|Quotes of the Week: 'Everybody Needs an Uncle Harry and an Aunt Pippa'|
|Dec 8, 2012, 8:04 PM|
From the royal pregnancy to the fiscal cliff, click through to catch up on some of the most buzzworthy stories from this past week.
It seems that the future king or queen of England has dibs on the coolest aunt and uncle in town.
With the palace's announcement of Kate's pregnancy, Kate's sister, Pippa Middleton, and Prince Harry are poised to be an aunt and uncle, respectively, for the first time.
"Everybody needs and Uncle Harry and an Aunt Pippa in their lives," ABC News' royal contributor Victoria Arbiter Brown said. "You've got stylish Pippa and great, fun Uncle Harry, so I think they're going to be wonderful people to have around. You can imagine it's going to be great fun."
More than 50 years after the Walker family was murdered in the quiet, carefree town of Osprey, Fla., the focus of the cold case investigation has shifted to two notorious killers who were the basis of Truman Capote's true-crime book "In Cold Blood."
Investigators from the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office are hoping to travel to Kansas as soon as an order is approved by a judge to exhume the bodies of Perry Smith and Richard Hickock. They hope mitochondrial DNA evidence collected from the bones of the killers, who were executed by hanging in 1965, will help close a cold case that rattled Sarasota County.
On Dec. 19, 1959, the Walker family, including parents Cliff and Christine and their toddler children Jimmie and Debbie, were shot to death in their Osprey home.
Detective Kim McGath, who has been assigned to the Walker case for the past four years, said she decided to start from the beginning last year in investigating the case, and through her research developed a hunch that Smith and Hickock could be responsible. The men were briefly investigated in 1960, but were ruled out as suspects after passing lie detector tests.
"Some things started jumping out at me," she told ABCNews.com.
After 88 days in the spotlight as Mitt Romney's VP pick, Paul Ryan has stepped into the shadows (specifically, hometown Janesville, Wis.) for the five-day House break -- but that doesn't mean he's not taking phone calls and answering emails.
The topic of course is the fiscal cliff. He's the House budget committee chairman and the man many thought might come in as the new leader in the House, perhaps even his beleaguered Republican Party. During the campaign, he pushed cutting spending and stressed entitlement reform, despite the political risks.
The day after the election, House Speaker John Boehner, the man now at the center of the negotiations with President Obama, called Ryan, according to a Boehner aide, because the speaker wanted "to make sure he was in the fold from Day One," adding that he's been a "close part of the thought process."
And an aide to Ryan, who asked that his name not be used, says the role of the Wisconsin congressman is as a "resource to the speaker, a resource to House Republicans."
"He has responsibilities as the House budget chairman, he has responsibilities to the first district of Wisconsin. He needed to be where the fight is," added the aide.
Padma Lakshmi has some advice for the pregnant Duchess of Cambridge: Eat ginger, wear form-fitting clothes, and get ready for even more paparazzi.
Lakshmi, 42, gave birth to a daughter in 2010.
For Middleton's acute morning sickness, the "Top Chef" host recommended home remedies the duchess can use now that she's out of the hospital: "Ginger. It's the only thing that really does curtail nausea. Or chewing on a whole clove, that can also work."
Lakshmi joked that she "could've used a touch of nausea" during her pregnancy.
"I was eating like a horse," she said. "I gained 45 pounds when I got pregnant and it all went to my thighs. You didn't see it because I'm a very savvy dresser. I've been a model for 20 years, I'd better know how to dress."
What could be more festive than a dozen raw eggs, a quart of rum and a pint of bourbon getting friendly in a pot in the fridge for six weeks?
Conventional wisdom would suggest eggnog should bring about a spike in salmonella cases every December, but it doesn't happen. Call it a holiday miracle -- or just call it science.
At Rockefeller University, the Laboratory of Bacterial Pathogenesis and Immunology has been making a raw-eggs-and-alcohol eggnog for at least 60 years. It calls for leaving the egg, sugar, cream, spices and alcohol mixture in the fridge for about six weeks. Yes, really.
"I've been here almost 50 years, and we've made it every year," professor and lab head Vincent Fischetti said. "We usually make it about a week or so before Thanksgiving, sip it to cheer Thanksgiving, and finish it at the Christmas party."
A few years ago, Fischetti's lab made an extra batch -- for the sake of science -- spiked with an extra ingredient: salmonella. Within the first five days of sitting in the cold with the alcohol, the batch still tested positive for salmonella, but it was sterile not long after, Fischetti said. They even tried to culture the aged eggnog on a petri dish, but no bacteria would grow on it.
"There's enough alcohol in there to kill a horse," he said, laughing. "It's a standard recipe. We're not spiking it any more than it should be."
Madisonville, Texas, is not big sky country. Mushrooms are a major crop in the surrounding countryside, 90 miles up Interstate 45 from Houston. At Madisonville High School, a fair number of students are from low-income families and qualify for subsidized lunches.
But Madisonville is a special school. Three hundred million miles away in space is an asteroid that that has just been named for it: 269323 Madisonvillehigh.
To understand how a Texas high school ends up with a celestial connection, it is useful to meet Denise Rothrock, an astronomy teacher who, back in 2008, was teaching general science at the local junior high.
The school was signed up for the International Astronomical Search Collaboration, a program directed by Patrick Miller of Hardin Simmons University, which sent it telescope images shot for research. Rothrock started a morning astronomy club to analyze them.
"A good program that gets middle schoolers to come in before school starts?" she said in an interview with ABC News. "That's worth doing."