Originally published on Fri November 16, 2012 8:23 am
News outlets in German and Sweden have been reporting for the past year that some of the products made in past decades for Swedish furniture giant IKEA were produced by political prisoners in Cold War-era East Germany.
Today, IKEA conceded that the reports are true and that some of its "representatives" were aware of what was happening.
This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. If you're a political junkie, I'm guessing a couple of words will make your skin crawl: hanging chads. Or you might like pregnant chads or whatever - we didn't know what a chad was before then. After the problems counting ballots in the 2000 election in Florida, municipalities around the country moved to adopt electronic voting systems with the thought that they would be easier to use, more straightforward to count.
Why does stuff have mass, you know, that gives it weight? If you're a regular listener, you might recall that it has to do with how subatomic particles interact with something called the Higgs Field, right? Higgs boson, becoming more familiar? How do scientists know that? Well, it's theory. It's backed up by, in part, by the reported discovery of the Higgs Boson at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, back in July.
This is SCIENCE FRIDAY, I'm Ira Flatow. Turn on reality TV, and it may not be long before you ask yourself: Are we getting dumber? A new study may have some genetic answers to that question. Provocative research published this week in the journal Trends in Genetics suggests that human intelligence may have peaked thousands of years ago.
It's the sort of juxtaposition that often arises at this time of year: novel adaptations arriving in droves at movie theaters, hunting for Oscar nominations.
J.R.R. Tolkien's fantastical The Hobbit and Yann Martel's lifeboat adventure Life of Pi are coming soon, and this week Leo Tolstoy's romantic tragedy Anna Karenina goes head to head with Matthew Quick's romantic comedy Silver Linings Playbook.