Health & Science

Ways to Connect

Throughout history, being on the receiving end of anything involving cavitation, a miniscule underwater implosion, has been bad news. Millions of years before humans discovered cavitation — and promptly began avoiding it, given its tendency to chew up machinery — the phenomenon has provided the shockwave and awe behind a punch so ridiculously violent that it's made the mantis shrimp a honey badger-esque Internet mascot.

Celebrity chef Mario Batali is stepping aside from directing his restaurants and taking leave from his TV cooking show following reports of sexual misconduct over a 20-year period.

The move was apparently spurred by a report published Monday morning on the dining and food website Eater, in which four women allege that Batali touched them inappropriately:

In an era of "fake news" and "alternative facts," we now face a massive disconnect between what science thinks it understands about the world (i.e., global warming) and what some people want to believe is true.

But how does "science" come to know anything about anything? After all, what is science but a collection of people who call themselves scientists? So isn't it as flawed as everything else people create?

Commentary: Cutesy Terms Don't Cut It

Dec 11, 2017
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Two U.S. Congressmen resigned last week: one Democrat, one Republican. They are the latest men to face consequences for alleged sexual misconduct. Sarah Cook is a Georgia State University psychology professor. She offers this commentary. 

I’ve studied violence against women for more than 20 years. I’ve watched as public outrage over harassment and assault wax and wane. Now, my question is: Could this time be different?

Two pills to wipe out hookworm could cost you 4 cents. Or $400.

It just depends where you live.

The 4 cents is in Tanzania. That'll cover the two pills it takes to knock out the intestinal parasite. But in the United States, where hookworm has re-emerged, the price for two 200 mg tablets of albendazole can cost as much as $400.

Lyft is unveiling a new education program for drivers, offering access to discounted GED and college courses online. The move is an interesting experiment in the gig economy, where a growing class of workers receive zero benefits from a boss and yet competition for their time is fierce.

Many Lyft drivers see their work for the company as a stopgap measure, a flexible way to make money while they try to build a career.

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It's a typical hectic morning at Michele Comisky's house in Vienna, Va., when she gets a knock on her front door.

"Hi, how are you?" Comisky says as she greets Keisha Herbin Smith, a research assistant at Georgetown University. "Come on in."

Comisky, 39, leads Herbin Smith into her kitchen.

On their first day of trading, bitcoin futures surged past $18,000, adding to a streak for the digital currency that began the year at just $1,000 and has nearly tripled in value over the past month alone.

Reuters reports that bitcoin futures, traded through the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), saw January contracts, which opened at $15,460 in New York on Sunday evening, leap to a high of $17,170 during Asian hours.

Discrimination in the form of sexual harassment has been in the headlines for weeks now, but new poll results being released by NPR show that other forms of discrimination against women are also pervasive in American society. The poll is a collaboration with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

For example, a majority (56 percent) of women believe that where they live, women are paid less than men for equal work. And roughly a third (31 percent) say they've been discriminated against when applying for jobs because they are women.

Andrea Sutton, a mom in Firestone, Colo., was trying to put her 3-year-old son Daniel down for a nap, but he wasn't having it. It was January, too cold for him to burn off much energy outside, and he was restless. She read him some books to settle him down and then left him to fall asleep.

She returned with her 4-year-old daughter a little while later to check on him. They found him hanging from the cord of the window blinds, wearing like a necklace the V-shaped strings above a wooden knob that lowers when the blinds go up.

From Portsmouth, N.H., to Nashville, Tenn., social media rejoiced over the first snowfall of the season this weekend.

In October, a bakery in Concord, Mass., made national headlines when the FDA sanctioned it for putting love in its granola. But since then, all I've really wanted was to share that recipe with my eating-disordered clients.

Just off a Houston freeway, in a strip mall with an Indian tailor and South Asian grocery store, is a small restaurant with an out-size reputation. It's called Himalaya and its chef and owner is a Houston institution.

Chef Kaiser Lashkari is a large man with a bushy salt-and-pepper mustache. He's constantly in motion — greeting clients, inspecting steaming dishes carried by busy waiters, calling out to his wife overseeing the kitchen. He offers us food before we've even sat down.

A Record-Breaking Astronaut

Dec 10, 2017

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Rows Of Hot Pink Paper, All Saying #MeToo

Dec 10, 2017

Pink rectangles of paper, pinned to rows of clotheslines, festoon a gallery wall at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C. Each slip bears a note, handwritten by a museum visitor, that answers a question about sexual harassment and violence.

"As a child in a museum I was flashed, as a teen in the university library I was groped, as a student at the college doctor, again I was groped. No place is safe. But each time I felt I had to be polite. Not next time!" reads one.

Recycling Chaos In U.S. As China Bans 'Foreign Waste'

Dec 9, 2017

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The Shed at Dulwich was one of the most exclusive eateries in south London for about six months — available only by reservation, the "appointment-only restaurant" could be booked for weeks in advance.

With a menu "comprised of moods," diners could devour entrees such as Comfort ("Yorkshire blue macaroni and cheese seasoned with bacon shavings and served in a 600TC Egyptian cotton bowl") and Lust ("rabbit kidneys on toast seasoned with saffron and an oyster bisque").

Except they never did eat Comfort or Lust.

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Crowdfunding For French Castles

Dec 9, 2017

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During the holiday season, many of us feel pressure to find our loved ones the "perfect" gift. Why? Because gift-giving has long been considered a prime way to express love. However, recent research suggests that gestures don't need to be large or have a hefty price tag to feel meaningful.

The study, published this summer in The Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, suggests that small acts of kindness, not grand overtures, make people feel most loved and supported.

Sen. Susan Collins, the Maine Republican whose vote was pivotal in pushing the GOP tax bill forward last week, thought she had a deal to bolster health care protections in exchange for her support.

But it's now unclear whether her strategy to shore up part of the Affordable Care Act will prevail or that it would produce the results she anticipates.

Republicans call their tax bill the Tax Cut and Jobs Act. But critics say maybe it should have been named the Tax Cut and Robots Act.

That's because it doesn't create new tax incentives that specifically encourage companies to hire workers and create jobs, some employers and economists say. But it does expand incentives for companies to buy robots and machines that replace workers.

Republicans say that lowering taxes will boost the economy and spur job creation. But critics say that the tax legislation would create an imbalance favoring machines over workers.

Health officials are warning that the United States may have an unusually harsh flu season this year.

But they stress that flu seasons are notoriously difficult to predict, and it's far too early to know for sure what may happen.

In the first century, a doctor called Aretaeus of Cappadocia described the rotting smell of "Egyptian ulcers." Ancient Chinese medical literature mentions a disease called "children-killing carbuncle." In 17th century Spain there were references to an illness known as "the strangler."

Jerry Parkes stands in a vast field of spiky leaves and peers at a pineapple that is larger than usual. "Wow, look at the size of this fruit!" he exclaims.

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