A male Solenosteira macrospira, left, carries snail eggs on its shell. But not all of the eggs were fertilized by him. Females, like the one on the right, deposit the eggs into papery capsules and attach them to the males' shells.
A man is not a mollusk, and many men probably think that's a good thing. And it's not just because a mollusk is a squishy invertebrate with a shell. It's also because for at least one species of mollusk, the males do all the heavy lifting when it comes to childcare.
The species of mollusk we're talking about is Solenosteira macrospira, a marine snail about 2 inches long. These snails live off the coast of Baja California, and during the mating season, the beach is awash with male and female snails in connubial bliss.
Writer Zadie Smith burst onto the literary scene with her first novel White Teeth more than a decade ago. Set in the Northwest London neighborhood where she grew up, White Teeth captured the diverse, vibrant rhythms of a city in transition. Smith returns to the neighborhood in her new novel, NW, but this is a sobering homecoming.
Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 11:52 pm
President Obama still has a case to make for a second term, and specific people to whom he needs to make it.
But while it's two months too early to call former President Bill Clinton Obama's closer, he came about as close as it gets Wednesday night at the Democratic convention with a bravura defense of the current White House occupant.
"We are here to nominate a president," Clinton said after strolling onto the stage to tumultuous applause, "and I've got one in mind."
Investigators are working to determine the legitimacy of a claim that GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney's tax records have been stolen from an accounting firm's records.
Naming a million-dollar price, an anonymous ransom note was sent to accounting firm Pricewaterhouse Coopers. The letter, which was also posted online, gets right to the point: "Using your Office... we were able to gain access to your network file servers and copy over the tax documents for one Willard M Romney and Ann D Romney."
The note's author signs off with a perky "Cheers!"
Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 4:53 pm
States using a federal immigration database to purge noncitizens from voter lists are starting to get results, which so far include few illegal voters.
In Florida, which was first to gain access to the database after fighting the federal government in court, an initial run of roughly 2,600 names has turned up "several" violators, according to a spokesman for Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner.
Charlotte, N.C., host of the 2012 Democratic National Convention, is the nation's biggest financial center outside of New York. But Charlotte and surrounding Mecklenburg County have the highest foreclosure rates in the state, and many thousands of homeowners owe more on their homes than the properties are worth.
As thousands of Democrats converge in Charlotte for the convention, some troubled homeowners have also gathered, lamenting that the foreclosure crisis has not been sufficiently front and center in the presidential campaign.
Musician Branford Marsalis performs the national anthem as the West Charlotte High School ROTC present the colors during Day 2 of the Democratic National Convention at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, N.C.
Originally published on Sun September 9, 2012 6:33 am
What's usually a formality turned a bit dramatic today at the opening of the second day of the Democratic National Convention.
A motion for a voice vote to amend the party platform to declare Jerusalem the capital of Israel — and to reinsert the word "God" into the document — was met with many delegates shouting "no" and with loud boos when the motion was deemed to have passed.
The number of U.S. families struggling to put enough food on the table remains at record-high levels, according to new figures out today from the government. Last year, 1 in almost 7 households were what the government calls "food insecure." That's about the same level as in 2010, but still far higher than before the recession.
Originally published on Thu September 6, 2012 4:44 am
Many reports have stated that Matt Bissonnette, the former Navy SEAL who wrote the book No Easy Day, plans to give a large share of his profits to the Navy SEAL Foundation, a group that aids Naval Special Warfare personnel and their families. But the foundation says it won't accept any money from the book, which has sparked questions over whether it contains classified details that could put U.S. military personnel at risk.
In addition to surveying the planets, the Voyager mission also spent time studying the planets' satellites, or moons. This mosaic image, taken in 1989, shows Neptune's largest satellite, Triton. Triton has the coldest surface temperature known anywhere in the solar system.
The two Voyager spacecraft launched on Aug. 20, 1977, and Sept. 5, 1977, on a mission to explore Jupiter and Saturn. This true-color image, captured by Voyager 2 on July 21, 1981, shows the moons Dione (small dot at left) and Rhea (lower right) near Saturn.
As Voyager 1 passed by Jupiter on Feb. 5, 1979, it captured this image of the planet and its Great Red Spot, as well as three of its four largest moons — Io, Europa and Callisto.
The Great Red Spot on Jupiter, seen here in an image from Voyager 1 taken on Feb. 25, 1979, is a giant, hurricane-like storm in Jupiter's atmosphere. It's been documented for at least 400 years by astronomers viewing the planet through telescopes.
After the Voyager craft surveyed Jupiter and Saturn, NASA extended their mission and sent Voyager 2 on to Uranus and Neptune. Voyager 1 kept traveling outward. This image of Uranus was captured by Voyager 2 in 1986, when it was about 600,000 miles from the planet. Uranus' pale blue-green color is a result of methane in the atmosphere.
About three years later, in 1989, Voyager 2 reached Neptune, where it captured this high-resolution color image, which shows bright cloud streaks on the planet.
This image, also taken in 1989, was the first to show Neptune's rings in detail.
Violin with music score (Cavatina)
The Golden Record
Diagram of conception
Diagram of continental drift
Diagram of vertebrate evolution
Man from Guatemala
Children with globe
Demonstration of licking, eating and drinking
X-ray of hand
Street scene, Asia (Pakistan)
Astronaut in space
Credit NASA / JPL
The two Voyager spacecraft launched on Aug. 20 and Sept. 5, 1977, on a mission to explore Jupiter and Saturn. This true-color image, captured by Voyager 2 on July 21, 1981, shows the moons Dione (small dot at left) and Rhea (lower right) near Saturn.
Credit NASA / JPL
This artist's drawing shows one of the Voyager probes, which were launched in 1977. Voyager 1 is hurtling toward the edge of the solar system and might be close to reaching interstellar space, researchers say.
The Voyager 1 spacecraft's 35th anniversary is proving to be unexpectedly exciting, as scientists gathered this week to examine new hints that the spacecraft is on the verge of leaving our solar system.
Voyager 1 is now more than 11 billion miles away from Earth. It blasted off in September 1977, on a mission to Jupiter and Saturn. But it also carried a Golden Record filled with music and the sounds of our planet, in case it encountered intelligent life as it moved out toward the stars.
Robert Siegel talks with Sophie Cousineau, chief Quebec correspondent for The Globe And Mail, about a shooting in Montreal Tuesday night. It happened at a theater where leaders of Quebec's separatist party were celebrating a narrow election win. One person was killed.
A stump remains in the median of Manchester Boulevard as workers remove trees to clear a path for the space shuttle Endeavour in Inglewood, Calif., Tuesday. Residents are upset that 400 trees might be cut down to allow the shuttle to travel from the airport to its new home at a science center.
The space shuttle Endeavour will make its final trip next month, to the California Science Center in Los Angeles. But while most South L.A. residents are excited to have a piece of history nearby, many are also upset that the shuttle's 12-mile transit is forcing the city to cut down about 400 trees.
On Monday, Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan told a campaign rally audience in North Carolina that "the president can say a lot of things, but he can't tell you you are better off." Later that day in Detroit, Vice President Joe Biden responded "America is better off today than they left us."
New York Times Washington bureau chief David Leonhardt argues that both Ryan and Biden are right: It's partly semantics.
Zadie Smith wrote her last novel On Beauty seven years ago — a long time in the anxious world of publishing. Her new novel NW was released in the U.S. on Monday. Critic Maureen Corrigan asks: Was it worth the wait?
Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 4:13 pm
Ever see one of those Dos Equis beer ads featuring the "Most Interesting Man in the World," the dapper fellow of a certain age who fascinates all who meet him?
The Democrats' version of that guy will be the featured speaker Wednesday at their convention in Charlotte.
Yes, we are talking about former two-term President Bill Clinton, whose life of accomplishment, scandal, statesmanship and occasional political pettiness (just ask the man he'll be vouching for tonight) are the stuff of legend and lore.
Many people buy and eat organic food because they believe it's more nutritious. A new study suggests that may not be the case. But with a vast number of influences and variables, from the ripeness of produce to the length of the studies, researchers note that more research is needed.
Thursday, President Obama addresses the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte. NPR's Ken Rudin, former Clinton White House speechwriter Paul Glastris and former Reagan White House speechwriter Peter Robinson talk about what the president should say to make his case for reelection.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. The forecast drives the Dems back indoors, a wildcard on the presidential ballot in Virginia, and Paul Ryan runs into trouble. It's Wednesday and time for a...
PAUL RYAN: Two hours and fifty-something...
CONAN: Edition of the political junkie.
(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDINGS)
PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: There you go again.
VICE PRESIDENT WALTER MONDALE: When I hear your new ideas, I'm reminded of that ad: Where's the beef?
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. In May 2008, Rachel Hoffman(ph) put on a wire and went alone to buy two and a half ounces of cocaine, 1,500 ecstasy pills, and a semiautomatic handgun. Police lost track of her. Two days later her body was found, shot five times with the gun she was sent to buy.