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All Things Considered

Brain Changes Suggest Autism Starts In The Womb

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The organization of certain brain cells in children with autism seems already different from that of typical children by the sixth or seventh month of fetal development, a study hints.

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Massive Nor'easter Rakes New England

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The storm has dropped 10 inches of snow on parts of Massachusetts and spawned 40-to-50 foot waves off the coast of Maine.

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Does Beaver Tush Flavor Your Strawberry Shortcake? We Go Myth Busting

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Heard the rumor that strawberry syrups contain flavoring from a beaver's tush? The potion was once a common food flavoring. But settle down! The time of beaver-spiked ice pops and pastries has ended.

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All Things Considered

Washington State's 'Slide Hill' Has A History Of Landslides

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Robert Siegel speaks with Seattle Times reporter Ken Armstrong about the instability of the land in Snohomish County in Washington that was affected by the massive mudslide.

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All Things Considered

New Dwarf Planet Found At The Solar System's Outer Limits

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The tiny world is a pink-hued ball of ice in an area of space once thought to be relatively empty. But the new findings hint of other small objects — and perhaps an unseen planet bigger than Earth.

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Soyuz Misfire Delays Crew Trying To Reach Space Station

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

One of the engines on a capsule carrying an American and two Russians failed to fire at the right time. That has turned a six-hour journey to the International Space Station into a two-day trip.

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The Takeaway

Reigniting The Flame of Women in Tech

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Did you know the first computer programmer ever was a woman? Yet in recent decades, things have changed—today, men far outnumber women in computer science majors. Nowadays, only about 10 percent of computer science majors are women but that wasn't always the case. New Tech City host Manoush Zomorodi spoke to professors and students about why more women don't pursue computer science majors and how we can change that.

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Listening To The Echoes Of Creation

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Scientists last week revealed evidence of gravitational waves from the very beginning of the universe. Commentator Marcelo Gleiser asks: Are we closer to understanding creation itself?

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Morning Edition

Toxic Chemical Dioxane Detected In More Water Supplies

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

West Virginia's drinking water crisis earlier this year highlighted an unsettling truth about tap water: Treatment plants test for only a fraction of the chemicals in use.

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Morning Edition

Truckin': Salmon Take A Long, Strange Trip To The Pacific Ocean

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

California's severe drought has left rivers so dry that young salmon can't make their usual migration. To save the fish and the industry, the state is giving millions of salmon a lift.

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The Takeaway

A World on The Edge: Echoes of 1914 in 2014 | Is Technology Dehumanizing the Workforce? | Washington's Mudslides: An Unfolding Tragedy

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A World on The Edge: Echoes of 1914 in 2014 | As Deadline Looms, Some Still Wary of ACA | Washington's Mudslides: An Unfolding Tragedy | The Takeaway TV Smackdown - Round 4 | Reigniting The Flame of Women in Tech | Is Technology Dehumanizing the Workforce?

PRI's The World

Why do we depend on 1960s technology to locate missing planes?

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A tremendous amount of information has already been discovered on Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, despite no one having located a crashed plane or heard anything from the crew.

But the real answers, the why, and the how, are still elusive, and will likely remain so until the critical flight data and cockpit voice recorders can be found — if they can be found.

The devices, referred to often as the plane's black boxes store streams of flight information, conversations and other plane noises. Uncovering them could point to what was happening during the flight's final moments — like in the case of Air France's Flight 447, which crashed into the Atlantic in 2009, resulting in the deaths of all 216 passengers and 12 crew members. 

But the recovery of AF 447's black boxes didn't happen for more than two years after the flight's crash. And the Air France flight went down in an area that, while extremely inaccessible, is almost nothing compared to where searchers are looking for the Malaysia Airlines flight.

Now, as the world waits for answers about MH370, there is yet another question to ask. Why, in 2014, do we depend on 1960s technology to explain why a plane crashed? 

"What we're actually doing is using VCR technology in the age of Netflix. [And then] we take the VCR and throw it into the ocean, and then we try to find it," said Clive Irving, contributor at The Daily Beast and a senior consulting editor at Conde Nast Traveler.

Clive has reported on both Air France Flight 447 and Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. He says live streaming technology is "readily available right now," and should be used to replace black boxes.

"After that Air France crash the Europeans ran a series of nearly 600 simulated crashes in which they used the live-streaming method as an alternative. And they found out that in 85 percent of those cases the information could have been retrieved as effectively as if it were in the black box," Clive said.

In addition, in 82 percent of the test cases, searchers were able to locate where the plane went down with an accuracy of within four miles.    

What seems to be missing is simply the will and motivation to update the technology, Clive claims. "I think we need to scream loudly, and widely," he said. "This time, there's such public amazement that this isn't going on. That public amazement in itself becomes a political force." 

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New Tech City

Solving The Girl Problem

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The ratio of women to men in tech is appalling. But it's not hopeless. Why closing the gender gap could save the U.S. economy--plus, tales from the world's first computer programmer, who was...a woman.

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Radiolab

KILL 'EM ALL

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

They buzz. They bite. And they have killed more people than cancer, war, or heart disease. Here’s the question: If you could wipe mosquitoes off the face of the planet, would you?

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All Things Considered

The Sources And Symptoms Of A Disease With A Global Reputation

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Following the news of an Ebola outbreak in Guinea, Robert Siegel speaks with Pierre Rollin of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about the virus' symptoms, transmission and containment.

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All Things Considered

In Ranchers Vs. Weeds, Climate Change Gives Weeds An Edge

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Invasive weeds are already a big headache for ranchers, who spend thousands of dollars to get rid of them. New research shows that a changing climate is likely to help many of these weeds thrive.

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All Things Considered

After Oil Spill, Ships Start Moving — But Cleanup Has Just Begun

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

After a vast oil spill in the waters off Houston, authorities are reopening the shipping channel, hoping to ease the wait on those using it. Dave Fehling of Houston Public Media explains the cleanup.

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All Things Considered

Bringing A 'Million Orchids' To Florida's Trees

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The state's once-abundant orchid population has dwindled. Conservationists hope to change that by planting lab-grown flowers in urban areas throughout South Florida.

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You Yawn. She Doesn't Yawn Back. Uh-Oh

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

There you are: face to face, looking into her eyes, a puddle of love, when all of a sudden, you yawn. Usually, she yawns back; but what if she doesn't?

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Radiolab

You Yawn. She Doesn't Yawn Back. Uh-Oh

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Robert Krulwich/NPR

You are at a table for two, sitting with your girlfriend or boyfriend, when, for no good reason (you can't help it, you didn't mean to do it), you yawn. It's a big, gaping, jaw-extending, embarrassing yawn and because you didn't cover ...

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