Environment

The United States imports more than $100 billion of food every year from farms across the globe, often in the big metal shipping containers you see on cargo ships. Now, entrepreneurs are using those shipping containers to grow local produce.

"Freight Farms" are shipping containers modified to grow stacks of hydroponic plants and vegetables. It's a new way for small-scale farmers to grow crops year-round in a computer-controlled environment, even in the middle of the city.

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Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Over the past decade, The National Park Service has placed hundreds of microphones around the country. These are some of the sounds those mics captured.

(SOUNDBITE OF WILDERNESS)

How Can We Explain The Mystery Of Consciousness?

Feb 20, 2015

Part 5 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Unknown Brain

About David Chalmers' TED Talk

Philosopher David Chalmers asks why humans have a sense of self, a constantly running movie full of sensation and internal chatter. He offers two ideas about the nature of consciousness.

About David Chalmers

Last week, South Florida's nature came alive for me as much through sound as through sight: the flapping of wings as a great blue heron soared up over a river; the plashing of water when an alligator slipped off the riverbank to swim away; the huffing of a manatee taking a breath at the water's surface before she slowly sank again to the river bottom to munch grass.

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Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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UPDATE: Wednesday night, a Bayfield County Board vote of 8 to 5 brought the adoption of a one-year moratorium. It creates a study committee made up of six county elected and three community members; the latter will be selected through an application process. The moratorium applies to all facilities with over 1,000 animal units, unless the operation has established vested rights. It remains unclear whether the Iowa-based Reicks group falls in the "vested rights" category, because it submitted applications to both Bayfield County and the Wisconsin DNR before the February 18 county board decision.

ORIGINAL STORY: Wisconsin has plenty of cow CAFOs (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations), but an Iowa-based company wants to start the first huge hog operation in Bayfield County.

Earlier this month the U.S. Navy's research office rented out a conference center in Washington, D.C., to show off some of its hottest new technology.

On display was an electromagnetic gun, and drones that could swarm around an enemy ship. But it wasn't all James Bond-style gadgets.

Buried Boston Copes With Piles Of Snow

Feb 14, 2015
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Plastic is one of those inventions that transformed the world. It's light, durable and you can make lots of things with it.

But it's also transforming Earth's oceans — and not in a good way. A lot of plastic ends up there. Scientists are just now getting a handle on how much plastic has gone to sea.

Up until now, estimates have been very rough. It's hard to measure waste in the oceans; after all, salt water covers 70 percent of the planet.

But another way to figure out what's out there is to measure how much debris is coming off the land.

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