It's a year-end tradition to cobble together a list of the most important advances in science. But, truth be told, many ideas that change the world don't tend to spring from these flashy moments of discovery. Our view of nature — and our technology — often evolve from a sequence of more subtle advances.
Even so, chances are good that this year's list-makers will choose the discovery of the Higgs boson as the most important discovery of 2012.
The sad truth about Karachi in 2012 was that whatever your religion, business affiliation, or political party, someone was willing to kill you for it.
The murder rate in Pakistan's largest city and commercial hub hit an all time high last year. Over 2,500 people died in violent crimes in Karachi in 2012, a 50 percent increase over the year before.
Most of the deaths were attributable to sectarian killings and score settling. Shia Muslims took on the brunt of the violence. But Sunni Muslims were killed in reprisal attacks that added to the tally.
It's been a banner year for solar energy. The United States is on track to install a record number of solar power systems — thanks in large part to low-cost solar panels from China. That's been challenging for American manufacturers, and federal officials have put trade tariffs on Chinese panels.
Things look busy at the SunPower solar manufacturing plant in Silicon Valley. Workers are screwing frames onto shiny, 6-foot solar panels as they come off the line.
Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 10:16 am
The White House released this statement from President Obama at 2:30 a.m. on Tuesday:
Leaders from both parties in the Senate came together to reach an agreement that passed with overwhelming bipartisan support today that protects 98 percent of Americans and 97 percent of small business owners from a middle class tax hike. While neither Democrats nor Republicans got everything they wanted, this agreement is the right thing to do for our country and the House should pass it without delay.
Airs Monday, December 31 at 8:00 p.m. Count down, sing along, and dance to live music all night long. Travel from coast to coast with four celebrations of midnight from time zone to time zone. It's the perfect holiday special for any New Year's event. Spirited, improvised, grooving, and swinging, with strings, horns, voices and drums, each segment is a stop in a sequence of parties, each one contributing something new to the musical feast. WBGO's Rhonda Hamilton anchors, with additional voices along the way.
Airs Monday, December 31 at 7:00 p.m. Repeats Tuesday, January 1 at 6:00 p.m. Help us roast 2012 to a crisp with The Capitol Steps and their annual year-in-review awards ceremony called "Politics Takes a Holiday!" This year will feature all new awards, such as: "Best Use of $3 billion Dollars to Run for President," "Worst Place in Public to Admit You Had a Binder Full of Women," "Most Prostitutes to Ever Fit into the Secret Service's Hotel," and "Worst Hair Cut Ever to Demand to See Anyone's Birth Certificate." Go ahead, post on Facebook (hopefully you didn't invest in it) and tell your friends all about it! If there is anything Congress can agree on, it is The Capitol Steps' one hour long special will have you laughing harder than Joe Biden at a Vice Presidential debate. So laugh away at 2012, because unlike any Presidential election, laughter is free.
Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 6:55 pm
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
And I'm Audie Cornish. There's good news and bad news on the so-called "fiscal cliff," just hours before the nation is set to slide over it. The good news is that top negotiators for the Senate and the White House are by all accounts this close to a deal. The deal would prevent a major income tax hike for most Americans. That starts tomorrow.
Chief Justice John Roberts wants everyone to know the federal judiciary is doing its part to keep down government costs. Roberts used his year-end report on the state of the courts to point out that the judicial branch consumes "a miniscule portion of the federal budget" — about $7 billion in fiscal year 2012, or two-tenths of 1 percent of the total government budget.
It is New Year's Eve. And that means people will: go to parties and drink Champagne; ignore the hubbub and go to bed by 10; start cooking for New Year's Day; watch college football — or possibly some combination of the above.