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Friday, January 11, 2013

NASA/JPL ground controllers react to learning the the Curiosity rover had landed safely on Mars and begun to send back images to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory on Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012. NASA/JPL ground controllers react to learning the the Curiosity rover had landed safely on Mars. (Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls/NASA)

Andy Borowitz fills in for Leonard Lopate. We start the show with a Please Explain look at the top science stories of 2012! George Saunders talks about his new short story collection, Tenth of December. Michael Cannell tells the story of a California mechanic who became the first American-born driver to win the Grand Prix. And the Wall Street Journal’s Julia Angwin discusses the new powers given to the National Counterterrorism Center to collect information on Americans, even if they have not been suspected of a crime.

Guests:

Andy Borowitz

Please Explain: The Year in Science 2012

Corey S. Powell, Editor at Large of Discover magazine, talks about the biggest stories in science last year—including the new Mars rover; the discovery of the Higgs boson; the Human Microbiome Project; climate change, storms, and melting polar ice; private space flight; self-driving cars; the comeback of measles, mumps, and whooping cough; and more!

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George Saunders Talks Tenth of December

George Saunders, a master of the short story, talks about his new collection, Tenth of December. These explore the fault lines of our own morality, delving into what makes us good and what makes us human.

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The Life of Grand Prix Driver Phil Hill

Michael Cannell tells the story of Phil Hill-a lowly California mechanic who became the first American-born driver to win the Grand Prix. The Limit  charts Hill’s journey from acing midget cars in dusty California lots to Grand Prix tracks across Europe.

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Julia Angwin on the National Counterterrorism Center's Power

Wall Street Journal Reporter Julia Angwin discusses the National Counterterrorism Center’s  new authority to access and keep data about innocent U.S. citizens for up to five years, and to analyze it for suspicious patterns of behavior even if there is no reason to suspect them. 

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