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Virtual Reality Aimed At The Elderly Finds New Fans

13 hours ago

Virginia Anderlini is 103 years old, and she is about to take her sixth trip into virtual reality.

In real life, she is sitting on the sofa in the bay window of her San Francisco assisted-living facility. Next to her, Dr. Sonya Kim gently tugs the straps that anchor the headset over Anderlini's eyes.

A new report, out today, provides 186 pages of answers to one of the toughest questions in education:

What does it take to get preschool right?

Parents and politicians alike want to know. States are spending roughly $7 billion this year on early childhood education, despite the fact that there are more cautionary tales — like this one from Tennessee — than success stories.

Every place has its own sound. A small group of scientists is hard at work recording the natural sounds of national parks all across the U.S. — more than 70 soundscapes so far.

For our series on the centennial of the national parks, we traveled to Colorado, to find out how they create these portraits of sound.

First Lesson: It's Very Hard To Escape The Sound Of Humans.

A team of construction workers is pouring concrete onto the frame of a structure that will eventually become a wastewater treatment plant. It's 1 a.m. on a clear night in the suburbs of Phoenix.

The temperature is still in the high 80s. But that's way down from the area's recent record high temperatures, up to 118 degrees.

Around here, it never really gets cool in the summer. That's partly because Phoenix is such a big city that it traps the heat — a heat island.

But now in the middle of the night, it's finally cool enough to start work.

The world's second largest diamond goes on the auction block today for an expected $70 million.

It was found last fall in Botswana, where half the population is poor or hovering just above poverty.

All of which raises the question: How much do diamond sales benefit Botswana's citizens?

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