Science & Technology

Sports
3:29 pm
Tue December 10, 2013

To Get Olympic Snow, Machines Give Nature A Nudge

A skier glides past a snow-making machine pumping out snow in Weston, Mass., in 2010.
Bill Sikes AP

Originally published on Wed December 11, 2013 11:30 am

In Russia, organizers of the 2014 Winter Olympics have called on dozens of shamans to pray for snow. But the centerpiece of the Olympic snow strategy is man-made: a massive system that features more than 550 snow-making machines.

Sochi, Russia, which is hosting the Olympics, is a resort town on the relatively warm Black Sea. There are beaches and palm trees. The Alpine events will be held on a mountain just 30 minutes away, where last February it was raining, not snowing.

Read more
Shots - Health News
3:21 pm
Tue December 10, 2013

To Fight Meningitis Outbreak, Princeton Tries European Vaccine

The Ivy League school has begun vaccinating nearly 6,000 students to try to stop an outbreak of type B meningitis in an unusual federal government-endorsed administration of a drug not generally approved for use in the U.S.
Mel Evans AP

Originally published on Tue December 10, 2013 3:49 pm

Princeton University has started vaccinating students against type B meningitis in an effort to stop an outbreak that's infected at least eight people.

The vaccine isn't approved for general use in the United States, though it is available in Europe, Australia and Canada. But the meningitis strain that hit the New Jersey campus isn't fazed by the vaccines typically used in the U.S. The Food and Drug Administration is allowing a Novartis vaccine that's usually sold in other countries to be administered on the Princeton campus.

Read more
The Two-Way
2:53 pm
Tue December 10, 2013

WATCH: Goats Escape Avalanche

Originally published on Wed December 11, 2013 5:08 am

Gawker brings us this video posted on Monday of a herd of chamois goats that make a seemingly miraculous escape from an avalanche on an Alpine mountain face. It occurs in the Rhone-Alpes near Pralognan-la-Vanoise, not far from the border between France and Italy.

Read more
All Tech Considered
11:49 am
Tue December 10, 2013

In The Stanley Parable, Finding The Story Is The Game

The Stanley Parable is an exploration game, but it is also a narrative story game, and it is also a game of choice. It is all of these things, yet none of them.
Galactic Cafe

Originally published on Thu December 12, 2013 1:52 pm

This is part of our weekly 'Indie Watch' series of game reviews. Check here on Tuesdays for more posts in the series.

The Stanley Parable is an interesting animal in the gaming zoo. Billed as a "first-person exploration game," it is honestly much, much more than that.

Read more
All Tech Considered
11:08 am
Tue December 10, 2013

Microsoft Not Developing A Bra To Stop Overeating, After All

Researchers developed a prototype for a bra sensing system that would read users' emotions, but Microsoft says it won't be developing this product.
Courtesy of Microsoft Research

Originally published on Wed December 11, 2013 12:14 pm

The new reality with the light-speed pace of online news sharing is that news doesn't have to be true for it to go superviral. Sometimes stories are too good to verify, too fun not to share. The New York Times delved into this with a much-tweeted piece this morning.

Read more
The Salt
10:12 am
Tue December 10, 2013

Fresh Research Finds Organic Milk Packs In Omega-3s

Cows graze in a pasture at the University of New Hampshire's organic dairy farm in Lee, N.H., Sept. 27, 2006.
JIM COLE AP

Originally published on Tue December 10, 2013 1:35 pm

While milk consumption continues to fall in the U.S., sales of organic milk are on the rise. And now organic milk accounts for about 4 percent of total fluid milk consumption.

For years, organic producers have claimed their milk is nutritionally superior to regular milk. Specifically, they say that because their cows spend a lot more time out on pasture, munching on grasses and legumes rich in omega-3 fatty acids, the animals' milk is higher in these healthy fats, which are linked to a reduced risk of heart disease.

Read more
Shots - Health News
8:43 am
Tue December 10, 2013

To Get Kids Exercising, Schools Are Becoming Creative

Students at Northeast Elementary Magnet, in Danville, Ill., play around. Fewer than 1 in 5 parents polled said their kids were getting physical education daily.
Seth Perlman AP

Originally published on Fri December 13, 2013 1:42 pm

Avery Stackhouse, age 7, of Lafayette, Calif., says he wishes he had more time for phys ed.

"We just have it one day a week — on Monday." There's always lunch and recess, he says. "We play a couple of games, like football and soccer," he tells Shots.

But at Happy Valley Elementary, where he goes to school, recess lasts only 15 minutes and lunch is 45. Between eating and mingling, he says, "there's only a few minutes left where we play games and all that."

Read more
The Salt
8:05 am
Tue December 10, 2013

Microbiome Candy: Could A Probiotic Mint Help Prevent Cavities?

A sweet way to avoid the dentist? Microbiologists are developing a probiotic mint that uses dead bacteria to fight off cavities.
Morgan Walker NPR

Eat candy and fight tooth decay. What a sweet concept, right?

Well, microbiologists in Berlin are trying to make that dream a reality.

They've created a sugarless mint that's aimed at washing out cavity-causing bacteria from your mouth. And the candy works in a curious way: It's spiked with dead bacteria. It's like probiotics for your teeth.

The experimental mint is still in the early days of development — and far from reaching the shelves at Walgreens.

Read more
Krulwich Wonders...
7:42 am
Tue December 10, 2013

What Happened On Easter Island — A New (Even Scarier) Scenario

Robert Krulwich NPR

Originally published on Tue December 10, 2013 3:39 pm

We all know the story, or think we do.

Let me tell it the old way, then the new way. See which worries you most.

First version: Easter Island is a small 63-square-mile patch of land — more than a thousand miles from the next inhabited spot in the Pacific Ocean. In A.D. 1200 (or thereabouts), a small group of Polynesians — it might have been a single family — made their way there, settled in and began to farm. When they arrived, the place was covered with trees — as many as 16 million of them, some towering 100 feet high.

Read more
The Two-Way
7:34 am
Tue December 10, 2013

Book News: 500 Authors Demand International Bill Of Digital Rights

Canadian author Margaret Atwood, pictured in 2009, is part of a group of writers lobbying the United Nations over digital rights.
John MacDougall AFP/Getty Images

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

Read more

Pages