Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 6:15 pm
When a plane crashes, it can take many months or years to find the black box that can provide clues as to what happened. Just what are these devices, how do they work, and why can they be so hard to find? We contacted the recorders division of the National Transportation and Safety Board to find out.
An image released by satellite company DigitalGlobe shows an area of the Gulf of Thailand where it's allowing web users to assist in the search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, using satellite imagery.
A U.S. satellite company's call for help in finding a missing Malaysia Airlines jet brought a strong response on the Internet, as some people hoping to pitch in are finding a website struggling to handle all the web traffic.
The company, DigitalGlobe, says it's working to fix the problem and aid the search for the airliner, which has now been missing for four days. The search area for signs of the jet was widened Tuesday.
Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 3:46 pm
Another 940,000 people signed up for health insurance in February under the Affordable Care Act, bringing the total to 4.2 million since the troubled HealthCare.gov website was launched, the Department of Health and Human Services reports. The number is still well short of the administration's goal for March 31, when open enrollment ends.
To reach 6 million sign ups under the ACA, as the White House had hoped for, another 1.8 million people would need to enroll by the end of the month.
Adm. Mohd Amdan Kurish of the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency Admiral, left, checks radar during a search for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane off Tok Bali Beach in Kelantan, Malaysia, on Sunday.
In a story yesterday [Monday] about Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, David Ison, assistant professor at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, had this to say:
"In this day and age, having no ability to pinpoint these aircraft is really not acceptable. We have technology to make it happen. We really need to do something ... so we can prevent the loss of aircraft."
General Motors is coming under mounting criticism for its handling of a serious defect. Last month, the company recalled 1.6 million vehicles because of faulty ignition switches linked to 13 deaths. The cars, made from 2003-2007, could stall or fail to deploy their airbags.
It's an issue GM has known about for a while, and now Congress wants to know why it took the automaker almost a decade to warn the public about it.
Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 4:58 pm
With 20 days left for people to sign up for private health coverage under the Affordable Care Act, the number of people who have completed that task rose to 4.2 million through the end of February, the Obama administration reports.
This week, All Things Considered is exploring a counterfactual history of World War I, and we invite you to participate. Use the form below to imagine how one aspect of the past 100 years would be different if Archduke Franz Ferdinand had not been killed in 1914. We will share some of the responses in a future segment.
This summer marks 100 years since the start of World War I. Many argue that the conflict was inevitable — but what if it wasn't?
A specimen of<em> Platydemus manokwari </em>collected in a greenhouse at Caen in Normandy. You can see its white pharynx protruding from the underside, ingesting soft tissues of a specimen of the Mediterranean snail.
Credit Pierre Gros/PeerJ
France's famed mollusk appetizer could be endangered by an unwelcome worm arrival, scientists worry.
Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 5:06 pm
Oh, no, not the escargot!
A vicious little worm with an appetite for snails has made its European debut. And that has some scientists worried about the future of France's famed mollusk appetizer.
The New Guinea flatworm (Platydemus manokwari) is the lone worm on the Global Invasive Species Database's list of 100 of the world's most dangerous invaders. And last November, it was discovered in a greenhouse in Caen, Normandy.
A plan in New York state to eliminate all wild mute swans there by 2025 has drawn protests and petitions on all sides. While some see elegant white birds gliding across the water, others see a dangerous aggressor destroying the local ecosystem.
The next evolution of science is not happening in a lab, but in a basement in a rural Florida county. Thanks to online crowdsourcing, thousands of non-scientists can visit a site called Notes From Nature and lend a hand to university researchers cataloging their collections, from bark to bugs.
Weeks after its financial troubles forced it to file for bankruptcy protection in Japan, Mt. Gox has obtained similar protection in the U.S. The Tokyo-based bitcoin exchange suffered a collapse after a reported theft of hundreds of millions of dollars.
Mt. Gox had been the most active bitcoin exchange before it announced the loss of hundreds of thousands of units of the cryptocurrency in an attack by hackers. The company said its own bitcoins were stolen along with those of customers.
Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 4:50 pm
An angry fat cat first allegedly scratched a baby and then allegedly penned an Oregon family in their bedroom.
No, seriously. The Oregonian reports that owner Lee Palmer says he kicked the 22-pound house cat to get it away from his 7-month-old son. Then, he says, the cat became so angry, the family had to call police. The 911 call is priceless. Take a listen:
Perhaps just as priceless, this graphic tweeted by KPTV-TV in Oregon:
Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 4:43 pm
What can doctors do to help kids stay away from drugs?
There's not much evidence to say one way or the other, it turns out.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, which issues guidelines on what doctors should and shouldn't do, said there aren't enough reliable studies around to come up with any solid advice. So the task force gave the interventions an "I" for insufficient evidence. The kids might call it an incomplete.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein speaks to reporters after speaking about her oversight committee's problematic relationship with the CIA Tuesday. CIA Director John Brennan says his agency isn't trying to delay the panel's report on the U.S. interrogation program.
Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 3:32 pm
The Senate's intelligence oversight panel had its computers searched by CIA workers, who also improperly removed some documents that had been provided to the panel, Sen. Dianne Feinstein said in a lengthy and scathing speech on the Senate floor Tuesday. She said some of the actions could be illegal or unconstitutional.
Deborah Hersman, known to many Americans because she's the face of the National Transportation Safety Board at the scene of plane crashes and other transportation-related disasters, is stepping down as head of the NTSB.
Jefferson's Ocean bourbon is aged on the high seas, a technique that takes advantage of basic physical chemistry. The bottles sell for $200 a piece.
Credit Courtesy of OCEARCH
This OCEARCH ship carried Zoeller's first bourbon-aged barrels for three and a half years, covering more than 10,000 nautical miles. According to Tom Collins, a chemist at UC Davis, the higher temperatures of tropical locales, and the swill of the ocean, can accelerate the whiskey aging process.
Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 2:55 pm
From its earliest days as America's homegrown whiskey elixir, Kentucky bourbon has been traveling on boats.
In fact, boats were a key reason why Kentucky became the king of bourbon. In the late 1700s, trade depended on waterways, and distillers in the state had a big advantage: the Ohio River. They'd load their barrels onto flatboats on the Ohio, which flowed into the Mississippi, taking their golden liquor as far down as New Orleans.
If your to-do list is so long that you are overwhelmed just looking at it, and if your list has you mentally racing back and forth between your responsibilities to your children and your job, what Brigid Schulte has to say may be helpful.