Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 3:00 pm
Not many Americans are fans of the Electoral College. But trying to change the way electoral votes are allocated makes lots of people unhappy, too.
That's what Republicans in a number of states are finding just now. There are a half-dozen states that President Obama carried last November where both the legislature and the governor's office are controlled by the GOP — Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida and Virginia.
In most of those states, there are efforts under way to change how electoral votes are distributed.
The Cathedral of Alcala de Henares is one of many buildings owned by the Catholic Church in Alcala de Henares, Spain. The town, which is outside Madrid, is broke and is pursuing a plan to have the church pay additional taxes.
Credit JMN / JMN/Getty Images
The Catholic Church owns more than just places of worship. It also owns apartments and retail buildings. Here, arcades line the busy Calle Mayor (Main Street) in Alcala de Henares, Spain, in 2008.
Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 1:32 pm
Don't fear the haggis. Just think of it as a big, round sausage. That's what it is anyway.
Haggis is Scotland's national dish and every year on (or near) Jan. 25, it plays the starring role in Burns Suppers held around the world in celebration of the Scottish poet Robert Burns on his birthday.
Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 2:26 pm
In the strictest terms, Jason Statham isn't the perfect candidate to play Parker, the single-minded career criminal created by the late Donald E. Westlake (working under the pseudonym Richard Stark). Statham, despite having built a career playing rough-and-tumble skull-busters, is just too much of a big pussycat.
As Westlake himself explained, Parker is angry: "Not hot angry — cold angry." Statham, with those inquisitive, cautious eyes and that slow-burning purr of a voice, can act cold, but he can never be cold. Even at his coolest, he's all heat.
Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 5:15 pm
Lots has been made about Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and her glasses. New York Magazine, for example, ran a photo gallery of how Clinton used her glasses to convey emotions during the Benghazi hearings on the Hill.
Today, State Department spokesman Philippe Reines responded to the magazine's photogallery providing a serious explanation for the new accessory:
Health insurance plans now have to cover the full cost of breast pumps for nursing mothers. This is the result of a provision in the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare), and the new rule took effect for many people at the start of this year.
It's led to a boom in the sale of the pumps, which can cost hundreds of dollars.
Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., won't seek re-election next year, he announced Friday.
The conservative Capitol Hill veteran faced recent criticism from the right for seeking a bipartisan compromise on deficit issues, and for being among the first high-level Republicans to question fidelity to Grover Norquist's no-new-taxes pledge after the November elections.
Those stances had raised speculation about a possible Tea Party-backed GOP primary challenge next year, when Chambliss would have been seeking a third six-year term.
In this Oct. 20, 2012 photo, people line up to enter a newly opened Apple Store in Beijing. Exxon has once again surpassed Apple as the world's most valuable company after the iPhone and iPad maker saw its stock price falter.
Apple stock has dropped sharply since it announced earnings that disappointed analysts. Now the tech tastemaker is paying another price, losing its crown as the world's most valuable company to Exxon Mobil.
Exxon's market capitalization, the total value of its outstanding stock, was about $417 billion Friday. Apple's was about $413 billion.
Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 3:38 pm
You thought the economic recovery in the United States was anemic? Try the United Kingdom.
The country learned today that their economy shrank 0.3 percent in the fourth quarter of last year. This puts Britain on the precipice of what The Guardiansays is an "unprecedented" tripple-dip recession. That is, its third recession in four years.
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.
Researchers at Rice University in Houston have discovered a cheap source of the wonder material graphene: baked goods. Marc Abrahams, editor and co-founder of The Annals of Improbable Research, talks about how to transform a box of Girl Scout cookies into $15 billion worth of graphene--in theory, at least.