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Five years ago, a subprime mortgage firestorm was melting down the U.S. economy, but most analysts didn't see it happening.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, testifying before Congress in February 2007, said the housing sector "is a concern, but at this point we don't see it as being a broad financial concern or a major factor in assessing the course of the economy."

If he and the vast majority of economists were blind to the economic and financial calamity taking shape then, could they also be missing the start of a huge economic boom now?

A boom? Really?

A day that began with the Anonymous hackers posting a nearly 17-minute recording of a conference call between officials of the FBI and Scotland Yard has been followed with some tweeted taunting of law enforcement and the news media, and the hacking of websites for the Greek Ministry of Justice, Boston Police Department and lawyers who defended a U.S. Marine at the center of the killing of 24 unarmed Iraqi civilians.

(Revised at 2:19 pm ET)

In an interview Thursday, Mitt Romney said he "misspoke" when he infamously said earlier in the week that he was not concerned about the very poor because they had a safety net, and the very rich but, instead, was focused on the middle class.

Speaking of the CNN interview that has caused Romney a world of trouble, the Republican presidential frontrunner told Jon Ralston of the Las Vegas Sun during an interview program called Face to Face:

As it circles Earth, NASA's Interstellar Boundary Explorer hunts for particles streaming in from beyond the solar system. It has intercepted hydrogen, helium, neon and oxygen atoms. IBEX principal investigator Dave McComas discusses how the abundance of those atoms hints at the Milky Way's composition.

What Grosses You Out?

Feb 3, 2012

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. What grosses you out, the sight of maggots squirming on a rotten piece of meat? How about a cockroach running around your spice cabinet when you turn the lights on at night? How about eating strange organ meat like sweetbreads, pancreas. Maybe just a doorknob is enough to give you the chills, touched by so many hands, or a toilet seat touched by - well, you know, there must be so many germs, right.

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Blue Marble: The Making Of

Feb 3, 2012

NASA's iconic images of Earth from space date back to the late 1960s--with snapshots taken by Apollo astronauts. The modern "blue marble" images are captured by machines and they're not photos. They're datasets collected by instruments aboard satellites and then translated into imagery on the ground.

Drone Technology Reaches New Heights

Feb 3, 2012

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are replacing boots on the ground in some wars. Commercially, UAVs are being used for things like crop-dusting and flood mapping. Experts discuss advances in drone technology and how to address legal and privacy concerns that stem from their use.

Listening In On The Brain To Decode Speech

Feb 3, 2012

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Saying officials have undertaken yet another campaign of "bullying and harassment" of its Persian service staff, the BBC called on the Iranian government to "repudiate the action of its officials."

In a blog post, the BBC's Director General Mark Thompson also called on the international community to "put maximum pressure on Iran to desist in this campaign of intimidation, persistent censorship and a disturbing abuse of power."

Human Rights Watch has a harrowing report out today about what it says is the targeting of children by Syria's government forces.

"Children have not been spared the horror of Syria's crackdown," Lois Whitman, children's rights director at Human Rights Watch, said in a statement. "Syrian security forces have killed, arrested and tortured children in their homes, their schools or on the streets. In many cases, security forces have targeted children just as they have targeted adults."

Las Vegas Principal Hopes To Beat The Odds

Feb 3, 2012

Nevada has the lowest high school graduation rate in the country. But now a multi-million dollar federal grant is helping one district turn its schools around. Host Michel Martin speaks with a principal who spent last Saturday knocking on the doors of students who dropped out, encouraging them to come back to school.

The brutal recession has wracked Nevada, where soaring unemployment and foreclosure numbers tell the story of the state's misery. But its importance as a swing state in the 2012 presidential contest has only been enhanced in the four years since it went for Democrat Barack Obama.

The Susan G. Komen Foundation just announced it will be providing grants to Planned Parenthood for that organization to use in basic screening and educating women about breast cancer.

"We will continue to fund existing grants, including those of Planned Parenthood, and preserve their eligibility to apply for future grants, while maintaining the ability of our affiliates to make funding decisions that meet the needs of their communities."

After days of controversy, the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation has said it will continue funding for Planned Parenthood.

Earlier this week, the foundation moved to discontinue funding of breast cancer screening by Planned Parenthood. The Associated Press reported the change came because of a new Komen policy forbidding grants to organizations under official investigation.

Rick Hall and Billy Sherrill were a couple of Alabama boys in their teens when they started writing songs. At first, the only place they had to record was in a room in the back of the Trailways bus station in Florence, Ala. But one of the songs they recorded there, "Sweet and Innocent," became a small local hit, and a guy named Tom Stafford read about it in the local paper. He built a recording studio above City Drugs in Florence and went into business with the two young men. It didn't last long: Sherrill was hugely ambitious and was soon off to Nashville.

NBC News, al-Jazeera and al-Arabiya are reporting that police in Egypt say two American women and an Egyptian tour guide have been released by gunmen who kidnapped them earlier today near the Red Sea

Despite more than 20 years of recommendations that health workers get flu shots, the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show more than a third don't comply.

The voluntary approach to reducing the risk that workers will transmit flu to patients has fallen short.

You might think Donald Trump can buy anything he wants. But at least one purchase has eluded him: Trump wants to be buried on his golf course in Bedminster, N.J.

Even though Trump owns the 500-acre spread, it's taking an eternity for him to get a cemetery built there.

Fans lucky enough to toast a Giants or a Patriots Super Bowl win in Indianapolis this weekend will need to stock up early on their champagne supplies. Indiana is one of just two states that ban the sale of beer, wine and liquor at stores statewide on Sundays.

Josh Hamilton of the Texas Rangers, one of baseball's biggest stars and someone who has been battling addiction demons for the last decade, was spotted drinking alcohol at a Dallas bar on Monday, the local Morning News has reported.

This interview was originally broadcast on September 28, 2011. 50/50 is now available on DVD.

When screenwriter Will Reiser was 24 and diagnosed with a rare form of spinal cancer, he coped by thinking up ideas for cancer comedies with his best friend, actor Seth Rogen.

The nation's unemployment rate dipped to 8.3 percent in January from 8.5 percent the month before as private employers added 257,000 jobs to their payrolls, the Bureau of Labor Statistics just reported. Overall, after a small drop at government agencies, employment grew by 243,000.

We'll add more from the report momentarily.

Update at 9:40 a.m. ET. White House, Republican Reactions:

The news from Egypt is grim again today:

-- "At least two people have been shot and killed in the Egyptian city of Suez, as police used live rounds to hold back crowds during a protest over security forces' failure to prevent a deadly football riot," al-Jazeera reports. And it adds that "one person was killed in Cairo just feet away from the Interior Ministry, as police in Cairo set off salvos of tear gas and fired birdshot."

Saying he is "completely puzzled by the notion that there was something immoral that went on here," the man at the top of the agency that regulates Freddie Mac has explained why he believes the taxpayer-owned mortgage company did nothing wrong when one of its arms, as NPR and ProPublica have reported, "placed multibillion-dollar bets against American homeowners being able to refinance to cheaper mortgages."

"We have our own threats to impose at the right time" and "I have no fear of saying that we will back and help any nation or group that wants to confront and fight against the Zionist regime (Israel)," Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said today after reports surfaced that Israel could soon mount air strikes on Iran's nuclear facilities.

Anyone watching the recent court proceedings in the military commissions at Guantanamo Bay couldn't have helped but notice that several of the lawyers sitting on the prosecution side of the courtroom were not in uniform. That's because two of the five lawyers prosecuting the alleged mastermind of the USS Cole attack aren't members of the military at all: They are lawyers from the Justice Department.

Facebook filed to go public this week, and many analysts expect that it will be valued between $75 billion and $100 billion on the day of its initial public offering. That would make Facebook more valuable than GM, Ford and even Goldman Sachs.

What's most remarkable is that the company has barely 3,000 employees, and many of them are about to become very, very rich.

Many addicts inherit a brain that has trouble just saying no to drugs.

A study in Science finds that cocaine addicts have abnormalities in areas of the brain involved in self-control. And these abnormalities appear to predate any drug abuse.

The study, done by a team at the University of Cambridge in the U.K., looked at 50 pairs of siblings. One member of each pair was a cocaine addict. The other had no history of drug abuse.

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