This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. We don't know much about Saturday's talks in Istanbul between Iran and the group of six major powers, but all sides used positive terms like constructive and agreed to a second round in Baghdad.
While diplomacy continues, the United States warns that the window for talks is closing. There's open talk of preemptive air strikes in Israel, and ever-tightening sanctions continue to squeeze Iran's economy.
The documentary Bully caught national attention when it received an R rating for harsh language from the Motion Picture Association of America. Harvey Weinstein, co-chairman of The Weinstein Company — which distributed the film — discusses the decision to re-edit the film for release with a PG-13 rating.
In a new book, Relics: Travels in Nature's Time Machine, Harvard entomologist and photographer Piotr Naskrecki documents his travels, from New Guinea to New Zealand and beyond, looking for organisms whose genes can tell us something about conditions on Earth millions of years ago.
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.