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Friday, February 17, 2012

You Say 'Nay,' I Say 'Neigh': Goats Have Accents

Goats bleat, but a new study says they don't all do it with the same accent. Host Scott Simon talks to Professor Alan McElligott from Queen Mary University of London, who co-authored a study showing that goats' voices change as they move from different environments.

The Simpsons 500th episode

500 Episodes

13,000 minutes of total program

Third longest running prime time program of all time...

25 plus years on the air.

Even Stephen Hawkins has been a guest star.

Need we say more...

To Do List

Finally, The Physics Of The Ponytail Explained

 Scientists in Britain have been trying to determine whether the shape of a ponytail can be deduced from the properties of a single hair. Host Scott Simon talks with Weekend Edition Math Guy Keith Devlin about a new, soon-to-be-published study that has the answer.

Response to Tea Party Signs

When Race Gets Tight. Romney drops out of debate.

GOP debate cancelled after candidates back out

Romney, Santorum likely to skip March 1 Ga. debate photo

Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney pauses while speaking at the Livonia Chamber of Commerce luncheon in Farmington Hills, Mich., Thursday, Feb. 16, 2012.
After a slew of debates in the Republican race for the White House, one of them is being pulled off the table.

Republican Mitt Romney backed out of the pre-Super Tuesday debate in Atlanta. As we heard on The Sean Hannity Show yesterday, after more than two dozen debate, he believes the candidates have said everything they need to say.

Soon after Romney dropped his appearance, Rick Santorum and Ron Paul followed suit, and CNN cancelled the March 1st showdown, and it looks like the March 5th MSNBC debate suffered the same fate.

Super Tuesday is March 6th when 10 states will hold primaries and caucuses. All four Republican candidates are scheduled to debate February 22nd in Mesa, Arizona. Arizona and Michigan hold primaries on Feb. 28.

Source: WOKV


50 Years Ago Monday, John Glenn Circled the Earth in Space

John Glenn, First U.S. Astronaut To Orbit Earth, Celebrated 50 Years After Historic Mission

John Glenn

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — The name still resonates and generates goose bumps like few others in the world of spaceflight.

John Glenn.

Even astronauts – not just the rest of us mere mortals – get mushy talking about Project Mercury's "clean Marine" who led the country's charge into orbit.

As the world's most enduring and endearing spaceman gets set to celebrate what no other living astronaut has done – mark the 50th anniversary of his own spaceflight – he finds himself in overdrive reflecting on what has been an undeniably charmed, golden life.

First American to orbit the Earth, aboard Friendship 7 on Feb. 20, 1962. Oldest person to fly in space, at age 77 aboard shuttle Discovery in 1998. U.S. senator for four terms and one-time presidential candidate. Namesake of a NASA center as well as a university's school of public affairs.

Now 90 and living in Columbus, Ohio, Glenn just recently gave up flying and sold his twin-engine Beechcraft Baron. It was tough hopping up on a wing to climb aboard the plane. Glenn and his wife, Annie, who turns 92 on Friday, both had knee replacements last year.

"We decided it was time to pack it in," Glenn said.

Besides, his goal was to fly the plane until 90, "and I did that."

With so many blessings and accomplishments, there's still one brass ring Glenn wishes he'd snagged: Apollo 11, the first manned moon landing in 1969. It's a sentiment he's shared often with Neil Armstrong, Ohio's other revered son and the first man to set foot on the moon.

"I've been very fortunate to have a lot of great experiences in my life, and I'm thankful for them. So I don't see myself as being envious. But in his case, I'll make an exception," Glenn said, laughing, during an interview late last month with The Associated Press.

Armstrong, for his part, would like one day to be in Glenn's shoes "and have as much success in longevity." He called the milestone "the most significant of all the space anniversaries."

"And John Glenn deserves all the honors that his country can bestow," the 81-year-old Armstrong wrote in an email. "He is an American patriot."

Five decades later, Glenn reflects with pride on the accomplishments of all seven of NASA's original Mercury astronauts – not just his own.

"It's amazing to me to look back 50 years and think that it's been 50 years," Glenn said, seated in his top-floor office at Ohio State University, inside the school of public affairs that bears his name.
Nearly every day he's asked about spaceflight or NASA, so "it's remained very vivid to me."

Glenn is reluctant to comment on his superstar status. He's as modest and down-to-Earth as ever. He cites attitude and exercise – he tries to walk a couple of miles every day – as key to his active longevity.

He walks and talks like a much younger man – standing straight and tall, and asking questions, not just answering them, in a clear and steady voice. He appears almost as robust as he was for his shuttle ride at age 77.

The only other surviving Mercury astronaut, Scott Carpenter, ranks Glenn as tops among the hand-picked military test pilots presented in 1959 as the Mercury Seven.

"He's a very good man," said Carpenter, 86, who followed Glenn into orbit on May 24, 1962. "He's a grown-up man, but he's still a very good Boy Scout."

Fifty years ago on Monday, Glenn circled Earth three times in five hours, putting America on even footing with the Soviet Union.

The Soviets already had laid claim to the world's first manmade satellite, Sputnik, and the first spaceman, Yuri Gagarin, who had orbited the globe a year earlier. Gagarin logged a full revolution; the next cosmonaut to fly spent an entire day in orbit.

Click here to continue reading this story at

Apple's Mac Makeover

'Mountain Lion' Software Brings Mobile Features to Mac

CUPERTINO, Calif.—Apple Inc. Chief Executive Tim Cook wants to make its Mac more like an iPhone.
CEO Tim Cook said the next version of Apple's Macintosh OS, "Mountain Lion," due in late summer, would incorporate features from the software that powers Apple's hit mobile devices, Jessica Vascellaro reports on digits. Photo: AP.
In an interview at the company's headquarters here, Mr. Cook unveiled a new version of the company's Mac operating system that incorporates several features from the software that powers Apple's hit mobile devices.

Named "Mountain Lion," the new version of OS X is the clearest sign yet of Apple's belief that the mobile, laptop and desktop world are destined to converge—and that Apple wants to be a catalyst.
"We see that people are in love with a lot of the apps and functionality here," said Mr. Cook, 51 years old, pointing at his iPhone. "So, anywhere where it makes sense, we are going to move that over to Mac."

Apple's moves come as fiercer competition among hardware makers is leading them to compete over software and giving consumers a familiar experience across various devices. That is leading to a convergence between different categories of devices that could have wide ramifications across the technology industry.

Apple also hopes to add luster to a business line that has momentum but little market share. Apple sold a record 5.2 million Macs in the quarter ended in December, up 26% from the same quarter in 2010. But Macs represented 5.4% of global PC shipments in the fourth quarter, according to IDC, up from 4.5% a year earlier.

By comparison, Apple's iPad leads the tablet industry in market share, and its iPhones frequently command the biggest slice of quarterly smartphone shipments.

Apple will start selling the new Mac software to customers in late summer. It made an early version of the software available to developers Thursday.

The updates will include Apple's messaging service, notifications app, gaming center, sharing features and integration with the company's online service iCloud—all pioneered for the iPad and iPhone, which use software known as iOS.

Mr. Cook said he already thinks of Apple's iOS and OS X operating systems "as one with incremental functionality." He said both laptops and tablets will continue to coexist, but he didn't rule out that the technologies could converge further.

When asked if Apple's iPhones, iPads and Macs might run the same microprocessor chips, he said: "We think about everything. We don't close things off."

Apple's rally may have come to an abrupt end. The stock opened to an all-time high in intraday trading, then reversed course to close lower, suggesting the crest may have been reached. Tomi Kilgore reports on Markets Hub. (Photo: AP)

Apple's OS X team had already started borrowing from iOS, last July releasing the "Lion" version of its operating system that adopted iOS features like advanced gesture controls—by touching the Mac's track pad, rather than a display screen—and the ability to view desktop apps as icons in an iPhone-like grid.

Now, Apple is going further, even changing the names of internally developed Mac apps to those of iPhone counterparts. The Mac's Address Book, for example, will become Contacts. iCal will become Calendar.

"We went through and just took a logical pass at what the user is going to experience using these products to make it all make more sense together," said Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of world-wide marketing, in a separate interview. "This is more than people expect."

With Mountain Lion, users will see the same notification screen that scrolls down on the iPhone by swiping their touchpads. The new software has deeper ties to other Apple products, such as iCloud, which Apple is integrating into applications and into the experience of registering a new Mac. A new security feature called Gatekeeper allows users to specify what kinds of apps can be installed on their computers, including an option to only install apps from Apple's Mac App store.

The Apple Evolution

Associated Press
Power Macintosh 6500, 1997
The new Mac software will also support a feature called AirPlay Mirroring that allows users to view what is on the screen of their iPhone or iPad and a television screen connected to a $99 Apple TV device. The technology is highly strategic for Apple, as it contemplates new video technologies for the living room. AirPlay, already available for the iPhone and iPad, has run into opposition from media companies worried about cannibalizing of traditional TV. Mr. Schiller said he doesn't believe media companies will have any issue with customers using it from their Macs.

Not all mobile features will make it to the Mac. Messrs. Cook and Schiller both said important differences remain, including the need for different touch interfaces on mobile devices, as well as more robust location services. When asked if the Mac would get Siri, Apple's voice-activated virtual assistant available on the iPhone, Mr. Cook smiled and said he would leave the question to Mr. Schiller.

Mountain Lion comes as Mac has been a relatively small contributor to the company's record financial performance. As the company's revenue jumped 73% in the quarter ending in December, the percentage of its revenue from Macs fell to 14.2% from 20.3%.

Not Far From the Tree

Mr. Cook said the Mac remains an "incredibly important" part of the company and that it is already benefiting from the success of the iPhone, particularly in China, where Mac sales doubled last year. "They love the iPhone and so they then search out and look for the Mac."

Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook, shown in October, unveiled a new version of the company's Macintosh operating system.

While Apple banks on that halo effect, its competitors are trying to follow its approach. Microsoft Corp. plans to release a new version of its Windows operating system that has a new interface that supports touch-based commands and resembles its mobile-phone software.

"I don't really think anything Microsoft does puts pressure on Apple," said Mr. Cook, who said Apple is focused on building the best product and the pressure on the company is "self-induced."

Mr. Cook declined to comment on future plans for Mac hardware, calling the company "secretive" about such things. But he expressed pride in the company's MacBook Air laptop. "Now, you see the industry at large trying to copy it in some way, but they'll find that it is not so easy," he said.

Write to Jessica E. Vascellaro at

From the Wall Street Journal (click here) 

Internet response to all male Congressional panel on birth Control (check on if it is true)

Only men were ALLOWED to testify by the GOP. Can you believe it?
Stand with EMILY's List. Tell the GOP that women's health decisions belong only to women!