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Looking Back On 2012 Election Technology

The country knew who its next president would be late in the evening of Election Day. But despite a nationwide push to electronic voting, some municipalities took days longer to finish counting their votes. Larry Norden of the Brennan Center for Justice looks at technologies and systems that worked during this year's election, and at voting processes that fell short of the mark in counting the vote.
NPR

Are We Getting Dumber? Maybe, Scientist Says

A provocative new study published in Trends in Genetics suggests that human intelligence has been slowly deteriorating since societies moved away from hunter-gatherer lifestyles. Study author Gerald Crabtree, of Stanford University, discusses the controversial work.
NPR

In Sandy's Wake, A Reshaped Coastline

Superstorm Sandy caused billions of dollars of damage, washing away houses, boardwalks and boats. But it also washed away dunes that protect coastal communities, literally redrawing the map.
NPR

BP Agrees To Pay $4.5 Billion For Gulf Oil Spill

Oil giant BP will plead guilty to criminal misconduct related to the 2010 Gulf Oil spill. The settlement deal will also include the largest-ever penalty in a criminal case, $4.5 billion.
NPR

Loophole Lets Toxic Oil Water Flow Over Indian Land

Every month, oil and gas operations dump millions of gallons of wastewater on the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming. Under a long-standing EPA loophole, it's perfectly legal. Internal agency documents obtained by NPR show the water contains toxic chemicals, including known carcinogens and radioactive materials, that end up in natural rivers.
NPR

A Peek Inside Rappers' Brains Shows Roots Of Improvisation

Scientists have found rappers and jazz musicians use their brains in similar ways when it comes to improvisation. Brain scans show distinct differences in which parts of the brain are most active during rap performances of memorized pieces compared with those that are done freestyle.
NPR

Raise A Toast To Building Better Beer Bubbles Through Chemistry

Spanish scientists have identified the specific gene in yeast that's responsible for the foamy head on your glass beer. And that discovery could lead to what we've all been wishing for — more long-lasting foam on top of our ales of the future.
NPR

A 'Green' Gold Rush? Calif. Firm Turns Trash To Gas

California starts the ball rolling Wednesday on a controversial scheme to keep the planet from overheating: Businesses will have to get a permit if they emit greenhouse gases. And one California company is hoping to get in on the ground level, by turning trash into biomass energy.

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