A widespread critique of science is that it tells us that the more we know, the more insignificant we are. It's the famous after-Copernicus blues: everything went downhill ever since Earth was moved from the center of the cosmos. Since then, the Sun was pushed out from the center too, our Milky Way galaxy is but one among hundreds of billions of others in an expanding Universe. Even the atoms we are made of are less that 5 percent of the total stuff out there.
In the past three decades or so, when writing about political sex scandals became an art form, the tendency has always been to lump everyone together. There are many differences between, say, what Anthony Weiner did and what Mark Sanford did.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, leading Republicans have been making news lately talking about outreach to African-Americans, Latinos, and LGBT voters, but what about women? They've also been trending Democrat for decades. We're going to speak with a diverse group of women writers and commentators about this. That's later in the program.
When, say, a South African businessman buys supplies from China, he pays in U.S. dollars. When central banks hold foreign reserves, they favor dollars. And, all over the world, when things start to get crazy, people start putting $100 bills under the mattress.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Later in the program we will speak with a man for whom art and politics were intertwined. South African musical great Hugh Masekela will be with us. He talks about his years in exile and how he stays creative after decades of performing. That's later.
Now we head into the Beauty Shop. That's where we get a fresh cut on hot topics with our panel of women journalists, commentators, bloggers and activists.
Even though the next presidential election is several years away, the major political parties are already thinking about how to reach new voters. Republicans in particular have been in the news, both because of their poor showing with minorities last year and their efforts to address that by bringing more diverse perspectives and candidates to the Republican Party.
Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 1:31 pm
Look at the center of this map, at the little red dot that marks Kansas City. Technically, Kansas City is at the edge of Missouri, but here on this map it's in the upper middle section of a bigger space with strong blue borders. We don't have a name for this bigger space yet, but soon we will.
Brad Paisley's Wheelhouse is yet another very good album from a singer, songwriter and guitarist who's made a bunch of them in a row. It features a slew of shrewd songs about finding pleasure and comfort in a frequently unpleasant, uncomfortable world. The music includes a bone-cracking song about domestic violence written from a woman's point of view, one that praises Christian values from the perspective of a jealous skeptic, and one that samples the great Roger Miller as deftly as any hip-hop production.
This is FRESH AIR. When the bombs went off Monday, my guest Amby Burfoot was seven-tenths of a mile from the finish line. Burfoot has a special place in the history of the Boston Marathon - he was the winner 45 years ago in 1968. To celebrate the anniversary of his win every five years he runs the Boston Marathon again. Many runners have turned to Burfoot for advice over the years.
Jesse Dee grew up in Boston — far from the South, where the music he loves has its roots — and could never quite shake the '50s and '60s R&B he'd heard on the radio as a kid. He started writing his own material in high school because he wanted his music to be contemporary.
Dee's first album, Bittersweet Batch, came out in 2008; his latest is On My Mind/In My Heart. His love of singing shines through, in both our conversation and this live session.
Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 1:06 pm
For Rhye's first-ever radio performance, we turned the lights down and lit some candles to get in the mood. We were curious to hear how the band — the project of producer Robin Hannibal and singer Mike Milosh — would translate the intimacy of its sensual, soulful music into a live setting. With the help of incredible backing players, including a string section, Hannibal and Milosh pulled off a romantic, moving set.
Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 4:25 pm
As an artist, Caitlin Freeman found her calling in cake.
Freeman started out wanting to be an art photographer. But one day, while still in art school, she came across Display Cakes,artist Wayne Thiebaud's 1963 painting of frosted confections, during a visit to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. The image was so arresting, it stayed with her for years, and later inspired her to set off on a completely different career path: baking.
Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 1:44 pm
"The wife of a former justice of the peace is being held on a capital murder charge in the killings of the Kaufman County District Attorney, his wife and a top prosecutor," The Dallas Morning News reports.
Plenty of personal essayists, including really good ones like Nora Ephron, Anna Quindlen and E.B. White, burn out or switch to fiction after a few books. Even Michel de Montaigne, the 16th century French writer often acknowledged as the father of the genre that combines intelligent reflection with anecdotes and autobiography, produced only one volume — albeit a massive one. Yet here's David Sedaris with his eighth collection, the absurdly titled Let's Explore Diabetes With Owls: Essays, Etc.
Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 11:53 am
American Airlines has promised passengers that Wednesday's flight schedule will be nothing like the day before, when thousands were stranded due to a glitch in the reservations system that forced hundreds of flights to be canceled or delayed.
American Airlines and American Eagle scuttled 970 flights and delayed more than 1,000 others Tuesday, The Associated Press said, citing flight-tracking service FlightAware.com.