Originally published on Fri February 17, 2012 3:59 pm
Now that Congress has passed the extension of the payroll tax cut and jobless insurance benefits for the long-term uninsured, as well as a fix that prevents cuts in Medicare reimbursements to doctors, there's the sense that not much else will get done on Capitol Hill, it being a general-election year and all.
Journalists don't talk about the danger. They don't usually recount the moments of agonizing terror that come after a bad decision to continue on down the road as the faint sound of mortar shells grows louder.
Multiple news outlets are reporting that federal authorities have arrested a man who thought he was about to undertake a suicide bombing attack on the U.S. Capitol.
Fox News, which broke the story, reports the man was arrested in Washington on Friday, after a lengthy investigation by the FBI. At the time the man was wearing a vest he thought was packed with explosives but was really provided by FBI agents he thought were al-Qaida associates.
In an email to staff of the besieged Sun tabloid, where ten current and former senior staff have been arrested since November, the 81-year-old media tycoon promised to "build on the Sun's proud heritage by launching the Sun on Sunday very soon.
The email came as Murdoch visited the paper's U.K. headquarters for a meeting with staff. According to the BBC:
By the time Rick Santorum showed up in Michigan, he was already out in front.
Thursday's speech before the Detroit Economic Club amounted to the former Pennsylvania senator's political debut in the state, coming less than two weeks before Michigan votes in a Feb. 28 Republican primary.
Nonetheless, Santorum arrived in the state sitting at the top of the polls. It's a big break from the way things used to be.
The small Central Asian country of Azerbaijan has found itself caught up in the rising international tensions over neighboring Iran and its nuclear program. Despite traditional ties with Iran, the former Soviet republic has increasingly aligned itself with the West, and with Israel.
An incident at a recent soccer match in the Iranian city of Tabriz is still a point of pride in Azerbaijan. In the middle of the match, hundreds of ethnic Azeris in the crowd broke out their national flags and began to chant that the city belongs to them.
New York Knicks guard and Harvard University alumnus Jeremy Lin may be a sudden NBA sensation, but the men's basketball team at his alma mater is making its own mark on the national scene.
Harvard is currently on top of the Ivy League basketball standings. And with a 21-3 overall record and some impressive nonconference wins, the Crimson spent part of the season in the Top 25 in national polls for Division I.
There's a palpable buzz about the team, as well — even a late January road game against the struggling squad from Brown University was a sellout.
Writing in the journal Nature, UCSF pediatrician Robert Lustig and colleagues suggest regulating sugar just like alcohol and tobacco--with taxes and age limits, for example--due to what they call the "toxic" effects of too much sweet stuff. Education, they say, is not enough.
Duke biologist Sarah Zylinski wants to better understand how cuttlefish see the world. Like their relatives octopus and squid, cuttlefish are master camouflagers--and Zylinski says you can learn something about how they process visual information by testing how they change their skin patterns in relation to different backgrounds.
This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. Some good news for the nuclear industry. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission licensed the construction, issued licenses for the construction, of two nuclear reactors at a plant in eastern Georgia. Until last week, the NRC hadn't approved the construction of any new reactors in the U.S. since 1978. That was a year before the partial reactor meltdown at Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania.
In his book Concrete Planet, author Robert Courland discusses why the concrete first used by the Romans is more durable than the concrete used in most present day buildings. Plus, mineralogist Peter Stemmerman tells us about his invention, Celitement and why it is greener than Portland cement.
Linguist David Harrison has travelled to remote corners of the world seeking the last speakers of endangered languages. Now, he's using digital tools to to record and revitalize these dying languages. At the AAAS meeting this week, Harrison unveiled 'talking dictionaries' for eight languages.
This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. Last week, the government approved the first new nuclear reactor power plants in over 30 years, but in the meantime, the Department of Defense has been investigating a different energy source for its military bases: solar.
My next guest says the military could install seven gigawatts of solar power on its bases. That's roughly equivalent to the output of seven nuclear power plants, and that's all without interfering with bombing ranges or rocket tests and of course the desert tortoise.
Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 5:04 pm
If you've been in New Orleans for carnival season, or if you're lucky enough to taste a cake from there that has arrived in the mail, there's a pretty good chance that yes, there is a plastic baby that comes with your cake.
The baby, meant to represent Jesus, has become a fixture of the king cake (galette des rois in France or rosca de reyes as it's called in Mexico). It's a frosted yeast dough cake that New Orleans bakeries churn out between King's Day, January 6th, and Fat Tuesday, the last day of indulgence before Lent.
While pretty much any corner of Benghazi is a fine place to celebrate this week, the heart of the celebrations are taking place at the courthouse and its public square, where some of the revolution's first protests took place.
It is with great sadness that we report the sudden death of a frequent Fresh Air guest. New York Times foreign correspondent Anthony Shadid suffered a fatal asthma attack yesterday in Syria, where he was reporting on the political uprising.
A few of the political stories worth noting this Friday:
Congressional negotiators reached agreement on extensions of the payroll tax cut as well as federal jobless benefits and a "fix" that would prevent Medicare reimbursements to doctors from being cut. But while the House's Republican leaders and the Senate's Democratic leaders were on board, Senate Republicansn weren't. Votes are expected in both chambers Friday.
Call it the resurrection of the time slot of death.
For years, Friday nights have carried a grisly reputation — where shows on broadcast networks are sent to die. But a certain kind of cable show has recently performed well — even really well — on Friday nights.
Libyans celebrated the first anniversary of the popular uprising that ousted long-time dictator Moammar Gaddafi today, but some of the very militias responsible for toppling the government have turned to terrorizing the population.