Anthropologists believe early humans evolved in Africa and then moved out from there in successive waves. However, what drove their migrations has been a matter of conjecture.
One new explanation is climate change.
Anthropologist Anders Erikkson of Cambridge University in England says the first few hardy humans who left Africa might've gone earlier but couldn't. Northeastern Africa — the only route to Asia and beyond — was literally a no man's land.
An apple a day might keep the doctor away, but what do you do when there are no apples? It's a question western Michigan's apple growers are dealing with this season after strange weather earlier in the year decimated the state's apple cultivation.
Michigan is the third-largest apple producer in the U.S. after New York and Washington, but the state's apples will soon be in short supply. Now in the middle of harvest season, growers are picking only 10 percent to 15 percent of their normal crop.
Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 4:45 am
Canada's leaders have ended their country's longstanding resistance to asbestos being called a dangerous material under United Nations guidelines, a decision that reflects a shift in the leadership of Quebec province, home of Canada's asbestos industry.
Quebec's incoming premier, Pauline Marois, promised late in her campaign that she would shut down the region's asbestos mines for good. She says that she will use money that would have gone to restart the mines to diversify the local economy.
As Dan Karpenchuk reports for NPR's Newscast unit:
Rowdy Smith, who brought his sons to the St. Louis Rams game on Sunday, said that President Obama's "not a leader" and is hurting the energy industry. He's shown here walking in front of the Americans for Prosperity campaign bus.
Originally published on Mon September 17, 2012 1:18 pm
There's nothing like a ready-made crowd to help a group get its message out. That's why a conservative political organization set up shop Sunday outside the St. Louis Rams-Washington Redskins NFL football game.
Why mix politics and football?
"People are here," explained Patrick Werner, Missouri state director for Americans for Prosperity.
Football fans are used to encountering promotional tents for sports-talk radio stations and brands of beer and mixed nuts on their way to the game. Not so many of them expect to discuss politics as part of the pregame festivities.
Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 4:46 am
As Americans increasingly rely on cards, not cash, to pay for small items like coffee and snacks, it's not always easy to tip the baristas and counter folks who make those transactions run smoothly. A new device called the "Dip Jar" might fix that, by allowing customers to dip a card to give $1 to the staff.
That might come as welcome news to workers behind the counter, who've seen debit and credit cards take over from cash. As a result, there's less change from which to pull a tip for the traditional jar that's often seen on counters where coffee, beer, or sandwiches are sold.
The Soyuz capsule lands with Commander Gennady Padalka of Russia, NASA Flight Engineer Joe Acaba and Russian Flight Engineer Sergei Revin aboard, near the town of Arkalyk, Kazakhstan. The capsule's final meter of descent is eased by braking engines.
The Soyuz capsule floats as it brings Commander Gennady Padalka of Russia, NASA Flight Engineer Joe Acaba and Russian Flight Engineer Sergei Revin to a landing area near the town of Arkalyk, Kazakhstan. When it detached from the space station, the capsule was over Kenya.
The Soyuz TMA-04M capsule lands in a remote area near the town of Arkalyk, Kazakhstan, Monday. Padalka, Acaba and Revin returned from five months onboard the International Space Station, where they served as members of the Expedition 31 and 32 crews.
U.S. astronaut Sunita Williams is now in command of the International Space Station, after receiving control of the facility this weekend. Three departing astronauts whose capsule left the station early Monday landed safely three and a half hours later.
For NPR's Newscast, Peter van Dyk filed this report from Moscow:
For generations women have been told, if you want a man, learn to cook. That's exactly why feminist writer Shayla Pierce stayed out of the kitchen. But now she finds herself with a boyfriend, learning to cook, and wondering if that makes her a sellout. She speaks with host Michel Martin about her article and her change of heart.