NHPR Blogs

EarthTalk
12:00 am
Sun November 6, 2011

Are Diet Sodas Unhealthy?

EarthTalk®
E - The Environmental Magazine

Dear EarthTalk: I drink diet soda but I’m told it’s bad for me and linked to health problems. Is this true and if so can you suggest any healthier alternatives?    -- Mitchell James, Ronkonkoma, NY

 

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EarthTalk
12:00 am
Sun November 6, 2011

The Nasty Business of Shark Finning

Nicholas Wang/Flickr

EarthTalk®
E - The Environmental Magazine

Dear EarthTalk: What is shark finning and why have several U.S. states outlawed it?

                                                                                                            -- Betsy Englund, Tampa, FL

 

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So, There's That
12:00 am
Mon October 31, 2011

Senator Kelly Ayotte Should Doll Up Her Office

As one of the nation's top experts on U.S. Senate office decor, no one is more pleased than me that New Hampshire's Kelly Ayotte decided to bring "Oscar the Moose" to Washington.

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EarthTalk
12:00 am
Sun October 30, 2011

Deposits on Beverage Containers

Mr. T. in DC/Flickr

EarthTalk®
E - The Environmental Magazine

Dear EarthTalk: Why don’t more states mandate deposits on beverage bottles as incentives for people to return them? Most bottles I’ve seen only list a few states on them.          -- Alan Wu, Cary, NC

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EarthTalk
12:00 am
Sun October 30, 2011

Gold Mining with Cyanide

EarthTalk®
E - The Environmental Magazine

Dear EarthTalk: Most gold mining operations use cyanide to extract gold from surrounding rock. What are the environmental implications of this, and are there alternatives? --J. Pelton, via e-mail

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Here's What's Awesome
12:00 am
Wed October 26, 2011

Want to Fight Famine in East Africa? Then Start Swearing

Wm Jas via Flickr/Creative Commons

Swear jars are designed to help you put the brakes on your potty mouth - every time you say a bad word, you put a quarter in, and I guess you throw yourself a profanity-free party with the results. The Twitter equivalent is Digital SwearJar, which scours your Twitter feed for cussing; users pledge to send a set amount per outburst to a charity that helps people affected by the famine in East Africa. So if you're an actor in a David Mamet film, you're golden

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Here's What's Awesome
12:00 am
Tue October 25, 2011

You Can Sift Lucky Charms Now, If You Need To For Some Reason

laffy4k via Flickr/Creative Commons

I remember when Lucky Charms cereal added purple horseshoes to their menagerie of marshmallowy shapes, which speaks to either my vivid long-term memory or my sheltered upbringing.

Anyway, I mention this because inventor Tom Lombardi has developed a Lucky Charms Sifter to weed out those crunchy pieces and leave you with a bowl of nothing but sweet, sweet charms. It's one of the many nifty little devices people are developing using 3D printers these days, a few of which don't involve cereal

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Here's What's Awesome
12:00 am
Mon October 24, 2011

Guests From Hell Really Did Just Ask You That

Fans of NotAlwaysRight.com will enjoy the Twitter handle @GuestsFromHELL, a collection of purportedly real quotes from real tourists in New York City.  You'll note that I use the word "real" in the vein of "someone really just asked that question?"

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So, There's That
12:00 am
Thu October 20, 2011

Whatever you do, DON'T call it a pie!

(Photo by Leo Reynolds via Flickr Creative Commons)

I learned a little trivia while watching the film Answer This in preparation for today's interview with writer and director Chris Farah.

For one, I learned that the chemical symbol for Potassium is "K." I also learned that one should never, ever forget the lyrics to any song by the New Seekers, and, most important, I learned this:

Those little Trivia Pursuit tokens are not called "pies," or "pie pieces." They're called "wedges" And apparently, that is a really, really important thing to know.

So, There's That
12:00 am
Wed October 19, 2011

Look How Cute the Wallaby Is!

(Photo by betta design via Flickr Creative Commons)

Today's story on resurrected proteins developed by Australian scientists to fight superbugs pointed to the wallaby as the source for their idea. You see, when that teeny wallaby baby climbes into its mother's pouch to finish cooking, that pouch is a pretty icky place...sort of like if we put our preemies to bed on used kitchen sponges. So the wallaby, as it turns out, has some genes for super-immunity that go far back in evolution..we're talking tens of MILLIONS of years back.

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Here's What's Awesome
12:00 am
Thu October 13, 2011

In the RGB Project, You Really Can See Things in a Different Light

RGB art, unfiltered
Courtesy Carnovsky

Colorful, isn't it? It's an art installation called RGB, and it's by Carnovsky, an art duo based in Milan.

RGB, of course, refers to the colors red, green and blue; TVs and computer monitors mix those three colors together to make most of the colors you see. Which brings me to the most interesting part of the installation: look at the piece again with a special set of light-filtering goggles, and you see an almost entirely different piece.

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Here's What's Awesome
12:00 am
Thu October 13, 2011

A Solar Plant That Works Third Shift

Blyzz via Flickr/Creative Commons

Let the sun shine! Or not. Spain's Gemasolar plant will generate electricity either way.

Say what?

Here's What's Awesome
12:00 am
Tue October 11, 2011

Best Tribute of All? Steve Jobs Obituary As Read By Autocorrect

changsterdam via Flickr/Creative Commons

I wanted to wait a few days to see if there were any notable tributes to Apple's Steve Jobs on the web, and there were plenty - GeeksAreSexy has a pretty good roundup of Jobs tributes you might not have seen yet.

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Here's What's Awesome
12:00 am
Mon October 10, 2011

Positive Vibrations and Super Slo-Motion

Let's slow things down a little bit here. Ok, a bit more. A bit more... and a little bit beyond that. Perfect. We're now going to watch little ripples of oil at 1000 frames a second.

Next up, we'll watch a sloth waking up at 6000 frames a second. Hope you don't have any plans tonight!

[Presurfer

Here's What's Awesome
12:00 am
Thu October 6, 2011

Elmo is the 99 Percent? Meet "Occupy Sesame Street"

The Occupy Wall Street protests have been fueled by a lot of web activity, but even the webbiest trends can and must be remixed. Thus, the Occupy Sesame Street hashtag, with tweets like "The Counting Vampires are destroying America" and "Why isn't Reporter Kermit covering this?"

Tauntrcom ups the ante with photoshops. Elmo in handcuffs. A very grumpy Bert being led away by the authorities. 

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