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The Salt
3:29 am
Mon August 25, 2014

Grocers Lead Kids To Produce Aisle With Junk Food-Style Marketing

A kids healthy snacks display at Giant Eagle.
Courtesy of Giant Eagle

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 4:09 pm

Despite all the cheerleading for healthy eating, Americans still eat only about 1 serving of fruit per day, on average. And our veggie consumption, according to an analysis from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, falls short, too.

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The Two-Way
9:12 am
Sun August 24, 2014

Iceland Lowers Volcano Warning

A view of a road closure to the Vattnajokull glacier, the site of the Bardarbunga volcano under the Dyngjujokull ice cap in Iceland, on Sunday. Scientists had worried that the volcano might spew steam and ash, but say now that it appears to have quieted.
Vilhelm Gunnarsson/ Fretabladid EPA/Landov

Originally published on Sun August 24, 2014 12:28 pm

Iceland is lowering the threat level on its Bardarbunga volcano. As we reported on Saturday, the warning had been raised to its highest level — red. Now, scientists in the island nation have ratcheted it down to orange.

Reuters reports:

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Shots - Health News
3:32 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

California Trees Nailed As The Source Of Mystery Infections

A false-color electron microscope image of the fungus Cryptococcus gatii, which can cause fatal illnesses in humans. The yellow areas are spores.
Microbial Pathogenesis/Duke University

Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 5:45 pm

A fungus called Cryptococcus gattii can cause life-threatening infections, especially in people with compromised immune systems. One-third of AIDS-related deaths are thought to be caused by the fungus.

But though people in Southern California have been getting sick from C. gatti for years, nobody knew how.

Eucalyptus trees were a prime suspect, since they harbor the fungus in Australia. But even though eucalyptus trees grow like crazy in Southern California, the fungus hasn't been found on eucalyptus there.

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Around the Nation
4:56 am
Fri August 22, 2014

Pesticides Used On Florida's Mosquitoes May Harm Butterflies

Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 7:53 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

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The Salt
12:48 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

California Drought Has Wild Salmon Competing With Almonds For Water

A young Chinook salmon, called a smolt, near Vallejo, Calif., on April 24, 2014. North Coast tribes and environmentalists fear that the smolts and Chinooks may not survive this year's low river flows and warm water.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

Originally published on Mon August 25, 2014 3:55 pm

The ongoing California drought has pitted wild salmon against farmers in a fight for water. While growers of almonds, one of the state's biggest and most lucrative crops, enjoy booming production and skyrocketing sales to China, the fish, it seems, might be left high and dry this summer—and maybe even dead.

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Around the Nation
4:13 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

EPA Wades Into Water Fight With Farmers

Originally published on Wed August 20, 2014 8:30 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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The Salt
2:57 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

Why Vegetables Get Freakish In The Land Of The Midnight Sun

Giant Cabbage Weigh-Off 2013 winners (with placards, left to right): Scott Rob (92.1 pounds), Keevan Dinkel (92.3 pounds) and Brian Shunskis (77.4 pounds). The growers are joined by the cabbage fairies, a group of women who for 15 years have volunteered at the cabbage competition.
Clark James Mishler Courtesy of Alaska State Fair

Originally published on Tue August 26, 2014 10:09 am

Everything in Alaska is a little bit bigger — even the produce. A 138-pound cabbage, 65-pound cantaloupe and 35-pound broccoli are just a few of the monsters that have sprung forth from Alaska's soil in recent years.

At the annual Alaska State Fair, which opens Thursday in Palmer, the public will have the chance to gawk at giants like these as they're weighed for competition.

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Environment
5:15 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

One Year After Calif. Rim Fire, Debate Simmers Over Forest Recovery

Maria Benech of the U.S. Forest Service surveys a severely burned patch of forest. Almost 40 percent of the burned area looks similar.
Lauren Sommer KQED

Originally published on Mon August 18, 2014 7:40 pm

Eric Knapp breaks apart a burned pine cone, looking for seeds — in his line of work this is considered a clue.

"Going into an area after a fire, you almost feel like CSI, you know, sleuthing," Knapp says.

He is standing in a part of the Stanislaus National Forest that was severely burned by the Rim Fire. Knapp, an ecologist with the U.S. Forest Service, is studying how forests recover.

"It's completely dead," he says. "These trees won't be coming back to life."

A lot of the forest was charred like this.

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Animals
4:16 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

Often On The Move, Restless Elephants Are Tough To Count — And Keep Safe

Originally published on Mon August 18, 2014 6:18 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Energy
4:16 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

Oklahoma Wind Power Companies Run Into Headwinds

A wind-powered water pump and a wind-driven electricity turbine share a field near the town of Calumet in western Oklahoma.
Joe Wertz NPR

Originally published on Tue August 19, 2014 6:57 am

Oklahoma is the nation's fourth-largest generator of wind energy. But wind developers in the northeast corner of the state, where the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve lies, are up against stiff opposition from an unlikely pair of allies: environmentalists and oil interests.

Bob Hamilton, director of the Nature Conservancy's Tallgrass Prairie Preserve, has been fighting to block construction of a 68-turbine wind farm.

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