The Point

9:00am and 7:00pm

WCAI's award-winning public affairs program. Every Monday The Point features Living Lab with Heather Goldstone, examining the stories behind science headlines. Tuesday through Thursday, Mindy Todd hosts a lively and informative discussion on critical issues for Cape Cod, the Islands and the South Coast. Every Friday is the News Roundup, as WCAI Senior Reporter Sean Corcoran speaks with news editors and reporters from around the region.

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The Point hosts: Mindy Todd, Heather Goldstone, and Sean Corcoran.
Credit Maura Longueil

Come along as we tour the battleship USS Massachusetts at Battleship Cove in Fall River.  The Massachusetts was known as "Big Mamie" to her crewmembers during World War II. Initially assigned to duty in the Atlantic Fleet, and later transferred to the Pacific, the vessel was decommissioned in 1947.  It was later towed to Fall River and opened as a museum in 1965.

Finding Phil: Lost in War and Silence traces author Paul Levy’s search for his Uncle Phil, killed 70 years earlier in World War II. Phil was a young tank platoon commander who braved the frigid winter of 1944-45 as allied troops advanced against an increasingly desperate Hitler, and died in France only months before the war ended.

In the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor 20 Naval ships, including eight enormous battleships, and 300 airplanes were destroyed. More than 2,000 Americans soldiers and sailors died, and another 1,000 were wounded. There were also numerous civilians killed and wounded. Craig Nelson has written a detailed account of the events leading up to the attack, the chaos and carnage that ensued, and how the US ultimately triumphed when the Japanese were defeated at the end of World War II. The book is titled 

Biodiversity Heritage Library

Cold weather is really here, and the birds of our region are coping as they always do: perfectly insulated in their down feathers, and feasting on berries, bait, and other local abundance. On The Point, this month's Bird News program is hosted by Mindy ToddMark Faherty, ornithologist and science coordinator at Mass Audubon's Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary, is our guest in the studio.

U.S. Geological Survey

Sea level rise is typically mentioned in the context of erosion, coastal flooding, storm damage at the coasts. All of those are issues, to be sure. But rising ocean levels can have other effects – on septic systems and drinking water supplies farther inland. Potential impacts on groundwater are the subject of a new report from US Geological Survey’s New England Water Science Center.

We come into contact with countless chemicals everyday. In fact, we're made of chemicals. But the number of human-made, synthetic chemicals in our lives has skyrocketed, and many common household and personal care products actually contain chemicals that may be bad for our health.

Scientists can measure the amounts of these chemicals in retail products and the home environment, and they can study what they do to animals in laboratory. But that leaves one big, unanswered question:

From the design features in a passive solar house to new technologies in building materials and appliances, there are numerous ways for buildings to become more energy efficient.

On The Point, we talk about books with a winter theme. Mindy Todd hosts book experts Jill Erickson, of the Falmouth Public Library, and Jennifer Gaines, of the Woods Hole Library.  

AP Photo/Bradley C Bower

Pilgrim Nuclear is slated to close in the spring of 2019. What are the steps involved with decommissioning the plant, and what will be left behind once the plant closes? On The Point, we talk with editors and reporters at The Cape Cod Times about their upcoming series exploring the long and short-term impacts of closing nuclear power plants, and what we can learn from other communities who have gone through the process.

Agence de presse Meurisse /

When Marie Curie discovered radioactivity, she kick-started the field of atomic physics and inspired two other female physicists whose work gave rise to the atomic age. Her daughter, Irene (and son-in-law, Frederic) Joliot-Curie, discovered a method of inducing artificial radioactivity. And Austrian-born Lise Meitner figured out nuclear fission.