It's that time again, the SCIENCE FRIDAY Book Club. Regulars are gathered here. With me are Flora Lichtman, correspondent and managing editor of video for SCIENCE FRIDAY, Annette Heist, our senior producer. And this month, we had a page-turner, "The Andromeda Strain."
FLORA LICHTMAN, BYLINE: Yes.
FLATOW: It goes very quickly, that book, doesn't it? Poof.
LICHTMAN: It did. I was thinking of 300 and something-odd pages, but I, you know, in one sitting, was halfway through. I couldn't put it down.
Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 8:15 pm
Thousands of demonstrators are on the streets in Egypt to mark the second anniversary of the revolution that brought down the regime of Hosni Mubarak.
Reporting from Cairo, NPR's Leila Fadel says two years later what has emerged is "a nation divided."
Leila tells our Newscast unit that while there are many people on the streets, many others are at home, and it's "really unclear" which represents the majority. The country, said Leila, is split between those who want a secular government and those who want Islamist rule.
How much information do you think exists in the entire world? Take a guess. Forget megabytes and gigabytes and terabytes and petabytes, even exobytes. We're talking zetabytes here or 10 to the 21st bytes. Take the number 10, put 21 zeroes after it, that's what you've got because one recent estimate says there may be around three zetabytes of digital information out there. That's over one trillion gigabytes. Just imagine all those hard drives piled up, and then imagine them not starting up when you plug them in.
This is SCIENCE FRIDAY, I'm Ira Flatow. We all know the phrase a dog is a man's best friend. But how did they become such loyal companions? Scientists agree that dogs descended from wolves, eventually evolving into the first domesticated animals, but that's where the consensus ends.
Researchers have been using archaeological records and genetic studies to tease out clues about how dogs and humans came to live together, but they seem to tell different stories of how it happened.
Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 11:03 am
Unusual activity in the atmosphere over the Arctic Circle is triggering snow and frigid temperatures across Canada, the U.S. and parts of Europe. Climatologist Jeff Weber, of the University Corporation of Atmospheric Research, explains why this winter could pack a punch.
For seven seasons, Alec Baldwin has starred as the TV executive Jack Donaghy on the NBC hit sitcom 30 Rock, which will have its final episode on January 31. Jack Donaghy is a far cry from Baldwin's more dramatic roles in the '80s, '90s and 2000s, when he starred in movies like The Hunt for Red October, Glengarry Glen Ross, The Departed and The Cooler.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, we'll talk with a minister whose latest assignment has provoked unexpected questions about race and faith. More on that in our weekly Faith Matters conversation. But first we return to the issue that's still so much on the minds of the nation and national leaders, which is how to keep citizens safe from gun violence while still balancing this country's historic commitment to gun rights.
The fact that President Obama's second inauguration took place on the same day as the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday felt right to many people, but some critics say the comparison is all wrong. Host Michel Martin and the Barbershop guys weigh in on that and other news.
Tell Me More remembers Ebony Magazine's former managing editor, Hans Massaquoi. He arrived in America as an outsider, after growing up black in Nazi Germany. Host Michel Martin speaks with his former colleague, Lynn Norment about his career and legacy.
Tina Fey's impersonation of Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin helped draw record audiences to Saturday Night Live in the fall of 2008. The former head writer for SNL opens up about politics, satire and her Emmy Award-winning sitcom, 30 Rock, which will have its series finale on January 31.
Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 11:26 am
Now that President Obama is ensconced in his second term, speculation about the future of American politics is wildfire-ish.
In a post-inaugural story, the Associated Press reports that the name of Democratic Vice President Biden "has surfaced as a potential presidential candidate in 2016." Politico says Biden is intoxicated by the prospect.
Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 11:22 am
Back in the day – the 17th century – Vermeer, Rembrandt and the rest of the Dutch Golden Age crew blazed a trail for realism in art. Their work wasn't just technically dazzling; it was also distinctive. Instead of fat baby cherubs and saints, they painted the stuff of every day life. Often, that meant food.
In their hands, grapes popped with juiciness. Lobsters steamed, ready for cracking. Milk practically splashed the viewer as it poured from the jug.
Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 10:55 am
Israel, Germany and Canada are among the countries that have already marched down the path the U.S. will soon follow in allowing women a role in front-line combat units.
And most experts say the integration of women into such roles elsewhere has gone smoothly, despite concerns as to whether they would be up to the physical demands and about the question of fraternization between male and female troops.
Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 11:05 am
Saying he is choosing "one of my closest friends and one of my closest advisers" for the job, President Obama on Friday said that longtime aide Denis McDonough will be his next chief of staff.
During a midday event at the White House that was remarkable for the expansive comments the president made about his friend's character, his dedication and the respect he gets from those who work in the administration, Obama said McDonough has "the kind of heart that I want in the White House."
Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 11:06 am
From Madrid, correspondent Lauren Frayer writes:
Editors at Spain's El País newspaper thought they had a scoop: The first glimpse in more than six weeks of cancer-stricken Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.
A large, blurry photo above the fold on Thursday's front page showed a chubby-faced, bald man on an operating table surrounded by doctors, with a breathing tube in his mouth. A caption identified the ailing patient as Chavez, who is undergoing cancer treatment in Cuba.
Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. Not long ago on this program, we reported that food expiration dates are often meaningless. Let's take that concept into space. Researchers from the University of Hawaii and Cornell University are asking you to send them long-lasting recipes. They want to help NASA determine an extremely durable menu to keep astronauts fed, should the agency send people on a four-month journey to Mars. I got just one word for you, NASA: Cheetos. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi recently had to make one of the toughest decisions of her political career: Who to root for in the Super Bowl, the Baltimore Ravens or the San Francisco 49ers. Pelosi was born in Baltimore. Her late father was the mayor there. But she represents San Franciscans in Congress and her kids grew up with the 49ers. So Pelosi says she's rooting for San Francisco but not against Baltimore.
It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 5:54 pm
Organizers say today's March for Life rally in the nation's capital may bring more anti-abortion activists to the streets than last year's estimated 400,000. By midday, a large crowd was gathered in the National Mall, listening to speeches from former GOP presidential contender Rick Santorum and others and preparing to march toward the Capitol and the Supreme Court.
When and if the U.S. Senate is ready to confirm Mary Jo White to head the SEC, she may find her path somewhat smoother - thanks to a rule change the Senate agreed to last night. The new Senate rule makes it just a little bit harder to block nominations, and a little easier to reach resolution than it was for President Obama's nominees in his first term. It's part of a subtle revision of the most potent weapon of the minority party: the filibuster. Here's NPR's David Welna.
In today's last word in business is: censored, not stirred.
(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "SKYFALL")
DANIEL CRAIG: (as James Bond) Bond, James Bond.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
The new Bond film "Skyfall" is now playing in the world's second-largest movie market - that would be China - and some 007 fans are furious about the nips and tucks Chinese censors have made to the movie.