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The Picture Show
3:42 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

How Photos Can Make Strangers A Little Less Strange

"When I walked by," Stanton writes in his book, "she was really moving to the music — hands up, head nodding, shoulders swinging. I really wanted to take her photo, so I walked up to the nearest adult and asked: 'Does she belong to you?' Suddenly the music stopped, and I heard: 'I belong to myself!' "
Brandon Stanton

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 4:58 pm

As any street-savvy third-grader knows, you're not supposed to talk to strangers. It's dangerous, it's rude and in a place like New York City ("You talkin' to me?!") it might get you clocked in the nose.

Brandon Stanton, the photographer behind the Humans of New York blog, has ignored that conventional wisdom — about 5,000 times.

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This Is NPR
3:41 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

NPR Producer Tells About Iranian Heritage From Bucyrus, Ohio To L.A.'s Persian Square

Davar Ardalan speaking about her grandparents and her Iranian heritage during a book event earlier this month at NPR West.
Melissa Kuypers NPR

A couple of years ago, Tell Me More Senior Producer Davar Ardalan came across a town in north central Ohio with a curious-sounding name: Bucyrus (pronounced byoo-sahy-ruhs).

Intrigued by the name's root word 'Cyrus', as in Cyrus the Great, the founder of ancient Persia's Achaemenid Empire, Ardalan called the Bucyrus Tourism Department and found that the Bratwurst Capital of America really is named after the Persian King.

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The Two-Way
3:34 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

Pakistani Taliban Chief Killed In U.S. Drone Strike

Pakistani Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud (left) with his commander Wali-ur Rehman in South Waziristan, in October 2009.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 7:01 pm

The head of the Pakistani Taliban, Hakimullah Mehsud, has been killed in a U.S. drone strike, U.S. and Taliban officials tell NPR and other news organizations.

"We confirm with great sorrow that our esteemed leader was martyred in a drone attack," a senior Taliban commander was quoted by Reuters as saying.

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World Cafe
3:12 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

Graham Nash On World Cafe

Graham Nash.
Eleanor Stills Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu December 26, 2013 5:56 pm

This segment, from Nov. 1 is part of our Best Of 2013 series, in which we revisit some of our most memorable interviews and performances of the year.

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All Tech Considered
3:10 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

Tech Week That Was: Kids And Screens, NSA And Our Data

A protester appears behind Gen. Keith Alexander, director of the National Security Agency, at a hearing of the House intelligence committee this week in Washington.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 4:52 pm

Each week, we round up the tech and culture stories from NPR and beyond. Let's do this, folks.

ICYMI

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Parallels
3:04 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

How One Kenyan Tribe Produces The World's Best Runners

Runners train in Ngong, Kenya, in 2012. The country has produced the world's best distance runners for decades, and most belong to the Kalenjin people.
Michael Steele Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 8:35 pm

Kenyan Wilson Kipsang won this year's Berlin Marathon in 2 hours, 3 minutes and 23 seconds — an average of 4:42 per mile. It was easily the fastest marathon time ever recorded, an incredible feat for another powerful Kenyan runner.

But perhaps equally remarkable was that his fellow Kenyans also came in second, third, fourth and fifth place in this major international race. On the women's side, Kenyans placed first, second and fourth.

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The Two-Way
2:23 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

Germany Offers Third Gender Option On Birth Certificates

Germany will allow parents to choose a third indeterminate option for newborn babies, under a new law that takes effect Friday.
Deshakalyan Chowdhury AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 3:14 pm

A German law takes effect today that establishes a third gender option for parents filling out birth certificates for newborn babies. They can choose "indeterminate" if the child shows both male and female characteristics.

The parents will make that choice by leaving the boxes for male and female genders blank. The new law is meant to avoid the need to label an intersex baby as male or female before the child is old enough to decide.

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Mountain Stage
1:36 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

Jonathan Rundman On Mountain Stage

Jonathan Rundman performing live on Mountain Stage.
Josh Saul Mountain Stage

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 9:46 am

Jonathan Rundman makes his first appearance on Mountain Stage, recorded live on the campus of the North House Folk School in Grand Marais, Minn. A native of the Finnish-American towns that dot Michigan's Upper Peninsula, Rundman moved to Chicago and began touring the country when he was 18.

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The Two-Way
1:34 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

One Officer Dead, Several Shot By Gunman At LA Airport

Police officers stand near an unidentified weapon in Terminal 3 of the Los Angeles International Airport on Friday. Officials said a gunman who opened fire in the terminal was wounded in a shootout with police and taken into custody.
AP

Originally published on Sat November 2, 2013 12:33 am

(Click here to jump to our latest updates.)

A lone gunman walked into one of the nation's busiest airports Friday in Los Angeles and opened fire with an assault rifle, killing at least one transportation security officer and wounding another, police and TSA officials say.

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Shots - Health News
1:34 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

Sorry, Red Sox, Heavy Stubble Beats Beards For Attractiveness

Hey man, that's sensitive: Mike Napoli of the Boston Red Sox pulls teammate Jonny Gomes' beard after hitting a three-run homer in Game 4 of the 2013 World Series in St. Louis.
Jamie Squire Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 4, 2013 4:02 pm

When Mike Napoli got up to bat in Game 6 of the World Series, my first thought was, "Oh my goodness, that beard is awful." But after the Red Sox's first baseman laid off a few bad pitches, I started liking the hair on his chin.

All that got me thinking about beards.

Sometime during evolution women lost their facial hair. This strong difference between the sexes implies that facial furriness, or the lack thereof, has played a role in how we picked our partners, at least at one point in human history.

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The Salt
1:29 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

A Spice Buyer On Why Pepper Is Dirty, And How It Gets Clean

Pepper is the spice most commonly contaminated with salmonella and other pathogens.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue November 5, 2013 10:40 am

This week's news that the Food and Drug Administration found that 12 percent of spices imported to the U.S. are contaminated was a little disheartening.

As the FDA reported, all kinds of nasty stuff hitch a ride with spices into the country — from insects to animal excrement to pathogens. The agency looked closely at pepper and sesame seeds, but says this is an issue with lots of other spices, too.

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
1:13 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

The Smarter You Are, The Stupider You Are

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon November 4, 2013 9:14 am

Education is necessary if democracy is to flourish. What good is the free flow of information if people can't make sense of it? How can you vote your own interests if you don't understand the consequences of policy choices? How can you know what's best for you or your community?

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The Two-Way
12:40 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

Are Low Early Enrollment Nos. A Repeat Of Mass. Experience?

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 1:48 pm

News outlets are all over this story today:

Documents released by a congressional committee reveal just how few people successfully enrolled in health insurance plans on the troubled HealthCare.gov website in early days after its Oct. 1 launch. (That summary is courtesy of our colleagues on the NPR Newscast Desk.)

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The Two-Way
12:29 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

Man Behind Oregon's Famous Exploding Whale Dies

A report by KATU-TV on officials' decision to blow up an 8-ton dead whale on an Oregon beach in 1970 went on to become an early viral video. The highway engineer who led the operation died this week.
YouTube

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 1:37 pm

Oregon highway engineer George Thornton, who in 1970 led an operation to blow up a dead beached whale with half a ton of dynamite, died this week at age 84. Thornton's decision resulted in a foul shower of whale blubber; video of the event has resurfaced periodically, often leading viewers to declare the whole thing a hoax.

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Environment
12:26 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

Hurricane Sandy Recovery, One Year Later

A year after Hurricane Sandy, recovery efforts are still ongoing, and questions remain about how to rebuild and prepare the coastlines for the next storm. A group of experts discusses rebuilding and protective options — from sea walls to "oyster-tecture" — and considers calls for a "managed retreat" from the shore.

Space
12:26 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

Chris Hadfield's Lessons from Life in Orbit

Retired astronaut Chris Hadfield, author of the new book An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth, has flown three space missions, including 144 days on the International Space Station. Hadfield talks about life in zero gravity, his one fear while in orbit, and how he went from test pilot to astronaut.

Author Interviews
12:26 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

Einstein's Real Breakthrough? Quantum Theory

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. When you think about Albert Einstein, the words E=MC squared and Theory of Relativity naturally come to mind. But Einstein did not win his Nobel Prize for that work. Instead, he won the prize for figuring out how light interacts with objects and for believing, when almost no one else did, that light and energy are carried as discreet packets called quanta.

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Barbershop
12:18 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

Can We Compare Allen Iverson To Muhammad Ali?

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 4:13 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Now it's time for our weekly visit to the Barbershop where the guys talk about what's in the news and what's on their minds. Sitting in the chairs for a shape-up this week are writer Jimi Izrael with us from Cleveland. Joining us from Boston, healthcare consultant and contributor to National Review magazine, Dr. Neil Minkoff. Here in our Washington, D.C. studios, Dave Zirin. He is sports editor at The Nation. And Corey Dade is a contributing editor for The Root. Take it away Jimi.

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BackTalk
12:18 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

Appeals Court Blocks Stop-And-Frisk Changes In New York

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 4:12 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

And now it's time for Back Talk. That's where we hear from you. Editor Ammad Omar is back with us once again. What's going on today, Ammad?

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Law
12:18 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

Sanford's New Rules Say No Guns On Neighborhood Watch

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 4:11 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

As we mentioned, the new police chief of Sanford, Florida, where the Trayvon Martin shooting took place, has now issued new guidelines for neighborhood watch groups and volunteers. We wanted to hear more about that, so we've called NPR correspondent Greg Allen, who's been covering the story. Greg, thanks so much for joining us once again.

GREG ALLEN, BYLINE: Oh, my pleasure, Michel.

MARTIN: So what specifically are the major changes called for in these guidelines?

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