If you're watching fireworks tonight, here's how you can tell you're looking at a top-shelf display and not some cut-rate carnival sideshow. Look for the blue fireworks. Are they true blue, not pale or purple or mauve?
The color blue has been the Holy Grail for pyrotechnics experts since fireworks were invented more than a millennium ago. It's by far the hardest color to produce. But why? For that, we turn to John Conkling. He's technical director of the American Pyrotechnics Association. John Conkling, welcome.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish. The Statue of Liberty is once again welcoming visitors to New York Harbor. Lady Liberty reopened for tours today for the first time since Hurricane Sandy, more than eight months ago. While the statue itself was not harmed, the storm did cause extensive damage to the island below it.
The National Park Service has been working towards today's reopening ever since. Here's NPR's Joel Rose.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish. Happy 4th of July. And we begin the hour by taking the nation's political temperature on a couple of points. First, immigration, and how that issue is playing in a key border state. In our series, Texas 2020, we've been covering the implications of changing demographics. One of the rising political stars in Texas is the son of a foreign-born father and American mother.
Dr. Linda Smith walks into a room at Providence Alaska Medical Center, ready with a stethoscope and a huge grin. She teases her patient, Dawn Dillard, saying that her spiky hair recently resembled a "faux hawk."
Dillard found out she had uterine cancer a year ago. Her oncologist gave her a year to live. The 57-year-old has beaten those odds, but now her kidneys are failing. After the laughs are over, Smith sits down on the edge of Dillard's bed, leans in, and starts talking about a procedure Dillard will have.
This photo from the 1936 Olympic Games shows the University of Washington eight-oar boat (top) crossing the finish line just ahead of second-place Italy and third-place Germany. (University of Washington Libraries, Special Collection)
Daniel James Brown is author of "The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Olympics." (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
In 1936, a rowing team from the University of Washington stunned the world by winning a gold medal in eight-oar crew at the Berlin Olympics in front of a crowd that included Adolph Hitler and Joseph Goebbels.
The sons of American loggers, farmers and shipyard workers defeated elite European teams, grabbing the attention of millions of Americans and transforming the sport.
Bill Sandidge, left, and Nancy Koughan, of Decatur, Ga., watch a fireworks display on the field following a baseball game between the Chicago Cubs and the Atlanta Braves, Wednesday, July 4, 2012, in Atlanta. (David Goldman/AP)
Allen Smith, 21, from West Hollywood, Calif., gets a free vaccine against bacterial meningitis at the AIDS Healthcare Foundation in West Hollywood, Calif., Monday, April 15, 2013. (Damian Dovarganes/AP)
Anat Cohen leads the Anzic Orchestra (Anat + music = Anzic), and Anzic opens this JazzSet by letting "Samba de Orfeu" morph into "Struttin' With Some Barbecue." Cohen loves both Brazilian and New Orleans music, and connects them with ease. "Struttin'" features the trumpet section one man at a time, concluding with Avishai Cohen. Later in the show, Anat will be back.
In 1971, Duane Allman — one of the greatest slide guitarists of all time — died at age 24. His daughter, Galadrielle Allman, was only 2 at the time. Here, she joins World Cafe to present music from the lovingly curated Skydog: The Duane Allman Retrospective.
Listen To Black Rebel Motorcycle Club On World Cafe
Recorded live at the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club recently performed a special stripped-down session for World Cafe. The band appears as a trio, playing songs from its latest album, Specter at the Feast. In 2010, lead singer Robert Been's father Michael died of a heart attack while Black Rebel Motorcycle Club was on tour; this is the group's first release since his death.
If you haven't heard the buzz — or maybe it's the fizz — handmade sodas have been experiencing a full-on revival over the past few years. Whether they're mixed at home with a Soda Stream-like device or made at an old-fashioned soda fountain, the rise of homemade sodas has been driven by a general shift toward less-processed foods.