From NPR News this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And I'm Melissa Block. Here in the Northern hemisphere, summer officially begins this weekend. The summer solstice is Saturday. Other than warm weather and school letting out, what really marks this moment are sunsets, as NPR blogger Adam Frank explains.
"The ordinary method of cutting out a wedge is very faulty," wrote Sir Francis Galton, a British mathematician, in a 1906 letter to the journal Nature concerning the scientific principles of cake-cutting.
More than a century later, cake lovers might finally be ready to face this truth.
Botulinum toxin may be the most poisonous substance on the planet. A mere speck of the stuff can kill a person.
But just what makes the toxin so potent?
Part of the answer lies in the molecules that carry the toxin through the body. These carriers, which are produced along with the toxin by the Clostridium botulinum bacterium, protect the toxin as it travels through the hostile environment of the gastroinstetinal tract, and help it bust through the intestinal wall and into the bloodstream.
If you live in New York, you might want to cancel that appointment to get your dog tattooed: On Wednesday, a bill prohibiting pet tattooing passed the state Legislature. Gov. Andrew Cuomo is expected to ink it.
The soon-to-be-law, which gained bipartisan support and was endorsed by the Humane Society of New York, prohibits "unnecessary body modification" of animals but includes an exemption for piercings or tattoos for the purpose of medical identification.
A new environmental report ranks Alabama among the worst in the nation for water pollution. The study is from the group Environment America Research and Policy. It says industrial facilities dumped more than 12 million pounds of toxic chemicals into Alabama waterways in 2012. John Rumpler is the group’s Senior Attorney. He says THAT pollution puts Alabama at fourth worst in the nation.
Scientists have long puzzled over the origin and evolution of our closest relative, the Neanderthal. Now, researchers say Neanderthals seem to have developed their distinctive jaws and other facial features first, before they evolved to have big brains.
That's according to an analysis of 17 skulls, all taken from one excavation site in a mountain cave in Atapuerca, Spain, known as the Sima de los Huesos — the "pit of bones."
All year long, Alabama Public Radio is collaborating with A-L-dot-com on the Affordable Care Act. The federal deadline to sign-up for health insurance is now well in the rear view mirror and you find yourself without health care. You don’t receive insurance from your employer. You don’t qualify for Medicaid, and you didn’t sign up in the federal marketplace during the open-enrollment. The Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate says that Americans have to obtain health insurance or pay a penalty.