This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Flora Lichtman, filling in for Ira Flatow, who's out today. This week, the FDA approved a new influenza vaccine for this year's flu season, and soon enough summer will be over and you'll be standing in line again at your pharmacy or doctor's office, participating in that yearly ritual - your annual vaccination allocation.
The Reinvent the Toilet Challenge asked engineers to dream up a replacement for the antiquated flush toilet. Michael Hoffmann and his team at Caltech responded with a solar-powered toilet that disinfects waste and reuses wastewater to flush. Better yet, it pumps out hydrogen gas for use in fuel cells.
This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Flora Lichtman. We're in the midst of the worst drought in over 50 years. Water tables are dropping faster than they can be replenished, and at the same time an op-ed in the New York Times today says that the United States is estimated to lose about one in six gallons, one in six gallons of clean water every day due to leaky pipes in the ground.
This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Flora Lichtman, filling in for Ira Flatow today. Do you know your blood type? You may have wondered about it this week if you heard news linking blood type to your risk of heart disease. In that study, researchers determined that those with blood type O had the lowest risk of heart disease and those with AB the highest.
This is SCIENCE FRIDAY, and I'm Flora Lichtman. On any given day, visit the website brainpickings.org, and you'll find posts on topics ranging from Charles Darwin's notes on marriage, to a birthday tribute to Julia Child, to the poetry of Patti Smith.
This interview was originally broadcast on July 26, 2011. Donald Ray Pollock's The Devil All the Time is now out in paperback.
Knockemstiff, Ohio, is a tiny hamlet in southern Ohio. In the 1950s, Knockemstiff had three stores, a bar and a population of about 450 people. Most of those people, says fiction writer Donald Ray Pollock, were "connected by blood through one godforsaken calamity or another."
Longtime troubleshooter Lakhdar Brahimi has, as expected, taken on the extremely difficult challenge of being the "joint special representative for Syria" who will try to broker a peace plan for that nation on behalf of the United Nations and the League of Arab States.
This interview was originally broadcast on May 21, 2012. Sacha Baron Cohen's The Dictator is now out on DVD.
Actor and writer Sacha Baron Cohen is famous for taking his characters — Ali G., Borat, Bruno — into the real world, interacting with people who have no idea that they're dealing with a fictional character. But his new movie, The Dictator, is a scripted comedy about a tyrant on the loose in New York.