Science & Technology

Around the Nation
3:56 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Washington State's 'Slide Hill' Has A History Of Landslides

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 7:24 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

It's now five days into the search for survivors of the massive landslide in Oso in Washington's Snohomish County. National Guard Troops are combing the area with emergency extraction teams. The unofficial death toll so far is now 24, and authorities are promising more clarity tomorrow on the list of missing people. Some 176 persons are unaccounted for but the real number is thought to be lower than that.

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All Tech Considered
3:56 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Backlash To Facebook Buying Virtual Reality Firm Comes Swiftly

Attendees wear Oculus Rift HD virtual reality headsets at the Consumer Electronics Show in January.
Robyn Beck AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 10:08 am

When Facebook purchases a company, you can often hear a collective groan go around the Internet — "There goes the neighborhood."

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The Salt
3:41 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Does Beaver Tush Flavor Your Strawberry Shortcake? We Go Myth Busting

So what's behind that strawberry flavoring?
Meg Vogel/NPR

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 6:15 pm

A few years ago, celebrity chef Jamie Oliver kicked up a foodie firestorm when he told the audience at the Late Show with David Letterman that vanilla ice cream contains flavoring from a beaver's ... um, derriere.

"Beaver anal gland — yes," Oliver shouted bluntly, as the crowd booed and hissed. "Oh, come on! You're telling me you don't like a little beaver? ... It's in cheap sorts of strawberry syrups and vanilla ice cream."

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The Two-Way
2:01 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

New Dwarf Planet Found At The Solar System's Outer Limits

This diagram for the outer solar system shows the orbits of Sedna (in orange) and 2012 VP113 (in red). The sun and terrestrial planets are at the center, surrounded by the orbits (in purple) of the four giant planets — Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. The Kuiper belt, which includes Pluto, is shown by the dotted light blue region.
Scott S. Sheppard Carnegie Institution for Science

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 7:44 am

Scientists have spotted a new dwarf planet at the edge of our solar system. It's a kind of pink ice ball that's way out there, far beyond Pluto.

Astronomers used to think this region of space was a no man's land. But the new findings suggest that it holds many small worlds — and there are even hints of an unseen planet bigger than Earth.

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Shots - Health News
1:20 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Therapists' Apps Aim To Help With Mental Health Issues

The ReliefLink app is a mood-tracking tool intended to help people who are contemplating suicide.
Courtesy of Emory University

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 1:53 pm

Games like Flappy Bird and Candy Crush have helped many of us de-stress during long waits at the doctor's office and crowded Metro rides. But what if an app could actually help with mental health?

Researchers from Hunter College and the City University of New York say they've developed an app that can reduce anxiety.

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All Tech Considered
12:34 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Getting Your Head Into The Facebook-Oculus Virtual Reality Deal

An attendee wears an Oculus Rift HD virtual reality headset at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
Robyn Beck AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 5:02 pm

Author Howard Rheingold has been thinking about virtual reality tech for decades. He spoke to us on Twitter about Facebook's $2 billion purchase of Oculus VR, the company behind the Oculus Rift headset.

The Two-Way
12:01 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Soyuz Misfire Delays Crew Trying To Reach Space Station

From left: U.S. astronaut Steve Swanson, and Russian cosmonauts Alexander Skvortsov and Oleg Artemyev prior to the launch of their Soyuz-FG rocket Wednesday at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
Dmitry Lovetsky AP

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 12:18 pm

A problem with a thruster aboard a Russian Soyuz capsule ferrying one American and two Russians to the International Space Station has caused an unexpected delay for the crew in reaching the orbiting platform.

As NPR's Geoff Brumfiel reports, it was supposed to be a six-hour journey from the launch at Kazakhstan's Baikonur Cosmodrome to the ISS, but one of the thrusters didn't fire at the right time.

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Technology
10:46 am
Wed March 26, 2014

The Changing World Of Tech Requires A Woman's Eye

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 1:09 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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All Tech Considered
9:08 am
Wed March 26, 2014

How A Cold Brew Can Stop You From Checking Your Smartphone

A beer glass that only stands if it can rest on your smartphone.
Fischer & Friends Agency

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 9:29 am

Regular All Tech readers may know that we've been exploring the social norms around obsessively checking your smartphone while out with real, live human beings. Is it a big no-no, or a new normal? Is it totally not cool in a movie but OK to peek at dinner?

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Environment
4:04 am
Wed March 26, 2014

Toxic Chemical Dioxane Detected In More Water Supplies

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 6:39 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Earlier this year, a chemical spill in West Virginia forced officials to put a ban on drinking water that affected some 300,000 people. This also highlighted an unsettling truth: While officials test our drinking supply, they're only targeting a few chemicals. Many contaminants go undetected.

Here's NPR's Elizabeth Shogren.

ELIZABETH SHOGREN, BYLINE: Toxic chemicals can make it into tap water for years without experts knowing it. That's because of a basic fact about how treatment plants test their water.

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