News

An 18th-century woodcut from a religious tract

New England isn’t exactly a major earthquake hotspot, but we do get small earthquakes every year. A magnitude 2.7 rattled New Hampshire and parts of Massachusetts in mid-February just this year.

northwestern.edu

There’s new evidence that gender stereotypes of scientists are changing. Researchers looked at drawings of scientists made by more than 20,000 children and found that 28 percent drew their scientist as a woman. That’s a dramatic increase from the .6 percent researchers saw 50 years ago, but there’s still room for growth.

noaa.gov

The ocean has a plastic problem. And it’s growing. Several million tons of plastic enter the ocean every year, and much of it ends up swirling around in the middle of ocean basins.

There is a long and troubling history of science – or at least pseudoscience – being used to justify racism and discrimination. The nineteenth century practice of phrenology is a commonly cited – and thoroughly debunked – example.

photo by Hayley Fager

Artist Jeff Smith set out to build the smallest house in the world. No one else had done it, so why shouldn't he? He doesn't live in the home. It functions more as a performance art piece. And because it's bright green, he gets a lot of questions when he parks it in public places. It's also for rent...but it's complicated.

It's been a busy week in local news.

WCAI News Director Steve Junker hosts a roundup of some of the top local and regional news of the week. His guests include Geoff Spillane of the Cape Cod Times, Sara Brown of the Vineyard Gazette, Tim Wood of the Cape Cod Chronicle, Ed Miller of the Provincetown Banner, George Brennan of the Martha's Vineyard Times, and Andy Tomolonis of South Coast Today.

WCAI's Kathryn Eident checks in with State House Reporter Mike Deehan about the Legislature's budget planning, their rejection of an aid in dying bill, and their upcoming work on a massive criminal justice reform bill.

Dan Fasman

There are plenty of Easter egg hunts to choose from this weekend, but we promise - there are other things to do too! Here's your Weekend Outlook. 

Vietnam After the War

Mar 29, 2018

What happened to the people who remained in the former South Vietnam after the war ended in April 1975? Quoc Pham was a former South Vietnamese naval officer who was imprisoned in a communist re-education camp. He survived the camp and escaped from Vietnam by boat.

falmouthwaters.org

Plastic is everywhere. Try to think of an item you use regularly that doesn’t contain some bit of plastic. Single use items are increasingly made up of plastic- think shopping bags, water bottles, drinking straws. A downside to plastic is that we end up with an abundance of used plastic items that either can’t be or are not recycled. A great deal of that used plastic ends up as pollution.

Elspeth Hay

Most farmers and gardeners are just starting to get seeds in the ground. But Jeff Deck of Dennis uses a different model. This week on the Local Food Report, Elspeth visits the two greenhouses where he grows year round. She learns what varieties do well over the winter, and how he plants for a continuous harvest. 

What are YOUR top ten books? On our monthly books program, we continue on the topic of "Best Books of All Time."  Our host Mindy Todd sits down in The Point studio to add to the list of favorites, with Jill Erickson, Reference Librarian at Falmouth Public Library, and Robert Waxler, retired Professor of English at UMass-Dartmouth. 

Mark Faherty

If you feed the birds, then you may be feeding more birds than you had bargained for. Because where there are lots of birds, there are birds that eat birds. You might not be aware of the carnage, but if you look closely, you may see the telltale signs of bird on bird violence in your backyard.

Sarah Tan / WCAI

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) met on Tuesday evening for their annual safety assessment of the Pilgrim power plant in Plymouth. After a presentation from officials of Entergy, the company that owns the plant, the commission deemed the site improving, but still in need of its highest tier of oversight. 

Birds are astonishingly smart creatures. Researchers are finding some birds rival primates, and even humans, in their remarkable forms of intelligence. On The Point, we talk with Jennifer Ackerman, who traveled the world to talk with bird researchers. Her book The Genius of Birds not only tells the story of how birds demonstrate their smarts, it delves into the latest findings about the brains of birds and what it means to be intelligent.

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