This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. Those of us of a certain age can remember exactly what we were doing on a Friday this hour 50 years ago when we heard the news. President Kennedy's assassination horrified and transfixed the nation. It was murder in plain sight, seemingly the easiest kind of crime to solve. But 50 years later the basic facts of the case are still debated.
Grammy Award-winning musician Esperanza Spalding has a problem with using the phrase "protest song" to describe her new recording, "We Are America." The song, along with its accompanying music video, demands congressional action to close the detention center at Guantanamo Bay.
" 'Protest' doesn't seem accurate to me," she tells NPR's Celeste Headlee. "We weren't thinking of a 'protest' song, we're thinking of a 'let's get together and do something pro-active, creative and productive' song."
I'm Celeste Headlee and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Michel Martin is away. And it's time for our weekly visit to the Barbershop, where the guys are going to talk about what's in the news and what's on their minds. Sitting in the chairs for a shape-up this week, writer Jimi Izrael. He joins us from Cleveland. Fernando Vila is director of program - Vila is director of programming - sorry, Fernando - for Fusion.
Now we take a moment to highlight and salute another artist. Jazz-great Arturo Sandoval received the Presidential Medal of Freedom this week from President Obama. Sandoval was born and raised in Cuba, where he was once jailed just for listening to jazz music. So he packed up his trumpet and moved to the United States. A country he says gave him the freedom to fill the air with his music. Here's what the president said about him at the ceremony.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee. Michel Martin is away. Coming up, Grammy award-winning musician Esperanza Spalding gets political with her new song. We'll talk to her about her battle to close Guantanamo in just a few minutes.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee. Michel Martin is away. Coming up, we visit the Barbershop and ask the guys to reflect on the 50th anniversary of JFK's assassination in Dallas. That's in just a few minutes.
Fresh Air's Dave Davies discusses John F. Kennedy's abbreviated term in office with presidential historian Robert Dallek, who finds that while you can make an argument that Kennedy accomplished little, he represents something special in the American experience. Dallek's latest book is Camelot's Court: Inside The Kennedy White House.
Pianist, composer and author Kenny Werner is known for his 1996 book Effortless Mastery: Liberating the Master Musician Within, which has become a university textbook for improvising musicians and other artists. His album of original compositions, No Beginning No End -- a meditation on loss, death and renewal — was awarded a Guggenheim fellowship in 2010.
KABOOM! A NASA illustration of a gamma-ray burst. They occur, the space agency says, when "a massive star runs out of nuclear fuel, collapses under its own weight, and forms a black hole. The black hole then drives jets of particles that drill all the way through the collapsing star."