Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 12:51 pm
Economists at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, gazing into their crystal ball, see American farmers planting and harvesting huge amounts of corn, soybeans, and wheat this year. They're predicting a record harvest of corn: 14 billion bushels, up nearly 40 percent over last year's drought-crippled level.
With supply up, prices will fall. The USDA thinks that the price of the average bushel of corn could fall by a third. And soybean production and price are expected to follow a similar track.
The Venezuelan government released an update on ailing President Hugo Chávez late Thursday.
"The respiratory deficiency that arose in the course of the postoperative period persists, and its tendency has not been favorable, for which reason he continues to be treated," the information minister, Ernesto Villegas, said according to The New York Times.
This is SCIENCE FRIDAY, I'm Ira Flatow. The Internet is the new battleground.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: We know foreign countries and companies swipe our corporate secrets. Now our enemies are also seeking the ability to sabotage our power grid, our financial institutions, our air traffic control systems. We cannot look back years from now and wonder why we did nothing in the face of real threats to our security and our economy.
How much is a best-picture Oscar worth? Not the statuette — winners are required to sell that back to the Academy for a buck if they want to get rid of it. No, what's the Oscar worth at the box office?
Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 1:38 pm
Here's the latest plan scientists have come up with to kill some of the estimated 2 million brown tree snakes that have wiped out many other animals on Guam:
In April or May they're going to lace dead mice with painkillers, attach them to little parachutes, drop them from helicopters and hope that they get snagged in the jungle foliage. Then, if all goes well, the snakes — which as their name implies hang out in trees — will eat the mice and die from ingesting the painkillers' active ingredients.
South African Olympian and Paralympian Oscar Pistorius has been granted bail, but the hearing brought to light bizarre details about the murder charges against him. So will the case turn into another O.J. Simpson fiasco? Host Michel Martin asks the barbershop guys for their thoughts.
It took Danica Patrick 45.817 seconds to circle the track and win the pole position for the Daytona 500. It'll take about four hours to determine who wins the famed race that starts the Sprint Cup season at 1 p.m. ET Sunday.
By taking the No. 1 slot, Patrick made history as the first woman to win a pole in NASCAR's elite division. And she made some people wonder whether the pole position — and her light weight — might give her an advantage.
President Obama's plan to jump-start the economy starts with increasing the minimum wage and avoiding sequestration. Host Michel Martin talks about those challenges and others, like rising gas prices and expanding waist lines. She's joined by NPR's senior business editor Marilyn Geewax and Wall Street Journal economics reporter Sudeep Reddy.
Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 11:04 am
Feeble human eyes require a certain level of light to see color. Cameras, though, have the magical ability to expose the world at night. Husband-and-wife photographers Diane Cook and Len Jenshel have been playing with long-exposure photography for years — more specifically, in moonlit gardens.
Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 5:55 am
It's a moment many parents dread — sitting down to talk with their kid about drugs. What should they say? Will the conversation have any effect? And should they mention their own youthful indiscretions?
Parents can get advice from the family doctor or pediatrician and places like the Partnership at Drugfree.org (formerly the Partnership for a Drug-Free America), though there's not been much evidence to back up the recommendations.
Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 10:48 am
No place has been as riveted by Oscar Pistorius and the Valentine's Day shooting death of his girlfriend as South Africa.
But even before this sensational story burst into the headlines, South Africans were fiercely debating issues that are more or less permanent fixtures in this country — crime, and violence against women.
Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 10:26 am
Many a mom has reached for a glass of wine after a long day of tending children. But only fruit fly moms use their version of Chardonnay to guard their babies from harm.
When fly moms see marauding wasps, they seek out the alcohol in fermenting fruit, and lay their eggs there, according to new research. The alcohol is toxic to the wasps, but not to the fruit flies. They've evolved a tolerance for hooch.
Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 8:54 am
Tim Tebow has bowed out of a promise to appear at the opening of a new megachurch in downtown Dallas whose pastor has been criticized for making derogatory remarks about non-Christians and homosexuals.
Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 9:39 am
The biggest winter storm this season is causing delays and cancellations, and has brought traffic to a near-standstill in the Plains and Midwest, but it's providing much-needed relief for drought-stricken farmers.
According to Weather Underground Chief Meteorologist Jeff Masters, Wichita has its fifth biggest snowfall on record.
Winter Storm Q has dumped up to 17 inches of windswept snow in parts of Kansas and Missouri and is expected to extend its reach well into the Midwest on Friday.
Good morning. I'm Linda Wertheimer. At a school in Windsor, Ontario, teachers suspected an eighth grader was going through a teacher's desk. So they planted brochures for a beautiful class trip to Disney World. They even made a presentation, and then said: just kidding. The snooping student got his comeuppance but other kids and parents were furious. The school apologized. The real student trip will be to a bowling alley. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
A boy in Brockton, Massachusetts really did not want to go to bed. He's 10 years old, after all, getting to be a big kid and it was only 8:00. His mom insisted. The boy replied, I'm going to call the cops on you. His mom said, Go right ahead, and so the boy did, calling 911 to complain about his nagging mother. The Enterprise newspaper says police came and gently explained when it's appropriate and not to dial the emergency number.
Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 8:54 am
10:55 a.m. ET: Declaring that Olympic and Paralympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius "has made a case to be released on bail," a South African magistrate on Friday set the stage for Pistorius to be set free while he awaits trial on the charge that he murdered his girlfriend.
Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 4:02 am
LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:
NASCAR drivers start their engines on Sunday for the first time this Season, at the Daytona 500. And all eyes will be on the woman leading the pack at the starting line. Danica Patrick will be the first woman to start in pole position for any race in the history of NASCAR's premier Sprint Cup Series. Patrick's milestone comes at a critical time for NASCAR, which has seen a steep decline in ticket sales over the last few years and has some big TV contract negotiations coming up.
Let's talk about another meeting happening today. Senior officials from Boeing are sitting down with the head of the Federal Aviation Administration. Boeing wants its 787 Dreamliner fleet back in service. It's been grounded for more than a month. Neither Boeing nor safety investigators have discovered exactly what caused two 787 batteries to overheat and in one case catch fire last month. But, Boeing believes, it can mitigate any future risk with a series of fixes.
A lot of kids have the day off from school today, thanks to a huge winter storm in the Midwest. A foot of snow fell on Kansas City, one of the worst storms in the city's history. That city declared a state of emergency, as did several others in the region. Frank Morris, of member station KCUR, reports.
The Buckeye Tool Expo in Dalton, Ohio, is held in a massive hall filled with bearded men in black hats and women in white bonnets. A few horses and buggies are tied up outside.
The Amish have chosen to forgo many of the delights of the modern world, but they still need to drill, sand and cut wood. This trade expo shows off all the loopholes that let the Amish get their hands on power tools.
Italy's election campaign has been dominated by an upstart comedian-turned-politician whose Five Star Movement is soaring in the polls. The movement is not expected to win in the weekend vote, but its strong presence in Parliament could be destabilizing and reignite the eurozone crisis.
Beppe Grillo is a standup comedian and the country's most popular blogger; 63 years old, with a mane of grey curly hair, he's hyperactive and foul-mouthed. His last name means "cricket," and he's the most charismatic politician in Italy today.
Flowers are nature's ad men. They'll do anything to attract the attention of the pollinators that help them reproduce. That means spending precious energy on bright pigments, enticing fragrances and dazzling patterns.
Now, scientists have found another element that contributes to flowers' brand: their distinct electric field.
Anne Leonard, who studies bees at the University of Nevada, says our understanding of pollinator-flower communication has been expanding for decades.
Here's a headline that may sound familiar: Miami is in the middle of a condo boom.
Just seven years ago, Miami had a similar surge in condo construction. But it all came crashing down. There was an international banking crisis, and the Florida real estate bubble burst — taking down investors and many developers.
But new towers are once again reshaping the city's skyline.
Peter Zalewski, a real estate consultant with Condo Vultures, says 19 condo towers are now in the works in Miami, with 7,000 total units.
Officials in the eastern Chinese city of Nanjing knocked down her karaoke parlor for development. She says they then offered her compensation that was less than 20 percent of what she had invested in the place.
Shen complained to the central government. Local authorities responded by sentencing her to a "re-education through labor" camp for a year. Once inside, Shen says, camp workers tried to force her to accept the compensation.