This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. In a few days, my next guest will be in Florida. He's going there to testify against Big Tobacco in a lawsuit brought by a smoker with health problems. Oh, you didn't know that tobacco lawsuits like this are still going on today? You certainly don't hear a lot about them in the news. But some 8,000 more cases just like this one exist in Florida alone.
This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. Consider the shrew, a small harmless, nearly blind animal. If you were to find one scrambling across your kitchen floor, you might shriek or stomp on it. Shrews look a lot like mice. Or you could catch it and release it outside. But what if you ate the shrew, whole, instead? No, you don't debone it. You don't even chew it. You just hack the tail off and swallow it whole. Why? Well, for science, of course.
This is SCIENCE FRIDAY, I'm Ira Flatow. Football season is getting into full swing this week: tailgating parties, point spreads, Tim Tebow. But amid all the excitement of a new season comes an old and disturbing ghost. This week, a new study finds that pro football players may be more likely to die from various neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's or ALS, more likely than the rest of us.
What we have here is a moon — a small one (slightly wider than the state of Arizona) — circling Saturn.
If you look closely, you will see a small splay of light at its top, looking like a circular fountain.
That's because it is a fountain — of sorts. A bunch of volcano-like jets are sending fantastically high geysers of water vapor up into the sky, so high that you can see them in this remarkable print by Michael Benson, back lit by light bouncing off of Saturn.
Originally published on Thu September 6, 2012 11:02 am
Here's a journal-paper title that grabbed my eye: Western scrub-jay funerals: cacophonous aggregations in response to dead conspecifics.
OK, there's some jargon included — "cacophonous aggregations" refers to birds called in by other birds' vocalizations, and "conspecifics" just means other individuals of the same species. But it's the "f" word — funeral — that caught my attention.