Voters in Washington state will decide whether to privatize the sale of hard liquor on Tuesday. Currently spirits can be sold only at state-run or contract liquor stores. Retail giant Costco has been pouring money — about $22 million — into advertising in favor of getting the initiative passed.
This morning, Dr. Conrad Murray is in a jail here in Los Angeles. Michael Jackson's personal physician was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter yesterday. NPR's Karen Grigsby Bates has been following the trial and has this report.
KAREN GRIGSBY BATES, BYLINE: The downtown courtroom was packed as those present waited as the clerk of the court read the jury's verdict.
NASA's next Mars rover, Curiosity, seen in this artist's rendering, will use 8 pounds of plutonium-238 as its power supply. That's a significant portion of the remaining space fuel. NASA and the Department of Energy have offered to split the costs of producing the fuel, but Congress has so far opposed that arrangement.
NASA's Voyager spacecraft, seen in this artist's rendering, runs on plutonium-238. It's the farthest man-made object from Earth NASA has ever sent out.
When NASA's next Mars rover blasts off later this month, the car-sized robot will carry with it nearly eight pounds of a special kind of plutonium fuel that's in short supply.
NASA has relied on that fuel, called plutonium-238, to power robotic missions for five decades.
But with supplies running low, scientists who want the government to make more are finding that it sometimes seems easier to chart a course across the solar system than to navigate the budget process inside Washington, D.C.
Nicolaus Copernicus made the astounding claim that Earth revolves around the sun, not the other way around. He's seen here circa 1515.
Credit Melissa Forsyth / NPR
Dava Sobel, who has written a new book about Copernicus, pages through a first edition copy of the astronomer's 1543 work On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres at Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C.
Credit Hulton Archive / Getty Images
Copernicus' heliocentric theory, which said Earth and the other planets revolve around the sun, ran counter to the Bible and astronomy texts of the day. Published in 1543, his ideas were taught in the 16th century but were "immediately dismissed as absurd," says science historian Robert Westman.
It doesn't happen often, but there are times when a single book turns the world on its head. Isaac Newton's Principia unraveled the mystery of gravity. Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species explained how evolution worked.
But before either of these, there was On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres by Nicolaus Copernicus. It was published in 1543. In it, Copernicus made the astounding claim that Earth revolves around the sun, not the other way around.
The U.S. Supreme Court, an institution steeped in tradition, steps into the turbulent world of new technology Tuesday. At issue before the court is whether police must get a warrant from a judge before they can attach a GPS tracking device to a car so they can monitor a suspect's every movement for an indefinite period of time.
The case could have enormous implications for privacy rights in the information age.