Popular soft drinks, sports cars and other brands appear surreptitiously placed in the worlds of our favorite TV shows and films all the time. Soon enough, we may see them name-dropped in our books, too.
To help imagine some egregious-yet-hilarious examples of this, we invited a prolific writer to Ask Me Another: award-winning young adult author Lois Lowry. Lowry joins forces with a fellow book-loving contestant to play "Product Placement," a game in which they must combine the titles of famous literary works with the names of household products and companies.
Springtime in Appalachia means ramp festival season. But even as ramp festivals attract record numbers of people seeking a fleeting taste of the seasonal garlic-scented greens, scientists warn that overharvesting is forcing wild populations into decline.
Guatemalan author Eduardo Halfon is this week's Alt.latino guest DJ, and he's a natural choice; his new book, The Polish Boxer, is a series of semi-autobiographical stories woven through with loving references to jazz and classical music.
Alt.latino host Jasmine Garsd had this to say about The Polish Boxer:
Every doctor makes mistakes. But, says physician Brian Goldman, medicine's culture of denial keeps doctors from talking about and learning from those mistakes. Goldman calls on doctors to start talking about being wrong.
[I really hope it goes without saying that this piece about the film adaptation of a decades-old novel gives away the plot of a decades-old novel. But: Be aware.]
The sheer zazz that Baz Luhrmann introduces into The Great Gatsby is so imposing in quantity that it's surprising that it can get out of the way enough not to be the biggest problem in the movie. Luhrmann, after all, loves his swooping cameras and party scenes, and Gatsby gives him the best excuse for excess that there is: a story about excess.
With its glittering spire firmly attached, the new World Trade Center became the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere on Friday morning. The building at One World Trade Center now stands at 1,776 feet.
"It will give a tremendous indication to people around the entire region, and the world, that we're back and better than ever," Steven Plate, the head of construction at the World Trade Center, said last week when the spire was hauled to the top of the building.
Update at 10:45 a.m. ET. DNA Testing Confirms Suspect Is Child's Father, Ohio Attorney General Says:
Preliminary DNA tests confirm that Ariel Castro, the man charged with kidnapping and repeatedly raping three young women held captive in his Cleveland home for about a decade, is the father of a girl born to one of the victims six years ago, Ohio's attorney general announced Friday morning.
A statement posted by Attorney General Mike DeWine's office says:
What would it be like to be a string that made music? Not anything simple, like a guitar string or a cello string, but a magical string, a sine curve that's taut then loose, that doubles then doubles again, that sheds then dissolves into showers of notes — a flaming, sighing, looping, dissolving string. Curious?
Boston Police Chief Edward Davis told Congress on Thursday that before the Boston Marathon bombings, his department wasn't aware the FBI had questioned Tamerlan Tsarnaev in recent years about whether he had been in contact with Muslim extremists in Dagestan.
As far as he knew, Davis said, the FBI did not share that information with local authorities.
Good morning. I'm David Greene. The Social Security Administration has put out its list of the most popular baby names from last year. Topping the list for girls: Sophia. For boys, it's Jacob. As for fast rising contenders, Aria is becoming popular for girls. It seems parents are inspired by "Game of Thrones." Boys names gaining popularity: Major, King and Messiah.
A few other names of interest: David is hanging on at number 19, and Steve, where is Steve? Oh, 762.
Police in Pinellas County, Florida pulled over Bryan Zuniga at a traffic stop. The man ran away but his already bad day got worse, because as he fled he was attacked by an alligator. Police later arrested him at the hospital where he was being treated for his wounds. You may have seen those TV commercials, on for years, where a dog urges you to take a bite out of crime. This is not precisely what the crime dog meant, but close enough.
On a Friday it's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
And I'm David Greene. Good morning.
Congress has held its first hearing on last month's Boston Marathon bombing. Boston's police commissioner testified yesterday that he did not know about an FBI probe into one of the suspects. He also said he's not clear the information would have made a difference.
But as NPR's Brian Naylor reports, lawmakers still want answers about the flaws and inadequacies of joint terrorism task forces.
It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep.
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And I'm David Greene. Let's get an update now on one of this year's major policy debates. There is an immigration bill under consideration. The law, if passed, has the potential to be a major success story for President Obama and for the bipartisan group of lawmakers who drafted it. Opponents of the bill have major concerns about how it treats people who came to the U.S. illegally, and also about how much the law would cost.