Nathan Phillips looks at methane data plotted on a map of Boston streets on Nov. 17. Data from a mobile methane "sniffer" and a GPS show a real-time display of the gas levels in Google Earth. The orange spike in the center of the screen, on St. Paul Street, indicates methane levels about two or three times above normal levels, Phillips says.
Credit Robin Lubbock / WBUR
Bob Ackley, left, and Nathan Phillips measure methane levels on a Boston street. They found about 4,000 significant gas leaks after driving 785 miles of Boston and suburban roads.
A scientist in Boston has been driving around the city measuring leaks in the gas mains. He's found a lot, and he wants the public to know where they are.
Gas leaks aren't uncommon, and gas companies spend a lot of time tracking them down and repairing them. But the scientific team says they're surprised at how many they've found, and what those leaks are doing to the health of the city's trees.
Across the country, schools have been tossing chocolate milk out of lunchrooms. But these New York City kids chugged low-fat chocolate milk as part of Refuel America. Launched in the summer of 2010, the campaign promotes the drink for post-exercise recovery.
Enrico Frare isn't a well known name in Italian business. The 36-year-old runs E-group, a small clothing company in the commercial region around Treviso that makes winter sportswear.
But last month, Frare did something that attracted a lot of attention. He bought a full-page ad in Milan's main newspaper appearing in what might politely be called his birthday suit. The caption read: "Every day in Italy an entrepreneur risks losing his shirt."
Monday is the last day the congressional supercommittee can reach a deficit reduction deal and still make its Wednesday deadline. The legislation has to be publicly available for 48 hours before a vote and the clock is ticking, but instead of announcing an agreement, it is widely expected the committee will admit it has failed.
Presidential candidate Rick Santorum consistently polls near the bottom of the Republican pack. But he appears undeterred in his bid for the White House. Santorum's work life in his 20s provides some insight into why he perseveres despite long odds.
The former senator from Pennsylvania is best known for his conservative social positions, especially his opposition to abortion rights and gay marriage. He's also known for expressing what he thinks very frankly.
A Nissan Leaf charges at a station in Portland, Ore., that can recharge an electric car in 30 minutes. Electric cars could be an integral part of meeting 55-mpg fuel standards by 2025, but many consumers are put off by the vehicles' higher price and what some call "range anxiety."
Under fuel-economy rules announced by the White House this summer, cars will have to get an average of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025 — nearly double the current average. Reaching that goal will take not only feats of engineering but also changing how Americans think about their cars and how they drive them.
Among the chilly aisles at Murray's Cheese Shop in Manhattan, the entire continent of Europe is represented. Something like 60 percent of the cheese in Murray's comes from the continent, according to Aaron Foster, a cheese buyer at the store.
For all the talk about how the European debt crisis is effecting the global economy, it can be hard to connect it with daily life here in the U.S. Here's one link: Aaron Foster's bonus depends on how cheaply he can buy cheese from Europe. And the price of that cheese is driven largely by the strength (or weakness) of the euro.
India is celebrating the birth of a baby to two of its biggest Bollywood stars. Commentator Sandip Roy explains why the birth is making headlines.
Last week, India got the tweet it was holding its breath for: It's a girl.
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, the Bollywood actress often called the most beautiful woman in the world, gave birth to a daughter. The proud dad, Abhishek Bachchan, a Bollywood hero in his own right, sent out the first tweet. Followed moments later by his dad, Bollywood's biggest superstar, Amitabh Bachchan.
Sound Stage 28 at Universal Studios in Burbank, Calif., looks like any other Hollywood set — littered with wires, crew members everywhere. We pick our way through cables and cameras and stuff that would make Oscar the Grouch's trash can look tidy.
But then we head up — up a flight of wooden stairs that leads to the old set of the 1925 Lon Chaney silent film The Phantom of the Opera. It's draped with dusty red-velvet swags, and it looks like it might still harbor a ghost or two.