Weekend Edition Saturday

Starfish Illness Harms Other Sea Creatures

Starfish in the Pacific northwest are being decimated by what's called wasting disease. Researcher Drew Harvell tells NPR's Scott Simon that warming seas are making it worse.

Weekend Edition Saturday

Terrible Video Game, Great Fundraiser: Meet Desert Bus For Hope

Desert Bus, a parody game invented by magicians Penn and Teller, consists of driving a bus on a featureless road for hours. A comedy troupe in Canada has turned that monotony into money for charity.

All Things Considered

Shrinking Glaciers Could Squeeze Washington's Water Supply

Washington state is home to more glaciers than any other state in the lower 48. And they're receding faster than ever before.

TED Radio Hour

Why Would Someone Choose Silence For 17 Years?

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.

TED Radio Hour

How Do Years Of Silence Change Someone?

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

TED Radio Hour

Why Do We Undervalue Introverts?

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.

Morning Edition

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

The area of the brain that recognizes faces can use sound instead of sight. That recent discovery suggests facial recognition is so important to humans that it's part of our most basic wiring.

Keep Your Head Up: 'Text Neck' Takes A Toll On The Spine

Newly published research finds that common texting posture can put as much as 60 pounds of force on the cervical spine.

How Well Do Your Apps Protect Your Privacy?

The website PrivacyGrade rates Android apps based on the personal information they collect from you. It's another reminder that your data are constantly on the move, whether you know it or not.

Sleep's Link To Learning And Memory Traced To Brain Chemistry

During sleep, the brain locks in existing memories and can even form new ones. Scientists say they are starting to understand how that happens. A midnight snack may interfere.

President Obama’s Climate Deal Doesn’t Go Far Enough

November 19, 2014
Jon D. Lee: Climate reform needs to start now, and it needs to start everywhere. Pictured: A coal-fired plant in Juliette, Ga. (John Amis/flickr)

Mitch McConnell is right. Sixteen years is too long to wait for change.

This Is Your Brain On A Bike

November 17, 2014
The MindRider helmet is designed to track the cyclists's mind performance while riding. (MindRider/Facebook)

If you’re an avid cyclist, you may already track your miles and calories. But have you ever imagined trying to track your state of mind?

The Economics Of Keystone XL

November 17, 2014
Some of more than 350 miles of pipe awaiting shipment for the Keystone XL oil pipeline is stored at Welspun Tubular, in Little Rock, Ark., Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014. (AP)

The Keystone Pipeline is closer than ever to being built. We look at the politics and the economics of Keystone.

Why It Matters That The World’s Two Biggest Polluters Forged A Climate Accord

November 17, 2014
U.S. President Barack Obama, left, and Chinese President Xi Jinping drink a toast at a lunch banquet in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014.  The United States and China pledged Wednesday to take ambitious action to limit greenhouse gases, aiming to inject fresh momentum into the global fight against climate change ahead of high-stakes climate negotiations next year. (Greg Baker/ AP)

The fact that the U. S. and China, the world’s two largest carbon emitters, have forged a climate accord will be a game changer at the U. N. Climate Change Conference in Paris in 2015.

Neil deGrasse Tyson On The Joy of Science

November 14, 2014
Neil deGrasse Tyson speaks at the Hart Recreational Center at College of the Holy Cross in Worcester on Thursday night. (Dan Vaillancourt/College of the Holy Cross)

Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson loves science, and he wants the rest of us to love it as much as he does.

What Chemicals Are Going Down The Fracking Well?

November 14, 2014
A worker checks a dipstick at an Encana Oil & Gas (USA) Inc. hydraulic fracturing operation at a gas drilling site outside Rifle, Colorado. (AP)

Despite one company’s decision to disclose what chemicals it uses in fracking, others in the oil and gas industry are less willing.

Camera Used In Space Missions Sold For $275,000

November 14, 2014
This September 2014 photo released by RR Auction of Boston, shows the Hasselblad camera body and Zeiss lens carried into orbit onboard NASA's Mercury-Atlas 8 mission in 1962 where it was used by astronaut Wally Schirra, and again on Mercury-Atlas 9 in 1963 where it was used by astronaut Gordon Cooper. (Courtesy RR Auction)

The first Hasselblad camera body and Zeiss lens taken into space more than a half-century ago has been sold at auction for $275,000.

Worcester Polytech Inaugurates Its First Female President

November 14, 2014
Visitors line up to take their photo inside a space suit exhibit during the Worcester Polytechnic Institute "TouchTomorrow" education and outreach event in June 2012. (NASA HQ PHOTO/Flickr)

A self-described space nerd, Laurie Leshin is a space scientist who’s had academic posts and a gig at NASA.

Winter Is (Still) Coming

November 14, 2014
Cole Baldock works to clear snow , Wednesday morning, Nov. 12, 2014, in Denver. A powerful storm made up of the remnants of Typhoon Nuri moved into the intermountain West on Monday and has settled across the central part of the country, plunging temperatures below zero in some locations and dropping a light snow that has snarled traffic. (AP)

Winter is coming. The Polar Vortex, the Omega Block, and forecasting just how cold it will get.

Week In The News: Obama In Asia, Net Neutrality, Lame Duck Congress In Action

November 14, 2014
The picture released by the European Space Agency ESA on Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014 was taken by the ROLIS instrument on Rosetta's Philae lander during descent from a distance of approximately 3 km from the 4-kilometer-wide (2.5-mile-wide) 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko comet. (AP)

US-China climate pledge. Keystone and the lame duck congress. A comet landing. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Novelist William Gibson, Out With A New Sci-Fi Novel

November 13, 2014
Abandoned barn Sci-fi edit. (rollingsmoke/Flickr)

Gibson visits Radio Boston’s studio to talk about his new book, The Peripheral, and to reflect on the past, present and future.

What Does It Mean When Only 40 People Have Your Blood Type?

November 13, 2014
Bags of human blood are filtrated and scanned at the production and logistics center of the Bavarian Red Cross blood donation service in Wiesentheid, southern Germany, on July 24, 2012. (David Ebener/AFP/GettyImages)

“The Man with the Golden Blood” is the story of Thomas, a Swiss boy with the extraordinarily rare blood type RH-null.

Researchers Say New Cancer Drugs Are More Efficient

November 13, 2014
Cancer patient Terry Meyer reads a book while receiving chemotherapy treatment at the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer June 21, 2006 in San Francisco, California. San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom announced on today his plan called San Francisco Health Access Plan (SF HAP), a universal healthcare plan for San Francisco residents that is scheduled to be up and running within a year. The plan will be the first of its kind in the United States. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Dr. Edward Benz likens chemotherapy to “carpet bombing,” and says the new drugs are “much more like smart bombs.”

Philae Becomes First Spacecraft Ever To Land On A Comet

November 12, 2014
Artist’s impression of the Rosetta orbiter deploying the Philae lander to comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. (

The European Space Agency made history this morning after successfully landing an unmanned spacecraft on a comet.

Uncovering The Past Alongside Archaeologists

November 12, 2014
The lives of archaeologists may not be as glamorous as Indian Jones' life in "Raiders of the Lost Ark," but digging up ancient artifacts can be thrilling. (Tom Simpson/Flickr)

The lives of archaeologists may not be as glamorous as the movies, but digging up ancient artifacts can be thrilling.

Storm Sentinels Help Predict The When And Where Of Hurricanes

November 12, 2014
Robin Ellis and Zachary Hasdorff with Texas A&M Corpus Christi oversee the installation of the Sentinel in the Freeport Ship Channel. (Florian Martin/Houston Public Media)

Texas is putting up coastal monitoring stations that are built not just to measure the storm, but weather it too.

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