WAMU 88.5 : The Diane Rehm Show

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Environmental Outlook: The Shrinking Monarch Butterfly Population

Bright orange with black and white markings, the Monarch butterfly is one of our most charismatic insect species. Monarchs are among the few insects that migrate, and the way they migrate is one of the most fascinating among all animals. Weighing less than a paper clip, with a wingspan of only four inches, generations of monarchs fly hundreds to thousands of miles south each autumn. They over-winter in Mexico, Florida and southern California, before making the voyage north each spring. Last year’s winter count of Monarchs was the lowest since record keeping began 20 years ago. Scientists fear the number could be even smaller this year. In this month’s Environmental Outlook, Diane and her guests discuss why the monarch population is shrinking and how we can help preserve their habitat.

Diane Rehm Tags And Releases A Monarch Butterfly

Smithsonian biologist Tamie DeWitt shows Diane how to hold, tag, kiss good-bye and release a Monarch butterfly.

Google Earth Tour Of The Monarch Butterfly Migration

NPR

Under The Streets Of Naples, A Way Out For Local Kids

A priest in Naples' tough Sanità neighborhood has put local kids — some from mob families — to work restoring underground catacombs full of early Christian art. The result? 40,000 tourists a year.
NPR

Tasting With Our Eyes: Why Bright Blue Chicken Looks So Strange

The color of food can affect how we perceive its taste, and food companies aren't afraid to use that to their advantage. An artist tests perceptions by dousing familiar foods with unorthodox colors.
NPR

Holy Bible Could Become Louisiana's Official Book

Lawmakers have proposed a bill that would make the Bible the state's official book, but critics say it is unconstitutional and would open Louisiana up to legal challenges.
NPR

When Parents Are The Ones Too Distracted By Devices

Parents often complain that smartphones keep their kids distracted from conversation. What happens when it's the other way around, when kids can't get their smartphone-glued parents' attention?

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