Science, Technology and Environment

4:18 pm
Tue May 5, 2015

Baltimore Police Shooting That Wasn't 'Illustrates Malleable Nature Of Memories'

Originally published on Tue May 5, 2015 6:32 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit



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The Two-Way
4:16 pm
Tue May 5, 2015

Edison's Talking Dolls Can Now Provide The Soundtrack To Your Nightmares

Thomas Edison's talking dolls were reportedly pretty robust, but their miniature phonographs were another story.
Collection of Robin and Joan Rolfs Courtesy of Thomas Edison National Historical Park

Originally published on Thu May 7, 2015 11:47 am

Back in 1890, Thomas Edison gave us some of the world's first talking dolls. Today, the glassy-eyed cherubs that are still around stand about 2 feet tall; they have wooden limbs and a metal body; and they sound supercreepy. (If you're looking for a soundtrack to your nightmares, listen to the audio story above.) Edison built and sold about 500 of them back in 1890. Now, new technology has made hearing them possible for the first time in decades.

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Goats and Soda
3:17 pm
Tue May 5, 2015

Virtual Volunteers Use Twitter And Facebook To Make Maps Of Nepal

Kathmandu Living Labs' earthquake site collects data about conditions and needs. Each blue dot represents the number of reports of help wanted — medical, food, water or shelter — near Kathmandu.
Kathmandu Living Labs

Originally published on Tue May 5, 2015 4:15 pm

The village of Melamchighyang needs 100 blankets.

The remote area of Hyolmo has many injuries, and only two nonprofit groups are providing "limited aid."

Two girls from Germany are missing in Langlang Valley.

People are stranded in Kyanjin Gompa.

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Research News
4:02 am
Tue May 5, 2015

Blame Cognitive Biases When Efforts To Conserve Water Aren't Effective

Originally published on Tue May 5, 2015 1:32 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit

All Tech Considered
9:57 pm
Mon May 4, 2015

As Emoji Spread Beyond Texts, Many Remain [Confounded Face] [Interrobang]

Comedian Aziz Ansari became a pioneer of emoji language use in 2011, when he transcribed the hit Jay-Z and Kanye West song, "Ni**as In Paris."

Originally published on Sat May 9, 2015 11:12 am

The increasingly abundant use of emojis across cultures and age groups — and the similar meanings we assign them — suggest we're entering an era of hybrid communication, as we treat pictures like a real language.

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4:07 pm
Mon May 4, 2015

Georgia Tech Studies Chickens' Emotions Based On Their Clucks

Originally published on Fri May 8, 2015 12:00 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit



Any preschooler knows what a chicken sounds like.


SIEGEL: The question is what does all that clucking mean?


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1:21 pm
Mon May 4, 2015

People's Republic Of Uber: Making Friends, Chauffeuring People In China

Joel Xu, 25, drives in Shanghai for People's Uber, a ride-sharing service. He makes about $4,000 a month – a good wage in Shanghai – and loves meeting new people he'd otherwise never encounter.
Frank Langfitt NPR

Originally published on Tue May 5, 2015 2:38 pm

When Cici Xu isn't working as an accountant, she's driving around Shanghai picking up passengers for People's Uber, the American company's nonprofit ride-sharing service that operates in nine mainland Chinese cities.

Xu, 40, makes about $1,300 a month as a driver, but says she doesn't really do it for the money.

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The Two-Way
12:54 pm
Mon May 4, 2015

May The Fourth Be With You: 'Star Wars' Fans Celebrate A Faraway Galaxy

In Budapest, Hungary, a man takes a photo with people dressed as their favorite Star Wars stormtroopers.
Attila Volgyi Xinhua /Landov

Yoda, Chewbacca and a phalanx of stormtroopers are telling people all over the Internet "May the fourth be with you" today, as fans of the Star Wars franchise celebrate all things that emanate from a galaxy far, far away.

As you would expect from a quasi-holiday that's drawn from a pun, May 4 brings a flood of cute ideas to social media. It's also a good excuse to dress up as an Ewok. NASA is taking the whole enterprise to a new level, with a flurry of tweets that show how "science fiction is now science fact!"

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12:02 pm
Mon May 4, 2015

A For-Profit School Startup Where Kids Are Beta Testers

AltSchool's schools are a proving ground for dozens of engineers seeking to build "an operating system for education."
Courtesy of Altschool

Originally published on Tue May 5, 2015 3:48 pm

At first glance, the warehouse in San Francisco's SOMA neighborhood could be the headquarters of any well-funded startup: exposed concrete, natural light, lots of Macbooks. Then you spot the 12- and 13-year-olds doing yoga in a glass-walled conference room.

It's a tech company, but it's also a private, for-profit middle school: a unique, hybrid venture called AltSchool.

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All Tech Considered
5:52 pm
Sun May 3, 2015

The Promise And Potential Pitfalls Of Apple's ResearchKit

ResearchKit, presented by Apple's Jeff Williams in March, enables app creation to aid medical research.
Eric Risberg AP

Originally published on Mon May 4, 2015 8:37 am

Most of the tech buzz these days has centered on the new Apple Watch — including on the potential for health-related apps. Less attention has been given to Apple's ResearchKit, an open-source mobile software platform released in March.

But the medical world is paying attention.

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