Health & Science

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On a sunny weekday afternoon, chef Bonnie Morales leads me past the Q subway line in the Brighton Beach neighborhood of Brooklyn, N.Y. We are going shopping for Russian food.

Morales owns Kachka, a restaurant in Portland, Ore., that serves food from the former Soviet Union. It's one of the most popular places to eat in one of the hottest food cities in the country.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

You are in a foreign country. And things are certainly looking a bit foreign.

Do you sit or squat? Can you toss toilet paper down the bowl or hole?

Let the signs guide you.

That is, if you can understand them.

Doug Lansky, author of the Signspotting series of books, knows how toilet etiquette signs can be mysterious, misleading and hilarious. His books include all types of funny warning and advice signs, but the topic of toilets is especially popular.

One of America's most coveted dining experiences is a 40-seat restaurant in a converted grist-mill in the rural village of Freedom, Maine.

Chef Erin French, who is self-taught, opened the Lost Kitchen in her hometown of Freedom without much of a plan. She loved the space, and at first thought she would make English muffins and offer brunch, not convinced that the village of just over 700 people could become a dinner destination.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

The Faroe Islands is a tiny archipelago about halfway between Iceland and Norway.

LEVI HANSSEN: There are a lot of people that don't even know that we exist.

Backflipping Robot Is A Giant Leap For Robot Kind

18 hours ago

Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017, was a day filled with news. So much news, in fact, that you might have missed the announcement of a backflipping robot. In less than a minute, the video posted by Boston Dynamics inspired screaming emotions from all corners of the Internet. It's a revelation in robotics, some said. It's the beginning of humanity's end, chirped others.

When you've got to go, you've got to go.

Or at least that's what Ugandan MP Ibrahim Abiriga insisted after he went for a "short call" — a Ugandan slang term for relieving one's self — on a wall near the country's finance ministry in the capital, Kampala, in broad daylight. That was in late September.

The latest statistics on child labor are in — and they're not encouraging.

An estimated 152 million children around the globe are doing work that prevents them from getting an education or that's harmful to their health. That's almost 1 in 10 children worldwide.

The figures, which cover 2016, were released this week in a report by the United Nations' International Labour Organization.

Here are eight more takeaways:

The tiny nation of Denmark has just three stations for monitoring atmospheric radiation. Each week, scientists change out air filters in the detectors and take the used ones to a technical university near Copenhagen.

There, Sven Poul Nielsen and other researchers analyze the filters. They often snag small amounts of naturally occurring radioactivity, radon for example.

If you're reading this on your phone while driving, stop it. Especially if you're a young neurotic extroverted guy who drives a lot.

Two seconds of attention to the insistent beeping and blinking of our mobile phones or simply changing the radio station accounts for at least 12 percent of car accidents worldwide and 14 percent of them in the U.S., according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.

Government agencies that deal with cybersecurity, like the National Security Agency, have two competing interests. On the one hand, they want to protect America's online infrastructure and economy from cyberattacks. On the other hand, government agencies want to harness tools to attack opponents in cyberspace.

In the Spring of 2009, the H1N1/09 virus — dubbed "swine flu" — made the jump from pigs to people and began claiming its first victims.

Fearing the beginning of a global swine flu pandemic, terrified health officials began planning for the worst. Shutting down the world's major airports became the nuclear option of their arsenal — the last hope for halting the virus from reaching unstoppable thresholds of contagion.

A workhorse truck and a new supercar are in the works for Tesla, after founder and CEO Elon Musk introduced his company's latest effort to widen the U.S. market for electric vehicles Thursday night. Musk called the Roadster "the fastest production car ever made, period."

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode Simple Solutions

About Sam Kass's TED Talk

16 million children face hunger in the U.S., which can prevent them from performing well in school. Chef Sam Kass describes a simple solution with a potentially huge impact: free breakfast.

About Sam Kass

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode Simple Solutions

About Mileha Soneji's TED Talk

When designer Mileha Soneji's uncle got Parkinson's, his quality of life deteriorated rapidly. Mileha couldn't cure her uncle's disease, so she designed simple ways to improve his everyday life.

About Mileha Soneji

Part 5 of the TED Radio Hour episode Simple Solutions

About Amos Winter's TED Talk

In many countries, uneven and unpaved roads make it hard to get around in a standard wheelchair. MIT engineer Amos Winter describes his design for a lever-powered all-terrain wheelchair under $200.

About Amos Winter

Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode Simple Solutions

About Myriam Sidibe's TED Talk

Washing your hands with soap stops the spread of many lethal diseases. Yet most people don't wash their hands, even after using the bathroom. Dr. Myriam Sidibe wants to reverse this disturbing trend.

About Myriam Sidibe

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode Simple Solutions

About Wendy Troxel's TED Talk

Sleep expert Wendy Troxel says teens are sleep-deprived because of early school start times that cater to adults. She says high schools should start classes at least an hour later.

About Wendy Troxel

Johannes Selbach's family has made wine in Germany's Mosel Valley for four centuries, and he spares little of the history on a tour of his vineyards. He has had three soil profiles extracted from the ground and mounted on the wall of his winery.

"The places where the sun melts the snow first have been known for thousands of years," he says. "The good spots are known for generations."

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Republicans are doing some celebrating this morning because, yesterday, the House passed a Republican bill to overhaul the U.S. tax code. This plan slashes the corporate tax rate, and it eliminates some popular deductions.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

For the past almost-50 years, I've been sharing an old family Thanksgiving recipe with NPR listeners. Mama Stamberg's Cranberry Relish comes from my late mother-in-law Marjorie Stamberg, who served it in Allentown, Pa., when I was brought there to be inspected by my future in-laws.

Astronomers in California are building the largest digital camera in the world. It will go on a giant telescope taking shape in Chile called the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope.

LSST is different from most large telescopes. Instead of staring at a tiny patch of the sky and taking essentially one snapshot in time, LSST will take a panorama of every part of the sky...and it will do so over and over and over. The idea is to see what's moving or changing in the heavens.

Ask people in Canada what they make of U.S. health care, and the answer typically falls between bewilderment and outrage.

Canada, after all, prides itself on a health system that guarantees government insurance for everyone. And many Canadians find it baffling that there's anybody in the United States who can't afford a visit to the doctor.

It's tough getting old, and that goes as much for giant pandas as people.

Veterinarians at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., say Tian Tian, an adult male panda, received laser treatment and acupuncture for what they initially thought was a touch of arthritis in his left shoulder.

During the exam earlier this week while the 20-year-old Tian Tian (pronounced t-YEN t-YEN) was under anesthesia, vets also took blood and urine samples and performed X-rays.

Updated at 8 p.m. ET

TransCanada, the company that owns and operates the Keystone Pipeline, says that an estimated 210,000 gallons, or 5,000 barrels, of oil have spilled near the small town of Amherst, S.D.

Addiction specialists caution against reading too much into a new study released this week that compares two popular medications for opioid addiction. This much-anticipated research is the largest study so far to directly compare the widely used treatment Suboxone with relative newcomer Vivitrol.

Researchers who compared the two drugs found them equally effective once treatment started. But there are fundamental differences in the way treatment begins, which makes these findings difficult to interpret.

Would you be curious and excited if, out on a walk near your home, you came face-to-face with a young owl, not yet a confident flyer?

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

Tonight at the Latin Grammys, the hit song "Despacito" is up for four awards, including record of the year. Clearly a lot of people know this song. But it turns out the Google Home personal assistant does not. NPR's Aarti Shahani explains.

Earlier this month, the Washington Post ran a big, feature about a seemingly scary disease, called monkeypox.

"It kills up to 1 in 10 of its victims, similar to pneumonic plague, and is particularly dangerous in children," the story observes at the beginning.

Plus, the virus appears to be on rise.

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