Originally published on Fri February 1, 2013 4:39 pm
Has the recession made you fat?
To the long and growing list of risk factors known to increase the risk of obesity, scientists recently added a new one: scarcity.
People given subtle cues that they may have to confront harsh conditions in the near future choose to eat higher-calorie food than they might do otherwise, a response that researchers believe is shaped by the long hand of evolution.
The issue in this week's podcast is about follow-through. Yes, there have been hearings on gun legislation, but what will get passed? Yes, there's a bipartisan group of senators working on immigration changes, but what will Congress ultimately do? Plus: John Kerry leaves the Senate and history is made in his (temporary) successor. And two more senators say they've had enough.
In case a thousand thousands of internet words haven't informed you, last night was the final episode of 30 Rock, and in addition to taking a moment to appreciate the show itself, we decided to use it as a jumping-off point for a discussion of "meta" humor — what it is, when it works, and when it just comes off like a crutch. You might be surprised to hear meta traced all the way back to childhood, but hey, that's what we're here for.
Now for a surprising find from the insect world. The dung beetle, that insect known for sculpting little balls of animal feces that they roll around and later feast on. Well, it turns out that these beetles have a built-in cosmic GPS that helps them navigate around. Dung beetles use light - listen to this - use light from the Milky Way to orient themselves at night. It's all in a paper published earlier this month in the journal Current Biology.
This is SCIENCE FRIDAY, I'm Ira Flatow. When you read a news article online, how much attention do you pay to the comments that follow at the bottom? What about how many times the story has been re-tweeted or how many Facebook likes it has? Do you pay attention to those?
Originally published on Fri February 1, 2013 11:12 am
The winter may not be over, but economists are looking to spring for good news when it comes to jobs. Host Michel Martin speaks with NPR Senior Business Editor Marilyn Geewax about whether a strengthening housing market could boost stalling jobs numbers.
I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. Coming up, unemployment is up, the GDP is down, but economists are still kind of happy - well, as happy as economists get. NPR's Marilyn Geewax is going to interpret all that for us in just a few minutes. But first, we turn to a debate that our national leaders are finally taking up again over how to fix an immigration system that just about everybody agrees is broken.
Congress passed an emergency aid package for Superstorm Sandy victims earlier this week. But three months after the storm, many hard-hit neighborhoods are still suffering. Host Michel Martin checks back with Monsignor John Brown of St. Francis de Sales in Rockaway, Queens, to discuss how the community is recovering.
Originally published on Sat February 2, 2013 3:43 pm
Here in the depths of winter, U.S. economic numbers aren't looking so hot. This week, new reports showed growth started to freeze up last fall, and the unemployment rate rose a bit in January, to 7.9 percent.
But most economists say you shouldn't let those cold facts fool you: This spring's data could look much brighter if the housing market continues to heat up.