Tinker*Tailor loves Lalka via Flickr CC /

The Barbie doll has been targeted for her unrealistic proportions and for setting up an unattainable ideal for girls. Well, meet the new model - equipped with artificial intelligence, Barbie just got even more persuasive. Plus, “when a daddy really loves a mommy…” has long kicked off the story of how babies are made.  But what about now,  when surrogacy, same sex couples, and fertility labs are challenging old norms? We talk with the author of a series of books about sex for kids without gender, and without judgment. Today, we learn about the birds, bees, and biology.

dierk schaefer via flickr Creative Commons /

Studies show that growing up below the poverty line can have serious health implications, but can it have a lasting effect on the brain? On today’s show we continue NHPR’s series The First Decade by examining scarcity and how it can hijack a person’s neural pathways, affecting a child’s decision making later in life.

Then, a look at a technological issue that is threatening the livelihoods of farmers across the U.S. how the increasingly computerized nature of automobiles – and a far-reaching  copyright law –  is preventing farmers from maintaining their own equipment.

Photo by Criterion, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Despite the spectacular congressional flop that was SOPA and PIPA, “piracy” is still a dirty word to most, with file-sharing sites like the Pirate Bay remaining in the eye of the storm and, of course, that made-for-TV takedown of Megaupload making international headlines a few weeks ago. It’s fair to predict we should expect more battles in the name of copyright protection  in the near future, but computer historian and writer Benj Edwards has a somewhat different take.