Fans of "Game of Thrones" are well-aware by now that George R. R. Martin, author of the popular book series, is not afraid to kill off his characters. Those who read the books are way ahead of those who discovered the series through HBO. TV viewers were stunned when the first season ended with the graphic beheading of the man everyone thought was the hero of the saga. Season three, which just ended, offered more violent and unexpected deaths.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Lynn Neary in Washington; Neal Conan is away. For the second day in a row, lawyers questioned potential jurors in the George Zimmerman trial. Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder for the shooting death of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida, last year.
In 1907, the first president of the American Psychological Association called only children "sickly, selfish, strange, and stupid." He concluded that "being an only child is a disease in itself."
In her book One and Only: The Freedom of Having an Only Child, and the Joy of Being One, journalist Lauren Sandler takes on these stereotypes and sifts through a huge body of research that debunks many of the worst myths about only children.
Sandler, an only child and mother of one, talks to NPR's Lynn Neary about the joys of raising just one.
After years in movies and TV shows, some child actors end up making headlines later in life for stints in rehab, or ongoing legal battles. But not all former child stars become tabloid fodder. Some leave Hollywood behind and pursue other careers.
Mara Wilson, who starred in Matilda, Mrs. Doubtfire and Miracle on 34th Street, was able to avoid the drama. Wilson, 25, graduated from New York University in 2009 and is now a writer and playwright based in New York.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. And we focus today on what we now know about U.S. government information sweeps of telephone and Internet data and on the man who now admits he disclosed the top secret documents to The Guardian and the Washington Post.
As a child, Jeannie Peeper was diagnosed with fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva, an extremely rare disease that causes a second skeleton to grow inside the body. Peeper and science writer Carl Zimmer discuss the efforts of a small group to fund research to battle the disease.
This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. In the disease multiple sclerosis, the body's own immune cells stage a mutiny. Those cells, white cells, normally go after foreigners in the body like bacteria or other invaders that make us sick. But in MS, the immune cells go after the body itself, attacking the myelin covering that wraps around nerve cells. As that myelin gets degraded, nerve signals don't get transferred properly, and that's what leads to the symptoms of MS.
This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. Up next, surviving the big one, and I mean a really big one. As any fan of dinosaurs knows, extinction happens. The Earth isn't immune to assaults. You've got your asteroids, your volcanic eruptions, events that cause so much disruption to the environment that eventually life or most of life is wiped out.