It's never a good sign when a character in a mystery has to give a speech at the end explaining exactly what's just happened. You know, just in case the story itself didn't actually manage to make it clear.
Sure, Hitchcock gets away with it at the end of Psycho, but only because the whodunit portion of that movie isn't the thing that makes it so great. Also, he's Alfred Hitchcock; the masters can get away with breaking some rules, because they can make up others that work just as well.
Originally published on Fri January 3, 2014 10:17 am
A former Georgia banker who vanished while under suspicion for stealing millions of dollars appeared in court Thursday, after being arrested during a traffic stop this week. The man had been presumed dead after his mysterious disappearance 18 months ago.
NPR's Debbie Elliott reports for our Newscast unit:
"Deputies in south Georgia picked up 47-year-old Aubrey Lee Price for a traffic violation on New Year's Day. Now he's in jail, charged with embezzling $21 million from Montgomery Bank and Trust, the bank he ran in tiny Ailey, Ga.
The income gap is growing dramatically in China and the rich are getting exponentially richer β the richest 10 percent of China's population are more than three times wealthier than the official figures.
Much of that undeclared wealth is what Chinese people call "gray income," including proceeds from corruption and other ethically "gray" areas of the economy.
Living on the margins of the "gray economy" are people like migrant laborer Wang Haichuan. He rents a room far below street level in a dark, former air-raid shelter inhabited by other migrants.
Egypt's government has been cracking down on the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist organization that backed recently deposed president Mohammed Morsi. Last week, the government designated the brotherhood as a terrorist organization.
At a recent sewing class held in Berlin at Mama Afrika, which helps immigrants adjust to life in Germany, most of the African and Middle Eastern students feign ignorance when founder Hadja Kaba asks them about female genital mutilation.
Turning to one young woman wearing a veil she asks, "Have you been cut?"
"Yes," the woman answers, holding up the cloth she is sewing.
Kaba tries again. "No, not the cloth β down there!"
The veiled woman shakes her head and turns back to her fabric.
The widening gap between the rich and poor in the U.S. has become a central touch point for economists, pundits and politicians across the U.S. New York City's newly sworn-in mayor, Bill deBlasio, was elected after campaigning against a city divided between the haves and have-nots. President Obama has called tackling inequality the defining challenge of our time, saying that growing inequality and a lack of upward mobility jeopardizes the American dream. But what, exactly, is income inequality?
It sounds like a movie: Aubrey Lee Price was by all accounts a successful banker. But then he disappeared after writing a rambling 25-page suicide note. FBI and federal prosecutors said Price embezzled $21 million from his bank. But two days ago he was arrested in Brunswick, Ga., after a traffic stop and appeared in court Thursday.
In recent years, scientists have discovered around a thousand planets orbiting other distant stars, including some called super-Earths. These planets are bigger than our rocky hole but smaller than any of our solar system's gas giants. Not much is known about these mysterious worlds.
NPR is Nell Greenfieldboyce reports on new evidence that one super-Earth is shrouded in clouds.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish. Toyota, Honda, Hyundai recently announced that they're planning to build hydrogen-powered cars in the next few years. These cars could rival all electric and plug-ins as cleaner alternatives to gasoline-powered cars. NPR's Richard Harris took a drive in a hydrogen car to learn about the advantages and drawbacks of the technology.
When the White House named the delegation President Obama plans to send to the Winter Olympics in Sochi, many took it as a message to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Absent were any high-ranking U.S. officials: The president is too busy to attend, the White House said. But on the list were prominent LGBT athletes, which many took as a clear rebuke of Russia's controversial anti-gay laws.
Texas Republican Harold Simmons, who died last weekend, was known for throwing millions of dollars into fiercely aggressive attack ads against Democrats. His death, along with that of Texas conservative Bob Perry earlier this year, signals the fading of the first wave of mega-donors in modern American politics.
If you're a wine drinker, you've probably noticed that screw caps are no longer considered the closure just for cheap vino. Increasingly, bottles of very good wines are unscrewed, rather than uncorked.
Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 4:03 pm
A Chinese balloonist has been rescued by the Japanese Coast Guard after coming down in the East China Sea short of his intended destination β a tiny island chain that's part of a territorial tug of war between Beijing and Tokyo.
Detroit is known for its auto industry, Motown music and now bankruptcy and vacant buildings β but a group of young dancers wants the cityβs legacy also to include a street dance, known as the βJitβ (not to be confused with the swing dance called the jitterbug from the 1930s).
Three brothers started the dance in Detroit in the 1970s, they became known as the βJitterbugs,β doing flips and kicks alongside each other in coordinated routines.
In the old days, a movie genre was a simple, communal category: Action/Adventure, Comedy, Drama. One had to locate oneself in the Drama aisle at the video store and then look for just the right thing: A dark road trip movie with a strong female lead? Aha, Thelma & Louise.
Originally published on Mon January 6, 2014 8:05 am
Lera Boroditsky once did a simple experiment: She asked people to close their eyes and point southeast. A room of distinguished professors in the U.S. pointed in almost every possible direction, whereas 5-year-old Australian aboriginal girls always got it right.