: Detroit Maps Entire City To Find Bad Buildings

A map of Detroit is spread on a table; on laptops, workers see the same map, overlaid with a grid of the city and blue dots representing surveyors in the field.
Dawn Uhl-Zifilippo

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 10:39 am

Inside one in a series of abandoned homes along a blighted block of Detroit's Brightmoor neighborhood, filmmaker Tom McPhee walks through the remnants of a life — broken furniture, scattered knickknacks and a flooded basement.

"This is fresh water that's coming into the basement here," McPhee points out. "All of that plumbing has been ripped away 'cause someone found a value in it, so they don't care that it's running. This is all over the city."

Read more
National Security
3:13 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

The Art And Practice Of Protecting American Technology

Originally published on Mon February 17, 2014 6:59 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

To talk about the ongoing high tech Whack-A-Mole game between the U.S. and China, we're joined by James Lewis. He's with the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

And, James Lewis, we've heard about parts for missile guidance systems, but what other kinds of technologies are vulnerable to China's commercial cyber espionage?

Read more

Pages