December 5, 2013 New research shows that chimpanzees not only enjoy interacting with a humanoid robot, but also work actively to keep the connection going. Commentator Barbara J. King ties this finding to our past and our future.
December 5, 2013 President Obama says the federal health exchange website is now "working well for the vast majority of users," but Republicans say it has security problems. Steve Kelley questions whether the site is too easy for some to use, while Lee Judge refuses to go with the flow of Obamacare critics.
December 4, 2013 Is the brain a sort of quantum computer? What is consciousness? Marcelo Gleiser's brain is buzzing with big questions after participating in a conference that asked if quantum physics plays a role in how we think.
December 4, 2013 Smartphones and the Internet have made it easier than ever for people to share photos of their friends, family, pets and children. But sharing personal photos raises technological and ethical questions. Fresh Air tech contributor Alexis Madrigal recently became a father and has some tips for navigating the world of online photo sharing.
December 4, 2013 Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos says the company hopes to someday use drones to deliver packages. Mike Smith thinks America's online shoppers will be eager customers, while Chip Bok expects employment to drop like a stone.
December 3, 2013 Imagine stepping into an elevator and bumping into your greatest hero. What would you say? Commentator Adam Frank had this happen with one of the 20th century's greatest astronomers, a seer of sorts.
December 3, 2013 China has established a new air defense zone that overlaps similar defense zones of its neighbors South Korea, Taiwan and Japan. Deng Coy Miel fears China is seeking a confrontation, while Jeff Danziger thinks Japan has been too quick to interpose the United States in its territorial disputes with its neighbor.
December 2, 2013 Is the idea that the left hemisphere of the brain is more logical and the right more intuitive a scientific fact or a cultural fiction? Commentator Tania Lombrozo turns to an expert for answers.
December 2, 2013 Secretary of State John Kerry sent a video to members of Congress urging them not to impose any further sanctions against Iran, lest it upset his newly negotiated accord. Jeff Danziger doubts Republicans will give the deal a chance to work, while Gary Varvel thinks Kerry is giving it all away.
December 1, 2013 Pope Francis recently issued an 84-page paper criticizing the excesses of capitalism, stating "it is evident that unbridled consumerism combined with inequality proves doubly damaging to the social fabric." Mike Luckovich doubts some will hear him, while Rainer Hachfeld believes the Holy Father has joined the company of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.
November 30, 2013 At least 30 Haitian migrants died this week when a packed sailboat capsized off the coast of the Bahamas. NPR's Scott Simon reminds us how some of the first Americans arrived on the continent, risking their lives to sail across rough seas.
November 30, 2013 Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius says things are on track to meet today's deadline for fixing the HealthCare.gov website. Steve Sack thinks the Band-Aids mask a larger problem, while Darrin Bell finds it absurd that some Republicans claim that nuclear negotiations with Iran were intended to distract from the website woes.
November 29, 2013 Traditionally the busiest shopping day of the year, Black Friday brings out shoppers hurrying after deals. Gustavo Rodriguez thinks some bargain hunters take things way too far, while Sandy Huffaker notes there's always another shop-pertunity waiting in the wings.
November 28, 2013 For the first time in 125 years, by some calculations, Thanksgiving coincides with the start of Hanukkah. On a day of turkey-eating and menorah-lighting, Dave Granlund and Joe Heller are two happy kvellers.
November 28, 2013 Pure gratitude for the love in our lives is part of a joyous Thanksgiving. Alongside this feeling, commentator and cancer patient Barbara J. King experiences a more complicated species of thankfulness as she rejoices in, and battles fears about, her radiation therapy.