This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. We're here at the Wisconsin Science Festival at the Institute for Discovery in Madison and talking about a trip to America's dairy land, of course. Inevitably you're going to talk about food and fermentation. In the form of Wisconsin, it's famous for fermentation, one of the oldest ways of preserving food. It's also a way to get really unique flavors.
This is SCIENCE FRIDAY, I'm Ira Flatow. We're broadcasting from the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery in Madison, home this week of the Wisconsin Science Festival. Astronomers and astrophysicists have traditionally, for centuries, looked upwards to the sky to learn more about the universe. We've launched telescopes into space. We have sent probes beyond our solar system to study dark matter, colliding galaxies, how the planets formed.
Jazz musician Vijay Iyer started playing the violin when he was 3, but when he was 4 or 5, he wanted to play another instrument: the piano.
"The piano was around because my sister was taking lessons, and so I just started messing on it and figuring things out little by little," Iyer tells Terry Gross. "I can't really pinpoint the beginning of it."
We're living in the epoch some scientists call the "Anthropocene"�"an age in which human influence touches nearly everything on the planet. Forty years after the signing of the Endangered Species Act, and nearly 50 years after the Wilderness Act, do we need to rethink how we protect nature? Environmental historian William Cronon and environmental geographer Paul Robbins discuss protecting wild places in the age of climate change.
Friends and relatives of Mbugua Mwangi and his fiancee Rosemary Wahito attended their funeral service Friday in Nairobi, Kenya. Mwangi, who was Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta's nephew, and Wahito died in the Westgate Mall attack.
For those who think the forces of natural selection no longer apply to modern humans, paleoanthropologist John Hawks would urge you to reconsider. In recent times — that's 10 to 20 thousand years, for a paleoanthropologist — Hawks says we've picked up genetic variations in skin color, and other traits that allow us to break down starch and digest cheese.
President Obama was more dependent on female campaign contributors in 2012 than any presidential candidate in recent history.
According to a new report from the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, female donors accounted for more than 44 percent of Obama's campaign contributions, the most for any White House hopeful since at least 1988.
The GOP nominee, Mitt Romney, received just 28 percent of his campaign cash from women.
In phe last decade, Joseph Gordon-Levitt has worked hard to establish himself as a serious actor, and he's been so successful it's easy to forget he came of age in the '90s sitcom 3rd Rock from the Sun. The guy has comedy chops, and he's exercising them again in a smart new movie he wrote and directed called Don Jon.