And finally this hour, a hole. This summer, NPR's science correspondent Joe Palca has been helping us out. Occasionally, our mix of news and features doesn't completely fill our two-hour program and we end up with a few small holes to fill, so Joe has been filling them with short science-y pieces about holes. He's talked about black holes, theoretical holes, even donut holes. Here's his latest.
Originally published on Tue August 27, 2013 6:22 pm
In its first "Global Government Requests Report," Facebook has released details on the number of requests it has gotten from government agents for user data.
Facebook reveals that governments around the globe have made 38,000 total requests for user data in the first half of 2013, and the U.S. dwarfs the rest of the world in requests. Up to June 30, the U.S. government asked Facebook for access to accounts of between 20,000 and 21,000 users, the company said.
Facebook has more than 1.1 billion users globally.
Across the High Plains, many farmers depend on underground stores of water, and they worry about wells going dry. A new scientific study of western Kansas lays out a predicted timeline for those fears to become reality. But it also shows an alternative path for farming in Kansas: The moment of reckoning can be delayed, and the impact softened, if farmers start conserving water now.
Credit Courtesy of Stefano Piraino / MED-JELLYRISK
Marine biologist Stefano Piraino thinks overfishing is one of the reasons jellyfish populations are growing. He said if you take fish out of the oceans, it leaves more food for jellyfish. The jellyfish here are known as Pelagia noctiluca, the mauve stinger.
Credit David Ramos / Getty Images
The number of people stung by jellyfish on Mediterranean beaches, like those of the island of Ibiza in Spain, is rising. Along some stretches of Spain's coast, scientists have spotted huge, mile-long blooms of jellyfish, sometimes with 30 to 40 animals per square yard of sea.
Blue turquoise waves lap at white sand on the Spanish island of Formentera in the Mediterranean Sea. Sweaty tourists from all over Europe cram the beach. But on this particular afternoon, no one dares take a cool dip in the water.
The reason? It's what Spaniards call "medusas" — named after the monster from Greek mythology, with a woman's face and venomous snakes for hair. In English, they're called jellyfish.
Gabrielle Amand's son was a recent victim of one. He's wrapped in a towel, sitting under an umbrella on the shore.
Cubicle culture can be so confining that it's become a cliche. A line from the cult film classic Office Space sums it up:"I have eight different bosses right now," grouses bleary-eyed tech company employee Peter Gibbons. "So that means when I make a mistake, I have eight different people coming by to tell me about it. That's my only real motivation. It's not to be hassled."
News that National Security Agency officers sometimes abuse domestic intelligence gathering practices to monitor potential love interests has led to a sweeping, satirical response by The People of The Internet. On Tumblr and Twitter, the #NSAPickupLines and #NSALovePoems hashtags have sparked all sorts of creativity from users poking fun at the potential intrusion of the NSA into our personal lives.
Originally published on Mon August 26, 2013 6:51 pm
It's hard to know how many online accounts and services each of us has created by now, but it's probably somewhere in the neighborhood of "too many." This proliferation of online accounts has grown a whole crop of password-remembering services that, of course, also require accounts.
It would be great to cut the clutter by just deleting the ones you don't use. But companies don't make it easy, burying the account deactivation pages from view and requiring a litany of frustrating steps to get there.