Science & Technology

Research News
4:20 am
Tue May 13, 2014

More Parental Attention May Give First-Born Kids Advantages

Originally published on Tue May 13, 2014 9:00 am

Firstborn kids often do better in school and, on average, go on to earn more money than their younger siblings. A new theory tries to explain why.

The Salt
2:02 am
Tue May 13, 2014

Turnspit Dogs: The Rise And Fall Of The Vernepator Cur

A turnspit dog at work in a wooden cooking wheel in an inn at Newcastle, Carmarthen, Wales, in 1869.
Ann Ronan Pictures/Print Collector/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 23, 2014 5:45 pm

In an old hunting lodge on the grounds of an ancient Norman castle in Abergavenny, Wales, a small, extinct dog peers out of a handmade wooden display case.

"Whiskey is the last surviving specimen of a turnspit dog, albeit stuffed," says Sally Davis, longtime custodian at the Abergavenny Museum.

The Canis vertigus, or turnspit, was an essential part of every large kitchen in Britain in the 16th century. The small cooking canine was bred to run in a wheel that turned a roasting spit in cavernous kitchen fireplaces.

Read more
The Two-Way
4:19 pm
Mon May 12, 2014

Melting Of Antarctic Ice Sheet Might Be Unstoppable

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 5:31 pm

Scientists have long worried about climate change-induced melting of the huge West Antarctic Ice Sheet. Now they say that not only is the disintegration of the ice already underway, but that it's likely unstoppable.

That means that in the coming centuries, global sea levels will rise by anywhere from 4 to 12 feet. As NPR's Nell Greenfieldboyce reports, that's a larger increase than the United Nations expert panel noted last year. But it would occur over a longer time frame — centuries instead of decades.

Read more
All Tech Considered
3:38 pm
Mon May 12, 2014

As Drones Fly In Cities And Yards, So Do The Complaints

Merrill uses a drone to take aerial shots of Santa Cruz, Calif.
Courtesy of David Merrill

Originally published on Wed May 14, 2014 9:25 am

The price of drones is dropping — a decent one could cost you $300 — but the reality of the devices flying around cities and neighborhoods doesn't sit well with a lot of Americans.

Are they just paranoid?

Three months ago, when Michael Kirschner and his wife purchased a new condo in San Francisco, they were not concerned about drones. They fell in love with the unit because of its big picture windows.

"You have a view that reaches all the way out to the Golden Gate Bridge," Kirschner says.

Read more
Technology
3:02 pm
Mon May 12, 2014

When Drones Leap Into U.S. Airspace, Attention Turns To Herding Them

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 6:58 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block. And now for All Tech Considered.

(SOUNDBITE OF THEME MUSIC)

BLOCK: Our tech team is homing in on the burgeoning market for drones or unmanned aircraft. There are three reasons behind out focus. First, drones are cheaper than ever. Second, from farmers to realtors, business people want to use them. And third, the FAA is working on new rules to allow that.

Read more
Environment
3:02 pm
Mon May 12, 2014

'Past The Point Of No Return:' An Antarctic Ice Sheet's Slow Collapse

Originally published on Tue May 13, 2014 9:04 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Antarctica is covered with the biggest mass of ice on earth. The part of the ice sheath that's over West Antarctica is thought to be especially vulnerable to climate change. Scientists now say a slow collapse of the West Antarctic ice sheet is both underway and irreversible. And as NPR's Nell Greenfieldboyce reports, this could eventually raise sea levels more than 10 feet.

NELL GREENFIELDBOYCE, BYLINE: For decades, scientists have worried about the West Antarctic ice sheet.

Read more
Shots - Health News
12:31 pm
Mon May 12, 2014

Driving While Pregnant Is Riskier Than You Might Think

Be a bit more careful? The risk of a traffic accident rises by about 40 percent during the second trimester of pregnancy.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 4:04 pm

Don't scuba dive. Be careful about flying. Stay out of those hot tubs. Pregnancy comes with a long list of do's and don'ts.

Now it looks like we might need to add another item to that list: Drive more carefully.

Expectant mothers are more likely to have serious car crashes, a large study out of Canada finds.

Read more
The Two-Way
12:24 pm
Mon May 12, 2014

Reports: FCC Chairman Revising Net Neutrality Rules

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 3:25 pm

Where the Federal Communications Commission ends up on net neutrality seems to be up in the air: The Wall Street Journal, USA Today and The Washington Post are reporting that FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler is revising a proposal that would allow Internet providers to

Read more
Digital Life
11:24 am
Mon May 12, 2014

Clouds Are Convenient, But Be Paranoid To Protect Personal Data

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Switching gears now. You're probably seeing a lot of ads for smartphones and other gadgets that a graduate might like. There are a lot out there, and they're changing all the time. And that made us think that technology is not the only thing changing quickly. There are also new ways to store information. We're no longer storing documents and photos on hard drives or USB sticks or even CDs or floppy disks, if you remember those.

Read more
The Two-Way
4:03 am
Mon May 12, 2014

Rocket Wars: Will A Suit By SpaceX Get Off The Ground?

Atlas V (left); Falcon 9 (right)
ULA; SpaceX

Originally published on Tue May 13, 2014 9:01 am

The two rockets pictured above may look the same, and in many ways they are: Both are launched pointy-end up, and both can carry a satellite into orbit.

But the rocket on the left, known as an Atlas V, costs between $100 million and $300 million more to launch (depending on whom you ask) than the one on the right, the Falcon 9.

So why has the U.S. Air Force just signed a contract to buy dozens of rockets like the Atlas V from a single supplier?

Read more

Pages