How Newbie Gardeners Can Safely Grow Food On Urban Land

More and more city dwellers are trying their hand at urban gardening. Most know to be wary of lead in their soil, but fewer are aware of how to avoid other types of contaminants.

Why Video Games Matter

For some people, "video game" doesn't conjure up images of anything considered worthwhile. But some games, like The Last of Us, belong to a time-honored story genre, says commentator Adam Frank.

Morning Edition

Geologists Warned That Huge Quake Could Strike The Himalayas

The earthquake that struck Nepal over the weekend was hardly a surprise. Geologists have known for decades that tectonic plates underneath Nepal were capable of creating a devastating earthquake.

All Things Considered

Big Aftershocks In Nepal Could Persist For Years

Saturday's magnitude-7.8 quake released stress that was building for 150 years, scientists say, and it reshuffled tension to nearby faults.

Fresh Air

From TED Talks To Taco Bell, Abuzz With Silicon Valley-Style 'Disruption'

Linguist Geoff Nunberg considers the roots and resonance of the latest tech buzzword to catapult into the mainstream. "Disrupt" may be ubiquitous now, but could the term be on the eve of a disruption?

Leave The Selfie Sticks At Home, Wimbledon Says

Taking the same stance as the Kentucky Derby and major music festivals, the All England Lawn Tennis Club reportedly cited the devices' "nuisance value."

Morning Edition

Maybe You Should Rethink That Daily Aspirin

A small dose of aspirin taken regularly can help prevent a second heart attack or stroke. But too many healthy people are taking the drug for prevention, and for them, the risks may outweigh benefits.

Morning Edition

Canadians Love Poop, Americans Love Pizza: How Emojis Fare Worldwide

A study analyzes more than a billion pieces of emoji data across 16 languages and regions to gauge how different nations communicate. Most emojis sent are happy faces and other positive symbols.

All Things Considered

Solving Crimes With Pollen, One Grain Of Evidence At A Time

Dallas Mildenhall is one of the world's few forensic pollen experts. He recently identified a rare, mutated pollen grain that helped police crack a murder case in his native New Zealand.

As Health Apps Hop On The Apple Watch, Privacy Will Be Key

The notion of receiving nutrition advice from artificial intelligence on your wrist may seem like science fiction. But health developers are betting this kind of behavior will become the norm.

At Long Last, It’s The Peepers Big Night

April 28, 2015
While they can't stop traffic, Bret Thelen's crossing brigade does what it can to slow drivers down. (Sam Evans-Brown/NHPR)

Before frogs can start singing in the spring, a massive migration of millions of amphibians has to take place first.

Re-Engineering Human Embryos

April 28, 2015
A landmark new research study from Chinese scientists is one of the first to edit the genomes of human embryos. (Dr. Yorgos Nikas/  SPL)

Chinese scientists re-engineer human embryo genes, and set off a global moral debate. We’ll dig in.

25 Years Later, What’s Next For Hubble?

April 24, 2015
The sparkling centerpiece of Hubble’s silver anniversary fireworks is a giant cluster of about 3,000 stars called Westerlund 2. Credits: NASA, ESA, the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA), A. Nota (ESA/STScI), and the Westerlund 2 Science Team

Longtime Hubble astronomer Kenneth Sembach about its significance and what comes next for the space telescope.

'Rain,' Rain, (Don't) Go Away

April 22, 2015
A portion of the cover of Cynthia Barnett's "Rain" A Natural and Cultural History." (Crown Publishing)

All about rain. From poems and paintings to parched earth. We’ll hear a natural and cultural history of rain.

Bird Flu Flare-Up On Midwest Farms; Big Blue Bell Recall

April 22, 2015
In this Nov. 16, 2009 file photo, chickens stand in their cages at a farm near Stuart, Iowa. Discovery of the bird flu on an Iowa turkey farm has raised serious concerns that the bird killer could find its way into chicken barns in the nation’s top egg-producing state and rapidly decimate the flocks that provide the U.S. with its breakfast staple.  (AP)

A major American outbreak of bird flu. Millions of hens and turkeys are being destroyed in the Midwest to stop the spread. We’ll look at what’s at stake. Plus: the latest in a big recall for Blue Bell Creamery

‘Dirty Old Man': What If It’s Not A Cultural Trope, But A Gentleman Losing His Mind?

April 22, 2015
Turning elder lust into a dirty joke, which we’ve done for at least 2,000 years, defuses our horror at a parent’s loss of dignity but prevents our seeing the behavior for the neurological symptom it is: dementia. (Zuerichs Strassen/flickr)

Turning elder lust into a dirty joke, which we’ve done for at least 2,000 years, defuses our horror at a parent’s loss of dignity but prevents our seeing the behavior for the neurological symptom it is: dementia.

Wide Hips Are Just As Efficient For Running

April 20, 2015
Women elite runners from the 2014 Boston Marathon. (JD/Flickr)

An anthropological find that challenges what we thought we knew about how women’s hips evolved.

Week In The News: Hillary Is In, Iran Deal Details, Blackwater Sentencing

April 17, 2015
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio waves to supporters as his wife Jeanette joins him on stage, after he announced that he will be running for the Republican presidential nomination, during a rally at the Freedom Tower, Monday, April 13, 2015, in Miami. (AP)

Hillary and Rubio, in for 2016. Congress, in on the Iran Deal. And a Gyrocopter on the Capitol lawn. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Study: Many Mothers Don’t Wait Long Enough Between Pregnancies

April 16, 2015
Pregnant mom. (travelingtribe/Flickr)

New research finds “higher risks of adverse health outcomes” when pregnancies are spaced less than 18 months apart.

Killer Robots: Be Prepared

April 16, 2015
A Northrop Grumman unnamed X-47B UCAS at its unveiling. (Courtesy  Northrop Grumman )

Lethal weapons – killer robots – are coming. Now the UN is looking at how to respond. We’ll get the latest.

Watson Can Win ‘Jeopardy!’ But Can It Cook?

April 15, 2015
IBM and ICE use Chef Watson in the Kitchen: Florian Pinel, Senior Technical Staff Member, Watson Life interacts with chefs from the Institute of Culinary Education, using Chef Watson to discover new recipe creations. (IBM & Institute of Culinary Education via Flickr)

IBM has created a new cooking app called Chef Watson. Eliza Strickland threw a dinner party to find out if it works.

Gray Whale Travels 13,988 Miles In Record-Breaking Migration

April 15, 2015
A gray whale calf (Eschrichtius robustus) emerges from the waters of the Ojo de Liebre Lagoon, Baja California Sur State, Mexico, on March 3, 2015. (Omar Torres/AFP/Getty Images)

The female western gray whale swam from Russia to Mexico and back, raising questions about its status as critically endangered.

Mapping Dark Matter

April 14, 2015
A purple haze shows dark matter flanking the "Bullet Cluster." (Image Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/M.Markevitch et al. Optical: NASA/STScI; Magellan/U.Arizona/D.Clowe et al. Lensing Map: NASA/STScI; ESO WFI; Magellan/U.Arizona/D.Clowe et al.

Dark matter is the “invisible web” that holds galaxies together. Scientists are trying to map it across the cosmos.

A Library For Your Seeds

April 10, 2015
In this Dec. 18, 2014 photo, Betsy Goodman handles seed packets at the Benson public library in Omaha, Neb. Goodman established a seed library at the library branch in 2012, and patrons checked out nearly 5,000 packets this year. Seed exchanges have sprouted up in about 300 locations around the country, most often in libraries, but the effort has created a conflict between well-meaning gardeners and state agriculture officials who feel obligated to enforce laws restricting the practice. (AP)

Seed libraries sprouting all over. We’ll dig into the populist push to preserve diversity – and flavor — in our gardens and diets.

A New Kind Of Nuclear Reactor?

April 8, 2015
Steam billows from the cooling towers at Exelon's nuclear power generating station February 17, 2006 in Byron, Illinois. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

A young nuclear engineer is testing an idea for cleaner, safer nuclear power plants that use salt instead of uranium.

Fracking And Earthquakes In Middle America

April 8, 2015
In this file photo, Chad Devereaux works to clear up bricks that fell from three sides of his in-laws' home in Sparks, Okla., Sunday, Nov. 6, 2011, after two earthquakes hit the area in less than 24 hours.  (AP)

The earthquakes of Oklahoma. There’s a sharp increase. Big oil, lots of water, pressure, fracking. We’ll look at what lies beneath.

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