Science

Goats and Soda
6:03 am
Sun November 23, 2014

A Bus Isn't The Only Thing That Can Be Powered By Poop

Mango trees would be grateful for the nutrients in human poop.
Noah Seelam AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 1, 2014 4:20 pm

What can you do with human waste? Besides flushing it?

That's a question that came to mind when we read about the United Kingdom's first-ever "Bio-bus." It's a tour bus that runs between the cities of Bristol and Bath. The tank is filled with biomethane gas generated from food waste and human excrement.

And it turns out that the bus isn't the only example of poo power.

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Shots - Health News
4:52 am
Sun November 23, 2014

What Microbes Lurked In The Last Public Restroom You Used?

Even cleaning a bathroom daily didn't much affect the make-up of the community of microbes living there, scientists say.
Claire Eggers NPR

Originally published on Tue November 25, 2014 1:56 pm

The invisible world of the bathroom isn't pretty — unless you're a microbe. After scanning the microbial zoo of four public restrooms recently, a team of researchers found a diverse swarm of characters that persisted for months despite regular cleaning of the facilities.

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Environment
6:55 am
Sat November 22, 2014

Starfish Illness Harms Other Sea Creatures

Originally published on Sat November 22, 2014 10:21 am

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

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Environment
3:23 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

Shrinking Glaciers Could Squeeze Washington's Water Supply

Originally published on Fri November 21, 2014 5:36 pm

Washington state is home to more glaciers than any other state in the lower 48, and they're receding faster than ever before. That's a problem for the Pacific Northwest, where glaciers are crucial for drinking water, hydropower generation and salmon survival.

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TED Radio Hour
8:21 am
Fri November 21, 2014

How Can We Find More Time To Be Still?

"In an age of constant movement, nothing is so urgent as sitting still." -Pico Iyer
Ryan Lash TED

Originally published on Wed November 26, 2014 10:50 am

Part 6 of the TED Radio Hour episode Quiet

About Pico Iyer's TED Talk

Pico Iyer says sitting still and reflecting is hard work. But we bring so much more to our experiences, and relationships when we make time to think.

About Pico Iyer

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TED Radio Hour
8:21 am
Fri November 21, 2014

Why Would Someone Choose Silence For 17 Years?

"I began to learn at least what other people felt and what they wanted to say before cutting them off with my own diatribe. I used to do that." - John Francis
Andrew Heavens TED

Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode Quiet

About John Francis' TED Talk

For almost three decades, John Francis has been a planetwalker, traveling the globe by foot and sail with a silent message of environmental respect. For 17 of those years he didn't speak a word.

About John Francis

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TED Radio Hour
8:21 am
Fri November 21, 2014

How Do Years Of Silence Change Someone?

Environmentalist John Francis speaks about the 17 years of his life during which he never spoke a word.
Andrew Heavens Courtesy of TED

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode Quiet. Listen to second part of this story here.

About John Francis's TED Talk

For almost three decades, John Francis has been a planetwalker, traveling the globe by foot and sail with a silent message of environmental respect and responsibility. For 17 of those years he didn't speak a word.

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TED Radio Hour
8:21 am
Fri November 21, 2014

Why Do We Undervalue Introverts?

"What I'm saying is that culturally we need a much better balance. We need more of a yin and yang between [introverts and extroverts]." - Susan Cain
James Duncan Davidson TED

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode Quiet.

About Susan Cain's TED Talk

In a culture where being social and outgoing are celebrated, it can be difficult to be an introvert. Susan Cain argues introverts bring extraordinary talents to the world, and should be celebrated.

About Susan Cain

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Shots - Health News
3:19 am
Fri November 21, 2014

Blind From Birth, But Able To Use Sound To 'See' Faces

Originally published on Thu December 4, 2014 1:04 pm

A brain area that recognizes faces remains functional even in people who have been blind since birth, researchers say. The finding, presented at the Society for Neuroscience meeting this week, suggests that facial recognition is so important that evolution has hardwired it into the human brain.

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The Salt
12:13 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

Turkey Looks For Energy In An Abundant Resource: Pistachio Shells

Pistachios, a possible energy source for a Turkish city.
Anadolu Agency/Getty

What would you do with thousands of tons of leftover nutshells? It's a question that Turkey — the world's third-biggest producer of pistachios, behind Iran and the United States — has been asking itself for years.

Usually discarded pistachio shells end up in landfills, but nut-loving Turks think they've found a far better solution by turning it into biogas, an alternative fuel produced by the breakdown of organic matter.

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