In this combination of photos, American physicist David Wineland (left) speaks at a news conference in Boulder, Colo., and French physicist Serge Haroche speaks to the media in Paris after they were named winners of the 2012 Nobel Prize in physics.
You wouldn't be surprised to learn that a laboratory run by the U.S. Department of Commerce is working on more precise methods to measure stuff.
However, you might not expect it to be at the cutting edge of the mind-bending world of quantum physics. But on Tuesday, David Wineland became the fourth employee at the National Institute for Standards and Technology, a federal lab, to win a Nobel since 1997. Wineland learned he will share the Nobel Prize in physics with Frenchman Serge Haroche for work that's both esoteric and practical.
Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 7:56 pm
With 27 days until the general election, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney was on an Iowa farm Tuesday where he did what he's done for months: criticized President Obama's economic policies, though his critique understandably had an agricultural slant.
As we watch polls in the presidential race bounce around, here's a poll that shows a consistent shift in American society. More people than ever before consider themselves religiously unaffiliated. That's a key finding in a survey out today from the Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion and Public Life. And coauthor Gregory Smith joins us to talk about it. Welcome, Gregory.
The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments Wednesday in <em>Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin</em>, a case that could determine the future of policies that include race as a factor in university admissions.
Credit Eric Gay / AP
Students rally Oct. 3 in the wake of reports of water balloon attacks on minority students at the University of Texas at Austin. Campus police are investigating the incidents.
On Wednesday, the Supreme Court is set to hear arguments in a landmark case about race and college admissions. In 2008, a white student named Abigail Fisher was denied admission to the University of Texas, Austin.
Fisher sued the university, claiming she was denied admission because of her race. Her suit, Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, could mean the end of admissions policies that take race into account.
When Mitt Romney said he would cut PBS funding in the first presidential debate — and singled out Big Bird, whom he said he liked a lot — he perhaps inadvertently introduced the befeathered yellow children's icon smack into the center of political debate. President Obama approved a cable-only commercial dinging Romney for going after Sesame Street rather than Wall Street, but Romney appears to think he has a winning hand — castigating the president for focusing on a profitable educational puppet empire rather than big issues, like terrorism in the Arab world.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
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And I'm Robert Siegel. Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky will most likely spend the rest of his life in prison. Sandusky was convicted in June of sexually abusing 10 boys. And today, he was sentenced to at least 30 years in a state correctional facility.
What happens when race is taken out of university admissions? In 1996, California voters passed Proposition 209, which bans state government institutions including the universities from considering race, sex or ethnicity in their policies. The results of Prop 209 are in dispute, and that dispute is argued in briefs filed in the Fisher case. The president and chancellors of the University of California have filed a brief in support of the University of Texas' plan.
From Ohio now to Michigan, where labor unions are betting big this election. They're throwing their weight behind not one, but three new ballot proposals. The most ambitious of the three would enshrine collective bargaining rights in the state's constitution. As Michigan Public Radio's Rick Pluta reports, that could reverse as many as 170 state laws that currently limit union bargaining power and fundraising.
Mitt Romney's day began in Iowa and ends in Ohio and that's where President Obama is as well for an evening rally in Columbus. NPR's Scott Horsley is already in Columbus and he joins us now. And Scott, the reaction to last week's debate has been mostly negative for President Obama. Are his Ohio supporters worried about that?
It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
And I'm Robert Siegel.
Tomorrow, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in a landmark case about race and college admissions. In 2008, a white student named Abigail Fisher sued the University of Texas in Austin. Ms. Fisher claimed she was denied admission to UT because of her race.