science

Environment
1:39 pm
Thu March 12, 2015

Everything You Need To Know About Icicles...But Were Too Cold To Ask

Sam and Taylor talking about icicles.
Logan Shannon NHPR

Think about the shape of an icicle: it’s pointy at the end and wider at the base. But why are they that shape? The key thing to remember when talking about icicles is that icicles are long and skinny because the tip is growing faster than the base. And there are 3 reasons for why that is:

Every drip, as it travels down the icicle, carries heat away. This is because water is an incredible vehicle for conducting heat. It has the highest specific heat of any material we know of. 

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Word of Mouth
1:38 pm
Thu March 12, 2015

3.12.15: Gross Solutions To Serious Problems, Investigating Office Fridge Theft, & Uncommon Core

Credit Jesús Perera Aracil via flickr Creative Commons / flic.kr/p/49YiYx

Across the world more than 750 million people lack access to safe drinking water, and at least two billion don’t have proper sanitation. On today’s show, we’ll look at a project aiming to solve both problems by turning waste into drinkable water. And why disgust may prevent it from becoming a reality.

Then, we investigate a problem facing many American workers: food theft. We’ll find out why some people feel it’s ok to steal treats from the office fridge. 

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

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Word of Mouth
1:18 pm
Wed March 4, 2015

3.4.15: The History Of Vitamins, A Text For Help, & Paula Poundstone

Credit Colin Dunn via flickr Creative Commons / flic.kr/p/7GCv8P

The word vitamin has only been around for just over 100 years. But today vitamins are a $36 billion dollar-a-year industry. On today’s show, we’ll look at the history and science behind a largely unregulated market. Plus, a new hotline for emotionally distressed teens aims to help teens by communicating in a space where they feel comfortable – via text message.     

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

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Word of Mouth
1:32 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

2.26.15: Malaria Vaccine Struggles To Find Funding, The Uncommon Core, & Good Gig

Credit VCU Tompkins-McCaw Library Special Collections / flic.kr/p/27bFm2

  Malaria threatens more than half the world’s people. Yet there is still no way to immunize against it. On today’s show, why a promising vaccine developed by an upstart in the biotech scene is not getting funded. 

Plus, Levi Strauss started making jeans during the gold rush, introducing the  most iconic symbol of American style. Today’s Good Gig profiles the Levi’s in-house historian who sifts through mine shafts and dusty attics to find the stories behind every crease. 

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

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Word of Mouth
1:57 pm
Mon February 23, 2015

2.23.15: Thiel Fellowship, Importance of Touch & College Kids Can't Take A Joke

Credit Peter Dutton via flickr Creative Commons / flic.kr/p/pEWwCa

To protect children from predators, some schools have rules against physical contact so strict that students can be sent to the principal’s office for holding hands or high-fiving. On today’s show – are schools being too touchy about physical contact?

And a reporter profiles the inaugural class of Thiel fellows – twenty teenagers who were given one-hundred thousand dollars to drop out of higher education and pursue success as young entrepreneurs.

Plus a columnist and comedian argues college kids today can’t take a joke. 

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

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Word of Mouth
2:01 pm
Thu February 19, 2015

Sound In Focus

Mike Alberici demonstrates the Vortex Cannon

We have a listening problem. One music teacher is out to conquer it.

Mike Alberici is a music teacher at Maple Street School in Hopkinton, who was awarded the 2015/2016 Christa McAuliffe Sabbatical from the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation – an award that grants teachers leave to develop new ideas for classroom teaching, and covers all the costs of doing so.

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NH News
4:49 pm
Mon February 16, 2015

UNH Researchers Tie Flame Retardant Chemicals To Obesity And Diabetes

Nutritional Scientist Gale Carey
Credit University of New Hamshire

  Researchers at the University of New Hampshire say it’s not just bad diets and little exercise causing rising rates of obesity and diabetes.    In fact, synthetic chemicals used in household items like couches and carpet padding may play a part in both of those conditions.

When Nutritional Scientist Gale Carey at UNH exposed healthy rats to high doses of flame retardant chemicals, and then inspected their fat tissue, she found that "metabolically, chemically, it behaves like it's from an animal that is obese. But the animal is not obese."

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Word of Mouth
12:57 pm
Sun February 15, 2015

2.12.15: The Science Of Smelling, Crowd Funding Hate, & Good Gig

"The Boy Who Smelled Everything," published in the August 1959 issue of Family Circle magazine. Illustration by Richard Hook.
Credit clotho98 via flickr Creative Commons / flic.kr/p/7xS1rf

Scents can evoke memories, arouse appetite, and even alter moods. On today’s show we’ll sniff out the science of smell.

Then, internet trolling can be a hobby for angry people with a sadistic bent, but now crowd funding is supporting a new brand of professional troll. We’ll take a look into the lucrative business of posting hate.

Plus, for the latest installment of our series Good Gig we’ll talk to a music editor who’s compiled the 101 strangest records on Spotify.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

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Word of Mouth
3:17 pm
Mon February 2, 2015

2.2.15: A Personal Story Of Obsessive Compulsion & Music And The Brain

Credit Alice via flickr Creative Commons / flic.kr/p/9Qcvg9

Have you ever heard someone say, “I can be a little bit OCD”? On today’s show: the clear difference between ordinary obsession and the disease known as obsessive-compulsive disorder.And we’ll stay in the cerebral realm for a look at music’s affect on the human brain, and its power to evoke feelings of sadness, serenity, and awe.  

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

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All Things Considered
5:54 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

North Country Moose Study Aided By Research 'Muggers'

Credit northeast naturalist via Flickr Creative Commons

How's this for a typical day at the office: get into a helicopter, fly just above treetops in parts of northern New Hampshire, and find moose to tag, track and monitor. It's part of the work New Hampshire Fish and Game is doing to study the effect of winter tick and other parasites on the state's moose population.

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Word of Mouth
2:51 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

1.22.15: Changing Our Understanding Of Merit, Trapping Bed Bugs, & The Uncommon Core

Credit Benjamin Chun via flickr Creative Commons / flic.kr/p/bSXrxr

For students hoping to get into a competitive college or university, high SAT scores are crucial. On today’s show, law professor and civil rights activist argues that the SAT is a more accurate measurement of family wealth, race and ethnicity than merit. 

Then, The Uncommon Core, our series on offbeat college courses, continues with golf course management. We’ll also hear from a husband and wife research team going to great lengths to end the bedbug epidemic– including offering themselves up as food!

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

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Granite Geek
3:15 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

Granite Geek: How Well Would Geothermal Heat Work In New Hampshire?

No volcanoes in this geothermal system, but maybe some heat and energy savings.
Credit Craik Sustainable Living Project via Flickr/CC - http://ow.ly/HEy2x

This is a time of year when heating bills usually go up, and some residents consider alternative energy sources for their heating.

Proponents of geothermal heat say their systems ought to be a bigger part of New Hampshire's energy landscape.

The prospects for geothermal - that's the topic of this month's Science Café discussion, which takes place Wednesday, January 21st, at Killarney's Pub in Nashua.

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Morning Edition
6:52 am
Mon January 12, 2015

With Off-Season Onions, UNH Study Looks To Expand Growing Season

UNH research assistant Kaitlyn Orde harvests onions. Low tunnels were installed over the plants in late fall. Onions were harvested from mid-April to early June 2012 and late May to early July 2013.
Credit www.unh.edu

While production of certain types of produce is seasonal, demand doesn’t stop when the growing season ends.

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire may have taken a step toward a solution to that dilemma.

In a study, they successfully grew bulbing onions planted in fall for a spring harvest with the aid of low tunnels.

Becky Sideman is a researcher with the New Hampshire Agricultural Experiment Station.

She joins Morning Edition to talk about her findings.

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Granite Geek
5:08 pm
Tue January 6, 2015

Granite Geek: Will The Mastodon Become New Hampshire's Official State Fossil?

Granite Staters found a mastodon tooth - not a whole skeleton, like this one in Japan - but it might be enough to make the American mastodon the state's official fossil.
Credit Momotarou2012 via WikiCommons/CC - http://ow.ly/GTPHG

New Hampshire has plenty of state symbols. The state rock is – no surprise - granite; the state fish is the brook trout. Our state tree is the white birch; our state insect, the ladybug; our state gem, smoky quartz, and so on.

Unlike many other states, New Hampshire does not have a state fossil – at least not yet.

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The Exchange
9:00 am
Wed December 31, 2014

Best Of 2014 - The Science Of Marijuana: What We Do & Don't Know

Credit Vaporizers_ / Flickr/CC

This week, The Exchange will play the five best shows of 2014, as voted by you. Here's a November program on the science of marijuana. With legalization in two states now, and a growing number of others allowing medical use of marijuana, advocates and opponents alike are looking for answers to back up their positions.

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All Things Considered
4:53 pm
Tue December 30, 2014

Granite Geek: Should Motorcycles Get A Green Light To Move Through Some Red Lights?

Some stoplights sense cars and trucks and change signals when they show up. Motorcycles, not so much.
Credit Katie McColgan via Flickr/CC - http://ow.ly/GC9F0

These days many stoplights will start changing to green when the intersection detects a car or truck. But some of these intersections don't detect motorcycles, at least not regularly. And a bill before New Hampshire's legislature would let those otherwise stuck bikers ride on through red lights.

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The Exchange
9:00 am
Mon December 22, 2014

The Sky Guys' Top Space Stories Of 2014

'Best picture by Joel Kowsky' of Antares rocket explosion during liftoff, October 28, 2014
Credit Dan Beaumont Space Museum / Flickr/CC

It was a big year for Mars, with India getting into the game and launching its first spacecraft. Meanwhile, the European Space Agency celebrated the successful landing of its probe on a comet. And the private space travel industry lamented the crash of Virgin Galactic’s test craft.

GUESTS:

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Word of Mouth
1:04 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

Good Gig: Professional Science Geek Howard Eglowstein

Good Gig is a series of conversations with individuals who have landed their dream job.

Howard Eglowstein’s Good Gig involves working to encourage girls in the computer science and math areas for a company called Science Buddies.  They give kids ideas and guidance for science fair projects that deviate from the well-trod robotics and erupting volcano paths. Howard’s background in tinkering started with toy making, but he's always been a creator.

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Word of Mouth
1:52 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

12.16.14: The Best Of What's New & Hollywood's Pretty Little Secret

Gorilla brand clear repair tape.
Credit Via Popular Science / bestofwhatsnew.popsci.com

For the past 27 years the editors of Popular Science have identified products and technologies designed to change our world. On today’s show we’ll review some of 2014’s groundbreaking technology.

Then, we’ve come to accept retouched images on magazine covers and billboard ads, but now the practice has moved to movies and television. We’ll take a look at the latest advancement in digital-alteration: frame-by-frame beauty work.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

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Word of Mouth
1:50 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

12.14.14: Unruly Presidential Kids, Pitfalls Of Public Wi-Fi, & What's In Your OJ?

Colorado's Mount Sopris serves as the W's backdrop this week.
Credit Logan Shannon / NHPR

Last week, a GOP staffer resigned after political Facebook faux-pas - criticizing President Obama’s daughters for dressing like teenagers. On today’s show, we’ll take a look back at the long and fraught history of judging the President’s kids.

Then, these days just about every coffee shop, bookstore, and restaurant touts a free Wi-Fi hotspot – but at what cost? We’ll find out the hidden dangers of public Wi-Fi.

Plus, the industry secret behind the robust flavor of orange juice.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

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Word of Mouth
11:01 am
Thu December 11, 2014

12.11.14: The First Skiers, How To Talk To Strangers, & This Is Crohn's Disease

A ski trail at Mount Sunapee
Credit Kelsey Ohman via flickr Creative Commons

In New Hampshire, skiing is one of winter’s biggest perks and the best cure for cabin fever. The first skiers put two planks on their feet and slid down a mountain, not as a past time but as a way to hunt. On today’s show, a National Geographic reporter sets out on the trail of the earliest skiers in human history and finds himself elk hunting in the far reaches of western China where he witnesses a skiing tradition thousands of years old.

Also, a couple embarks on a medical odyssey to find relief from a devastating illness. And talking to strangers may be good for your health. The psychology behind interacting with people you don't know.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

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Word of Mouth
11:52 am
Wed December 10, 2014

12.10.14: Ethnic Plastic Surgery, Secret Santa, & A Prosthetic Arm For A Drummer

Credit James Mutter via flickr Creative Commons

In the last decade, cosmetic procedures performed on Asian-Americans, Hispanics and African-Americans have far outpaced those among the white population. The goal? Westernizing ethnic features.  Today we put ethnic plastic surgery on the examination table. Then, NHPR's Sean Hurley brings us the story of a secret Santa with a secret identity.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

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Word of Mouth
1:30 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

12.3.14: The Sixth Extinction & America's Only Water Sommelier

Paper triceratops
Credit Emre Ayaroglu via flickr Creative Commons

While the asteroid that killed off the dinosaurs may be most familiar, the earth has experienced five great extinctions, and we may be in the midst of the sixth…right here, right now. On today’s show: a startling account of the planet's biodiversity crisis, and the role humans have played in creating it.

Plus it’s easy to condemn the office gossip – but getting the inside scoop at work might just save your career. We’ll discuss why gossip can be good for you. And, America’s only water sommelier explains why his restaurant features a 44-page water menu.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

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Word of Mouth
1:58 pm
Tue November 25, 2014

11.25.14: The 100 Most Cited Scientific Papers, The Postdoc Glut, & Megan Amram

Credit Driek via flickr Creative Commons

A postdoctoral appointment, commonly known as a “postdoc”, was once considered an apprenticeship position to help scientists hone their skills before one day running labs of their own. On today’s show, has the postdoc appointment become a temporary purgatory? And colonial history, one panel at a time.  As kids we’re taught the basics about the Mayflower, the Salem witch trials, and the first Thanksgiving. A new collection aims to broaden our perspective on the period, through an unusual medium.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

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Word of Mouth
3:00 pm
Wed November 12, 2014

11.12.14: Bacterial "Fingerprints", The Seedy Underworld Of Kickboxing, & The Whiteness Project

Home is where the microbes are.
Credit Illustration by Renee Carlson/Argonne National Laboratory / via flickr Creative Commons

The fingerprint was once law enforcement’s “smoking gun”, next came DNA evidence. Now, scientists are researching another bio-marker that may be able to tell us even more about a crime scene. On today’s show, we’ll find out what a perp’s microbiome reveals after they leave the room.

Plus, after Ferguson, President Obama said that the nation seriously needs a conversation about race. A filmmaker asks: is dialogue possible if America’s most privileged race can’t clearly see itself? What does it mean to be white?

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

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Word of Mouth
1:33 pm
Tue November 4, 2014

11.4.14: Winners & Losers

Credit Garry Night via flickr Creative Commons

While we can’t predict the outcome of the midterm elections, two things are certain: there will be winners and there will be losers.  Today’s show is all about winning and losing, starting with the brain chemistry of champions. And we’ll examine the victors and the vanquished in the natural world through the parasite-host relationship.

Plus, we’ll take a look back at political losers throughout history, including Samuel Tilden, who never got over his loss to Rutherford B. Hayes in 1876.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

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All Things Considered
3:47 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

Granite Geek: New Hampshire Archaeology Up To And (Maybe) Including America’s Stonehenge

Whatever the history of America's Stonehenge may be, you have to admit this is the best sign you're going to see on the internet today.
Credit Michelle Souliere via Flickr/CC - http://ow.ly/DtUCm

Ancient archaeology is the kind of thing that, with the right find, can quickly capture the public’s attention and fascination.

And yet a New Hampshire group that studies ancient stone structures is turning 50 this week – and few Granite Staters have heard of it.

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The Exchange
9:00 am
Mon October 20, 2014

What's Next For The Electric Car?

Watson Collins with his Chevy Volt
Credit James Pouliot / NHPR

With charging stations expanding across New England, including a new super-charger coming to Portsmouth, this niche automobile market is growing.  We’ll dig into the science of electric cars: how they work, new technology to expand their range, and why – depending on where you live – they may not be as green as you might think.

(originally broadcast August 4, 2014)

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The Exchange
9:00 am
Thu October 16, 2014

The Sky Guys On Mars: From Rovers And Orbiters To Human Settlement

Faith Meixell NHPR

In recent years, the Red Planet has been bombarded with space craft, rovers, observers, orbiters and studied intently from here on Earth.  But the idea of human boots on Mars has remained in the realm of science fiction. Now though, serious planning is underway, for missions and even colonies there, and possibly much sooner than you might think. (digital post by Faith Meixell)

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Word of Mouth
1:54 pm
Wed October 15, 2014

10.15.14: Are Milgram's Torture Experiments Still Valid & The Gift Of Adversity

Ontario Science Centre: Milgram's Electric Box
Credit Isabelle via flickr Creative Commons

In the early sixties, social psychologist Stanley Milgram tested the limits of humans’ obedience to authority with an actor, an unsuspecting volunteer and a fake electroshock machine. On today’s show: the experiment that stunned the world and the repercussions Dr. Milgram faced as a result. 

Then, we’ve all heard the self-help mantra: what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Turns out, there may be some truth behind it. A psychiatrist explores the benefits of adversity.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

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