One night in 1910, a little girl is born during a snowstorm in the English countryside. The umbilical cord is wrapped around the baby's neck; she turns blue and gasps for life. The doctor can't make it through the snow, and the little girl dies.
That same little girl is born on another version of that night in 1910, but this time the doctor makes it through the storm, delivers the baby and stays for breakfast.
The Sonoran Desert, which spans some 100,000 square miles in southwestern North America, is one of the most diverse desert ecosystems in the world. Host Ira Flatow and guests discuss some lesser known desert creatures, and explore the secret life of that American southwest icon, the saguaro cactus.
When does a story about science become science fiction? Cosmologist Lawrence Krauss and theoretical physicist Brian Greene discuss how to spin a yarn about string theory or the Big Bang, without hyping the science. And novelist Ian McEwan, whose books touch on neurosurgery and quantum field theory, talks about what science offers to fiction.
You're listening to SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. And for the rest of the hour we're going to talk about collisions, space collisions, space impacts, with Erik Asphaug, who's Ronald Greeley chair of planetary geology, School of Earth and Space Exploration at Arizona State University. Welcome to SCIENCE FRIDAY.
ERIK ASPHAUG: Thanks very much, Ira.
FLATOW: You must be very busy since this last collision in Russia of this asteroid.
Driving in northern New Mexico requires special caution on Good Friday. Tens of thousands of people — some walking all night — are converging on the village of Chimayo to pray inside a 200-year-old chapel before a carved wooden image of Jesus.
As it does every year, the highway department has put out portable toilets, orange barriers, and signs warning motorists of "Santuario walkers."
How do you play a character who's been depicted more than nearly any other character in all of Western civilization?
That's the challenge currently facing Irish actress Fiona Shaw, who in the past has played such well-known fictional characters as Harry Potter's Petunia Dursley and Marnie Stonebrook on HBO's True Blood -- not to mention titanic classical roles from Euripides' Medea to Shakespeare's Richard II.
The year is 1915. A beautiful young woman bicycling through sun-dappled woods passes under an effigy of a German soldier and seems entirely unfazed. World War I is raging elsewhere in Europe, but here on the French Riviera life is serene.
The cyclist, Andree, is on her way to pose for an elderly Impressionist painter, Pierre-Auguste Renoir (Michel Bouquet), whom she somewhat startles by claiming to be an artist herself.