Thirty years ago, we first began hearing about AIDS — then a mysterious, unnamed disease that was initially thought to be a rare form of cancer that affected gay men. Scientists soon learned that it was neither of those things, and, in fact, it was a virus that everyone was vulnerable to.
That vulnerability became apparent when, in 1991, basketball superstar Magic Johnson announced that we would retire immediately because he had contracted HIV.
There are millions of killers loose in California, and eucalyptus trees are their victims. Entomologist Timothy Paine has been studying the insects killing California's menthol-scented trees for two decades — and he's noticed a suspicious pattern.
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Entomologist Timothy Paine
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Entomologist Timothy Paine holds a longhorned borer. The borer was one of the early killers of California's eucalyptus trees.
Credit Zoe Corbyn / Zoe Corbyn
Timothy Paine points out a eucalyptus tree killed by an onslaught of longhorned borers. The beetles bore deep into the tree and feed on the wood.
Long before the era of post-Sept. 11 security precautions in the U.S., an unknown person or group of people may have begun carrying out a series of bioterrorism attacks in California.
The target? Menthol-scented eucalyptus trees.
Before you wonder why you hadn't heard of this, it's because the story isn't necessarily true. It's a hypothesis, a theory promoted by a noted California entomologist and eucalyptus expert named Timothy Paine.
If his theory is correct, then somebody out there wants those trees dead.
Ted Engelmann, left, helps Yamilet Ortega, 3, second from left, and Kimberly Hernandez, 7, light candles, Saturday at a memorial near the movie theater in Aurora, Colo., where a gunman killed 12 people and wounded dozens of others Friday.
President Obama is in Aurora, Colo., on Sunday, meeting with the families of the victims of the deadly theater shootings that killed 12 people and injured 58 more. He'll also attend a memorial service and meet briefly with local officials.
Outside the movie theater where Friday's rampage occurred, there's a makeshift memorial at the edge of a hot and dusty lot. There are hundreds of candles and flowers, American flags and signs memorializing the victims.
"It's a sad time, very sad time," said William Cloud, a local professor, who came by to pay his respects.
Theweekends on All Things Considered series Movies I've Seen a Million Times features filmmakers, actors, writers and directors talking about the movies that they never get tired of watching.
For actor Donald Faison, whose credits include Clueless, Remember the Titans, the TV shows Scrubs and The Exes, the movie he could watch a million times is Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back. "I want to say I saw it at the movie theaters 30 times," Faison says.
Oliver Stone's latest film, Savages, opened in theaters earlier this month. The movie centers on two young marijuana growers, Ben and Chon, who live and deal in California, alongside their girlfriend O — short for Ophelia. They find themselves thrust into a world of violence and murder when a Mexican drug cartel comes after their business. The film is based on the book by crime writer Don Winslow, who also co-wrote the screenplay.