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NPR Story
10:59 am
Fri December 14, 2012

Alan Alda's Challenge to Scientists: What is Time?

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 12:03 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY, I'm Ira Flatow. Of course we'll be keeping you up to date this hour on the shooting spree that's been going on in Newtown, Connecticut. But first something different. When Alan Alda was 11, he asked one of his teachers: What is a flame? The answer he got back was oxidation. Accurate, yeah, but not very helpful.

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NPR Story
10:59 am
Fri December 14, 2012

Is It Possible To Create A Mind?

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 12:03 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Up next, what is intelligence? What is thought? What does it really mean to have a mind? And if we can answer those questions, is it possible for people to reverse-engineer the process and build an artificial mind? Sure, there are things like Siri, which can understand enough of your question to pull up directions to the restaurant, and there's IBM's Watson, which took on human contestants in a game of "Jeopardy!" and won. But how to jump the gap from those to something everyone would agree is truly intelligent?

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NPR Story
10:52 am
Fri December 14, 2012

Who Benefits From Syrian Civil War?

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 12:20 pm

Egyptians are voting on a new constitution - but the vote is polarizing the country. Meanwhile, in Syria, the main opposition group is now recognized by the U.S., but there are questions about al-Qaeda affiliates fighting alongside them. To make sense of the developments, host Michel Martin talks with Abderrahim Foukara of Al Jazeera International.

NPR Story
10:52 am
Fri December 14, 2012

Remembering Civil Rights Leader Lawrence Guyot

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 12:20 pm

Lawrence Guyot spent his life fighting for civil rights - but often at great personal cost. He was jailed and beaten regularly by police in the Deep South while helping black people get involved in politics. Host Michel Martin speaks with Washington, D.C. Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, who worked alongside Guyot, about his life and activism.

NPR Story
10:52 am
Fri December 14, 2012

Unions - Who Needs 'Em?

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 12:20 pm

In this week's Barbershop, the guys weigh in on U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice withdrawing her name from consideration for secretary of state. They also discuss Michigan's right-to-work law and whether unions are still relevant today.

Developing
10:20 am
Fri December 14, 2012

Tragedy In Connecticut: 20 Children, 6 Adults Killed At Elementary School

In this photo provided by the Newtown Bee, Connecticut State Police lead children from the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., following a shooting there Friday.
Shannon Hicks Newtown Bee/AP

Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 10:36 am

The nation watched in horror Friday as the scope of a tragedy in Newtown, Conn., became clear. As a visibly upset President Obama said at midafternoon, "our hearts are broken."

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The Two-Way
10:15 am
Fri December 14, 2012

As Egypt Prepares To Vote, Only One Side Seems Organized

An Egyptian activist holds a banner used to spray paint graffiti on a wall urging Egyptians to vote against a draft constitution. The opposition says the constitution does not represent all Egyptians, but their efforts have not been particularly well organized. President Mohamed Morsi and his Islamist supporters support the draft constitution. Voting begins Saturday.
Gianluigi Guercia AFP/Getty Images

For three consecutive weeks, the Egyptian opposition has called mass protests against a controversial draft constitution that Egyptians are being asked to vote on beginning Saturday.

At each rally, protesters chanted against the document and its key proponents: The Muslim Brotherhood and President Mohamed Morsi, who was among the group's leaders before he was elected Egypt's president.

But the opposition appears to be losing momentum, while the Islamists still appear to be going strong.

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The Two-Way
8:57 am
Fri December 14, 2012

'We've Got Bigger Fish To Fry' Than Going After Pot Smokers, Obama Says

A woman, identified only as "Hurricane," lights up in Seattle. Washington state's law legalizing the recreational use of marijuana went into effect on Dec. 6.
Cliff Despeaux Reuters /Landov

It looks like the feds will not be worrying much about those folks who choose to smoke pot in Colorado and Washington state, where new laws decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana.

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The Two-Way
8:30 am
Fri December 14, 2012

'Manufactured Charges' Maligned Her Character, Rice Says

U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

"In recent weeks, new lines of attack have been raised to malign my character and my career. Even before I was nominated for any new position, a steady drip of manufactured charges painted a wholly false picture of me."

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The Salt
8:24 am
Fri December 14, 2012

Sowing The Seeds For A Great American Chestnut Comeback

Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 9:02 pm

Though we hear about them every holiday season in that famous song, chestnuts – whether roasting on an open fire or otherwise – have been noticeably absent from many American tables for decades, thanks to a deadly fungus that decimated the species near half a century ago. But a small army of determined growers have been on a seemingly quixotic quest to put chestnuts back on the American table, and they're just starting to see results.

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