As a boy in a tiny village in Mexico, I loved climbing up to the roof of my family's small home so I could study the stars and dream of becoming an astronaut. Then I discovered Kaliman, a comic-book hero who could unravel any mystery with his powers of telepathy, philosophy andscientific ability. He was fond of saying, "He who masters the mind, masters everything."
As European leaders prepare for yet another "last-ditch" effort to save the euro at a summit in Brussels, the leaders of the two eurozone powerhouses, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, meet in Paris. NPR's Eleanor Beardsley talks about their meeting.
Children's temper tantrums are widely seen as many things: the cause of profound helplessness among parents; a source of dread for airline passengers stuck next to a young family; a nightmare for teachers. But until recently, they had not been considered a legitimate subject for science.
Beneath 8,200 feet of water, the Alvin submarine scopes out the Pacific's seafloor in the 1970s. The geologists aboard weren't searching for life — they were on the hunt for hot spots and undersea thermal vents.
Credit Photo by Emory Kristof / National Geographic/Getty Images
The Alvin, seen here in the 1970s nestled safely aboard its mother ship, Lulu, helped revolutionize ocean science. Built in 1964, the sub could dive nearly three miles deep, making it possible for humans to explore the seafloor. Dives were typically seven to nine hours long.
Crane and her colleagues called the undersea vent and thriving ecosystem "Garden of Eden" — as she noted in her notebook. The deep sea holds incredibly diverse life forms, Crane says. On "probably every single submersible dive that goes into the ocean, the people in it are probably looking at species of life nobody's ever seen before," she says.
The worms were initially preserved onboard the boat in vodka — it was the only preservative the scientists had, Crane says, because they weren't expecting to find life on the seafloor. Today, specimens of the worms are kept in jars of formaldehyde at the Smithsonian Institution near Washington, D.C.
Kristian Fauchald, the Smithsonian's curator of worms, says the way these worms lived — without light or much oxygen, feeding on chemicals and surviving underwater on the heat of the planet — might be one way the first creatures on Earth lived.
In 1977, a small crew of oceanographers traveled to the bottom of the Pacific Ocean and stumbled across a brand new form of life. The discovery was so unusual, it turned biology on its head and brought into question much of what scientists thought they knew about where life can form and what it needs in order to survive.
In the early 1980s, Martha Stewart was working as a caterer and couldn't find a good book on entertaining — so she wrote her own. Entertaining, her first book, was published in 1982. Her 75th book, Martha's Entertaining, was released in October.
Nearly 30 years ago — long before she had her own TV show or magazine or brand — Martha Stewart wrote her very first book, Entertaining.
"The first book really was kind of an entertaining textbook for the homemaker," Stewart tells NPR's Linda Wertheimer. "I couldn't find a good book about entertaining in 1982 and neither could my friend, so I decided to write it."
At the annual dinner of the Everglades Foundation recently, there was a surprise guest: Florida Gov. Rick Scott. The governor made a brief appearance before the group with some reassuring words.
"We are absolutely focused on making sure the right thing happens for the Everglades," he said.
It's a new focus for the Republican, a businessman who's a relative newcomer both to Florida and to politics. After taking office earlier this year, his statements and actions suggested he saw environmental protection not so much as a goal, but as a problem.
A big international conference is being held in Bonn, Germany, on Monday to help draw up a roadmap for Afghanistan after combat operations there cease at the end of 2014. But Pakistan — a critical player in the Afghanistan conundrum — has said it's boycotting the conference after NATO troops killed 24 Pakistani soldiers during an attack in late November.