This weekend's nuclear negotiations with Iran should provide some indication of whether unprecedented economic pressure can induce a country to reconsider its policies. No country has ever been subject to such sanctions as severe as those currently imposed on Iran. Between the restrictions on Iranian oil imports and the banking and insurance sanctions, Iran has fewer available "work-arounds" than other countries facing sanctions.
Time now for your letters and a correction. On Monday, we brought you the story of The LouseBuster, a hot air treatment that kills head lice. You can find it at salons with names like Nittless Noggins, Pikki Nikki and the Hair Whisperers, but not at Hair-Fairies, as we reported. Our apologies for that one.
Well, now on to my conversation with Carolyn Hamre. She won a seat on the City Council of Portage, Wisconsin. And she did it with just two votes, hers and her husband's.
In 1987, the song "Ship of Fools" launched the band World Party to the forefront of the modern rock scene. Other hits followed, but they ended suddenly in 2001. That's when frontman Karl Wallinger suffered a brain aneurysm, one that was misdiagnosed at the time.
"I came out of the bedroom saying, 'Hey, I've got a bit of a headache,'" Wallinger recalls. "I came out again an hour later and said, 'Phone an ambulance,' and then went and passed out for 24 hours."
When President Obama recently complained to news media executives about their ostensibly even-handed "pox on both of your houses" coverage of the partisan battles in Washington, it might have seemed like, well, a partisan shot from a Democratic president.
The two suspects in last Friday's killings in Tulsa of three African-Americans and wounding of two others were formally charged today with "three counts each of first-degree murder, two counts of shooting with intent to kill and five counts of malicious intimidation or harassment," the Tulsa World repo
How do astronauts take a bath in space? What happens to their sense of smell in a weightless environment? Two NASA astronauts aboard the International Space Station discuss the challenges of life in low Earth orbit and how their research is a stepping stone for future space exploration.
In a new book, To Forgive Design: Understanding Failure, engineer Henry Petroski chronicles disasters from the sinking of the Titanic to the destruction of space shuttles Challenger and Columbia. Petroski discusses why these accidents are often caused by factors other than a design flaw.
Up next, some improbable humor. If you're a loyal listener, you know my next guest. He's been a SCIENCE FRIDAY regular for, oh, 20 years. Wow. Every year on the Friday after Thanksgiving. You know that. We play the first annual Ig Nobel Awards. They awards given to science that makes you laugh and then makes you think. Marc Abrahams is the co-founder and the emcee of the Ig Nobels. He's also the editor and founder of the Annals of Improbable Research, and he writes a weekly column for The Guardian. Welcome, Marc.