Cartoon faces with expressive emotions.
DragonWeer / Creative Commons /

For the last 20 years, a cultural movement and industry based on "happiness" has gained considerable traction in the United States. 

The average American reads at an 8th-grade level, but the patient information that doctors and hospitals provide often presumes that people have much more advanced reading skills.

So some researchers decided to see what happens when 9-year-olds write the patient guides.

Cosmic Visitors Whose Paths Just Missed Each Other

Dec 14, 2017
At left, Martin Baron Tisdale George in a selfie. At right, Julia Pistell with Vega, three weeks old, at an NEPR studio.
Martin Baron Tisdale George / Greg Ludovici / Courtesy Julia Pistell / NEPR

I'd already taken dictation from my grandmother on the facts of Grandpa Baron's life. For a person I'd spent so much time with, there was so much I didn't know. 

The Arctic is a huge, icy cap on the planet that acts like a global air conditioner. But the air conditioner is breaking down, according to scientists who issued a grim "report card" on the Arctic on Tuesday.

They say the North Pole continues to warm at an alarming pace — twice the rate as the rest of the planet, on average. This year was the Arctic's second-warmest in at least 1,500 years, after 2016.

At twilight in late fall, thousands of crows take wing above highways running through Hartford. These crow “commuters” are headed home to roost, but where, exactly, do they go?

One of the largest credit rating agencies in the country is warning U.S. cities and states to prepare for the effects of climate change or risk being downgraded.

Between last year's historic November supermoon and August's partial solar eclipse, a lunar event that's coming on Dec. 3 has taken a bit of a back seat. But 2017's first and only visible supermoon is nothing to sneeze at.

The term "supermoon" is popular vernacular. Its scientific name is perigee syzygy. University of Arizona professor Gurtina Besla says the phrase means two specific things in reference to the moon's placement and phase.

Forest ecologist Christian Marks is dwarfed by one of the oldest elm trees in Massachusetts.
Jill Kaufman / NEPR

There are thousands of Elm Streets in America, but not many surviving elms, for which the streets were named. Starting in the mid-20th century, Dutch elm disease killed off millions.

The Boston researcher who examined the brain of former football star Aaron Hernandez says it showed the most damage her team had seen in an athlete so young.

Hernandez, whose on-field performance for the New England Patriots earned him a $40 million contract in 2012, hanged himself in a prison cell earlier this year while serving a life sentence for murder. He was 27 years old.

It’s breeding time for deer in Connecticut, which means biologists and hunters are paying close attention to two things: car collisions and acorns.