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.

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Strange Looking Tombstone Tells Of Moving Ice, Ancient Climates And A Restless Mind

Dec 5, 2012
Originally published on December 5, 2012 12:39 pm

With glaciers melting and crumbling all over the world, let me tell you the story of the man who first imagined ice ages, the man buried under this stone in Cambridge, Mass. It's an odd gravestone; a rough, clumpy hunk of granite that doesn't look at all like the other markers at Mt. Auburn Cemetery.

That's because it isn't. It's an erratic. A single stone found sitting downhill from a glacier in Switzerland that was lifted, packed, shipped to all the way to Massachusetts to honor this man.

Louis Agassiz was one of the first scientists to make sense of rocks like these. In the late 1830s, he was on vacation in Switzerland visiting a friend, and the two of them went up to an Alpine glacier to look around. The friend said he had a hunch that glaciers in Switzerland used to be much bigger, that they'd covered not just the mountain tops but the valleys as well, and as evidence, he showed Louis some boulders that had tumbled out of the ice, and were now sitting by themselves. Those huge rocks didn't look like any of the stones nearby. The friend, Jean de Charpentier, thought maybe the ice had gouged them from distant places and carried them south as the glaciers grew. Now that the glacier was melting, he said, it was dumping its cargo.

He then took Louis down the hill to show him more boulders, some of them stuck precariously on ledges, some tilted, some all alone. Louis looked, thought, then thought some more. A year later, in 1837, he gave a stunning speech to the Natural History Society of Switzerland.

He'd been invited to talk about Brazilian fish, his specialty, but instead he talked about ice. In his book Cold, Bill Streever tells how Agassiz stood before the leading scientists in his country and painted them a preposterous scene.

Once upon a time, he told them, a great sheet of ice, miles thick, had covered the Earth from the North Pole all the way to the Mediterranean. That ice had not always been there. Climates, he said, can change — dramatically. The Earth warms, then cools. The ice sheets on Swiss mountaintops were remnants of an earlier, colder "ice age."

He went further: These rocks had not been scattered by Noah's great flood, lasting 40 days and 40 nights. No, these boulders were mineral evidence of changes that took place long, long ago.

He knew they'd think him mad. "I'm afraid," Streever quotes him saying, "that this approach will not be accepted by a great number of our geologists..."

In the book that followed, Etudes sur les Glaciers,Agassiz wrote that the ice sheet had happened suddenly: "The land of Europe, previously covered with tropical vegetation and inhabited by herds of great elephants, enormous hippopotami, and gigantic carnivore, was suddenly buried under a great expanse of ice, covering plain, lakes seas and plateaus alike."

We now think (or certainly hope) that Agassiz was wrong about the "suddenly" part, probably wrong about a single ice sheet burying all of Europe, wrong about all life disappearing, but about the big thing, he was very right: climates do change on Earth. They've done that for billions and billions of years, and the changes have been drastic.

In America, his ideas found a friendlier audience. He was invited to teach at Harvard, and became a professor there. He died in 1873, and his grave is a radical celebration of his radical ideas.

Taken from a pile of rocks in the Swiss Alps, called a moraine, it was sent by boat across the Atlantic, carried to Cambridge, and having moved much further and farther than even the most well-travelled rocks, you could say, this marker is a perfect emblem for a daring mind:

A very erratic erratic. Like Agassiz himself.


Bill Streever's description of Louis Agassiz's grave comes from his book Cold: Adventures in the World of Frozen Places. Louis Agassiz, a true erratic, fiercely opposed Darwin's theory of evolution, insisting that while the Earth may change over time, creatures never do. Each species, he thought, was specifically created by God. He did not use the Bible as scientific authority, but he felt that God's transcendent authority did not allow for species to blur and produce ever-changing forms of life. Many of his students opposed him, even left him, but he would not relent.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.