Science & Technology

The Salt
10:55 am
Wed June 18, 2014

Goats In The City? Making A Case For Detroit's Munching Mowers

Leonard Pollara, of Idyll Farms, with some of the goats housed in the Brightmoor neighborhood of Detroit.
Max Ortiz Courtesy of The Detroit News

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 4:14 pm

As more urban folk strive to produce their own food, gardens both large and small are popping up everywhere. And while it's not unheard of for city dwellers to keep bees and even chickens, only a brave few have been willing to try their hand at goats.

Like hedge fund manager Mark Spitznagel, who recently tried to revitalize Detroit's Brightmoor neighborhood with a herd of 18 baby goats.

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All Tech Considered
8:54 am
Wed June 18, 2014

Turn Any Cup Into A Spillproof Sippy Cup For Your Kids

The stretchy silicone folds to be more compact.
Courtesy of Double Double

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 11:01 am

You're welcome, parents of young kids. The days of awkward-sized sippy cups taking up space in your cabinets, of cleaning up spills at restaurants and furiously matching lids to cups before rushing out the door may be over. SipSnap, this week's innovation pick, lets you turn any drinking vessel into a spillproof sippy cup for your little ones.

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The Two-Way
8:18 am
Wed June 18, 2014

U.S. Offshore Wind Energy Area Would Nearly Double Under New Plan

The Department of the Interior is proposing a large expansion of U.S. efforts to make energy from offshore winds, with a plan centered off the Massachusetts coast. Here, a 2010 photo shows a sunrise over Nantucket Sound.
Julia Cumes AP

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 10:55 am

A large swath of the Atlantic Ocean could soon be used to generate electricity, as a U.S. agency proposes opening more than 1,000 square miles of ocean to wind energy projects. The area is off the coast of Massachusetts, which has been working on the proposal with federal officials.

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Science
2:25 am
Wed June 18, 2014

Is Collecting Animals For Science A Noble Mission Or A Threat?

DNA from these crab plovers, collected in Djibouti, Africa, should help scientists figure out how the unusual species fits into the family tree, says the Smithsonian's Helen James.
Maggie Starbard NPR

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 7:29 am

Behind the scenes at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, there's a vast, warehouse-like room that's filled with metal cabinets painted a drab institutional green. Inside the cabinets are more than a half-million birds — and these birds are not drab. Their colorful feathers make them seem to almost glow.

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All Tech Considered
5:41 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

How Yahoo's Diversity Numbers Compare With Google's

Yahoo is famously led by a woman, CEO Marissa Mayer. But its workforce, like most tech companies, is dominated by men.
Robert Galbraith Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue June 17, 2014 7:05 pm

Yahoo has responded to the years-long calls for tech companies to disclose their staffs' gender and racial breakdowns. The numbers released Tuesday show its workforce, like much of the tech industry, is dominated by white and Asian males. In its post releasing the data, Yahoo explained its reasoning:

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Environment
5:31 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

Plastics Don't Disappear, But They Do End Up In Seabirds' Bellies

Plastic floats ashore in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Bay Ismoyo AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 17, 2014 7:33 pm

The vast majority of debris in the ocean — about 75 percent of it — is made of plastic. It can consist of anything from plastic bottles to packaging materials, but whatever form it takes, it doesn't go away easily.

While plastic may break down into smaller and smaller pieces, some as small as grains of sand, these pieces are never truly biodegradable. The plastic bits, some small enough that they're called microplastics, threaten marine life like fish and birds, explains Richard Thompson, a professor of marine biology at Plymouth University in the U.K.

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The Two-Way
3:59 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

Hubble To Search For Last Stop On Pluto Probe's Itinerary

Artist concept of New Horizons spacecraft. The Hubble Space Telescope is being pressed into service to help scientists look for a post-Pluto target for the space probe.
Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute

The Hubble Space Telescope is being pressed into service to search for a post-Pluto "icy body" as a last stop for NASA's New Horizons probe.

The Baltimore-based committee that metes out observing time for the HST announced today that it is allotting time to look for a suitable Kuiper Belt object for New Horizons to flyby after it passes close to Pluto in July 2015.

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The Salt
3:33 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

'Pink Slime' Is Making A Comeback. Do You Have A Beef With That?

South Dakota-based meat processor Beef Products Inc. shows a sample of its lean, finely textured beef in September 2012.
AP

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 3:36 pm

A much-maligned beef product that was once frequently added to hamburger is making a comeback. Two years ago, beef processors cut back sharply on producing what they call "lean, finely textured beef" after the nasty nickname for it, "pink slime," caught on in the media. Now, higher beef prices are leading to increased demand for the product.

To prepare, grocery stores and beef processors are getting ready for a new round of questions from consumers.

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Law
3:06 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

Settlement Brings An Early End To Apple's Price-Fixing Case

Originally published on Tue June 17, 2014 7:33 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. Apple has reached an out-of-court settlement with dozens of states and a number of other plaintiffs over e-book price fixing. The company was facing more than $800 million in damages. NPR's Mandalit Del Barco reports.

MANDALIT DEL BARCO, BYLINE: Apple introduced its entry into the e-book market in 2010 and kept upgrading its features.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

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Shots - Health News
3:06 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

Your Brain's Got Rhythm, And Syncs When You Think

"Dance for PD" classes use music to temporarily ease tremors and get Parkinson's patients moving.
Maggie Starbard NPR

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 3:47 pm

Even if you can't keep a beat, your brain can. "The brain absolutely has rhythm," says Nathan Urban, a neuroscientist at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.

When you concentrate, Urban says, your brain produces rapid, rhythmic electrical impulses called gamma waves. When you relax, it generates much slower alpha waves.

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