Science and Technology

Robots on the farm

May 31, 2012
Jeremy Bernfeld / Harvest Public Media

There’s always work to be done on the farm, but often it’s the same work day, after day, after day. Parts of the job must feel a bit like an assembly line.

While it’s impossible to automate farming like many manufacturers have automated their assembly lines, using robotic technology on the farm might not be so far off.

Farm robots in the classroom

Pumkpins, melons and corn

May 30, 2012
Jacob Fenston / KBIA

Columbia has lots of community gardens, and several school gardens. But school-community gardens? On Tuesday at Ridgewood Elementary, the school and community worked together to start planting the city's first community garden at a public school.

Community garden breaks ground at Ridgeway Elementary

May 29, 2012
Jacob Fenston / KBIA

Today gardeners broke ground on Columbia's newest community garden. The plot of land at Ridgeway Elementary is the city's first community garden located at a public school.

e-MagazineArt / FLICKR

Kansas City police say the use of PCP is increasing, particularly in the city's urban core.

Officers are concerned because they say PCP users often are violent and unpredictable. The drug induces hallucinations and makes many users combative and unable to feel pain.

Police Capt. Todd Paulson calls PCP the scariest drug on the streets. He was one of six officers who were needed to subdue a PCP user in January.

The Kansas City Star reports officers used to see a brief increase in PCP arrests after a shipment came in but would then go weeks without any arrests.

Wikipedia

Conservation agents are urging Missourians to not transport firewood in its effort to control the emerald ash borer from spreading throughout the state.

Police discuss heroin increase

May 25, 2012
Lukas Udstuen / KBIA

Columbia Police started seeing an increase in the number of heroin-related arrests and overdoses beginning about six months ago. Heroin is now the number-one drug the department investigates. Last night police held a town-hall meeting to inform residents about the growing threat.

Kathleen Masterson / Harvest Public Media

On this week's show, we'll hear about how immigrant populations are filling a gap in agricultural labor.

A new study out of Washington University suggests that women who use short-term birth-control methods like the pill are 20 times more likely to have an unintended pregnancy than those who use longer-term options like intrauterine devices or implants.

Air Force Tech. Sgt. Oscar Sanchez / US Department of Agriculture

The top military officer in charge of managing the Missouri River system says the agency needs help from states to improve its ability to predict water runoff.

'Cocaine? No thanks!'

May 23, 2012
Boone County Courthouse
Jacob Fenston / KBIA

Back in the late 1980s, while the nation was in the grips of the war on drugs, some courts started experimenting with alternative sentencing programs they hoped would be cheaper and more effective than incarceration.  This week, the most recent batch of offenders graduated from the Boone County drug court, which is seen as a national role-model.

Missouri River placed on endangered list

May 23, 2012
Missouri Department of Tourism / flickr

The nation’s longest river has found its way onto America’s Most Endangered Rivers list.

Wikipedia

A Columbia hospital says it will close its adult intensive care unit next month because it is not being used enough.

Laura Kebede / Project 573

One in five Americans has some sort of disability according to a study done in 2008 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This could include disabilities having to do with hearing, sight, mobility, learning, development or mental health. But not all disabilities are perceived the same way. Drew Graham has a unique perspective on this. He has both a physical and mental disability and has determined over the years that the stigma associated with mental disability carries more weight.

Angela Case / Project 573

The mental health care system is faced with diminishing resources, making it harder for people with psychiatric illnesses to find help. From police officers to school counselors, people outside of the system are working to fill the gaps. Project 573’s Angela Case explains how community hospitals are dealing with the problem, and takes you inside two units that provide this much-needed care.

A new report from the Rocky Mountain Climate Organization and the Natural Resources Defense Council shows that the frequency of severe storms across the Midwest has doubled over the past 50 years.

The report analyzed precipitation data from more than 200 weather stations in eight Midwestern states.

7000 miles bicycling and banjo-ing against war

May 16, 2012
Jacob Fenston / KBIA

Afghan war veteran Jacob George is a self-proclaimed hillbilly farmer from the Ouachita Mountains in Arkansas. After three tours as a combat engineer, he now spends his days bicycling around the country protesting U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan. He recently passed through Missouri on his way to protest the NATO summit taking place in Chicago next week.

j.stephenconn / flickr

The Missouri House has passed legislation that would bar local governments from interfering with the day-to-day operations of alternatives to abortion agencies.

Stories from prison: roar!

May 15, 2012
Jacob Fenston / KBIA

In Missouri state prisons, about 60 percent of inmates have kids. That's 18,000 moms and dads behind bars – and tens of thousands of kids on the other side. To help those parents and kids connect, volunteers make their way through the metal detectors at Missouri state prisons with big tubs of blank tapes and CDs, stamped envelopes, and lots of children's books. 

A new report by the advocacy group American Rivers says when it comes to managing flooding along the Missouri River, the US Army Corps of Engineers should rely on floodplains and wetlands, not levees and dams. But the Corps doesn't see flood management as an "either/or" proposition.

How to be happy

May 10, 2012
Scott Pham / KBIA

On today’s show, we’ll hear about an unlikely place to get small electronics repaired, and learn more about the key to being happy.

A jeweler with cutting edge technology

May 10, 2012
Scott Pham / KBIA

Personal technology is getting cheaper, better, smaller.  But have you ever tried to get fixed a broken cell phone or mp3 player?  When I broke my portable USB flash drive, I brought it to a computer repair technician, unsure if he’d simply turn me away or not.  Those little “thumb” drives are just so small.  No moving parts really, they’re all circuitry.  Turns out that getting it fixed wasn’t an impossibility.  I just had to go to some unusual places.

Matt Veto / KBIA

An MU psychology professor has put a tactical spin on happiness. 

Long distance running, one state at a time

May 9, 2012
Jacob Fenston / KBIA

Planning a road-trip this summer? In this week's Health & Wealth update, the best way to see the country might be to run across it.

File / KBIA

Columbia area residents and officials have started developing recommendations for cleaning up a local waterway.

hospital interior
fotos GOVBA / flickr

Many Missouri hospitals are reporting shortages of necessary pharmaceutical drugs. The Missouri Hospital Association says such shortages are keeping hospitals from effectively delivering care in a safe and timely way to its patients.

Warming temperatures may have you wanting to spend more time outdoors. But warm weather can mean more unhealthy air.

Véronique LaCapra / St. Louis Public Radio

Biologist Edward O. Wilson is an emeritus University Research Professor at Harvard. Through his life-long research on the behavior of ants, he has transformed the disciplines of ecology and evolution, developing new theories and pioneering the field of sociobiology.

MoDOT to crack down on youth impaired driving

May 3, 2012

The Missouri Department of Transportation is cracking down on youth impaired driving.

acephotos1 / dreamstime

A Missouri senator who is a family physician says he'll try to block legislation authorizing a government database to track drug prescriptions unless it is put to a statewide vote.

Republican Sen. Rob Schaaf, of St. Joseph, Mo., began Thursday's debate on the prescription monitoring legislation by vowing to filibuster until he gets his way about a referendum.

If you tax them, they will quit

May 2, 2012
tobaccofreekids.org

You have probably heard the statistic: Missouri has the lowest cigarette tax in the nation – just 17 cents a pack, compared to the national average of $1.46. In this week's Health & Wealth update, public health advocates want to raise Missouri's tobacco tax to deter people from smoking, and to help offset the costs that tobacco incurs.

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