Saul Perlmutter shared the 2011 Nobel Prize in physics for his discovery that the universe was expanding at an accelerating rate. Perlmutter explains how supernovae and other astronomical artifacts are used to measure the expansion rate, and explains what physicists are learning about "dark energy" — the mysterious entity thought to be driving the acceleration.
And Flora Lichtman is here with our Video Pick of the Week. Hi, Flora.
FLORA LICHTMAN, BYLINE: Hi. It's multitasking's - you know, what goes best with multitasking? A big cup of coffee.
LICHTMAN: That's what our video is about this week. Our continuing coverage of this hard-hitting serious issue: What is the science in your morning Joe? So our video this week was put together by video producer Jenny Woodward. And this one goes into the gear.
They're baaack! Both Mark Sanford and Benghazi made triumphant returns to the national consciousness this week, as Sanford won the special election in South Carolina and career diplomat Gregory Hicks testified about what happened in Libya – testimony that pleased Republicans, displeased Democrats. Meanwhile, NPR's Ken Rudin and Ron Elving are still seeking their own redemption.
On this week's show, we're joined by our friend Matt Thompson, who was around last summer for The Avengers and who here helps us tackle Iron Man 3. We chat about the importance of the suit, the quality of the villainy, and whether Robert Downey, Jr. should win an Oscar. (Okay, the last one is me.)
After that, we chat about the things that we've given up on, some of which might surprise you. (I am ready for your angry e-mails.)
New movies — especially sequels — hit theaters so quickly these days, it can be hard to tell what's worth checking out. So we thought it would be fitting to call upon the Boston-based, Pulitzer Prize-winning film critic Wesley Morris for some clarity.
Morris chats with host Ophira Eisenberg about whether it was hometown bias that led him to predict that Argo would take home the Oscar for Best Picture, and exemplifies how difficult it can be for a lifelong film scholar to narrow down an answer to the question, "What is your favorite movie?"
Popular soft drinks, sports cars and other brands appear surreptitiously placed in the worlds of our favorite TV shows and films all the time. Soon enough, we may see them name-dropped in our books, too.
To help imagine some egregious-yet-hilarious examples of this, we invited a prolific writer to Ask Me Another: award-winning young adult author Lois Lowry. Lowry joins forces with a fellow book-loving contestant to play "Product Placement," a game in which they must combine the titles of famous literary works with the names of household products and companies.
It's fun to stay at the ИМКА: Stravinsky's ballet The Rite of Spring triggered an uproar at its world premiere in Paris a century ago. Now we're asking you to help celebrate the centennial by creating a dance of your own.
Springtime in Appalachia means ramp festival season. But even as ramp festivals attract record numbers of people seeking a fleeting taste of the seasonal garlic-scented greens, scientists warn that overharvesting is forcing wild populations into decline.
Guatemalan author Eduardo Halfon is this week's Alt.latino guest DJ, and he's a natural choice; his new book, The Polish Boxer, is a series of semi-autobiographical stories woven through with loving references to jazz and classical music.
Alt.latino host Jasmine Garsd had this to say about The Polish Boxer:
Every doctor makes mistakes. But, says physician Brian Goldman, medicine's culture of denial keeps doctors from talking about and learning from those mistakes. Goldman calls on doctors to start talking about being wrong.
[I really hope it goes without saying that this piece about the film adaptation of a decades-old novel gives away the plot of a decades-old novel. But: Be aware.]
The sheer zazz that Baz Luhrmann introduces into The Great Gatsby is so imposing in quantity that it's surprising that it can get out of the way enough not to be the biggest problem in the movie. Luhrmann, after all, loves his swooping cameras and party scenes, and Gatsby gives him the best excuse for excess that there is: a story about excess.
One World Trade Center stands at its full height of 1,776 feet Friday, after a crane lifted its spire into place. The New York City skyline is seen here from the Heights neighborhood of Jersey City, N.J.
Credit Mark Lennihan / AP
The silver spire is fully installed on One World Trade Center's roof, bringing the structure to its full and symbolic height of 1,776 feet Friday.
With its glittering spire firmly attached, the new World Trade Center became the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere on Friday morning. The building at One World Trade Center now stands at 1,776 feet.
"It will give a tremendous indication to people around the entire region, and the world, that we're back and better than ever," Steven Plate, the head of construction at the World Trade Center, said last week when the spire was hauled to the top of the building.
Ariel Castro during his arraignment Thursday at Cleveland Municipal Court. He's accused of kidnapping and raping three young women, and then holding a daughter born to one of those women captive. The women had been missing for about a decade. The child is now six years old.
Update at 10:45 a.m. ET. DNA Testing Confirms Suspect Is Child's Father, Ohio Attorney General Says:
Preliminary DNA tests confirm that Ariel Castro, the man charged with kidnapping and repeatedly raping three young women held captive in his Cleveland home for about a decade, is the father of a girl born to one of the victims six years ago, Ohio's attorney general announced Friday morning.
A statement posted by Attorney General Mike DeWine's office says:
What would it be like to be a string that made music? Not anything simple, like a guitar string or a cello string, but a magical string, a sine curve that's taut then loose, that doubles then doubles again, that sheds then dissolves into showers of notes — a flaming, sighing, looping, dissolving string. Curious?