Science and Technology

Planet Money
2:53 am
Fri May 9, 2014

When Lyrics Get Posted Online, Who Gets Paid?

Rap Genius

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 2:26 pm

Any time a song is popular, you'll find people debating it. And at some point during that debate, someone is going to Google the lyrics.

There are roughly 5 million searches for lyrics per day on Google, according to LyricFind. Those searches often lead to websites that post lyrics to lots of songs — and, in many cases, sites that post ads alongside those lyrics.

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Science
2:34 am
Fri May 9, 2014

Former Commando Turns Conservationist To Save Elephants Of Dzanga Bai

Kalron and his team have set up video cameras that transmit real-time images of the bai via satellite.
Courtesy of Maisha Consulting

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 2:26 pm

In the spring of 2013, poachers looking for elephant ivory took advantage of the chaos of a civil war raging in the Central African Republic, and massacred 26 rare forest elephants at a special place called the "Dzanga bai."

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All Tech Considered
2:26 am
Fri May 9, 2014

Joust To The Music: Video Game Evolves Beyond The Screen

Revelers play Johann Sebastian Joust.
Brent Knepper Courtesy of jsjoust.com

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 2:26 pm

On a plaza outside a hotel in Culver City, Calif., four people are stalking each other with PlayStation Move controllers. The devices look a bit like microphones, with glowing orbs on top lit up in pink, yellow and blue.

Video game designer Douglas Wilson is holding a portable speaker, blasting Johann Sebastian Bach's Brandenburg Concertos.

From afar, this looks like some sort of public performance art. But it is actually a high-tech combination of tag and musical chairs, called Johann Sebastian Joust.

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Humans
3:54 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

How To Tell When A Laugh Is Real: The Answer Is In A Breath

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 3:10 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And now, strictly in the interests of evolutionary psychology, the nurse asked me to sit down and asked me if I was comfortable and I said, well, I make a living.

(LAUGHTER)

SIEGEL: Now, did that person really find that funny because what we're going to hear about now is laughter. There's new research showing that people can often tell fake laughs from real laughs. Real laughter apparently has a set of unique acoustic features that fake laughs do not fully duplicate so people can often tell the difference between this...

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Shots - Health News
3:54 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

Anti-Aging Hormone Could Make You Smarter

Klotho (right) is one of the three Greek Fates depicted in this Flemish tapestry at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
Wikimedia Commons

Originally published on Thu May 8, 2014 6:49 pm

A hormone associated with longevity also appears to make people's brains work better.

The finding in Cell Reports could someday lead to drugs that improve memory and learning, researchers say.

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The Salt
2:26 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

Rice Theory: Why Eastern Cultures Are More Cooperative

It takes a village to grow rice paddies: Taiwanese farmers break a Guinness World Record for the largest number of people planting rice at once in August 2012.
Sam Yeh AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 3:26 pm

Ask Americans to describe themselves, and chances are you'll get adjectives like "energetic," "friendly" or "hard-working."

In Japan, the responses would likely be much different. "Dependent on others" and "considerate" might pop up, studies have found.

Psychologists have known for a long time that people in East Asia think differently, on average, than do those in the U.S. and Europe. Easterners indeed tend to be more cooperative and intuitive, while Westerners lean toward individualism and analytical thinking.

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The Two-Way
1:37 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

Snapchat Settles With FTC Over Privacy Breach

Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel poses for photos, in Los Angeles, last year. The company has come under fire for violating promises to delete customer data.
Jae C. Hong AP

Mobile messaging service Snapchat has agreed to a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission over allegations that it deceived customers by collecting their user information without permission.

Snapchat's mobile app promises users that video and photos will "disappear forever" soon after they're sent, thus insuring privacy and safeguarding against data collection.

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Krulwich Wonders...
1:17 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

A Question Of Biggitude: What's The Largest Creature On Earth?

J. Zapell USDA

Originally published on Fri May 9, 2014 9:59 am

What's the biggest living thing on Earth? I can think of two. I'm not sure which is biggest, but neither of them is a blue whale. These are weirder. Much, much weirder.

One is a tree. The other eats trees.

This is the tree.

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Shots - Health News
11:44 am
Thu May 8, 2014

If Polar Bears Can Eat A Ton Of Fat And Be Healthy, Why Can't We?

Lots of swimming in icy seas may have helped bears evolve to eat a high-fat diet yet remain healthy.
Sebastien Bozon AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 8, 2014 5:20 pm

If you were a bear and wanted to make a go of it in the frozen North (think polar bear, of course), what would you need to survive?

White fur would help, to help you sneak up on prey. Also plenty of body fat to stay warm. And you'd need great stamina to swim many miles from one ice floe to the next.

And there's another important trait, researchers reported Thursday: Polar bears have genes that help them live on a diet that's overloaded with fat — without suffering the sorts of human diseases that typically come with a diet of that sort.

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The Salt
9:57 am
Thu May 8, 2014

Less Nutritious Grains May Be In Our Future

Wheat fields like this one could yield wheat with less zinc and iron in the future if they are exposed to higher levels of CO2, according to the journal Nature.
Zaharov Evgeniy iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 8:26 am

In the future, Earth's atmosphere is likely to include a whole lot more carbon dioxide. And many have been puzzling over what that may mean for the future of food crops. Now, scientists are reporting that some of the world's most important crops contain fewer crucial nutrients when they grow in such an environment.

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