The Salt
2:53 am
Thu June 27, 2013

Coffee Futures: The Highs And Lows Of A Cup Of Joe

Want to invest in coffee futures? One roaster says when it comes to the price of coffee, it "is like a roller coaster."
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 27, 2013 12:49 pm

NPR's Uri Berliner is taking $5,000 of his own savings and putting it to work. Though he's no financial whiz or guru, he's exploring different types of investments — alternatives that may fare better than staying in a savings account that's not keeping up with inflation.

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Environment
2:53 am
Thu June 27, 2013

This Climate Fix Might Be Decades Ahead Of Its Time

Global Thermostat's pilot plant in Menlo Park, Calif., pulls carbon dioxide from the surrounding air. The next challenge is to find uses for the captured gas.
Courtesy of Global Thermostat

Originally published on Thu June 27, 2013 3:35 pm

Every year, people add 30 billion tons of carbon dioxide to the air, mostly by burning fossil fuels. That's contributing to climate change. A few scientists have been dreaming about ways to pull some of that CO2 out of the air, but face stiff skepticism and major hurdles. This is the story of one scientist who's pressing ahead.

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The Two-Way
12:03 am
Thu June 27, 2013

As People Head Into Space, PayPal Says It Will Follow Them

No Free Doughnuts, Even In Space: PayPal is announcing a project with SETI, aiming to solve issues around taking regular people — and commerce — into space. Here, an artist's rendering of a space hotel, from the Space Tourism Society.
John Spencer Space Tourism Society

Originally published on Thu June 27, 2013 12:48 pm

Many people know how to buy things in cyberspace. But what about doing business in outer space? That's the question PayPal says it wants to answer. Citing the looming era of space tourism, the company is creating the PayPal Galactic project along with the SETI Institute, "to help make universal space payments a reality."

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Shots - Health News
5:19 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

How The End Of DOMA Will Affect Obamacare, Federal Employees

The Supreme Court's ruling that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional will not only make a big difference in health benefits for some federal employees, it could also affect people who will be newly eligible for Obamacare beginning next year.

For lower-income people seeking coverage under Obamacare, marriage may not provide a financial advantage, tax experts say.

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Humans
5:12 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

Pitch-Perfect: Why Our Shoulders Are Key To Throwing

Harry Kaplan practices pitching during Home Run Baseball Camp at Friendship Recreation Center in June. Kaplan's arm is stretched long and toward the ground as his hips are faced away from the catcher. A chimp, in contrast, could never throw a fastball.
Heather Rousseau NPR

Originally published on Thu June 27, 2013 5:01 pm

The ability to throw a baseball or any object with speed and precision is unique to us humans. And that ability depends on certain features of our anatomy that arose in our ancestors over 2 million years ago, according to a study published in this week's issue of the journal Nature.

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Science
5:10 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

New Bugs In Florida Stymie Researchers, Threaten Crops

The psyllid, discovered eight years ago in Florida citrus groves, has been problematic for researchers and farmers alike.
University of California, Davis AP

Originally published on Thu June 27, 2013 5:34 am

With its pleasant climate, Florida has become home to more exotic and invasive species of plants and animals than any other state in the continental U.S. Some invasive species have been brought in deliberately, such as the Burmese python or the Cuban brown snail. But the majority of species are imported inadvertently as cargo.

Amanda Hodges, who heads the biosecurity research lab at the University of Florida, says that until recently, scientists saw about a dozen new bugs arrive in Florida each year.

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Shots - Health News
5:08 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

Ultramarathoners: Faster, Higher, Stronger And Sleepier

French ultramarathoner Chistophe Le Saux took third place in the Tor de Gentes.
Courtesy of Enrico Romanzi

Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 4:54 pm

In the decidedly nutty sport of ultramarathoning, the stakes keep getting higher. The courses get longer and the terrain steeper, but runners continue to push the boundaries of human endurance and sheer will.

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The Two-Way
4:52 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

Federer Loses In Wimbledon's Second Round As Upsets Continue

Seven-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer leaves the court Wednesday, after losing in the second round to Ukraine's Sergiy Stakhovsky.
Adrian Dennis AFP/Getty Images

Roger Federer, who last year won his seventh Wimbledon title, is out of the 2013 tournament after falling to Ukrainian Sergei Stakhovsky, 6-7, 7-6, 7-5, 7-6. The upset comes two days after Rafael Nadal, who was in the same side of the bracket as Federer, was upset in the first round.

Sergiy Stakhovsky is ranked No. 116 in the world. Federer is ranked No. 3 in the world. The victory is Stakhovsky's first against an opponent ranked in the top 10.

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Parallels
4:45 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

Australian Politics Are A Full-Contact Sport

Kevin Rudd, the incoming prime minster, and Julia Gillard, the outgoing prime minister, in happier times.
Torsten Blackwood AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 26, 2013 5:56 pm

While Americans often lament the state of politics in Washington, spare a thought for Australians, who will wake up Thursday morning under a different prime minister than the one they went to bed with.

Just as Australians were preparing for national elections in September, former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd took back the reins of power from Julia Gillard, the woman who had deposed him three years before.

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Code Switch
4:39 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

What Would A 2013 Voting Rights Act (Section 4) Look Like?

Ryan P. Haygood, director of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, talks outside the Supreme Court on Tuesday about the court's opinion in Shelby County v. Holder.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed June 26, 2013 6:04 pm

You've probably heard the news. But just in case it was a crazy day at work, you just came home from a backpacking trip in the remote wilderness, or you couldn't pull yourself away from a Keeping Up with the Kardashians marathon — the Supreme Court has ruled that a key provision of the Voting Rights Act (Section 4) is unconstitutional.

To follow me, you have to know five things:

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