From the Archives: The Twin Boom & Saving Ferrets With Drones

Dec 8, 2016

Walk into a pre-school or elementary school today and you won't find peanut butter, but you'll likely see a few sets of twins ...we'll look at twinning patterns throughout human history, and why the proportion of twins in the population continues to ebb and flow.

And conservation by drone - we'll hear about a program designed to save black-footed ferrets from the plague by air-dropping vaccines.

The Twin Boom

Walk into a pre-school or elementary school today and you won't find peanut butter, but you'll likely see a few sets of twins. The US and the entire world are in the midst of a twin boom - a phenomenon last seen in the west after World War I.  Throughout human history, the proportion of twins in the population has ebbed and flowed. Now, demographers have data to study the "twinning" cycle and have some clues as to why.     

Laura Spinney is a writer and science journalist, based in Paris. She wrote about the "twin boom" for Aeon.

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Saving Ferrets With Drones

"Drone" has become a loaded word, and code for a controversial tactic in America's military strategy. But that's just one aspect of what the technology offers. From high-end wedding videography, to shopping delivery system, to aerial firefighting tactics, the future is airborne, and the possibilities are endless.

Karin Brulliard  is editor of Washington Post's “Animalia” blog. She reported on a proposal to use drone strikes to save endangered ferrets.    

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Breast-Fed Language

About two thirds of New Yorkers are from immigrant families.  No matter where their parents come from, children born here are American children...which leaves parents challenged with which native practices to retain, and which new norms to follow. That was the case for radio rookie Andrea Lee Torres' family. Her parents arrived from the Philippines in the 90s. In this piece from Radio Rookies, she questions one of their decisions - not to teach her their language.

This story was produced by Sanda Htyte and Marianne McCune for Radio Rookies.  You can listen to it again at PRX.org.