In Jean Thompson's latest novel, The Humanity Project, humanity isn't doing so well and could use some help. Sean is a wayward carpenter whose bad luck with women turns into even worse luck: He's addicted to painkillers, and he and his teenage son Conner are facing eviction. Linnea is the teen survivor of a school shooting who travels west to California to live with a father she barely knows. Mrs. Foster is a wealthy woman who's taken to living with feral cats, and whose "Humanity Project" just might take a chance on people who thought they were out of luck.
Around the turn of the 19th century, before he became Britain's revered prime minister, a young Winston Churchill found himself in South Africa. He was serving in the Army and as a war correspondent covering the Boer War.
One day, he put a blue pencil to army-issued notepaper and conveyed his thoughts about the conflict in a 40-line poem. More than a century later, "Our Modern Watchwords" was discovered by a retired manuscript dealer.
Originally published on Sun April 21, 2013 6:04 pm
The Antares rocket launch is back on for 5 p.m. ET Sunday afternoon, as engineers and spectators look for the rocket to lift off from a launch pad at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility. A check of all systems at 10 minutes before its launch was positive.
Host Jacki Lyden speaks with Craig Silverman of the Poynter Institute about the problematic media coverage of the Boston bombings and other breaking news events. He discusses how journalists can avoid the all-too-common pitfalls when reporting on a developing story.
The world's biggest trivia contest kicked off Friday night in Stevens Point, Wis. Its proportions are epic: For 54 hours straight, thousands of contestants worldwide call the radio station with answers to some 500 questions. Host Jacki Lyden gets the scoop from trivia host Jim "Oz" Oliva, who has run the contest for decades.
Boston is slowly regaining its sense of normalcy. Even though many questions about last week's events remain unanswered, Bostonians found solace in religious and memorial services. NPR's Dan Bobkoff reports that the somber mood was the backdrop Sunday as everyone waited to see what will happen next in the case.
Host Jacki Lyden talks to Omid Safi, professor of religious studies at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Safi has blogged about the Tsarnaev brothers, the suspects in the Boston Marathon bombings, and what it means to the American Islamic community that the brothers are Muslim.
Before Amy Speace embarked on a career in music, the stage called her name. That's a good fact to keep in mind when listening to the actor-turned-folk singer's latest album, How to Sleep in a Stormy Boat.
As Lindsay Ess watched the events in Boston unfold last week, she wondered if she could help the victims of the Marathon bombing. When she found out that many had lost limbs in the explosion, she knew she could.
Ess is a quadruple amputee. In 2006, she was diagnosed with Crohn's disease. She underwent surgery for her condition, but it went terribly wrong. She developed septic shock, which lead to complete organ failure. She was in the intensive care unit for five months.
Originally published on Sun April 21, 2013 6:28 pm
Towns in Missouri, central Illinois and at least four other Midwestern states are under a flood warning, as heavy spring rains swell the Mississippi and other rivers to dangerously high crests. In some areas, rivers have already hit record flood levels.
In places where residents have been forced to evacuate their homes, the American Red Cross has set up shelters at schools and other facilities.
Originally published on Sun April 21, 2013 10:28 pm
"What has changed?" That is the question echoing through Delhi on Sunday. Public frustration over sexual crimes against women is erupting again, this time over a gruesome sexual assault of a 5-year-old girl.
The protests are smaller than those that swept over the capital in December with the fatal gang-rape of a 23-year-old woman, but the incident has revived debate over the startling state of sexual violence in India.
Originally published on Mon April 22, 2013 8:26 am
Hundreds of Boston-area residents gathered Sunday to pray, to sing and to remember the victims of bombs and other violence in the city this week.
Six churches organized an interfaith service near the intersection of Boylston and Berkeley streets, close to the cordoned-off area where investigators are examining the crime scene created when two bombs tragically altered the finish of the 2013 Boston Marathon.
Originally published on Tue April 23, 2013 12:43 pm
Most people would be hard-pressed to call Wal-Mart a source of artistic inspiration. A place to purchase peanut butter, cereal and other mundane necessities? Yes. But a rendezvous spot with transcendence? Hardly.
Originally published on Sun April 21, 2013 3:24 pm
The London Marathon observed 30 seconds of silence before the race got underway Sunday, in a show of solidarity with the victims of Monday's attack at the Boston Marathon. Many runners and spectators wore black ribbons to honor the three people killed and the more than 170 injured in two bombings.
Originally published on Mon April 22, 2013 8:26 am
(Most recent update: 4:20 p.m. ET)
Investigators are still waiting to interview Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, whose wounds reportedly include injuries to his neck and leg. An official tells CNN that Tsarnaev has been "intubated and sedated," rendering him unable to speak with them.
You just don't know (because who's going to tell you?) that when you leave Earth, travel outside its gravitational reach, hundreds and hundreds of everyday things — stuff you've never had to think about — will change. Like ... oh, how about a wet washcloth?