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Archive for the ‘Science’ Category

Canada To Measure Marijuana Use By Testing Sewage

In Canada, Health, International, marijuana, News, NPR, Science on April 13, 2018 at 5:47 pm

In an effort to track cannabis consumption more closely, the Canadian government has instructed Statistics Canada, Canada’s national statistical agency, to analyze sewage waste from about a quarter of Canada’s total 36 million inhabitants. In hopes to estimate how much cannabis Canadians consume, in total, through the sewage measurements. But the route from a wastewater treatment plant to that kind of calculation gets really murky really fast, such as: “The suburban users, are they peeing in the city but consuming in the suburbs?”…read the full story here.

The IKEA Effect

In Morning Edition, NPR, Science on February 6, 2013 at 5:44 pm

What if it isn’t love that leads to labor, but labor that leads to love? That is the question Tulane University marketing professor Daniel Mochon cheerfully discusses on Morning Edition today – and how IKEA plays a role in our sense of competence.

People made to feel incompetent may be more vulnerable to the Ikea Effect.

People made to feel incompetent may be more vulnerable to the Ikea Effect.

“…people attach greater value to things they built than if the very same product was built by someone else. And in new experiments, researchers have discovered why it happens: Building your own stuff boosts your feelings of pride and competence, and also signals to others that you are competent.”


Predicting Lifespan Based on Size

In Health, Nature, NPR, Science on January 23, 2013 at 2:36 am

A fascinating conversation with physicist Geoffrey West about the mathematics of lifespan. “Life is short for small creatures, longer in big ones. So algae die sooner than oak trees; elephants live longer than mayflies, but you know that. Here’s the surprise: There is a mathematical formula which says if you tell me how big something is, I can tell you — with some variation, but not a lot — how long it will live.”

[Courtesy of Yunfun Tan]

[Courtesy of Yunfun Tan]


[Courtesy of Yunfun Tan /]

“…the God we present is bankrupt.”

In Morning Edition, NPR, Pop Culture, Science on January 18, 2013 at 11:13 pm

This week, NPR’s Morning Edition aired a conversation called “Losing Our Religion” – speaking with religious leaders and young adults (which I was happy to hear 30 was still considered “young adult”) on the growing number of the unaffiliated and disillusioned. An interesting discussion considering that according to the Pew Research Center one-third of Americans under 30 have no religious affiliation.




“…It’s circulating in the rodent reservoirs”

In Health, International, NPR, Science, Travel on January 17, 2013 at 11:32 pm

Well this is comforting. Hear microbiologist Elisabeth Carniel discuss the reemergence of the plague.

A copper engraving from 1656 shows a plague doctor in Rome wearing a protective suit and a mask. / Artwork by Paul Furst /

A copper engraving from 1656 shows a plague doctor in Rome wearing a protective suit and a mask. / Artwork by Paul Furst /

Now microbiologists have evidence that strains of the plague may be able to reactivate themselves and trigger new outbreaks — even after lying dormant for decades.

Stalking a Giant Squid

In All Things Considered, NPR, Science, Technology, Travel on January 13, 2013 at 10:00 pm

Scientist Edie Widder on All Things Considered discusses her amazing video footage (first-ever) of the giant squid and her technique to capturing the elusive sea creature in action. Discovery Channel will be airing a documentary in late January.

Courtesy of Edie Widder/Discovery Channel

Courtesy of Edie Widder/Discovery Channel

“The reason we know giant squids exist is that they happen to float when they die. But we really [have] only explored 5 percent of the ocean, and I think we’ve explored that in the wrong way. I think we’ve scared a lot of animals away. So what about the stuff that doesn’t float when it dies?”

“And basically, your skin just, like, sucks in, like a balloon deflating.”

In NPR, Science, Talk of the Nation on January 12, 2013 at 2:42 am

Photo courtesy of

Science is getting a *grip* on why we get pruney fingers in the bath – and the findings may surprise you.

Listen to Ira Flatow’s discussion with Flora Lichtman on Biology Letters recent research findings.