Science

The Salt
9:48 am
Wed September 25, 2013

Rooftop Farming Is Getting Off The Ground

Stacey Kimmons and Audra Lewicki harvest lettuce at the Chicago Botanic Garden's 20,000-square-foot vegetable garden atop McCormick Place West in Chicago.
Courtesy of the Chicago Botanic Garden

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 2:03 pm

From vacant lots to vertical "pinkhouses," urban farmers are scouring cities for spaces to grow food. But their options vary widely from place to place.

While farmers in post-industrial cities like Detroit and Cleveland are claiming unused land for cultivation, in New York and Chicago, land comes at a high premium. That's why farmers there are increasingly eyeing spaces that they might not have to wrestle from developers: rooftops that are already green.

Read more
The Two-Way
6:24 am
Wed September 25, 2013

Latest MacArthur Geniuses Include Sound Savior

Carl Haber, 2013 MacArthur fellow.
John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 10:59 am

This year's 24 recipients of MacArthur Foundation "genius grants" include a physicist whose work was inspired in part by an NPR report he heard a decade ago.

As Carl Haber of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory explains in a video posted by the foundation with Wednesday's awards announcements:

Read more
Environment
2:43 am
Wed September 25, 2013

Wild Weather Tied To Unusual Jet Stream Activity

Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio NASA

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 5:25 am

There has been a lot of extreme weather in the Northern Hemisphere this year, including the recent torrential rains in Colorado, flooding in Europe, bitter cold in Florida and a heat wave in Alaska. And scientists say all of it is related to some odd behavior by the powerful air currents called the polar jet stream.

Read more
Science
4:52 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

E-Readers Make Reading Easier For People Who Are Dyslexic

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Here's another example of tech helping people. In this case, people who struggle with dyslexia. For some, the act of reading a book can be dispiriting. Just ask Matthew Schneps, he directs the Laboratory for Visual Learning at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

MATTHEW SCHNEPS: I'll open the book and I'll start reading it. And then I'll very quickly realize, you know, I'm never going to get through this thing, and I just give up.

SIEGEL: But when Schneps reads on a small handheld device, like a smartphone...

Read more
NPR Story
4:17 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

Quake In Central Pakistan Makes New Island

Originally published on Tue September 24, 2013 4:52 pm

A large earthquake shook a remote part of central Pakistan Tuesday, and so far local authorities have only reported a few dozen fatalities so far. But according to estimates by the U.S. Geological Survey, the death toll could be far higher. The quake also gave rise to a mysterious island off the coast of Pakistan. The island was likely created by frozen methane that was shaken loose by the shaking. It pushed its way to the surface and created a muddy piece of land that will soon be washed away.

Pages