All Things Considered

Die-ins, like this one at Union Station in Washington, D.C., on December 6, were conducted across America to protest the non-indictment of the police officers who killed Michael Brown and Eric Garner. Linguist Ben Zimmer says that while the word "die-in" isn't new, its increased use makes it a strong candidate for the American Dialect Society's 2014 Word of the Year. Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

Pop Culture

Die-In, Vortex, Selfie Stick: What's The Word Of 2014?

In January, members of the American Dialect Society will vote on the 2014 Word of the Year. Linguist Ben Zimmer runs through some contenders — including words both old and new.

Employees of the U.S. Radium Corporation paint numbers on the faces of wristwatches using dangerous radioactive paint. Dozens of women, known as Radium Girls, later died of radium poisoning. The last radium girl died this year at 107. Argonne National Laboratory hide caption

itoggle caption Argonne National Laboratory

Health

Saved By A Bad Taste, The Last 'Radium Girl' Dies At 107

In the 1920s, working-class women were hired to paint radium onto glowing watch dials — and told to sharpen the brush with their lips. Most died within a few years, but Mae Keane quit, and survived.

Recent research has shown that zebra finches sing differently when drunk, but not whether they know enough of the lyrics to get through "Don't Stop Believin' " or "I Will Survive." Liza Gross/Courtesy Public Library of Science hide caption

itoggle caption Liza Gross/Courtesy Public Library of Science

Animals

Scientists Discover That Drunk Birds Sing Like Drunks

The songs of zebra finches, long used as a model for how humans learn to use speech, get a little sloppy after a few drinks, a new study finds. Future research will look at how it affects learning.

3

Die-ins, like this one at Union Station in Washington, D.C., on December 6, were conducted across America to protest the non-indictment of the police officers who killed Michael Brown and Eric Garner. Linguist Ben Zimmer says that while the word "die-in" isn't new, its increased use makes it a strong candidate for the American Dialect Society's 2014 Word of the Year. Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

6

Employees of the U.S. Radium Corporation paint numbers on the faces of wristwatches using dangerous radioactive paint. Dozens of women, known as Radium Girls, later died of radium poisoning. The last radium girl died this year at 107. Argonne National Laboratory hide caption

itoggle caption Argonne National Laboratory
All Things Considered