This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm John Dankosky. Some 30,000 people die on U.S. roads every year, but the highway isn't just dangerous for us humans. Scientists estimate that our cars and trucks kill 80 million birds a year. That's 80 million. That death toll is high enough, they say, that it's turning out to be a powerful force of natural selection. In fact, some birds may be evolving shorter wings to let them navigate traffic more safely. That's according to a paper out this week in the journal Current Biology.
This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm John Dankosky. Ira Flatow is out this week. Last December, Steven Coughlin, an epidemiologist at the Veterans Affairs Office of Public Health, resigned his position. And last week he told a congressional subcommittee why. He had serious ethical concerns about the research being done on Gulf War Illness at the VA.
What surprises me about the ongoing discussion of violence in cinema and whether it influences violence in the real world is how people fail to engage with the male fantasy behind these films. There's a template for them, a theme; it hinges on violation and vengeance. A seminal action picture of the last 50 years is 1988's Die Hard, in which a lone male cop operates behind the scenes after an ingeniously orchestrated foreign attack on American soil. He's symbolically emasculated — he has no gun or even shoes, his wife is now going by her maiden name.
This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm John Dankosky. It sounds like something from a science fiction movie, researchers using cutting-edge biotech methods to bring an extinct species back to life. As a matter of fact, I think I saw that one. It was called "Jurassic Park."
Yes the 2012 elections have been combed over a thousand times. But what's one more detail, right?
Today, Bloomberg reports that were it not for egos, Mitt Romney could have been toppled by a conservative "unity ticket" featuring Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum. Had the two united, there would have been a real possibility that Romney wouldn't have made it past the primary process and 2012 would have been truly different race.
Babies as young as nine months appear to approve of people who like what they like — and approve of being mean to those who don't share their tastes. Kiley Hamlin, lead author of a study in the journal Psychological Science, discusses the importance of similarity to young children.
Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 1:12 pm
In his book Grand Central: How A Train Station Transformed America, New York Times urban affairs correspondent Sam Roberts writes of the scientific innovations pioneered at New York City's Grand Central Terminal, such as electric commuter trains and standardized time.
Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 1:46 pm
Feeding toddlers can be a challenge, so it's easy to see the lure of prepackaged favorites like mac and cheese. But many of those foods deliver startlingly high amounts of sodium, some with three times more than recommended in a single serving, according to a new survey.
The offenders include not just savory snacks but also healthful-sounding foods like pasta and chicken, according to Joyce Maalouf, a fellow at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 1:21 pm
HBO CEO Richard Plepler is saying something a lot of the television network's fans have been waiting to hear — that its content could be offered to customers directly through their Internet service providers instead of a cable company.
Right now, HBO must be purchased through a cable provider. Plepler tells Reuters that HBO Go, an online streaming service launched by the network in 2010 (but still only available as an extra to your cable TV) might also be sold through ISPs.
Zachariah Long (left) and Edward Ritchie protested last year against a gay marriage bill in Maryland. In 1973, Maryland became the <a href="http://www.npr.org/2013/03/21/174732431/timeline-gay-marriage-in-law-pop-culture-and-the-courts">first state</a> to define marriage as a union of one man and one woman. Voters there legalized gay marriage in 2012.
Credit Patrick Semansky / AP
Same-sex wedding rings are engraved with triangles, a symbol of gay pride. Detractors say extending recognition to same-sex couples will weaken a bedrock institution meant to protect women and children.