Tue June 18, 2013
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Will Commerce Open The Doors To 'Eastern' Philosophy?

Hulton Archive Getty Images

Let's play a game. Quickly name three philosophers of any historical era and write them down. If you are really ambitious, name five.

Take your time and think about it. It's OK. I'll wait.

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Tue June 18, 2013
Shots - Health News

How Men's Choice Of Mates May Have Led To Menopause

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 12:34 pm

Darling, can we talk?

A dapper older gentleman spurns his mate of a certain age to take a fresh-faced young lover. You've seen that movie before, right?

Well, this choice of youth may turn out to be more than a Hollywood trope. Researchers say decisions like that one may have been the evolutionary source of menopause.

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Tue June 18, 2013
Shots - Health News

3-D Printer Brings Dexterity To Children With No Fingers

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 3:24 pm

The newest version of the Robohand is made of snap-together parts, reducing the amount of hardware needed.
Courtesy of Jen Owen of Jen Martin Studios

Richard Van As was working in his home near Johannesburg, South Africa, in May of 2011, when he lost control of his table saw.

"It's a possibility that it was a lack of concentration," he says. "It's just that the inevitable happened."

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Mon June 17, 2013
Shots - Health News

The Human Voice May Not Spark Pleasure In Children With Autism

Originally published on Tue June 18, 2013 11:31 am

Instructional assistant Jessica Reeder touches her nose to get Jacob Day, 3, who has autism, to focus his attention on her during a therapy session in April 2007.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

The human voice appears to trigger pleasure circuits in the brains of typical kids, but not children with autism, a Stanford University team reports. The finding could explain why many children with autism seem indifferent to spoken words.

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Mon June 17, 2013
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Name Five Women In Philosophy. Bet You Can't.

A rare moment of gender parity in philosophy: Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre at a Paris cafe in May 1970.
STF AFP/Getty Images

Last Friday I found myself in a lovely lecture hall at Brown University with some 50 philosophers and psychologists attending the annual meeting of the Society for Philosophy and Psychology, affectionately known as "SPP." Daniel Dennett was in the seat just ahead of me; additional luminaries were scattered about the room.

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Mon June 17, 2013
Krulwich Wonders...

Why Men Die Younger Than Women: The 'Guys Are Fragile' Thesis

Originally published on Tue June 18, 2013 9:53 am


The 19th century just lost its last living man.

Jiroemon Kimura, of Kyotango, Japan, was born in April 1897, lived right through the 20th century and died last Wednesday. He was 116. According to Guinness World Records (which searches for these things), he was the last surviving male born in the 1800s. All the other boys from that century, as best we know, are dead.

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Sat June 15, 2013

Will The Court's Gene Ruling Stifle Bio Innovation?

Originally published on Sat June 15, 2013 4:40 pm



This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. The Supreme Court ruled unanimously on Thursday that patenting natural human genetic material must stop. But the court also ruled that synthetically produced DNA is fair. The decision was prompted by patents on a gene test for breast cancer which was issued to Myriad Genetics of Salt Lake City. We're joined now in our studio by Arthur Caplan, who's head of the Division of Medical Ethics at NYU's Langone Medical Center. Thanks very much for being with us.

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Fri June 14, 2013
Shots - Health News

Rule Would List All Chimps As Endangered, Even Lab Animals

Originally published on Tue June 18, 2013 9:45 am

Chimpanzee Toni celebrated his 50th birthday at the Hellabrunn Zoo in Munich on Nov. 22, 2011.
Sven Hoppe DPA/Landov

This week, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed a new rule that would extend "endangered species" protections to chimpanzees held in captivity. Nearly half of all the chimps in the U.S. live in research facilities, and the regulation changes would make it more difficult to use these animals in medical experiments.

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Fri June 14, 2013
The Two-Way

Archaeologists Discover Lost City In Cambodian Jungle

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 5:56 pm

Australian archaeologists using remote-sensing technology have uncovered an ancient city in Cambodia that has remained hidden for more than a millennium under dense jungle undergrowth.

The discovery of Mahendraparvata, a 1,200-year-old lost city that predates Cambodia's famous Angkor Wat temple complex by 350 years, was part of the Hindu-Buddhist Khmer Empire that ruled much of Southeast Asia from about 800 to 1400 A.D., during a time that coincided with Europe's Middle Ages.

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Fri June 14, 2013
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Where Did We Go Wrong?

It's looking at you. But is it conscious? How do we know?

This text is adapted from Alva's book Out of Our Heads.

Who, or what, is conscious? How can we decide? Where in nature do we find consciousness? This can seem like the hardest problem in this whole field: the question of the consciousness of others. I am aware. So are you. We think, we feel, the world shows up for us. But what about an ant, or a snail, or a paramecium? What about a well-engineered robot? Could it be conscious? Is there a way of telling, for sure?

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