He's flown the space shuttle five times, and performed eight spacewalks to service the Hubble telescope. Now astronaut and astrophysicist John Grunsfeld heads up NASA's Science Mission Directorate, where he manages scientific investigations on the home planet--and beyond.
Originally published on Fri April 27, 2012 3:44 pm
Can the repeated brain injuries suffered by some athletes cause problems with brain function later in life? A new play, Headstrong, opening next week in New York, looks at athletes and head trauma, and the high price some athletes end up paying for playing the game.
Mechanical engineer Maurizio Porfiri, of the Polytechnic Institute of New York University, designs robot fish. A few years ago, he found that real fish would mill about his aquatic robot, and now he's trying to understand why. His research suggests that it has less to do with how the robot looks, than how it makes fish feel.
Originally published on Fri April 27, 2012 1:52 pm
In The Idea Factory: Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation, Jon Gertner writes of the legendary innovations developed at AT&T's Bell Labs, from lasers and transistors to solar cells and cell phones, and discusses how the lab became a hotbed for new ideas.
Perhaps most recognizable for his role as despicable but lovable lawyer Dan Fielding on Night Court, John Larroquette has recently taken to the stage. He earned a Tony Award for his role in the 2011 production of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.
Fifty years ago, a young pitcher won his first major league game for the New York Yankees. Jim Bouton went on to become a top-flight player.
But he became famous, or notorious, for Ball Four, a memoir that described the petty jealousies on the team, as well as camaraderie, raucous tomcatting, game-winning heroics, routine drug use and the pain professional athletes endure.
Thirty years ago, CEOs of America's largest businesses earned an estimated 42 times as much as their average employee. These days, that number has jumped to more than 200 times as much, by many counts. Since the economic crisis of 2008, there has been much more focus on income inequality, not just from economists and social scientists, but also from politicians and from protesters who occupied Wall Street.
Former Liberian President Charles Taylor was found guilty by an international tribunal of planning, aiding and abetting war crimes during the 1990s. This marks the first time since World War II that a current or former head of state was convicted by a tribunal of crimes committed while in office.
NPR's Neal Conan reads from listener comments on previous show topics including the Secret Service prostitution scandal, Harvey Weinstein's new movie Bully, and the process of smuggling immigrants over the border.
SB 1070, the Arizona immigration law that requires local police to question and detain people suspected of being in the country illegally, has served as a model for similar legislation. Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune Supreme Court correspondent David Savage listened in on the arguments.