Science & Technology

Krulwich Wonders...
6:22 am
Mon June 16, 2014

Lights, Lights, Lights, Action! A Crazy New Light Projector

A dandypunk Vimeo

Originally published on Mon June 16, 2014 11:25 am

What can you do with a spotlight?

You can light a spot.

But what if you give yourself more options and invent a tool that lets light spill, splash or tighten into a beam as thin as a pencil line — a beam of light that can draw!

Draw what? Oh my God, so many things: a galloping unicorn, a friendly girl, a guy who kicks you in the face, a wormhole, a ball that splashes into a fluid, a cube, a spiral, a rabbit, a squid, a scribble.

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Environment
4:37 am
Mon June 16, 2014

Kerry Gathers World Players To Focus On Protecting Oceans

Originally published on Mon June 16, 2014 8:45 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Government officials, scientists and business leaders from more than 80 countries are gathering at the State Department today and tomorrow. They're there to figure out ways to protect the world's oceans and commercial fisheries. Secretary of State John Kerry says this is an issue he's been working on for a long time, as NPR's Michele Kelemen reports.

MICHELE KELEMEN, BYLINE: When Secretary Kerry talks about his hopes for this conference he reaches back deep into his childhood in Massachusetts.

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Shots - Health News
2:52 am
Mon June 16, 2014

Power To The Health Data Geeks

Dave Vockell, CEO of the software company Lyfechannel, takes first place — and wins $20,000 — in the Code-a-Palooza Challenge at Health Datapalooza 2014.
David Hathcox David Hathcox for Health Data Consortium

Originally published on Mon June 16, 2014 3:09 pm

A computer programmer and a kid in a Batman suit walk into a pancake house ...

It sounds like a joke, but it really happened, and now the programmer — Dave Vockell — has a new product to bring to market. It's an app to help seniors talk to their doctors about medical care.

"Like all great health care breakthroughs, it happened at the International House of Pancakes," he says, half-jokingly.

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Health
2:50 am
Mon June 16, 2014

Father Devises A 'Bionic Pancreas' To Help Son With Diabetes

Ed Damiano and his son David, 15, play basketball at home in Acton, Mass. Ed has invented a device he hopes will make David's diabetes easier to manage.
Ellen Webber for NPR

Originally published on Tue June 17, 2014 7:00 am

An alarm sounds on Ed Damiano's night stand in the middle of the night. He jumps out of bed and rushes into his son's room next door.

His son, David, has Type 1 diabetes. The 15-year-old sleeps hooked up to a monitor that sounds an alarm when his blood sugar gets too low. If it drops sharply, David could die in his sleep.

"The fear is that there's going to be this little cold limb, and I screwed up. It's all on me," Damiano says.

But when he touches David's hand, he's warm. He's OK. Damiano says, "That's the moment of relief."

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All Tech Considered
3:40 pm
Sun June 15, 2014

Aisha Tyler Tells Us The Real Problem With Gaming And Diversity

Actress Aisha Tyler says her fellow gamers need to be vocal in their demand for diversity in games, with both their voices and their pocketbooks.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 5:16 pm

"The idea that there's not diversity in gameplay is just not true," says Archer star Aisha Tyler. "Does it need to be better? Absolutely."

Best known as an actress, comedian and podcaster, Tyler is also a big name in video game circles. An avid gamer herself, she has hosted game developer Ubisoft's press conference at the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles — one of the biggest gaming trade shows in the industry — for the past three years.

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The Two-Way
2:27 pm
Sun June 15, 2014

Deep Underground, Oceans Of Water May Be Trapped In A Crystal 'Sponge'

Originally published on Sun June 15, 2014 5:58 pm

Science teachers may have to add a whole new layer to the water cycle.

Scientists have discovered evidence of a vast reservoir of water hiding up to 400 miles beneath the surface.

The discovery could transform our understanding of how the planet was formed, suggesting that Earth's water may have come from within, rather than from collisions with large, icy comets.

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NPR Ed
8:03 am
Sun June 15, 2014

How Trauma Affects The Brain Of A Learner

Chronic stress can cause deficiencies in the pre-frontal cortex, which is essential for learning.
John M Flickr

Our public media colleagues over at KPCC, Southern California Public Radio, have a fascinating two-part report on the efforts of schools in the Los Angeles area to address the effects of "toxic stress" on student learning.

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Business
4:07 pm
Sat June 14, 2014

In Silicon Valley, Some Entrepreneurs Seek Social Change

Originally published on Sat June 14, 2014 5:17 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

Every now and then, you'll hear story about a kid who has a lemonade stand or cupcake sale to raise money for a good cause. Beyond that heartwarming headline is a belief that you can do capitalism with a conscience. Well, this is an idea that has taken root in Silicon Valley, in a big, big way.

Carlos Watson is the co-founder of the online magazine, Ozy. He says that young entrepreneurs there are starting businesses for social change. So, Carlos, who are these idealists? And what are the causes they want to support?

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Technology
4:07 pm
Sat June 14, 2014

Moving Beyond The Turing Test To Judge Artificial Intelligence

Originally published on Sat June 14, 2014 5:17 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR West. I'm Arun Rath. The code breaking skills of mathematician Alan Turing helped the Allies win World War II. He also devised the Turing Test, a measure of artificial intelligence. Last week, a computer program pretending to be a 13-year-old boy named Eugene Gustman was the first to pass the test - meaning the age of artificial intelligence has begun - maybe. Gary Marcus is a professor of cognitive science at New York University. I asked him to explain how the test works.

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Krulwich Wonders...
4:48 am
Sat June 14, 2014

Unstealing Treasures: A Reverse Burglary

MinutePhysics and RadioLab

Originally published on Thu June 26, 2014 1:58 pm

I've got this friend, Craig. He's not exactly an outlaw, but if the world needs something moved that is not supposed to be moved, he will move it anyway. Only in the interest of justice. Like Batman.

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