Category Archives: Consumer

Eclipse Programs, Glasses Available at Phoenix Libraries

Image by Vic Viatour.

As Monday’s solar eclipse draws near, many Phoenicians worry they won’t be able to find viewing glasses — or that they’ll get unsafe knockoffs instead. But Phoenix libraries are offering a fun and educational way for kids to get theirs.

Read/listen to my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk:
Phoenix Libraries Offer Programs, Eclipse-Viewing Glasses For Kids

Air Conditioners Cool House by Heating City

Image by Genieclimatique

Parents tell their kids, “Shut the front door, I’m not paying to cool the entire neighborhood.”

But research shows that, during Phoenix summers, we do pay to heat the neighborhood — to the tune of 1 to 2 degrees Fahrenheit — thanks to waste heat vented by our air conditioners.

Read/listen to my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk:
Air Conditioners Heat Up Metro Phoenix Nights

Doctor-Hackers Warn of Medical Device Security Flaws

Image by Lucien Monfils.

Members of the medical and hacker communities are raising concerns about cybersecurity vulnerabilities affecting medical records, infrastructure and devices.

Experts have long warned of security flaws in medical devices — insulin pumps that can deliver deadly doses, for example. Many devices include wireless connectivity capability.

Read/listen to my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk:
Doctor-Hackers Raise Awareness Of Medical Device Vulnerabilities

Is Progress Outpacing Precaution? Experts Weigh In

Illustration by An Arres.

No one expects the machinery of progress to roll backwards, but sometimes it seems that no one is watching the speedometer (or manning the brakes, assuming any exist).  Is this a fair assessment? If so, should we be worried — and what can we do about it?

In this feature, experts on technology, risk, science, policy and neuroscience discuss risk, innovation and how our values affect our conceptions of both.

Read/listen to my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk:
ASU Experts Weigh the Risks of Innovation

The Foggy Future of Refrigerants

Freon tanks await recycling. Image courtesy U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Stable, nontoxic refrigerants changed the world, transforming food storage, expanding Sun Belt populations, even helping early movie theaters succeed. But they also wrecked the ozone layer — Earth’s shield against harmful ultraviolet radiation.

Today, as stockpiles dwindle — and prices rise — due to phase-outs set by the Montreal Protocols 30 years ago,  the future of Freon and its successors remains in doubt.

Read/listen to my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk:
As Stockpiles Dwindle, Freon Prices Rise