Science + Technology

Science + Technology
6:33 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Net Neutrality, Shall I Compare Thee To A Highway? A Showerhead?

Members of global advocacy group Avaaz stand next to a digital counter showing the number of petition signatures calling for net neutrality outside the Federal Communication Commission in Washington in January. Avaaz joined other groups to deliver more than a million signatures for a free and open Internet to the FCC.
Kevin Wolf AP

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 6:35 pm

The Federal Communications Commission says it's writing rules for the Internet to preserve the status quo.

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Science + Technology
4:54 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

1 Million Net Neutrality Comments Filed, But Will They Matter?

Complaints about Janet Jackson's Super Bowl halftime show performance of 2004 led to a record number of public interactions with the Federal Communications Commission. This year's net neutrality comments come in second.
Donald Miralle Getty Images

Originally published on Sun July 27, 2014 10:02 pm

The Federal Communications Commission received more than 1 million public comments on the issue of net neutrality during a five-month commenting period that ended Friday.

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Science + Technology
5:31 pm
Sun July 20, 2014

Sixth-Grader's Science Project Catches Ecologists' Attention

Scientists previously underestimated the ability of the lionfish to live in less salty water.
Mark Ralston AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 28, 2014 1:28 pm

(July 24, 2014: See the editor's note at the bottom of this page for an explanation of the story's new headline.)

When 12-year-old Lauren Arrington heard about her sixth-grade science project, she knew she wanted to study lionfish. Growing up in Jupiter, Fla., she saw them in the ocean while snorkeling and fishing with her dad.

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Science + Technology
2:20 pm
Sun July 20, 2014

Astronaut Who Walked On The Moon: 'It Was Science Fiction To Us'

During the Apollo 12 mission, astronaut Alan Bean holds a container of lunar soil. The astronaut Charles "Pete" Conrad, who took the photograph, is reflected in Bean's faceshield. Bean says he used to think that in his lifetime, we'd build a base on the moon and start preparing to travel to Mars.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

In November of 1969, astronaut Alan Bean became the fourth man to walk on the moon. His mission, Apollo 12, arrived at the moon a few months after Apollo 11 made the first moon landing. That historic event celebrates its 45th anniversary Sunday.

Apollo 12 got off to a dramatic start: A storm rolled in as the rocket was scheduled to launch. Bean, with fellow astronauts Pete Conrad and Dick Gordon, sat inside the spacecraft while the bad weather threatened the operation.

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Science + Technology
12:40 pm
Sun July 20, 2014

45 Years Ago, Armstrong Took His 'One Small Step'

NASA image taken in 2012 by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) shows astronauts' footprints and equipment left on the moon by Apollo 11.
Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) NASA

Originally published on Sun April 5, 2015 12:14 pm

Forty-five years ago today, in arguably the greatest technological feat of the 20th Century, two Americans stepped off the ladder of their small landing craft and walked on the surface of the moon.

The first of them, Neil Armstrong, 38, of Wapakoneta, Ohio, pronounced his accomplishment "one small step for [a] man; one giant leap for mankind." The second, 39-year-old New Jersey native Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, Jr., described what he saw as "magnificent desolation."

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Science + Technology
6:59 am
Sun July 20, 2014

Recognizing The Illusion Of 'Homo Economicus'

There is no such thing as a free lunch.
iStockphoto

Standard economic theory assumes that humans behave rationally and are able to objectively calculate the value (or cost) of the different choices they are presented with. In fact, we pride ourselves on our rationality. Different from the animals, we humans have the unique capacity for logical thought and rational decision making. Or do we?

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Science + Technology
5:05 pm
Sat July 19, 2014

With Malaysia Airlines Crash, A Loss For AIDS Research

Originally published on Sat July 19, 2014 6:18 pm

Transcript

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

Malaysia Airlines has released the manifest of passengers who were on that plane that crashed in Eastern Ukraine. We know that many of them were bound for the world's largest AIDS conference in Australia. At the opening of the conference yesterday there was a moment of silence to remember those who had died. Diane Anderson-Minshall is the editor-in-chief of HIV Plus Magazine and asked her about one of the most prominent AIDS researchers who was killed, Dutch scientist Jope Lange.

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Science + Technology
10:28 am
Sat July 19, 2014

400,000+ Sign Petition To Move 'Sad Bear' To Better Life In Canada

Arturo, the only polar bear in Argentina, lives in captivity at a zoo in Mendoza. The plight of the "sad bear" has spawned more than 400,000 signatures on a petition to get him moved to a "better life" in Canada.
AFP Getty Images

Originally published on Sat July 19, 2014 1:33 pm

Updated at 1:20 p.m. ET.

Social media has dubbed Arturo, a polar bear living in an Argentinian zoo, the "world's saddest animal," and more than 400,000 people have signed an online petition asking that he be moved to a "better life" in Canada.

Photos of Arturo, 29, looking distressed and lying flat out on his stomach that have circulated online prompted the petition. The bear's enclosure mate, Pelusa, died two years ago, the BBC says.

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Science + Technology
8:11 am
Sat July 19, 2014

People Share Moon Landing Memories On YouTube Channel

Originally published on Sat July 19, 2014 8:36 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Tomorrow is the 45th anniversary of man leaving Earth to land on the moon.

NEIL ARMSTRONG: That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.

SIMON: Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin took the first steps on the surface of a world that used to be just a light in our sky.

BUZZ ALDRIN: Beautiful view.

ARMSTRONG: Isn't that something? Magnificent sight out here.

ALDRIN: Magnificent desolation.

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Science + Technology
3:37 am
Fri July 18, 2014

Better Culture Could Have Prevented Viral Comcast Call

The call center of Zappos.com gets high marks from consumers for strong customer service.
Shashi Bellamkonda Flickr

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 11:13 am

This week, one man's customer service call to Comcast turned into a badgering — a simple request to cancel his service was repeatedly beaten back by the employee on the other end of the line. It was a familiar feeling for a lot of us, which perhaps explains why more than 4 million people have listened to it in less than a week.

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Science + Technology
4:27 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

To Make A Spacecraft That Folds And Unfolds, Try Origami

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 8:40 pm

Scientists and engineers at NASA are using origami techniques to help solve a fundamental dilemma facing spacecraft designers: How do you take a big object, pack it into a small container for rocket launch, and then unpack it again once it arrives in space — making sure nothing breaks in the process.

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Science + Technology
9:22 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Watch And Learn: Wave-Particle Quantum Weirdness

Anthia Cumming iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 2:51 pm

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Science + Technology
9:12 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Ocean Waves As You Have Never Seen Them Before

A large wave on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii, sucks sand off of the seafloor and into the wave itself. This photo is the cover image of Clark Little's latest coffee table book, Shorebreak.
Clark Little

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 10:33 am

Clark Little photographs ocean waves.

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Science + Technology
3:34 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Physicists Crush Diamonds With Giant Laser

Physicists put diamonds at the center of this massive laser, to see what would happen.
Matt Swisher Matt Swisher/LLNL

Originally published on Sun August 3, 2014 8:20 am

Physicists have used the world's most powerful laser to zap diamonds. The results, they say, could tell us more about the cores of giant planets.

"Diamonds have very special properties, besides being very expensive and used for jewelrey etc.," says Raymond Smith, a researcher at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California. "It's the hardest substance known to man."

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Science + Technology
11:51 am
Wed July 16, 2014

Neil Whosis? What You Don't Know About The 1969 Moon Landing

Robert Krulwich NPR

Originally published on Sun July 20, 2014 1:29 am

Forty-five years ago, this week, 123 million of us watched Neil and Buzz step onto the moon. In 1969, we numbered about 200 million, so more than half of America was in the audience that day. Neil Armstrong instantly became a household name, an icon, a hero. And then — and this, I bet, you didn't know — just as quickly, he faded away.

"Whatever Happened to Neil Whosis?" asked the Chicago Tribune in 1974.

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Science + Technology
7:40 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

FCC Extending Net Neutrality Commenting Time After Site Buckles

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Thomas Wheeler.
T.J. Kirkpatrick Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 10:32 am

A flood of comments about net neutrality crashed the Federal Communications Commission's commenting site on Tuesday, the original deadline for public comments on the controversial Internet proposal. But the tech problems are buying those who want to weigh in some extra time — the deadline for public commenting is now Friday at midnight.

Of the 780,000 comments submitted to the FCC, 100,000 came on Tuesday alone, which the FCC's outdated electronic comment filing system was not capable of handling.

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Science + Technology
5:30 am
Sun July 13, 2014

The Most Astonishing Wave-Tracking Experiment Ever

Sean Gallup Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 9:58 am

I'm standing on a beach and I see, a few hundred yards out, a mound of water heading right at me. It's not a wave, not yet, but a swollen patch of ocean, like the top of a moving beach ball, what sailors call a "swell." As it gets closer, its bottom hits the rising shore below, forcing the water up, then over, sending it tumbling onto the beach, a tongue of foam coming right up to my toes — and that's when I look down, as the wave melts into the sand and I say,

"Hi, I'm from New York. But what about you? Where are you from?"

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Science + Technology
4:22 am
Wed July 9, 2014

In Google Newsroom, Brazil Defeat Is Not A Headline

After the Brazil-Germany semifinal, Google's experimental newsroom focused on search trends that don't rub salt in Brazil's wounds.
Google

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 10:41 am

If you do a Google search on the World Cup game in which Germany slaughtered Brazil 7-1, the top results will say things like "destroy," "defeat," and "humiliate."

But Google itself is choosing to steer clear of negative terms. The company has created an experimental newsroom in San Francisco to monitor the World Cup, and turn popular search results into viral content. And they've got a clear editorial bias.

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Science + Technology
11:41 am
Wed July 2, 2014

Google Glass Faces A Ban In British Movie Theaters

Originally published on Wed July 2, 2014 2:03 pm

Just one week after Google Glass went on sale in the U.K., fears of piracy have led to calls to ban the eyewear from being worn in movie theaters.

Criticism of the Google device, which can allow those wearing it to record what they see, has come from the powerful Cinema Exhibitors' Association, which as the BBC reports "has no power to enforce a ban, but instead makes recommendations to most of the country's cinema industry."

From London, Ari Shapiro reports:

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Science + Technology
9:06 am
Wed July 2, 2014

The Game Of The Gods Keeps Us Watching

If you didn't know the rules, could you figure them out just by watching the game?
Michael Steele Getty Images

The famous American physicist Richard Feynman once made an interesting comparison between games and the laws of nature (here adapted to soccer to keep up with the spirit of the Word Cup):

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