Now we're going to crown this week's grand champion. Let's bring back from Breaking It Down, Avidan Ackerson. From Generically Speaking, Erin Barker. From Algebraic Music, Diane Firstman. From Real Housewives, John Rennie. And from Hollywood Formulas Chris Kairalla.
EISENBERG: I want to ask our puzzle guru John Chaneski to take us out and crown a winner.
"I started making up questions for myself that I didn't know the answer to, just for the fun of getting back into that euphoric feeling of being puzzled and wanting to solve it." — Steven Strogatz, on how his habits changed after solving a challenging word problem in grade school
If there's actually a secret Hollywood movie formula, we want to see the proof. In a game that will take you right back to your beloved high school algebra and geometry classes, host Ophira Eisenberg asks contestants to combine the titles of well-known movies with mathematical terms. For example, "Rectangled" combines the polygon "rectangle" with the title of the film Tangled.
What's your favorite franchise of Bravo's Real Housewives, Atlanta or New Jersey? How about The Acropolis? In this game, host Ophira Eisenberg stirs up the celestial domestic drama by performing imagined on-camera quotes from female Greek mythological figures. Can you guess the goddess?
Plus, Jonathan Coulton pays homage to another powerful lady with a cover of Bananarama's "Venus."
Don't freak out, but this game combines one part name-that-tune, one part doing-math-in-your-head, and a dash of The Proclaimers. It'll be fun, we promise. House musician Jonathan Coulton performs songs that feature a number in their titles, but the numbers have been replaced by algebraic expressions. Contestants must solve for 'x' to make the mathematical expressions in the songs correct.
When you hear the phrase, "I need a Band-Aid immediately!" is your instinct to reply, "Actually, it's called an 'adhesive bandage,' Band-Aid is a brand"? Don't be that person--unless you're playing along with this game. Host Ophira Eisenberg offers the generic name and description of a particular product, and you must name the specific trademarked name that commonly describes it.
To mark the final season of the TV show Breaking Bad, we've based this game on its opening credits, in which elemental symbols for Bromine (Br) and Barium (Ba) help spell the show's title. House musician Jonathan Coulton asks contestants to spell words using more symbols from the Periodic Table.
Plus, Coulton competes this round with a cover of "Particle Man" by They Might Be Giants.
Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 12:01 pm
How will humans survive the zombie apocalypse? Will it be each man for himself or will a coordinated effort be what saves us from ultimate doom?
An MIT professor is trying to answer this question for us mortals. "There is a price that society pays if everyone determines his behavior selfishly," Ruben Juanes says. And this cost of selfish behavior is what game theorists call the price of anarchy.
Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 3:41 pm
San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, accused by at least eight women of sexually harassing them, never received a mandated training course on sexual harassment from the city, according to his attorney.
Harvey Berger says the city failed to meet its legal requirement and therefore should foot the mayor's legal bills. Filner and the city of San Diego are being sued by the mayor's former communications director, Irene McCormack Jackson.
Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 6:59 pm
We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and amid the helpful $40-a-pop reminders not to speed on North Capitol Street is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives. This week: a discussion of cellphone recordings at concerts.
Edward Snowden has been granted temporary asylum by Russia and has left the transit zone at Moscow's airport where he has been holed up for more than a month. Morning Edition host Renee Montagne talks to NPR's Corey Flintoff in Moscow and Pentagon correspondent Larry Abramson.
NPR's business news starts with unemployment numbers.
No, this is not the big monthly jobs report. We'll get that tomorrow. But this morning one number from the Labor Department - the department announced that applications for jobless benefits fell to 326,000 last week. That is the lowest level since January of 2008. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 1:06 pm
The Standard & Poor's 500 index, the benchmark of America's largest corporations, surpassed 1,700 points for the first time in early trading Thursday. The rise is being tied to a drop in weekly jobless claims, as well as assurances from central banks in the U.S. and Europe that they would continue to bolster their economies.
Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 3:21 pm
This post was last updated at 2 p.m. ET
The White House says it is "extremely disappointed" in Russia's decision to grant a temporary one-year asylum to NSA leaker Edward Snowden.
Snowden left Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport on Thursday after spending more than a month holed up in its transit center. Anatoly Kucherena, a Russian lawyer who has been advising the former U.S. intelligence contractor, told Russian media that Snowden's whereabouts are being kept secret for security reasons.
Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 10:23 am
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
Good morning, I'm David Greene.
In the '80s, My Little Pony was a toy line and TV franchise aimed at little girls. Well, today an expanding group of grown men are fans of the pastel-colored ponies. They call themselves Bronies. This weekend, thousands are heading to Baltimore for BronyCon 2013. There'll be music inspired by My Little Pony, Brony Dance-offs, even some academic pony panels. BronyCon began two years ago with a hundred attendees. Like a magical flying pony, the thing's taking off,
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
And I'm David Greene. Good morning. This is likely the last day the Senate will be in session until mid-September. Tomorrow members of the House will lave town as well. They're heading out for their August recess with none of the frantic legislative scrambles and deal making that typically end a summer session. Instead, lawmakers seem to be saving their strength for epic battles when they get back. Here's NPR's David Welna.