The Hidden Costs of the Drone Program from All Things Considered
Carl Zimmer, an elegant peacock among science writers, delivers this lesson on where bird feathers came from. The shared anatomy between dinosaurs and birds extends beyond the wishbone to their equally functional and extravagant plumage. Recent fossil finds give us hints about the colors and forms that adorned some prehistoric reptiles, from frilly crests to fuzzy proto-wings.
Dinosaurs didn’t take to the air for tens of millions of years after the first feathers showed up, and we don’t yet know exactly how that happened. But we know that the evolution of these delicate, beautiful and functional forms carried some dinosaurs aloft to a higher branch on the tree of life, and from that branch lept the first bird.
(view the full lesson at TED-Ed)
“Accident of Physics”
You’re not to be so blind with patriotism that you can’t face reality. Wrong is wrong, no matter who does it or says it.
An impending medical crisis: Millions of Californians may be set to receive healthcare coverage under President Obama’s healthcare reform bill, but with so many ready to jump on board, one question lingers. Where are all of the doctors?
State lawmakers have some ideas on how to combat what could become a crippling shortage in California.
They are working on proposals that would allow physician assistants to treat more patients and nurse practitioners to set up independent practices. Pharmacists and optometrists could act as primary care providers, diagnosing and managing some chronic illnesses, such as diabetes and high-blood pressure.
But many doctors’ groups aren’t exactly happy with the idea of expanding the definition of medical practitioners.
Doctors say giving non-physicians more authority and autonomy could jeopardize patient safety. It could also drive up costs, because those workers, who have less medical education and training, tend to order more tests and prescribe more antibiotics.
(Photo via Saul Loeb, AFP/Getty Images)