This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. We're here at the Wisconsin Science Festival at the Institute for Discovery in Madison and talking about a trip to America's dairy land, of course. Inevitably you're going to talk about food and fermentation. In the form of Wisconsin, it's famous for fermentation, one of the oldest ways of preserving food. It's also a way to get really unique flavors.
This is SCIENCE FRIDAY, I'm Ira Flatow. We're broadcasting from the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery in Madison, home this week of the Wisconsin Science Festival. Astronomers and astrophysicists have traditionally, for centuries, looked upwards to the sky to learn more about the universe. We've launched telescopes into space. We have sent probes beyond our solar system to study dark matter, colliding galaxies, how the planets formed.
In phe last decade, Joseph Gordon-Levitt has worked hard to establish himself as a serious actor, and he's been so successful it's easy to forget he came of age in the '90s sitcom 3rd Rock from the Sun. The guy has comedy chops, and he's exercising them again in a smart new movie he wrote and directed called Don Jon.
Jazz musician Vijay Iyer started playing the violin when he was 3, but when he was 4 or 5, he wanted to play another instrument: the piano.
"The piano was around because my sister was taking lessons, and so I just started messing on it and figuring things out little by little," Iyer tells Terry Gross. "I can't really pinpoint the beginning of it."
We've been talking about the Stone Age but now we're living in what some scientists are calling the anthropocene. Maybe you've never heard of that word. It's a time where everything on the planet is touched by humans in some way, whether it's directly, like clear cutting forests or suppressing fires, or indirectly by the effects of climate change. Is this, as the environmentalist Bill McKibben wrote, oh, 20 years ago, is this the end of nature?
For those who think the forces of natural selection no longer apply to modern humans, paleoanthropologist John Hawks would urge you to reconsider. In recent times â€” that's 10 to 20 thousand years, for a paleoanthropologist â€” Hawks says we've picked up genetic variations in skin color, and other traits that allow us to break down starch and digest cheese.
President Obama was more dependent on female campaign contributors in 2012 than any presidential candidate in recent history.
According to a new report from the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, female donors accounted for more than 44 percent of Obama's campaign contributions, the most for any White House hopeful since at least 1988.
The GOP nominee, Mitt Romney, received just 28 percent of his campaign cash from women.
I'm Celeste Headlee and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Michel Martin is away. Coming up, we take a closer look at iconic public service ad campaigns like Smokey Bear and McGruff the Crime Dog. And while everyone knows the good causes they promote, do we know if they actually work? We'll hear more about that just ahead. First, though, we talk about a new initiative that's taking a leap to bring diversity to the world of ballet.
Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 12:03 pm
With the possibility of a federal government shutdown looming on the horizon, we decided to take a look back in photographs at the last time the government closed its doors.
On Nov. 13, 1995, with a midnight shutdown almost inevitable, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped due to lack of confidence in the U.S. government. People flocked to passport offices, not knowing the next time they would be able to get one.