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Animals
4:47 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

Navy Sonar Criticized For Harming Marine Mammals

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

The U.S. Navy is planning to ramp up training activities off California and Hawaii. But that has rekindled a battle over Navy sonar, which is known to harm marine mammals. From member station KQED, Lauren Sommer reports.

LAUREN SOMMER, BYLINE: We humans are visual creatures and for good reason. If someone is far away, you can usually see them before you hear them. Underwater, it's the opposite.

BRANDON SOUTHALL: The physical environment of the ocean really favors the use of sound, and the animals have evolved accordingly.

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The Salt
4:26 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

Why Caffeine In Coffee Is A Miracle Drug For The Tired

Many believe that humanity's caffeine addiction has wrought a lot of good.
istockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 3:46 pm

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It's All Politics
4:11 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

Budget Politics Forcing Congress To Pick Favorites

Call it the Whac-a-Mole approach to budgeting.

Congress restored budget flexibility so the FAA can keep air traffic controllers working, just days after their furloughs had started and flight delays began stacking up.

With spending cuts caused by sequestration rolling throughout the government, the question becomes which programs Congress might address next — and why.

"That's the parlor game in Washington," says Scott Lilly, a former staff director of the House Appropriations Committee. "There are dozens and dozens of candidates."

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Shots - Health News
4:09 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

Freaky Friday: Autonomous Tissue Grabbers Are On Their Way

A miniature ninja throwing star or a surgical device? The microgripper, shown here coming out of a catheter tube, is activated by body heat. The sharp appendages fold up when the device warms up.
Evin Gultepe, Gracias Lab, Johns Hopkins University.

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 10:54 am

When we first heard about researchers using tiny freely floating tools to grab tissue samples deep inside the body, we were scared.

But our fears quickly turned to fascination.

Johns Hopkins engineers are testing out what they call "untethered microgrippers" as a better way to investigate hard-to-reach places. They have launched hundreds of these things, which look like miniature ninja throwing stars, inside the body of animal to retrieve tiny pieces of tissue for biopsies.

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The Picture Show
3:57 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

A Photographer And His Friend, 'That Tree'

April 30, 2012. "That Tree" is an ancient Bur Oak growing on the edge of a cornfield near Platteville, Wis.
Courtesy of Mark Hirsch

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 6:12 pm

Mark Hirsch is a 52-year-old photojournalist who happens to be friends with a tree — specifically, a towering bur oak on the edge of a cornfield in southwest Wisconsin. This unique relationship began on March 23, 2012, when Hirsch photographed the tree with his new iPhone, during a particularly impressive sunset. That test of new technology turned into a yearlong documentation, and a personal transformation.

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Monkey See
3:33 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

Tribeca Diary: Documentary Roundup

A group of young women pose for a picture in a still from the documentary Teenage, a film that explores the evolution of young adulthood in America and abroad.
Tribeca Film Festival

Writer Joel Arnold is surveying the scene at the Tribeca Film Festival, which runs in New York City through April 28. He'll be filing occasional dispatches for Monkey See.

I keep going back to the documentaries. Out of the 14 films I've seen here so far, the documentaries have consistently offered some of the most inherently dynamic subjects — and served up surprising moments of discovery.

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From Scratch
3:03 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

Gerald Chertavian, Founder And CEO Of Year Up

Host Jessica Harris will speak with Geral Chertavian, founder and CEO of Year Up. It is a nonprofit organization founded in 2000 that provides one-year intensive education and training programs for young adults ages 19-24.

Later, we will also hear from Michael and Rick Mast, founders of Mast Brothers.

All Songs Considered
2:35 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

First Watch: One Man's Dream Turns Into A 'Sea Of Dreams'

Rudolph Bekker Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun April 28, 2013 9:13 pm

My dreams are never like Chris Kittrell's "Sea Of Dreams," but I wish they were. Watching this animation will be as close as I get. Chris Kittrell is a founding member of the band Baby Alpaca, the director of the video for the band's song, "Sea of Dreams," and the source of the video's concept — or at least his unconscious mind was.

"I got the idea from a dream I had," Chris Kittrell writes. "The whole scene was very Dada-rock. Stage set out to sea. Time and objects drifting by. Guitar riffing in the air. I love how nonsense and intuition can lead to invention."

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Deceptive Cadence
2:25 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

Madame Mao's Hollywood Fantasies

A Chinese and a North Korean embrace in a pledge of everlasting (political) love. From Raid on the White Tiger Regiment, 1971.
Zhang Yaxin Courtesy of the see+ Gallery, Beijing, and the Stephen Bulger Gallery, Toronto.

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 4:56 pm

During the chaos and oppression of China's Cultural Revolution, one curious new theatrical genre was born — and it was the child of the Communist Party. Jiang Qing (a.ka. Madame Mao), a former stage and screen actress and the notorious wife of Mao Zedong, led the creation of yang ban xi: "model works" that were meant, in words attributed to Chairman Mao, to "serve the interests of the workers, peasants, and soldiers and [conforming] to proletarian ideology."

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Planet Money
2:13 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

Nervous Parents In One Country Clear Supermarket Shelves In Another

A sign limiting the purchase of baby formula powder hangs on a shelf in a London supermarket April 10.
Kirsty Wigglesworth AP

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 4:47 pm

Liyan Chen, a grad student in New York, was chatting online recently with her cousin in China.

"He said, 'I want Abbott milk powder,' " Chen told me. " 'I want you to buy it and ship it back.' "

Her cousin wanted her to buy three boxes of Abbott baby formula, sold under the brand name Similac, and ship it to him in China. She did some research and found out the shipping alone could cost $80. "They're not from a very well-off family, and that really surprised me," she said — especially because they can buy Abbott baby formula in stores in China.

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The Record
2:06 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

The Tyler Interview: Silly, But With A Purpose

Elliott Wilson (left) and Tyler The Creator Tuesday night at the Highline Ballroom.
Johnny Nunez WireImage

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 3:42 pm

Interviewing Odd Future visionary Tyler, the Creator is a crapshoot.

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The Two-Way
2:05 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

Dutch Authorities Nab Suspect In 'Unprecedented' Cyberattack

Authorities say they have arrested a Dutch national in Spain in connection with a March cyberattack widely described as the largest in Internet history.

According to The Associated Press, Dutch prosecutors say the 35-year-old suspect, who is identified only by his initials, S.K., was taken into custody on Thursday.

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It's All Politics
2:00 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

Obama Says New Abortion Laws Turn Back The Clock

President Obama addresses the Planned Parenthood national conference in Washington on Friday.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 3:33 pm

President Obama on Friday became the first sitting president to address Planned Parenthood's annual meeting, delivering a strongly worded speech defending the embattled organization.

"We shouldn't have to remind people that when it comes to women's health, no politician should get to decide what's best for you," said Obama, who was greeted by sustained applause when he took the stage.

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The Sequester: Cuts And Consequences
1:53 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

Flight Delays Push Congress To End Controller Furloughs

Travelers stand in line at Los Angeles International Airport on Monday. Congress moved quickly this week to give the Federal Aviation Administration flexibility to end air traffic controller furloughs that resulted in flight delays at several airports.
Damian Dovarganes AP

The U.S. Congress — a body not exactly known for its swift feet — raced Friday to complete legislation to help travelers avoid delays at airports.

The House voted 361-41 to approve legislation that the Senate passed without objection late Thursday. The bill gives the Federal Aviation Administration more spending flexibility to cut its budget while avoiding furloughs of air traffic controllers.

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Middle East
1:52 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

U.S. Wary As Qatar Ramps Up Support Of Syrian Rebels

President Obama meets with the emir of Qatar, Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, in the Oval Office on Tuesday. The emir is among a series of visiting Middle East leaders urging the U.S. to take a greater role in the Syrian conflict.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 4:47 pm

President Obama has been hosting a series of visitors from the Middle East, and all of them have been urging the U.S. to get more involved in Syria.

They have included the emir of Qatar, Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, whose country has been arming rebel forces in Syria. Obama wants to see such aid go to moderates — but that requires more cooperation with partners like Qatar. Problem is, they don't always see eye to eye.

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The Two-Way
1:37 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

On-The-Job Deaths Continue At Steady, Grim Pace

A construction site in San Mateo, Calif., earlier this month. There were 738 deaths of construction workers in the U.S. during 2011, the most of any single industry. The fatality rate per workers was higher, when taken together, in agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Dying on the job continues at a steady pace according to the latest statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

The fatal injury rate for American workers dropped slightly in 2011 — the most recent year with reported numbers — from 3.6 to 3.5 deaths per 100,000 workers.

But 4,693 men, women and teenagers died at work. That's three more than the total number of lives lost on the job in 2010.

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Monkey See
1:28 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

Tribeca Diary: 'A Birder's Guide To Everything'

A ragtag group of amateur birders pursue a rare North American duck in A Birder's Guide to Everything. Pictured (from left): Katie Chang, Alex Wolff, Kodi Smit-McPhee and Michael Chen.
Tribeca Film Festival

Writer Joel Arnold is surveying the scene at the Tribeca Film Festival, which runs in New York City through April 28. He'll be filing occasional dispatches for Monkey See.

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Remembrances
1:12 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

A Conversation With Country Superstar George Jones

Originally published on Mon November 11, 2013 12:07 pm

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. The great country singer George Jones died today. He was 81. We're going to listen back to an excerpt of the interview I recorded with him.

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World Cafe
1:06 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

Dawes On World Cafe

Dawes.
Noah Abrams Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 3:47 pm

Dawes' Taylor Goldsmith writes heartfelt first-person songs, somewhat in the style of Laurel Canyon predecessors like Jackson Browne. In an exhaustive interview with World Cafe's Michaela Majoun, Goldsmith describes the inspiration for the songs on the band's new album, Stories Don't End.

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The Two-Way
12:49 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

Will Chemical Weapons Change U.S. Policy Toward Syria?

The White House said this week that it believes Syria has been using chemical weapons, but President Obama has not said how the U.S. might respond. Here, rebel fighters in Syria prepare to launch of a rocket in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo, on April 21. The rebels have also accused the Syrian government of employing chemical weapons.
Miguel Medina AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 2:46 pm

The U.S. has remained at arm's length during two years of bloodletting in Syria that has claimed some 70,000 lives. But when the White House said Thursday it believed Syria has used chemical weapons, even in small quantities, it immediately set off a renewed debate on whether the U.S. might pursue a more aggressive policy.

Here are some of the key issues now under discussion:

-- Is the U.S. sure that Syria used chemical weapons?

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