In The Idea Factory: Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation, Jon Gertner writes of the legendary innovations developed at AT&T's Bell Labs, from lasers and transistors to solar cells and cell phones, and discusses how the lab became a hotbed for new ideas.
He's flown the space shuttle five times, and performed eight spacewalks to service the Hubble telescope. Now astronaut and astrophysicist John Grunsfeld heads up NASA's Science Mission Directorate, where he manages scientific investigations on the home planet--and beyond.
Mechanical engineer Maurizio Porfiri, of the Polytechnic Institute of New York University, designs robot fish. A few years ago, he found that real fish would mill about his aquatic robot, and now he's trying to understand why. His research suggests that it has less to do with how the robot looks, than how it makes fish feel.
After tough criticism from Republicans, the Obama administration withdrew its proposal for new rules to limit child labor on farms.
The AP reports that yesterday, the Labor Department withdrew the proposed rules "that would ban children younger than 16 from using most power-driven farm equipment, including tractors. The rules also would prevent those younger than 18 from working in feed lots, grain bins and stockyards."
Mitt Romney sweeps five primaries and all but locks up the GOP nomination. Even Newt Gingrich agrees Romney is the presumptive nominee. More veepstakes speculation on Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio. Two centrist House Democrats bite the dust in Pennsylvnaia, while Utah GOP Sen. Orrin Hatch lives to fight another day.
NPR's Ken Rudin and guest host Mara Liasson have the latest political news in this week's roundup.
The beating of Rodney King by Los Angeles police officers sparked the chain of events that led to the deadly L.A. riots 20 years ago this weekend. Host Michel Martin speaks with Rodney King about his memories of the riots, the beating, and his new book, The Riot Within: My Journey from Rebellion to Redemption.
The Los Angeles riots stunned the nation in 1992, claiming more than 50 lives in that city. As the unrest approached Koreatown, store owner Kee Whan Ha mobilized his fellow business owners to arm themselves and defend their property. Host Michel Martin talks with him about the riots, and the neighborhood today.
In an historic judgment, the UN-backed court at The Hague found Liberia's former president, Charles Taylor, guilty of war crimes. He was convicted of abetting murder, rape, and the forced enlistment of child soldiers during Sierra Leone's civil war. Host Michel Martin talks about reactions in Liberia and Sierra Leone with journalist Tamasin Ford.