In 1977, a small crew of oceanographers traveled to the bottom of the Pacific Ocean and stumbled across a brand new form of life. The discovery was so unusual, it turned biology on its head and brought into question much of what scientists thought they knew about where life can form and what it needs in order to survive.
Nearly 30 years ago — long before she had her own TV show or magazine or brand — Martha Stewart wrote her very first book, Entertaining.
"The first book really was kind of an entertaining textbook for the homemaker," Stewart tells NPR's Linda Wertheimer. "I couldn't find a good book about entertaining in 1982 and neither could my friend, so I decided to write it."
At the annual dinner of the Everglades Foundation recently, there was a surprise guest: Florida Gov. Rick Scott. The governor made a brief appearance before the group with some reassuring words.
"We are absolutely focused on making sure the right thing happens for the Everglades," he said.
It's a new focus for the Republican, a businessman who's a relative newcomer both to Florida and to politics. After taking office earlier this year, his statements and actions suggested he saw environmental protection not so much as a goal, but as a problem.
Russia's ruling party fared worse than expected in a parliamentary election yesterday. Incomplete results show the party barely winning a majority. And that is a sharp drop in support for the United Russia Party from the last election, which is seen as a setback for Vladimir Putin, the man who has dominated Russia for more than a decade. It's his party.
To talk about the vote we've called Masha Lippman, an analyst at the Carnegie Moscow Center. She's on the line from there. Welcome back to the program.
A big international conference is being held in Bonn, Germany, on Monday to help draw up a roadmap for Afghanistan after combat operations there cease at the end of 2014. But Pakistan — a critical player in the Afghanistan conundrum — has said it's boycotting the conference after NATO troops killed 24 Pakistani soldiers during an attack in late November.
The International Monetary Fund used to bail out deadbeat nations in Latin America. Now, in a role reversal, the IMF's new director, Christine Lagarde, is seeking the region's help in containing Europe's worsening debt crisis. Officials in Brazil, now the world's seventh-biggest economy, say they're putting together an IMF loan. And Lagarde says the whole region can provide Europe with lessons on how to manage the economy.
Instant cups of soup — the kind that often come in a Styrofoam cup full of noodles — send children to the hospital every day.
"I don't have them in my house," says Dr. Warren Garner, director of the burn unit at University of Southern California's County Hospital in Los Angeles. "I would say that we see at least two to three patients a week who've been injured by these products."
Bean counters at the Pentagon are working long hours to figure out how to cut close to a trillion dollars from the Department of Defense budget over the next 10 years.
Those were the Pentagon's marching orders after the congressional supercommittee failed to come up with a plan to slash the country's deficit. Pentagon officials are looking at cutting weapons programs, troop levels and possibly even some base closures.