When the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union last month, the seaside town of Port Talbot in Wales eagerly went along with the move. Brexit was approved by some 57 percent of the town's residents.

Now some of them are wondering if they made the wrong decision.

The June 23 Brexit vote has raised questions about the fate of the troubled Port Talbot Works, Britain's largest surviving steel plant — a huge, steam-belching facility that has long been the town's biggest employer.

Solar Impulse 2 has landed in Cairo, completing the penultimate leg of its attempt to circumnavigate the globe using only the power of the sun.

The trip over the Mediterranean included a breathtaking flyover of the Pyramids. Check it out:

President Obama is challenging Americans to have an honest and open-hearted conversation about race and law enforcement. But even as he sits down at the White House with police and civil rights activists, Obama is mindful of the limits of that approach.

"I've seen how inadequate words can be in bringing about lasting change," the president said Tuesday at a memorial service for five law officers killed last week in Dallas. "I've seen how inadequate my own words have been."

Mice watching Orson Welles movies may help scientists explain human consciousness.

At least that's one premise of the Allen Brain Observatory, which launched Wednesday and lets anyone with an Internet connection study a mouse brain as it responds to visual information.

The FBI says it is giving up on the D.B. Cooper investigation, 45 years after the mysterious hijacker parachuted into the night with $200,000 in a briefcase, becoming an instant folk figure.

"Following one of the longest and most exhaustive investigations in our history," the FBI's Ayn Dietrich-Williams said in a statement, "the FBI redirected resources allocated to the D.B. Cooper case in order to focus on other investigative priorities."

This is the first in a series of essays concerning our collective future. The goal is to bring forth some of the main issues humanity faces today, as we move forward to uncertain times. In an effort to be as thorough as possible, we will consider two kinds of threats: those due to natural disasters and those that are man-made. The idea is to expose some of the dangers and possible mechanisms that have been proposed to deal with these issues. My intention is not to offer a detailed analysis for each threat — but to invite reflection and, hopefully, action.

Alabama authorities say a home burglary suspect has died after police used a stun gun on the man.  Birmingham police say he resisted officers who found him in a house wrapped in what looked like material from the air conditioner duct work.  The Lewisburg Road homeowner called police Tuesday about glass breaking and someone yelling and growling in his basement.  Police reportedly entered the dwelling and used a stun gun several times on a white suspect before handcuffing him.  Investigators say the man was "extremely irritated" throughout and didn't obey verbal commands.

It can be hard to distinguish among the men wearing grey suits and regulation haircuts on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington. But David Margolis always brought a splash of color.

It wasn't his lovably disheveled wardrobe, or his Elvis ring, but something else: the force of his flamboyant personality. Margolis, a graduate of Harvard Law School, didn't want to fit in with the crowd. He wanted to stand out.

Montgomery Education Foundation's Brain Forest Summer Learning Academy was spotlighted Wednesday at Carver High School.  The academic-enrichment program is for rising 4th, 5th, and 6th graders in the Montgomery Public School system.  Community Program Director Dillion Nettles, says the program aims to prevent learning loss during summer months.  To find out how your child can participate in next summer's program visit Montgomery-ed.org

A police officer is free on bond after being arrested following a rash of road-sign thefts in southeast Alabama.  Brantley Police Chief Titus Averett says officer Jeremy Ray Walker of Glenwood is on paid leave following his arrest in Pike County.  The 30-year-old Walker is charged with receiving stolen property.  Lt. Troy Johnson of the Pike County Sheriff's Office says an investigation began after someone reported that Walker was selling road signs from Crenshaw County.  Investigators contacted the county engineer and learned signs had been reported stolen from several roads.

Pages

Science Looked Good In 2012

Jan 4, 2013
Originally published on January 7, 2013 12:23 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

And now joining us is Flora Lichtman. Hi, Flora.

FLORA LICHTMAN, BYLINE: Hi, Ira.

FLATOW: Multimedia editor with our Video Pick of the Week, and it's topical, of course.

LICHTMAN: Well, I was jealous. You guys are going to a year-in-review. I want to do a little year-in-review. The interesting thing about the Video Year in Review is that the stories are - they're like the hidden gems of science news because what makes a good - an interesting thing to watch isn't necessarily the biggest science story of the year. So, for example, I thought some of the most amazing footage that came out of the journals, no less, was - were these European catfish that beached themselves on the riverbank and eat pigeons.

FLATOW: So if you missed that one, now is your chance...

MARIETTE DICHRISTINA: I'll take it over mall cats anytime.

(LAUGHTER)

DICHRISTINA: Catfish better than mall cats anytime.

FLATOW: Poor cat. Exactly. Depends on the (unintelligible). Search for the word cat.

LICHTMAN: So there were other countless, you know, good animal tales. There was also the thing about how cucumber tendrils curl.

FLATOW: Beautiful video.

LICHTMAN: That was beautiful.

FLATOW: Gorgeous video.

LICHTMAN: How about the spinning egg? The...

FLATOW: Ah, my favorite.

LICHTMAN: ..and this is your favorite: the engineers let spun an egg in milk and looked at it with a high-speed video and they noticed that the milk climbs up the side of the egg and spins off. And they tried to understand, you know, physically what was going on there. Beautiful video. Also again, you may not see it on the front of the science times, but fascinating.

FLATOW: Yeah. And it's our video - and how many did you put together? You put together - how many are in that video?

LICHTMAN: Many.

FLATOW: Many, many.

LICHTMAN: Many, many.

FLATOW: Many, many, many. At least, a dozen or more. Two dozen...

LICHTMAN: Certainly. Yes.

FLATOW: ...in the videos. Our Video Pick of the Week up on our website at sciencefriday.com and Flora took her favorites of the year. You enhanced them a little bit, put some - you have a little bit of a what? How did you narrate these?

(LAUGHTER)

LICHTMAN: You're betraying my nerdiness.

(LAUGHTER)

LICHTMAN: It's rhyming. I don't want to say poem. I think that's - that would be far too generous. But it is a lot of near rhymes. You know, it's funny. I - when I think I hit my pinnacle of nerdiness, I just dig a little deeper and I find that I can just...

FLATOW: You could...

LICHTMAN: ...there are untapped wells in me.

FLATOW: Because you'd turned into a Benji(ph) instead of a nerd and...

LICHTMAN: Maybe that's - maybe I'm actually trying transcendence...

FLATOW: It's the Benji dog. Benji.

LICHTMAN: ...into the Benji world.

FLATOW: That's right. That's right.

LICHTMAN: There are really some great moments. I also feel like Baumgartner when he jumped - we didn't talk about that.

DICHRISTINA: That was an amazing video.

LICHTMAN: But that was just incredible to watch. And someone tweeted us earlier that, you know, they watched live over their cellphone. And even as a 28-year-old, the technology seeing that feed live into your phone wherever you are, walking down the street, was a very 2012 moment.

IVAN ORANSKY: On your phone that probably had more capability than whatever Neil Armstrong, rest in peace now, had in 1969 on it.

LICHTMAN: Yeah, definitely.

FLATOW: Right. Right. And...

DICHRISTINA: And traveling more than Mach 1, you know? Mach 1.4 or something. That is extraordinary and then capturing it the whole way. It was really something.

FLATOW: And we also had all those shuttles that were flying over all those cities, right?

LICHTMAN: Oh, yeah. That was an interesting thing. The visuals of seeing the shuttles very close to Earth, flying over Hollywood, flying over New York. We had people send us those pictures and they're on our website and they're in this video montage as well.

FLATOW: When I heard about the shuttles finding new homes, I said, why don't they keep one flying? They can move it as an exhibit around the country, keep it on the back of that 747. Why do you have to go five cities or whatever? Have one still mobile and you could fly it around the exhibit (unintelligible).

MARK FRAUENFELDER: Great idea.

FLATOW: I don't know.

ORANSKY: I live a block from the Intrepid. So I'm glad there's one over there.

(LAUGHTER)

FLATOW: It's cheap for me to say that because I'm not paying the bill. But, you know, I think a flying exhibit like that would be great.

DICHRISTINA: On the other hand, you know, great opportunity for a tour around the U.S.

FLATOW: There you go.

LICHTMAN: Seeing a shuttle there, did anyone - does anyone remember this story of the teenager who sent a LEGO shuttle to space, also produced some really beautiful video and was Internet driven and funded, speaking of crowd sourcing and the power of Twitter.

DICHRISTINA: Anything we can't do with LEGOs, I mean.

LICHTMAN: If you're a teenager, sort of, I think, there's maybe nothing.

FLATOW: It was amazing video. You did that when it came out. It's also on this week as part of the montage. It was this teenager who floated. You could see the horizon. You see the Earth. It's a LEGO in space. It's amazing.

LICHTMAN: Let us in. I want to know what we missed, you know, because this is my - what I spent most of my time doing. Leave us a comment. Tell us what your top picks for science video was this year.

FLATOW: There you go and what you might like to see. It's our Video Pick of the Week up on website. It's sciencefriday.com and also you can download, of course, on your mobile app if you want to take along with you. Thank you, Flora.

LICHTMAN: Thank you, Ira.

FLATOW: Flora Lichtman, our video editor, our multimedia editor. We've run out of time. Boy, that went by fast. Hope the New Year doesn't go by that fast. Thank you for taking time to join us today. Mariette DiChristina, editor-in-chief of Scientific American and senior vice president there, Ivan Oransky, executive editor at Reuters Health. He's also co-founder of the Retraction Watch blog. Mark Frauenfelder, co-founder of Boing Boing and editor-in-chief of MAKE magazine. Happy New Year to you all.

ORANSKY: Happy New Year.

FRAUENFELDER: Happy New Year.

FLATOW: Hope to see you next year.

DICHRISTINA: Thanks so much.

FLATOW: Thanks again. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.