Like flying cars and time travel, eye glasses with computing power have long been sci-fi fantasy, relegated to Terminator movies and the like. Now it appears that Google may be a few months from selling a version of their own.
Google glasses — which may be released as a "beta" product — could put smartphone capabilities such as GPS maps, weather, time, Web streaming and more inches from your eyeball.
Seattle has one of the country's few working movie theater organs. Jim Riggs plays the theater's Wurlitzer organ while silent movies are screened. Recently he performed during a screening of 1927's Wings, the only silent film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture.
We are getting more details about that preliminary agreement to settle an "Agent Orange" related class-action lawsuit filed against the Monsanto Company. We reported yesterday that Monsanto agreed to settle a case over pollution claims made on behalf of current and former residents of the small town of Nitro, West Virginia.
It's a simple enough idea: Know how many calories are in those fast food meals, and you'll make a better choice between them.
But when students at the Columbia University School of Nursing tried to nail down the calories on 70 menus at 12 eateries in New York's Harlem neighborhood, they found it pretty much impossible, even with a calculator.
One big problem: Many items are listed with a calorie range, but with no clues as to how those ranges are determined. For example:
A new report by the United Nations' nuclear agency claims that Iran has ramped up production of a purer form of enriched uranium over the past few months. The report by the International Atomic Energy Agency was obtained by The Associated Press and other news outlets and it's likely to further suspicions from Western countries that Iran might be working on a nuclear weapon.
Originally published on Fri February 24, 2012 3:18 pm
The Obama administration is seeking to try a Lebanese man linked to Hezbollah in a military commission, expanding the reach of the military tribunal beyond al-Qaida and Taliban suspects for the first time.
The man at the center of the case is Ali Musa Daqduq. He was the last detainee held by American forces in Iraq and had been turned over to Iraqi custody when U.S. forces formally withdrew from Iraq in December.
And jumping off this discussion of taxes and politics we turn to our regular political commentators, E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post and the Brookings Institution and David Brooks of the New York Times. Good to see you both.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And I'm Melissa Block.
For the first time, a federal appeals court has ruled that prosecutors cannot force a suspect to unscramble his encrypted computer hard drives. The Atlanta-based appeals court says that would violate the man's Fifth Amendment right against self incrimination.
We've all seen those bathtub refinishing ads that promise a glossy new surface on the dingy old tub.
But a solvent used to make that transformation has killed at least 13 people who used it to strip bathtubs from 2006 to 2011, according to a new study. The chemical, methylene chloride, is sold as a solvent and paint stripper both to professionals and in dozens of do-it-yourself products sold at home improvement stores.
Originally published on Fri February 24, 2012 5:01 pm
Last night at midnight, Nike released a pair of expensive glow-in-the-dark basketball shoes. And as has happened before for big shoe releases, a melee broke out among the hundreds of people who waited outside of an Orlando, Fla. mall to buy them.
The Orlando Sentinel reports that the release of the shoes was timed with Orlando's hosting of the NBA All-Star Game and by 9:45 p.m., police in riot gear were called in to control the crowd.
Computer chip makers have long struggled to build ever-smaller transistors to allow faster, more powerful computers. Writing in the journal Nature Nanotechnology, a team of scientists describes what may be the ultimate limit of that struggle — a transistor made of a single atom. Michelle Simmons, a physicist at the University of New South Wales in Australia and leader of the project, discusses the work.
Bloomberg News reporter John Lauerman volunteered to have his DNA sequenced by Harvard researchers to demystify the process for the public. What he didn't expect to uncover was that he possessed two gene variants--one linked to rare blood disorders and the other to a higher risk of Alzheimer's.
Reporting in Environmental Science and Technology, researchers write of harvesting electricity from microbe-rich river sediments--enough to power a small LED bulb. Grant Burgess, a marine biotechnologist at Newcastle University, discusses the hunt for electron-burping bugs.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: The alphabet has only 26 letters. With these 26 magic symbols, however, millions of words are written every day.
IRA FLATOW, HOST:
And that music means it's time for Science Diction, where we talk about the origins of science words with my guest, Howard Markel, professor of the history of medicine at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, also director of the Center for the History of Medicine there. Welcome back to SCIENCE FRIDAY, Howard.
Photographer and videographer Edward Aites, of Seattle, submitted this time-lapse video to Science Friday. He looked at ice through a macro lens and cross-polarizing filters, and found a colorful, surprising landscape. This is ice like you've never seen it before.
Flu season usually peaks around February. But this year it's missing in action, with the CDC reporting the slowest start to the flu season on record. Peter Palese, a microbiologist at Mount Sinai Medical Center, discusses whether unseasonably warm winter weather may be to thank.
Web browser manufactures often market their products to consumers with an emphasis on privacy, assuring users that their products can better control how personal information is used online. Carnegie Mellon privacy researcher Lorrie Cranor explains that many companies have developed quiet ways to step around some of that privacy-protecting code.
The standard picture of the moon is of a long-dead object, geologically speaking. But using observations from cameras on board the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, Thomas Watters and colleagues say in the journal Nature Geosciencesthat there are signs of more recent tectonic activity on the moon, within the last 50 million years.
Originally published on Fri February 24, 2012 3:01 pm
Connie Johnson is not afraid to be outrageous. The Democratic state senator from Oklahoma has watched in frustration for several years now as colleagues have rammed through bills limiting women's reproductive rights.
She tried debating and making speeches. Finally, earlier this month, she thought of something that made her point more clearly, or at least more graphically.
She introduced an amendment that would define life as beginning not at conception, but at "ejaculation."
The Singing Detective is the story of a writer of pulp-fiction novels, hospitalized for a horrible skin condition that has his entire body flaking and raw, and his mind slipping in and out of fever dreams.
Some of those hallucinations have the people around him breaking into song, or shifting into other places and times and characters, or both. He tries to maintain his sanity by rewriting, in his head, one of his old novels into a Hollywood screenplay — and, in his mind, he's the healthy, good-looking protagonist — the singing detective.
The news that some rice-based foods are surprisingly high in arsenic has left rice lovers wondering how the heck we're to know what's safe to eat.
Since Dartmouth College researchers reported last week that a toddler formula and energy bars sweetened with organic brown rice syrup tested high for arsenic, readers of The Salt have had lots of questions about how one might find out the arsenic content of rice-based foods, and figure out what's safe.
A new case taking on affirmative action in higher education is set to be heard in the Supreme Court this fall. In 2003, the court ruled that universities could consider racial diversity in admissions. But today the make-up of the court is very different. Host Michel Martin discusses the case with two law school deans.
The Oglala Sioux Tribe filed a $500 million lawsuit against brewers and retailers, claiming they're responsible for the reservation's alcohol-related problems. The tribe lives on a dry reservation, but they claim nearby towns unlawfully sell alcohol to residents. Host Michel Martin speaks to a reporter and the tribe's attorney.