Science & Technology

The Salt
11:45 am
Tue March 25, 2014

Food Giants Want 'Sustainable' Beef. But What Does That Mean?

Customers order food from a McDonald's restaurant in Des Plaines, Ill. The company has promised to start buying "verified sustainable beef" in 2016.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 2:07 pm

McDonald's made a big green splash a few months ago by announcing that it will start buying "verified sustainable" beef in 2016.

A chorus of voices responded, "What's 'verified sustainable' beef?"

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The Salt
6:33 am
Tue March 25, 2014

Can You Open A Bottle Of Wine With A Shoe? Yes, But It Ain't Pretty

My attempt at opening a wine bottle with a tennis shoe.
Maggie Starbard/NPR

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 4:31 pm

There's a rumor swirling around on the Internet: If you have a bottle of wine, but no corkscrew with which to open it, then a shoe will do the trick nicely.

Really?

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Asia
4:06 am
Tue March 25, 2014

Can Mathematics Find Missing Malaysia Jetliner?

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 5:07 pm

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

The search for survivors on the missing Malaysian Airlines flight took a dark turn yesterday when Malaysia's prime minister said his government now believes the plane went down somewhere in the Indian Ocean and that all 239 people aboard are dead.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

They based that on a new assessment of signals sent from the aircraft to a satellite, but they can't tell exactly where the aircraft might have gone down.

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Technology
3:33 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

Weaned On Youth, Silicon Valley Keeps Older Workers On Sidelines

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 5:46 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

I'm Audie Cornish and now to All Tech Considered.

(SOUNDBITE OF THEME MUSIC)

CORNISH: Botox, plastic surgeries, an obsession with youth. We're not talking about Hollywood. That's the new culture of Silicon Valley, according to writer Noam Scheiber. His article for the New Republic is titled "The Brutal Ageism of Tech." And it describes how the infusion of power and money in Silicon Valley has sidelined older workers.

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All Tech Considered
3:33 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

Does Google Glass Distract Drivers? The Debate Is On

Shane Walker uses Google Glass while driving. His favorite feature is the ability to record his trips and send them to friends.
Aarti Shahani KQED

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 3:54 pm

Shane Walker hops into his Toyota Prius hybrid and puts on his Google Glass. It's a lightweight glasses frame with a tiny computer built into the lens.

Google is at the forefront of a movement in wearable technology, gadgets we put on our bodies to connect us to the Internet, and perhaps nothing embodies that more than Glass. But the eyewear is raising eyebrows outside the high-tech industry. Before Glass even hits stores, lawmakers in several states want to ban it on the roads.

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Energy
3:33 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

A Dubious Birthday For The Exxon Valdez

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 1:59 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Here's a bit of what we learned when we woke up that morning, 25 years ago today.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED BROADCAST)

JEAN COCHRAN: A Coast Guard spokesman in Juneau, Alaska says an oil tanker has run aground in an ice field 20 miles off Valdez. That's the terminus of...

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Environment
3:33 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

The Hearts Of Fish Still Bear Scars Of Oil Spilled Years Ago

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 5:46 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The spill in the Houston Ship Channel is another assault on one of the world's richest fishing grounds. The channel drains into the Gulf of Mexico and new research out today shows the Gulf's marine life is very vulnerable to the effects of oil. Much of what scientists have learned comes from studying the underwater leak of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig back in 2010. Here's NPR's Elizabeth Shogren.

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News
3:33 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

Oil Spill Disrupts A Waterway Thick With Barges And Birds

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 5:46 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

I'm Robert Siegel.

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All Tech Considered
2:10 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

Smartphones And Mealtime: Turn Device-Avoidance Into A Game

One way to avoid checking your phone at mealtime? Stack 'em up in the middle of the table.
iStockPhoto

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 3:16 pm

We are having a running conversation about what's acceptable and what isn't when it comes to checking our smartphones during various situations. My original question had to do with mealtime, in which previously it was considered rude to check your phone during dinner. It appears attitudes are changing around that, but some of you, like me, still prize those quiet moments of reflection without a device to turn to.

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The Salt
12:37 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

Apples Vs. Oranges: Google Tool Offers Ultimate Nutrition Smackdown

Oranges and apples in a row.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 4:31 pm

Leave it to the folks at Reddit to uncover the hidden treasures of the Internet. Recently, they were gabbing about Google's nutrition comparison tool, which was quietly launched at the end of 2013 and escaped us here at The Salt.

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