Science, Technology and Environment

Arts & Life
2:10 pm
Sat December 13, 2014

Avant-Garde Afterlife: Space Shortage Inspires New Burial Ideas

Columbia University's DeathLab comes up with new ideas for honoring and storing the dead — like Constellation Park, the design of which is shown here.
Courtesy of Latent Productions and DeathLab

Welcome to Constellation Park, population 5,000. But everyone here — suspended in hanging vessels under New York's Manhattan Bridge — is dead.

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Space
7:12 am
Sat December 13, 2014

Geminids Promise A Light Show In The Night Sky

Originally published on Sat December 13, 2014 11:52 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Animals
7:12 am
Sat December 13, 2014

Electric Eels Jolt Their Prey By Remote Control

Originally published on Sat December 13, 2014 1:21 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Humans
7:12 am
Sat December 13, 2014

Scents Of The Season Speak Directly To Our Emotions

Originally published on Sat December 13, 2014 1:21 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The holidays can be hurried, harried and emotional, but hey - don't they smell great? Cinnamon, nutmeg and cocoa. Bayberry, holly and spruce.

We asked a few random people around town what they think the holidays smell like.

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All Tech Considered
4:18 am
Sat December 13, 2014

Tech Week: Instagram Vs. Twitter And Europe Vs. Google

Instagram topped Twitter in active users in its latest count.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

If you've been too busy finalizing holiday vacation plans and buying gifts, we're here to catch you up on the tech headlines you may have missed from NPR and beyond.

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The Two-Way
5:25 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

Are Men Idiots Who Do Stupid Things? Study Says Yes

Charles Darwin, perhaps best known for his work on evolution, died at the age of 73 in 1882. He would not have been a candidate for the Darwin Awards.
AP

A new study shows what at least some of us might have suspected for a long time: Men are idiots and do stupid things.

That's the premise of the authors' Male Idiot Theory. The study, published in BMJ, the former British Medical Journal, looked at past winners of the Darwin Awards. The awards are given to those people who die in such an idiotic manner that "their action ensures the long-term survival of the species, by selectively allowing one less idiot to survive."

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The Two-Way
12:29 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

Coming Soon To Iowa: Driver's License On A Smartphone App

Originally published on Fri December 12, 2014 4:07 pm

A smartphone app will soon serve as an official driver's license for many Iowans.

"We are really moving forward on this," Paul Trombino, director of the state's Department of Transportation, told Gov. Terry Brandstad during an agency budget hearing this week. "The way things are going, we may be the first in the nation."

His comments were reported by The Des Moines Register.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
10:07 am
Fri December 12, 2014

Mapped: Oklahoma’s Dams And The Potential Hazards They Pose

Explore Oklahoma’s dams with StateImpact’s interactive map detailing their age, type, owner, hazard classification and reported failures.

Oklahoma has the fifth-largest dam inventory in the United States. Ownership of the 4,700 dams is largely split between government agencies and private entities, including individual owners and other organizations like homeowner’s associations.

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The Two-Way
9:46 am
Fri December 12, 2014

Chicago's Orphaned Otter 'Pup 681' Gets A Real Name

"Pup 681" during a feeding at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago.
Brenna Hernandez Shedd Aqarium

Originally published on Fri December 12, 2014 1:15 pm

An orphaned southern sea otter pup that was rescued from the California coast and ended up at Chicago's Shedd Aquarium might well be over the moon about her new name: Luna.

The otter had been designated "Pup 681" by the aquarium, which held a contest to name her. More than 10,000 votes were cast, and the name Luna beat out Cali, Ellie, Poppy and Ana.

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The Two-Way
8:27 am
Fri December 12, 2014

Climate Sticking Point: Who Cuts And By How Much?

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry delivers a speech Thursday at the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Lima, Peru. A major sticking point remains over how to divide greenhouse emissions targets.
Rodrigo Abd AP

Originally published on Fri December 12, 2014 1:37 pm

U.N. talks on global warming are wrapping up in Peru, but a divide between rich and poor countries and how to divvy up targets to reduce greenhouse gases is a key sticking point that has remained unresolved.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has acknowledged that the issue is "hard fought and ... complex," but he says it is crucial that the targets be agreed on before next year's summit in Paris. The talks in Peru end today.

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