Time for our monthly meeting of the SCIENCE FRIDAY Book Club. Here with me are SCIENCE FRIDAY's multimedia editor, Flora Lichtman, and our senior producer, Annette Heist. And this month we have the physics - physics on our to-do list, right? A classic book by Richard Feynman, Annette?
ANNETTE HEIST, BYLINE: That's right. It is called "Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!: Adventures of a Curious Character."
This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. There it was in big, bold type on the Fox News website, how Twitter may have tipped the election for Romney. A column written by Juan Williams, who points out that Twitter reported there were, quote, a whopping 10.3 million tweets during the first debate, unquote.
Next up, the science of monsters. Like most myths, there are some real-world phenomena behind the stories. Take vampires, for example. Let me read you a passage from Bram Stoker's "Dracula," where Professor Van Helsing describes the monster.
Earthquakes, terrorist attacks and muggings have all scared people to death. Sporting events, too, sometimes cause frenzied fans to drop dead. Neurologist Martin Samuels of Brigham and Women's Hospital explains how positive or negative excitement can lead to a heart-stopping surge of adrenaline.
Originally published on Fri October 26, 2012 10:17 am
Credit Peter Steffen / AFP/Getty Images
Thirty years ago, the primatologist Frans de Waal published Chimpanzee Politics, a wonderful bombshell of a book that revealed the depth of chimpanzees' social complexity. Based on long-term observations at Arnhem Zoo in the Netherlands, many of de Waal's descriptions match comfortably with what chimpanzees in the wild have since been observed to do.
A study linking the artificial sweetener aspartame — which is found in lots of diet sodas — to a possible cancer risk in people was set to make a splash earlier this week. But shortly before the paper was published, in a very unusual move, the scientific leaders at the hospital released a statement saying the findings were too weak to promote.