Science & Technology

Planet Money
2:46 am
Fri June 28, 2013

Economists Have A One-Page Solution To Climate Change

CX Matiash AP

Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 9:45 am

Climate change seems like this complicated problem with a million pieces. But Henry Jacoby, an economist at MIT's business school, says there's really just one thing you need to do to solve the problem: Tax carbon emissions.

"If you let the economists write the legislation," Jacoby says, "it could be quite simple." He says he could fit the whole bill on one page.

Basically, Jacoby would tax fossil fuels in proportion to the amount of carbon they release. That would make coal, oil and natural gas more expensive. That's it; that's the whole plan.

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Science & Technology
4:57 pm
Thu June 27, 2013

Careful While Grilling This Summer: Wire Brush Bristles Ending Up Stuck In Intestines

Images of a wire grill-cleaning brush bristle in a patient's omentum, surrounded by soft tissue stranding inflammation. The third image is a specimen radiograph from omental resection that confirms foreign object removal.
Centers for Disease Control

Local doctors are concerned about cases of metal bristles getting stuck in people’s intestines. The University Health System and the Methodist Hospital have teamed up to study the strange but growing problem.

The bristles come from those wire brushes used to clean the barbecue grill, and people sometimes ingest the tiny wires without knowing it.

Johnny Littrell of Floresville said it happened to him and the pain felt like an ice pick sticking into his abdomen.

"They did a CAT scan and said I had a piece of bone in my intestines," he said.

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All Tech Considered
2:01 pm
Thu June 27, 2013

What You Suggested For Our Tech Blog Reboot

An old innovation: the printing press.
Flickr: Mattack

In case you missed it Monday, we're rebooting our technology blog to focus on the intersection of innovation and culture. The updated approach both widens our view of technology — for example, two-ply toilet paper was innovative at one point — and sharpens our gaze. You won't find general tech business news in this space anymore.

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Shots - Health News
11:53 am
Thu June 27, 2013

A Look At The Nastiest And Cleanest U.S. Beaches

Lazy day summer beach goers relax on the sands of Rehoboth Beach in Delaware.
Ted Van Pelt Flickr

Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 3:54 pm

From California to the Great Lakes, persistent water pollution shows that no beach is an island when it comes to public health threats like hepatitis, dysentery and stomach flu.

The Natural Resources Defense Council released its annual beach report card Wednesday detailing the levels of bacteria hanging around beaches across the nation.

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Krulwich Wonders...
10:59 am
Thu June 27, 2013

7 Billion People And Trillions Of Creatures To Be Photographed Together On July 19

NASA

Originally published on Tue July 16, 2013 10:40 am

It's going to be a very small picture, but we're all going to be in it. All trillions of us on Earth.

It's not our first group portrait, but Carolyn Porco, the woman in charge, says it's going to be gasp-worthy. She should know. She helped shoot some of the early ones.

What am I talking about?

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Digital Life
10:20 am
Thu June 27, 2013

Student Facebook Use Might Affect Future Success

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

We want to turn now to a new study about social media, specifically Facebook. You've probably seen that the site is unbelievably popular among college students. You can find them posting updates on the bus, chatting in the library, tagging photos while they walk. But even though nearly every student has Facebook, there's a new study that says different groups use the site in many different ways. And according to the study, at least, that can have surprising implications for student success in college and even beyond.

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Business
3:04 am
Thu June 27, 2013

$99 Game Console Ouya Aims To Take Down Barriers To Fans

The Ouya game console and controller. Games are sold through something like an app store, allowing customers to sample them before buying.
Courtesy of Ouya

Originally published on Thu June 27, 2013 11:37 am

Sony and Microsoft are preparing to launch their latest gaming consoles this fall with price tags from $400 for the PlayStation 4 and $500 for the Xbox One. But this week, a $99 game console went on sale and sold out at Target and Amazon.

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Environment
3:04 am
Thu June 27, 2013

This Climate Fix Might Be Decades Ahead Of Its Time

Global Thermostat's pilot plant in Menlo Park, Calif., pulls carbon dioxide from the surrounding air. The next challenge is to find uses for the captured gas.
Courtesy of Global Thermostat

Originally published on Thu June 27, 2013 2:35 pm

Every year, people add 30 billion tons of carbon dioxide to the air, mostly by burning fossil fuels. That's contributing to climate change. A few scientists have been dreaming about ways to pull some of that CO2 out of the air, but face stiff skepticism and major hurdles. This is the story of one scientist who's pressing ahead.

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The Two-Way
11:03 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

As People Head Into Space, PayPal Says It Will Follow Them

No Free Doughnuts, Even In Space: PayPal is announcing a project with SETI, aiming to solve issues around taking regular people — and commerce — into space. Here, an artist's rendering of a space hotel, from the Space Tourism Society.
John Spencer Space Tourism Society

Originally published on Thu June 27, 2013 11:48 am

Many people know how to buy things in cyberspace. But what about doing business in outer space? That's the question PayPal says it wants to answer. Citing the looming era of space tourism, the company is creating the PayPal Galactic project along with the SETI Institute, "to help make universal space payments a reality."

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Humans
4:12 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

Pitch-Perfect: Why Our Shoulders Are Key To Throwing

Harry Kaplan practices pitching during Home Run Baseball Camp at Friendship Recreation Center in June. Kaplan's arm is stretched long and toward the ground as his hips are faced away from the catcher. A chimp, in contrast, could never throw a fastball.
Heather Rousseau NPR

Originally published on Thu June 27, 2013 4:01 pm

The ability to throw a baseball or any object with speed and precision is unique to us humans. And that ability depends on certain features of our anatomy that arose in our ancestors over 2 million years ago, according to a study published in this week's issue of the journal Nature.

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