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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
2:44 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

Where Did We Go Wrong?

It's looking at you. But is it conscious? How do we know?
iStockphoto.com

This text is adapted from Alva's book Out of Our Heads.


Who, or what, is conscious? How can we decide? Where in nature do we find consciousness? This can seem like the hardest problem in this whole field: the question of the consciousness of others. I am aware. So are you. We think, we feel, the world shows up for us. But what about an ant, or a snail, or a paramecium? What about a well-engineered robot? Could it be conscious? Is there a way of telling, for sure?

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Environment
2:03 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn Talks Climate and Carbon

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 4:13 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY, I'm Ira Flatow. He's been called Mayor McSchwinn for riding his bicycle to work. He's pledged to turn his town of Seattle into a model for what one city can do to lower its carbon footprint, and for good reason. As the climate changes, coastal cities like Seattle are challenged by rising sea levels.

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Technology
2:03 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

Looking Back, and Up, at a Seattle Icon

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 4:13 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

We are broadcasting today from the Pacific Science Center in Seattle. And just steps away from this building, right outside is something that should be familiar to anyone who's ever received a postcard from Seattle or taken home a pen or a glass or anything tchotchke of any kind. And it's the Space Needle, built in connection with the 1962 World's Fair. It is an iconic part of the Seattle skyline.

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Science
2:02 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

Rolling Out Bamboo Bicycles

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 4:13 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Up next, Flora Lichtman is here with us for our Video Pick of the Week. Hi, Flora.

FLORA LICHTMAN, BYLINE: Hi, Ira.

You went with something Seattlely(ph). How would I describe it - Seattle-like this week for this week's video.

That's right. When in Mayor McSchwinn's city, you have to go with the bikes. Lightening it up for pick of the week, but - as usual.

(LAUGHTER)

LICHTMAN: Oh, yes. This week's video is about, not just any bicycle builders, these are folks who are building bicycles out of bamboo.

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The Two-Way
1:35 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

U.N. Chief Opposes U.S. Military Support For Syrian Rebels

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 1:58 pm

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Friday that he opposes the U.S. decision to provide Syrian rebels with military support.

"The United Nations, and in particular I, have been making it consistently clear that providing arms to either side would not address this current situation," Ban told reporters during a briefing. "There is no such military solution."

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Movie Reviews
1:31 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

Whedon's Touch Finds A Match With 'Much Ado'

Fran Kranz stars as Claudio in Joss Whedon's new take on Shakespeare's classic comedy Much Ado About Nothing.
Elsa Guillet-Chapuis Roadside Attractions

One word sums up my reaction to Joss Whedon's film of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing: Huzzah!

Here is the creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer — and the director of The Avengers — working with American TV actors who have little or no training in verse-speaking. Who could have predicted such a team would produce the best of all filmed Shakespeare comedies?

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Author Interviews
1:26 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

Mantel Takes Up Betrayal, Beheadings In 'Bodies'

Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall won both the Man Booker Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award. The sequel, Bring Up the Bodies, won this year's Man Booker Prize.
Francesco Guidicini

This interview was originally broadcast on Nov. 26, 2012.

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The Salt
1:24 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

Nudging Detroit: Program Doubles Food Stamp Bucks In Grocery Stores

A customer in the produce section at Metro Foodland, one of the Detroit grocery stores participating in a healthy food incentive program for people with SNAP benefits. The store will add a section of specially marked local produce as part of the program.
Courtesy of the Fair Food Network

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 2:35 pm

In recent years, programs that double the value of food stamp dollars spent at farmers markets have generated a lot of attention. The basic idea: Spend, say, $10 in food stamps and get an extra $10 credit for purchases at the market.

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Science
1:03 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

Decoding 'the Most Complex Object in the Universe'

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 4:13 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. Your brain has nearly 100 billion neurons, and one of my next guests compares that complexity to the Amazon rainforest. In fact, he says there about as many trees in the Amazon as there are neurons in your brain. Think about what the Amazon looks like for a second.

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The Salt
12:54 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

Sorry, Dr. Oz, Green Coffee Can't Even Slim Down Chubby Mice

Raw, green coffee beans. To roast or not?
Aidan via Flickr

Originally published on Mon June 17, 2013 1:54 pm

The diet world has a new golden child: green coffee extract.

A "miracle fat burner!" "One of the most important discoveries made" in weight loss science, the heart surgeon Dr. Mehmet Oz said about the little pills — which are produced by grinding up raw, unroasted coffee, and then soaking the result in alcohol to pull out the antioxidants.

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It's All Politics
12:53 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

Why Partisans Can't Kick The Hypocrisy Habit

Sign of the times: A recent study found that people are more likely to have hostile feelings toward people of another political party than members of another race.
iStockphoto.com

American politics has become like a big square dance. When the music stops after an election, people switch to the other side on a number of issues, depending on whether their party remains in power.

That was pretty clear this week, when polls revealed more Democrats than Republicans support tracking of phone traffic by the National Security Agency — the exact opposite of where things stood under President George W. Bush.

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The Two-Way
11:52 am
Fri June 14, 2013

Iranians Go To Polls In Vote To Replace Ahmadinejad

Ali Akbar Velayati, a conservative presidential candidate, shows his ink-stained finger as he votes at a polling station on Friday.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 6:02 pm

Millions of Iranians cast ballots Friday in elections to replace incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a race that is being characterized as a potential challenge to the country's ruling Islamic clerics.

A slate of conservatives tacitly backed by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei are facing off against the lone moderate, Hasan Rowhan, a former nuclear negotiator.

Other candidates include Saeed Jalili, also a nuclear negotiator; Tehran Mayor Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf; and Khamenei's diplomatic adviser, Ali Akbar Velayati.

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Monkey See
11:44 am
Fri June 14, 2013

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Tony Awards And Shared Songs

NPR
  • Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour

We taped this week's podcast while still giddy from the effects of the very fine Tony Awards broadcast, so we begin by sharing some thoughts about that killer opening number, some of the other musical happenings, our feelings on Pippin, Phantom and other theater pieces, and whether we are suffering from, as Glen puts it, "Doogie Fatigue."

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Television
11:36 am
Fri June 14, 2013

John Oliver: Topical Comedy With A Crisp Accent

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 1:26 pm

This interview was originally broadcast on Jan. 5, 2010.

With Daily Show host Jon Stewart on leave for the summer, comedian John Oliver has stepped in to host the show that's become his television home base.

Oliver relocated from the U.K. in 2006 to become the "Senior British Correspondent" on The Daily Show With Jon Stewart. For his work there, he won an Emmy in 2009.

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NPR Story
11:27 am
Fri June 14, 2013

Human Genes Not Patentable, Supreme Court Says

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 4:13 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. Yesterday, the Supreme Court ruled that human genes cannot be patented. The case involves a dispute over patents held on the BRCA1 and the BRCA2 genes, the so-called breast cancer genes; and tests a company, Myriad Genetics, used to look for mutations to those genes.

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