Up next, the brains behind "Bones." If you go to the beach this weekend and check out what the other sunbathers are reading, there's a good chance you'll come across someone deep into a Temperance Brennan crime novel. Brennan is a forensic anthropologist, the person the police call when they find human remains that are, well, past their prime, if we say.
If you headed outside this Labor Day weekend, besides seeing that second blue moon of the month, just look up at the sky, would you believe that about half of those stars you see are actually two stars or more, the kind of double star system that's quite common? And this week, astronomers reported on the discovery of a planetary system orbiting such a binary star, two planets orbiting two suns. It's called Kepler-47 after the Kepler planet-hunting mission that spotted it.
On March 16, 1966, a potentially fatal problem gripped the Gemini 8 space capsule. Orbiting high above the Earth, it began spinning out of control. Spiraling towards unconsciousness and, perhaps, death, Neil Armstrong shut down the malfunctioning thrusters and wrestled Gemini back to stability. This was neither the first nor the last time that Neil Armstrong had escaped disaster. As an Naval pilot in Korea, he managed to guide a bullet-ridden aircraft, missing three feet of wing, back to friendly territory.
This is SCIENCE FRIDAY; I'm Ira Flatow. Five years ago this month, the I-35W bridge in Minneapolis collapsed, sending a full load of rush-hour traffic into the Mississippi River. The disaster injured nearly 150 people, killed 13. The bridge was literally falling apart.
Originally published on Fri August 31, 2012 1:04 pm
How a cucumber creates its curling tendril has stumped scientists for centuries, including Charles Darwin and Asa Gray. With the help of time-lapse photography and prosthetic tendril fabricated in the lab, physicist Sharon Gerbode, biologist Joshua Puzey and colleagues figured out why tendrils twist, according to a new study in Science.
This is SCIENCE FRIDAY, I'm Ira Flatow. If you have a smartphone or a tablet, you might want to pay attention to this story because last week a jury in California reached a verdict in a major patent battle case between electronics makers Apple and Samsung, a fight over the way their mobile devices worked and looked.
Hollywood tells many tales of the news business: the doe-eyed music reporter trying to get the big story in Almost Famous, the eager television reporter who has a lot to learn in Up Close and Personal, and the disgruntled news anchor who's fired from his job in Network.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Like John Kennedy before him, Mitt Romney faces questions about his faith, as well as politics. And like Roman Catholics in 1960 and African-Americans in 2008, Mormons find themselves in an unaccustomed spotlight.
Matt Bissonnette wrote No Easy Day under the pseudonym Mark Owen. He has drawn criticism for publishing details of the Osama bin Laden mission without Pentagon approval. Peter Bergen, author of Manhunt, says this account of the raid fits almost exactly with his understanding of the operation.
Originally published on Thu August 30, 2012 1:44 pm
The Syrian crisis continues to deepen as the conflict rages on. And pressure grows on the international community as refugees stream out. NPR foreign correspondent Kelly McEvers, former ambassador to Syria Edward Djerejian and Washington Post columnist David Ignatius discuss diplomatic options.