Originally published on Fri March 30, 2012 2:54 pm
Think of Jennifer, or as we like to call her, "Jen." Jen of the dazzling smile, Jen of the gorgeous chin, Jen with her hair down, Jen tousled, Jen as Rachel, Jen with Brad; Jen without Brad, Jen with Vince, Jen at the Oscars, and, of course, Jen as a neuron in the medial part of the temporal lobe.
Maybe you missed that last Jen.
A few years ago, a UCLA neurosurgeon named Itzhak Fried, while operating on patients who suffer from debilitating epileptic seizures, discovered what he now calls the "Jennifer Aniston Neuron."
This mystery has plagued arachnologists for decades. William Eberhard and Daniel Briceno untangle the web question in a paper in the journal Naturwissenschaften. The answer has to do with spiders' oily, hairy legs.
The film director James Cameron has just completed a dive to Challenger Deep, the deepest point on Earth at nearly 36,000 feet under the sea. His manned descent is the first in 52 years, since the oceanographers Don Walsh and Jacques Piccard explored the Mariana Trench in the bathyscaphe Trieste.
Want to hear a joke about sodium hypobromite? NaBrO! Can science be the butt of a good joke? Ira Flatow and guests test the hypothesis in an annual April Fools' joke-a-thon. They share the best gags in the business. Sidesplitting or groan-worthy? You decide.
This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. My next guest won the Nobel Prize in 2000 for his work on learning and memory, and he really needs no introduction as a neuroscientist. But there is another side to Eric Kandel that you may not know. He is an art collector, an historian of early 20th-century art in Germany and Austria, and he says he could have seen that passion as an alternate career path.
With $540 million (wait — it just went up to $640 million!) on the line, it's not surprising that Alabama resident Lance Larka is willing to drive across the state line for a chance to win the record Mega Millions jackpot.
In the sign of the bigger cultural struggle in a post-Mubarak Egypt, a court has ordered the government to ban pornographic Internet sites.
One of the big questions facing Egypt now that Hosni Mubarak's 30-year rule has ended is what kind of role religion will play in the new government. Some of the Islamists who control parliament have expressed that they would like the country ruled by sharia.
Republican Congressman Todd Young helped draft Rep. Paul Ryan's 2013 budget that passed in the House of Representatives on Thursday. Congressman Young speaks with guest host Jacki Lyden about the budget plan and Democrats' opposition to it, including calls that the plan would hurt programs like food stamps and Medicaid.
Guest host Jacki Lyden continues the conversation about the passage of Congressman Paul Ryan's budget plan in the House of Representatives. Lyden speaks with NPR Washington Editor S.V. Date about what the vote means and whether the plan's passage may signal long budget battles ahead.
Originally published on Fri March 30, 2012 12:17 pm
The FBI's top cyber cop retires today after nearly a quarter century in federal law enforcement.
Shawn Henry started looking into computer issues in the run up to Y2K (the arrival of the year 2000). He says that experience left him hungry to learn more about the way electronics were changing the way we live — and the way criminals operate.The movement of so much sensitive information online poses an "existential threat," according to Henry.
AMC's The Killing started strong, with raves from critics and an impressively loyal core of viewers. But in the final episode of the year, when it left its season-long murder mystery intentionally unresolved, most fans felt angry, even betrayed. HBO's Game of Thrones, on the other hand, took a bit longer to get established, and to get as much attention. But thanks to some strong performances and a few bold strokes of plot, Game of Thrones — based on the George R. R.
Originally published on Fri March 30, 2012 10:42 am
In Wisconsin, "state elections officials ordered a set of historic recall elections Friday, making [Republican] Scott Walker the third governor in the nation to face a recall and Rebecca Kleefisch [R] the first lieutenant governor to face one," Milwaukee's Journal Sentinel reports.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has denied a call to ban the plastic additive BPA from food packaging. The action comes after government scientists found little reason to think people are being harmed by the chemical.
The FDA was responding to a petition from the Natural Resources Defense Council, which called for the ban on BPA, also known as bisphenol A, from any use where it comes in contact with food.
During nine years on the run in Pakistan, Osama bin Laden used at least five safe houses and fathered four children, the youngest of his three wives has told Pakistani investigators, according to The New York Times.
Amal Ahmad Abdul Fateh, now 30, married bin Laden in 2000.
There will be no more "Mr. Nice Guy" in New York. No more "K2," "Skunk" or "Zohai" either.
The New York State Health Department banned the sale of synthetic marijuana products like those on Thursday. So all kinds of wacky stuff that's made to get people high — but is often disguised as potpourri, incense or some mixture of herbs — is now verboten.
This interview was originally broadcast on May 23, 1988.
Writer Harry Crews had a hard life and didn't made it any easier for the characters in his novels. He died Wednesday at age 76.
Crews' novels were filled with freaks and losers with unusual gifts. In Naked in Garden Hills, there was the 600-pound man with a penchant for dietary supplements. The Gospel Singer featured lunatics and carnival characters. Car showcased a man who literally ate a Ford Maverick, several ounces at a time.
Originally published on Fri March 30, 2012 9:21 am
Rep. Paul Ryan's endorsed Mitt Romney Friday just ahead of Tuesday's Wisconsin primary. In an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Ryan said: "I think he deserves to be the nominee. I think he earned it. He has emerged as the best candidate." Ryan, a rising star in the party who many wanted to run for president and who is seen as a vice presidential possibility, said a further protracted primary would weaken the party's chances of beating President Obama in November.
Originally published on Fri March 30, 2012 8:31 am
"There would have been George dead had he not acted decisively and instantaneously in that moment when he was being disarmed," the brother of George Zimmerman told CNN's Piers Morgan last night in one of the most extensive interviews yet with someone from the family of the man who shot and killed Florida teenager Trayvon Martin on Feb. 26.
With a GOP presidential primary coming up on April 3, Wisconsin voters have found themselves besieged by political ads, reports NPR's David Schaper on Friday's Morning Edition.
Talking to voters in La Crosse, Schaper found that residents have grown weary of the onslaught. It has been massive: The Red, White And Blue Fund — the superPAC supporting Rick Santorum — has so far spent almost a half-million dollars on ads attacking front-runner Mitt Romney.
One day after fellow Republicans in the House ensured passage of his version of a 2013 federal budget, there are reports that Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan is about to endorse Mitt Romney's bid for the GOP presidential nomination.
The Associated Press says it has been told by two Republican officials that "Ryan's endorsement could come as soon as Friday, when Romney is scheduled to give an economic speech in Appleton, Wis."
Originally published on Fri March 30, 2012 11:27 am
Everybody, it seems, is talking about tonight's Mega Millions lottery drawing because the jackpot's up to a record $640 million. (Update at 12:15 p.m. ET: Officials just increased the estimated jackpot, which began today at an already record $540 million.)
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne with bad news for gladiators. Nowadays performers in Rome who dress like those ancient combatants earn money by posing in photos with tourists. As of today, they've been driven away from the Coliseum. Roman officials say gladiators will no longer be able to peddle pictures outside their classic arena. The no-pay rule only applies around the Coliseum. Still, it's not hard to tell how gladiators will react - thumbs down. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
And I'm David Greene.
A documentary that has been stirring up headlines for weeks finally opens today. "Bully," from producer Harvey Weinstein, has made news for its controversial R rating from the Motion Picture Association of America. Weinstein argues the R rating prevents the movie's intended audience - children - from seeing it, and so he decided to release "Bully" unrated.
Apple has been under scrutiny for working conditions in factories in China, factories that make its iPhones and iPads. And it responded by enlisting a workers' rights group. Now, the Fair Labor Association has released its audit of Apple's largest supplier, Foxconn. It found more than 50 violations of both its code of conduct and Chinese labor laws, at three Foxconn factories. NPR's Steve Henn reports.
The Motion Picture Association of America was going to give Bully an R rating for language, but the movie's producer decided to send it out with no rating. The nation's second-largest cinema chain AMC will show it, but Cinemark, the third-largest chain will not.
NPR's business news starts with BlackBerry backpedaling.
Research in Motion, the maker of the BlackBerry smartphone, says it's turning its focus back to corporate customers. This follows its failure to break into consumer markets dominated by iPhones and androids. Last quarter, the company lost $125 million. Analysts say BlackBerry's main problem is its trouble running third-party applications. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
President Obama is expected to sign another stopgap funding bill that avoids a weekend shutdown of thousands of transportation construction projects. The measure gives a 90-day funding extension for road, bridge and rail construction projects.