Can you hear me now?
October 27, 2017

Noise pollution could pose a huge risk to oysters after researchers found that the mollusks can hear frequencies underwater, The New York Times reports.

Researchers exposed 32 Pacific oysters to typical man-made ocean frequencies like turbines, seismic research, oil exploration, and the movement of cargo ships. Each oyster "clammed up" when scientists generated the low frequencies in closed conditions, the study found.

Bivalve mollusks only close their shells under stress. An open shell allows them to receive biological cues, like crashing currents, that could signal proper eating and digesting times. An inability to "hear" other natural events like rainfall due to a closed shell may prevent spawning, said Jean-Charles Massabuau, the author of the study and the research director at the French National Center for Scientific Research.

Research into noise pollution has already demonstrated the negative effects it can have on whales, fish, some marine mammals, and cephalopods like octopi and squid. Now, researchers believe that noise pollution could cause harm to a larger range of marine life. Massabuau told the Times that "noise pollution could affect many more animals than we thought."

Read the full study in the journal PLOS ONE. Elianna Spitzer

July 8, 2015

You might think the leader of the free world and the just-crowned Women's World Cup champions could sidestep the perils of the dreaded conference call — the awkward pauses, the inability for 20 people to crowd close enough to all be heard, the worrisome "who is talking now?" moments.

You would be wrong.

President Obama called the U.S. women's soccer team to congratulate them on their 5-2 victory over Japan, and the White House put together a dual video of both Obama's and the women's sides of the conversation. At one point, the president singled out Carli Lloyd, who pulled off an incredible hat trick in the first 16 minutes of the game.

"What have you been eating? I want to do what you're doing!" Obama says. Lloyd offers to go running with him. "Yeah, I'll do that for about 30 seconds, and then I'll stop," he replies.

Hopefully, the in-person meeting between the team and Obama will be a little less awkward, but in the meantime, enjoy knowing you're not the only one who struggles through phone meetings. Check out the video below. Sarah Eberspacher

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