Science

All Tech Considered
1:14 pm
Sun March 16, 2014

Physicists, Generals And CEOs Agree: Ditch The PowerPoint

John Paul Chou (right), a physics professor at Rutgers University, uses a whiteboard and answers questions during a forum at Fermilab.
Amanda Solliday Fermilab

Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 2:53 pm

About six months ago, a group of physicists in the U.S. working on the Large Hadron Collider addressed a problem they've been having for a while: Whenever they had meetings, everyone stuck to the prepared slides and couldn't really answer questions that weren't immediately relevant to what was on the screen.

The point of the forum is to start discussions, so the physicists banned PowerPoint — from then on, they could only use a board and a marker.

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Humans
6:47 am
Sun March 16, 2014

Not-So-Objective Scientists Cling To Accepted Wisdom

NASA

Originally published on Mon April 28, 2014 9:42 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Scientists are usually portrayed as highly rational seekers of the truth - and they are that. But they also have qualities that make them more similar to you and me than you might think. NPR's Joe Palca has a story that reveals that quite dramatically. Joe's been immersed in an NPR series called Joe's Big Idea, where he explores the minds and motivations of scientists and inventors. And from time to time, he drops by to share some of the interesting things he's learned. Hi, Joe.

JOE PALCA, BYLINE: Hi, Rachel.

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Author Interviews
6:45 am
Sat March 15, 2014

Why'd The Scientist Cross The Road? To Figure Out Why You're Laughing

iStockphoto

Originally published on Sat March 15, 2014 5:03 pm

Here's a joke: A man is sitting on the porch with his wife one night when, out of the blue he says, "I love you." His wife says, "Was that you? Or was that the beer talking?" The man says, "That was me — talking to the beer."

Maybe you laughed at that and maybe you didn't, but either way, cognitive neuroscientist Scott Weems wants to know whether you found it funny. In his new book HA! Weems explores the science "of when we laugh and why."

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Krulwich Wonders...
6:13 am
Sat March 15, 2014

You're Old. You're a Rock. You Can See

YouTube

I want to tell you the story of three rocks, starting with the oldest one ever found. That one is so small, if you put it in the palm of your hand you'd need a magnifying glass to spot it. It was found buried inside a hunk of sandstone near a sheep ranch in a remote part of Western Australia ...

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The Salt
4:01 am
Sat March 15, 2014

Rethinking The Five-Second Rule: With Carpet, There's No Rush

Bacteria don't wear wristwatches. But they can take their sweet time hopping onto a potato chip.
Greg Williams/Wikimedia Commons

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 4:47 pm

Many of us will happily eat a gummy bear or cookie after it falls on the floor, as long as we snatch it up quickly. Say, five seconds or less, right?

Well, science just gave us another excuse to continue this food-saving habit, especially when it comes to carpet-dusted snacks.

Biology students at the Aston University in Birmingham, U.K., measured how quickly two common bacteria hop aboard foods dropped on tiles, linoleum and carpet.

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