In The Idea Factory: Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation, Jon Gertner writes of the legendary innovations developed at AT&T's Bell Labs, from lasers and transistors to solar cells and cell phones, and discusses how the lab became a hotbed for new ideas.
He's flown the space shuttle five times, and performed eight spacewalks to service the Hubble telescope. Now astronaut and astrophysicist John Grunsfeld heads up NASA's Science Mission Directorate, where he manages scientific investigations on the home planet--and beyond.
A private company has unveiled plans to mine precious metals and water from nearby asteroids. Planetary Resources co-founder Eric Anderson discusses the various stages of the mining process and how the excavated minerals could impact future space exploration and innovation on Earth.
After tough criticism from Republicans, the Obama administration withdrew its proposal for new rules to limit child labor on farms.
The AP reports that yesterday, the Labor Department withdrew the proposed rules "that would ban children younger than 16 from using most power-driven farm equipment, including tractors. The rules also would prevent those younger than 18 from working in feed lots, grain bins and stockyards."
Mitt Romney sweeps five primaries and all but locks up the GOP nomination. Even Newt Gingrich agrees Romney is the presumptive nominee. More veepstakes speculation on Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio. Two centrist House Democrats bite the dust in Pennsylvnaia, while Utah GOP Sen. Orrin Hatch lives to fight another day.
NPR's Ken Rudin and guest host Mara Liasson have the latest political news in this week's roundup.