It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, I'm David Greene.
Earlier this week, President Obama announced his new Brain Initiative. He said he wants $100 million to explore America's next great frontier in science: Mapping the human brain, to understand how the brains neurons and circuits communicate. But now that brain specialists have had a little time to reflect, some are wondering whether the president's announcement has more to do with politics and some good PR?
Stephen Slevin, who spent more than 22 months in solitary confinement despite not being convicted of a crime, is seen here in Dona Ana County Sheriff's Department photos, before and after his time in solitary.
Credit Colorado Department of Corrections / AP
Officials say Evan Spencer Ebel, 28, a former Colorado inmate and white supremacist, was released early because of a clerical error. Ebel was killed in a shootout with Colorado police on March 21.
Every year 10 million people funnel in and out of America's jails and prisons. And every year some of them get lost. Recently there have been two high-profile cases of such inmates — one who got out years too early, and one who stayed years too long. Both had disastrous consequences.
In January, Evan Ebel walked out of a Colorado prison four years too early. Two months later, he allegedly rang the doorbell of Tom Clements, the head of the Colorado Department of Corrections, shot him in the chest and killed him. Ebel was shot and killed by police two days later.
In Berlin's Jewish Museum, a new exhibit called "The Whole Truth" asks visitors uncomfortable and even absurd questions about Jews. One of the curators, Michal Friedlander, says it is intentionally provocative.
"The point is to get people talking about how they perceive Jews, particularly in Germany today," she says.
But some German Jews accuse the museum of going too far.
In recent years, high-profile cable TV dramas like AMC's Mad Men have helped to shift audiences and programming across all types of TV networks. (Pictured, from left: John Slattery, Jon Hamm and Vincent Kartheiser)
Credit Darren Michaels / TBS
The programming convergence between cable and broadcast networks may have already begun, with shows like Cougar Town jumping ship from ABC to TBS. (Pictured: Josh Hopkins and Courteney Cox)
Mad Men comes back for its sixth season Sunday at an opportune moment for basic cable. Last weekend, 25 million viewers combined watched The Bible and The Walking Dead on basic cable channels. That's more than triple the audience for The Good Wife on CBS that same night.
Automatic federal budget cuts that kicked in March 1 have had little initial impact in many parts of the government. For a few programs, however, the effect has been real and painful, as the government begins cutting $85 billion from its spending through the end of September.
Many of the earliest signs of the cuts are being seen on the local level, in state programs like education that rely in part on federal dollars.
Ruben Aguilar, 85, was forcibly deported from the U.S. 80 years ago as part of a largely forgotten Mexican repatriation program run by the American government.
During the Great Depression, hundreds of thousands of people of Mexican descent were forcibly deported to Mexico without due process, including many American citizens. Aguilar, an American citizen, was born in Chicago but was deported with his parents, who were undocumented. At the time, he was 6 years old.
Fast-food restaurants were a little bit slower Thursday in New York City. Hundreds of workers staged a one-day strike in what organizers are calling the biggest job action ever in that industry. It's a growing segment of the economy, but workers complain that fast-food jobs don't pay enough to survive in New York City.
This bacterium-like microbe, Archaeoglobus fulgidus, seen here in a false-color image, can live in the high temperatures found near deep-sea vents. They can also survive by consuming perchlorate, a chemical used in rocket fuel.
It's life, but not as we know it. Researchers in the Netherlands have found that a microbe from deep beneath the ocean can breathe a major ingredient in rocket fuel. The discovery suggests that early life may have used many different kinds of chemicals besides oxygen to survive and thrive.
WUNC 70's Beer: North Carolina Public Radio brewed their thanks in the late 70's with WUNC brew. It was brewed by a former program director, guaranteed to be "fun-raising" and labeled at 91.5% pure (the station frequency).
Credit Andy Perez
Public Radio Tattoos: Capital Public Radio is one of the stations that plans to get in on this temporary tattoo action. From April 19-25, listeners who contribute will get a full set of these fun vintage tattoos. See all the designs here: http://www.thisamericanlife.org/tattoos
Credit Janice Headley / KEXP
KEXP Belt Buckle: Seattle's KEXP sends out belt buckles so supporting members can don their favorite radio station in style. The station just wrapped up their spring pledge drive and these buckles helped make it a major success.
Credit Keith Weston / WUNC
WUNC 70's Beer: North Carolina Public Radio brewed their thanks in the late 70's with WUNC Brew. Made by a former program director at the station, WUNC Brew promises to be "fun-raising" at "91.5% pure" (the station frequency).
Credit Katie Burk / NPR
KRCC Squirrel Underpants: During their spring 2009 pledge drive, Colorado's KRCC thanked supporters with itty bitty squirrel underwear for "boys." Listeners went nuts for these tiny tighty-whities. They were so popular, in fact, that the girls line was made available in later drives.
Credit Pat Crawford / WUWF
WUWF, "Your World on a Short Leash": From 2006-07 Florida's WUWF - or "woof" - showed that they appreciate more than just their human listeners when they offered a treat for their four-legged friends. The WUWF-branded bowl and leash reads, "Your World on a Short Leash."
Credit Jeffrey Sklaver
WWNO "Makin' Groceries" Tote Bag: In 2007, Member Station WWNO helped listeners show off their city pride by placing the popular New Orleans saying, "Makin' Groceries," on a tote bag. The NOLA jargon for food shopping was displayed with a literal interpretation of the phrase, created by local design artist, Blake Haney.
Credit Sarah Jane Crespo / KMUW
KMUW Zombie Protection Helmet: Last year, Wichita did more than thank their radio supporters for pledging; they also helped protect listeners from harm during a zombie apocalypse, of course. The station offered protective helmets to those who contributed at the "Zombie Apocalypse Premium Level." They even brought in musician Jonathan Coulton to help explain: http://bit.ly/13UR0kl
WPR "Food for 40": Wisconsin Public Radio has shown thanks by paying it forward since 2010. Listeners can request that instead of a gift, WPR gives a Wisconsin food bank $8, which covers approximately 40 meals. Through their donations, WPR listeners have provided approximately 246,080 meals to those in need.
Credit Alex McWatt / This American Life
Public Radio Tattoos: Public radio shows and stations including NPR, WNYC, WHYY and This American Life collaborated to design a tattoos premium for Member Stations to offer as thank you gifts this spring. Keep an eye out for their mid-April release and you, too, can rock some hardcore Morning Edition or All Things Considered ink.
Originally published on Fri April 19, 2013 8:41 am
Ok, so pledge drive season might not be your most favorite time of the year. But if you are like many of us, it's the thank you gift that really gets you opening your wallet (oh, and all that great programming).
From donations befitting local organizations, to tiny underpants (not that kind), NPR Member Stations are coming up with distinctive and regionally-inspired ways to thank the listeners and fans who support them. Check out the slideshow below to see the pledge gifts, and in some cases gaffs, public radio stations use to share their appreciation.
What comes to mind when you think of Chinese food? Is it takeout, thick sauces or deep-fried meat? Cookbook author Fuchsia Dunlop wants to change that.
"Really, the traditional diet is all about vegetables," she says. "In the past, most people couldn't afford to eat much meat, so they had to concentrate on making their everyday vegetarian produce taste sensational."
Think of Lord Huron as an imaginary world as much as a rock band. Bandleader Ben Schneider has created characters and stories that fit together within an entire narrative filled with mystique. It's a bit dreamlike. To get an idea of how many layers there are in Schneider's invention, look at this website for author George Ranger Johnson. According to the site, George Ranger Johnson lives in Tuscon, Ariz. and writes adventure novels whose titles are identical to the song titles of the band Lord Huron.