Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 1:03 pm
A week after a meteor exploded over Russia on the same day that an asteroid swung closely past Earth, experts discuss how the potential threats posed by near-Earth objects should be addressed. Astronomers Donald Yeomans and John Tonry weigh in on how to keep the planet safe.
Up next - let me get a cup of coffee, put my feet down, get cozy, because it's our monthly meeting of the SCIENCE FRIDAY Book Club. We have the book club regulars here with us. Flora's still with us. And joining us now is Annette Heist, senior producer for SCIENCE FRIDAY. Welcome to the program, Anette?
ANNETTE HEIST, BYLINE: Hi, Ira. Hi, Flora.
FLORA LICHTMAN, BYLINE: Hello.
FLATOW: And we had another classic book this month which is...
Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 1:03 pm
An apple a day keeps the doctor away. And, it turns out, the dentist--because that fibery skin is good for your teeth. Dentists Mark Ryder of the University of California San Francisco and Mark Wolff of New York University answer your toothy questions in this episode of our "Ask an expert" series.
A women's group protests Tuesday outside the courthouse in Pretoria, South Africa, where Oscar Pistorius was attending his bail hearing. Violence against women is widespread in South Africa, and was already part of the national debate before the Pistorius case.
Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 12:48 pm
No place has been as riveted by Oscar Pistorius and the Valentine's Day shooting death of his girlfriend as South Africa.
But even before this sensational story burst into the headlines, South Africans were fiercely debating issues that are more or less permanent fixtures in this country — crime, and violence against women.
"About the third or fourth time [I sneaked into a famous casting director's office], I jumped up on his desk and started dancing. So he said, 'Look. Just sit down. I'll give you five minutes.' And it was like having five minutes with God."
You may know this week's V.I.P. (Very Important Puzzler) Steve Guttenberg from such iconic films as Diner, Cocoon, and Three Men and a Baby. But he wears plenty of other hats – author, reality show contestant, even Guinness World Record holder. In this episode we'll explore all things Gute. Plus, we'll dine out on some soft rock, give movies the Randy Newman treatment, and find out that Mark Twain isn't all he's cracked up to be.
Since President Obama and congressional Republicans have decided to blame each other for the impending sequester, this week's podcast is dedicated to pointing fingers at everyone, including Jesse Jackson Jr., Pete Domenici and Joe "Buy a Shotgun" Biden. And if the podcast is not interesting? Blame NPR's Ken Rudin and Ron Elving.
Originally published on Sat February 23, 2013 1:24 pm
If you only read the cheery, overly optimistic press releases from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences on its upcoming musical throw-down this Sunday – Adele will be performing! And Norah Jones! And Barbara Streisand! And there's going to be some kind of tribute to musicals of the last 10 years (but not all of them)! – you might think that the Academy loves and understands music.
[This story originally ran on Feb. 22, 2013, but still applies today.]
We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and amid the Valentine's Day cards that got returned with no forwarding address is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives — and, this week, how music fans could and should approach SXSW, the gigantic music festival held every March in Austin, Texas.
Good morning. I'm Linda Wertheimer. At a school in Windsor, Ontario, teachers suspected an eighth grader was going through a teacher's desk. So they planted brochures for a beautiful class trip to Disney World. They even made a presentation, and then said: just kidding. The snooping student got his comeuppance but other kids and parents were furious. The school apologized. The real student trip will be to a bowling alley. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 4:09 pm
You may perhaps not have noticed, but the 85th annual Academy Awards are coming up this weekend. In Oscar's honor, we dug into the archives for some of the best books about the movies — and the books that became movies. And Cary Grant, because we love him even though Oscar didn't.
Let's talk about another meeting happening today. Senior officials from Boeing are sitting down with the head of the Federal Aviation Administration. Boeing wants its 787 Dreamliner fleet back in service. It's been grounded for more than a month. Neither Boeing nor safety investigators have discovered exactly what caused two 787 batteries to overheat and in one case catch fire last month. But, Boeing believes, it can mitigate any future risk with a series of fixes.
NPR's business news starts with a Japanese visit to the White House.
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will meet with President Obama at the White House today. For Abe, the primary focus of the summit is re-vitalizing Japan's security alliance with the United States in the face of the threat from North Korea as well as tensions between Japan and China.
But as NPR's John Ydstie reports, the leaders will also discuss economic issues.
Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 6:58 am
A flaming meteor streaked through the skies over Russia last Friday. It exploded with the force of 20 atomic bombs over the Siberian city of Chelyabinsk. A thousand people were injured; most of them were watching it and were cut when the shock wave shattered windows.
Comedian-turned-politician Beppe Grillo addresses supporters at a rally on Feb. 12 in Bergamo, Italy. Many pollsters say his populist Five Star Movement could come in third in this weekend's election.
Credit Giuseppe Cacace / AFP/Getty Images
Figurines representing the main candidates of the upcoming Italian general election are on display in a shop in Naples. Seen (clockwise from left) are magistrate Antonio Ingroia, former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, Oscar Giannino, outgoing Prime Minister Mario Monti, Grillo and the Democratic Party's Pier Luigi Bersani.
Italy's election campaign has been dominated by an upstart comedian-turned-politician whose Five Star Movement is soaring in the polls. The movement is not expected to win in the weekend vote, but its strong presence in Parliament could be destabilizing and reignite the eurozone crisis.
Beppe Grillo is a standup comedian and the country's most popular blogger; 63 years old, with a mane of grey curly hair, he's hyperactive and foul-mouthed. His last name means "cricket," and he's the most charismatic politician in Italy today.
<strong>Ultraviolet (false color).</strong> Bees and other pollinators can see the ultraviolet end of the spectrum. They are guided by patterns on flowers that are invisible to humans.
Credit Kevin Collins
<strong>Fragrance plume (artist's depiction).</strong> Bees follow specific odors to locate flowers and, once they arrive, use scent maps to move toward the center of the flower. Fragrance that clings to a bee provides information for other bees back at the hive.
Credit Adam Cole / NPR
<strong>Electric field (artist's depiction).</strong> Flowers have a weak negative electric charge relative to the air around them. Different flowers have different electric fields, often with charge concentrated at the tips of the petals.
Credit Adam Cole / NPR
<strong>Visible spectrum.</strong> Certain bright colors and petal shapes attract certain pollinators.
Flowers are nature's ad men. They'll do anything to attract the attention of the pollinators that help them reproduce. That means spending precious energy on bright pigments, enticing fragrances and dazzling patterns.
Now, scientists have found another element that contributes to flowers' brand: their distinct electric field.
Anne Leonard, who studies bees at the University of Nevada, says our understanding of pollinator-flower communication has been expanding for decades.