Science & Technology

Shots - Health News
7:37 am
Thu May 15, 2014

Just One-Third Of People Can Tell If You're Faking That Laugh

Does she really think you're funny, or is she just being polite?
Jon Feingersh/Getty Getty Images/Blend Images RM

Originally published on Thu May 15, 2014 10:42 am

  • Researcher Greg Bryant Speaks To NPR's Robert Siegel

Scene: The happy-hour office party.

Your boss is relaxed, drink in hand. A little liquid courage of your own, and you approach her, taking a shot at an opportunity to impress. You open with a quip. She chuckles.

But does she really mean it? Or is she faking?

Only one-third of people can tell the difference between a fake laugh and the real deal, according to a study by Greg Bryant, a professor of communication at University of California, Los Angeles.

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Krulwich Wonders...
5:49 am
Thu May 15, 2014

How To Marry The Right Girl: A Mathematical Solution

Robert Krulwich NPR

Originally published on Thu May 15, 2014 1:34 pm

Poor Johannes Kepler. One of the greatest astronomers ever, the man who figured out the laws of planetary motion, a genius, scholar and mathematician — in 1611, he needed a wife. The previous Mrs. Kepler had died of Hungarian spotted fever, so, with kids to raise and a household to manage, he decided to line up some candidates — but it wasn't going very well.

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All Tech Considered
2:38 am
Thu May 15, 2014

FCC To Unveil Proposed Rules To Govern Internet Traffic

Proponents of open Internet access protest in front of the FCC headquarters in Washington, D.C. The commission votes Thursday on its proposed rules amid debate about network neutrality.
Elise Hu NPR

Originally published on Thu May 15, 2014 1:55 pm

The Federal Communications Commission announced last month that it would propose new rules. In a blog post, Chairman Tom Wheeler insists that the open Internet rules will help maintain what's called network neutrality. That is, making certain that your Internet provider doesn't give a faster connection to a service that can pay more.

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Digital Life
6:27 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

In Kansas, Professors Must Now Watch What They Tweet

Originally published on Thu May 15, 2014 2:17 pm

The Kansas Board of Regents gave final approval Wednesday to a strict new policy on what employees may say on social media. Critics say the policy violates both the First Amendment and academic freedom, but school officials say providing faculty with more specific guidelines will actually bolster academic freedom on campus.

The controversial policy was triggered by an equally controversial tweet posted last September by David Guth, an associate journalism professor. Reacting to a lone gunman who killed 12 people at the Washington Navy Yard in Washington, D.C., he wrote:

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The Two-Way
3:52 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

Tropical Storms Hitting Peak Strength Nearer Poles, Study Says

A NOAA image taken by the Japan Meteorological Agency in September shows Typhoon Usagi. A new study says that such tropical cyclones are reaching peak intensity farther away from the equator.
NOAA/JMA AP

Originally published on Wed May 14, 2014 4:29 pm

Tropical storms are migrating out of the tropics, reaching their peak intensity in higher latitudes, where larger populations are concentrated, a new NOAA-led study published in the journal Nature says.

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Environment
3:11 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

Out There On The Ice: An Intimate View Of The Melting Antarctic Sheet

Originally published on Fri May 16, 2014 12:00 pm

Two groups of scientists have reported that the melting of the giant West Antarctica Ice Sheet appears to be unstoppable. Oceans could rise several feet in the coming centuries because of its melting. Glaciologist Sridhar Anandakrishnan has devoted his scientific life to those Antarctic glaciers, studying them for nearly three decades, and he comments on the recent news.

Shots - Health News
1:15 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

Neuroscientists Hack Dreams With Tiny Shocks

Actress Joan Gardner was a beautiful sleeper. But she probably wasn't a lucid dreamer. The ability is quite rare.
Sasha Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 16, 2014 1:25 pm

Oh, to be a lucid dreamer!

To be fast asleep at 3:30 a.m. and then realize: I'm in a dream. I can walk up these stairs, jump off the porch and start flying. Why not? It's a dream.

Lucid dreams have lit up the big screen in movies, such as Pan's Labyrinth and Inception. But the ability to control dreams, the hallmark of lucid dreams, is quite rare in real life.

Now German neuroscientists have taken a step toward giving this elusive power to some run-of-the mill dreamers.

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Intelligence Squared U.S.
12:54 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

Debate: Is Death Final?

Sean Carroll (left) and Steven Novella argue that testimonies about near-death experiences are not evidence of an afterlife.
Samuel LaHoz Intelligence Squared U.S.

Originally published on Wed May 14, 2014 3:11 pm

  • Listen To The Full Audio Of The Debate
  • Listen To The Broadcast Version Of The Debate

Is there some form of existence after death, or is the notion a product of wishful thinking about our own mortality?

These questions have fascinated humans for millennia. Many approach the concept of an afterlife as a religious one, but in a recent Intelligence Squared U.S. debate, a physicist and three medical doctors put faith aside to debate life after death from a scientific perspective.

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Shots - Health News
8:54 am
Wed May 14, 2014

Doctors Debate Whether Screening For Domestic Abuse Helps Stop It

In the U.S., doctors increasingly ask about domestic violence as a routine part of checkups.
iStockphoto

Domestic violence affects a third of women worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. In many cases nobody knows of the suffering, and victims aren't able to get help in time.

That's why in many countries, including the U.S., there's been a push to make screening for domestic violence a routine part of doctor visits. Last year, the influential U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommended that clinicians ask all women of childbearing age whether they're being abused.

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The Two-Way
7:09 am
Wed May 14, 2014

'I'm Happy,' Says Man Whose Case Changed Europe's Rules For Google

Originally published on Wed May 14, 2014 1:25 pm

The Spanish man whose court battle against Google resulted in a European court ruling in his favor – and for the "right to be forgotten" – says he is pleased with the case's outcome.

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