Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 5:31 pm
Stop us if you've heard this one: A spacecraft flies out of the solar system ...
Yes, the planetary probe Voyager 1, launched in the era of Jimmy Carter and bell-bottoms, has finally left the room, so to speak, years after completing its primary mission: a "grand tour" of the gas giants Jupiter and Saturn (twin Voyager 2 also visited Uranus and Neptune).
And years after we first started talking about its departure.
Syrian refugees wait in Beirut before a flight to Germany on Wednesday. More than 100 Syrians were on the flight, the first mass relocation program for Syrian refugees. Germany has agreed to take in 5,000 of them.
Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 5:21 pm
As a Syrian Christian man rolled the family luggage through Beirut's international airport, he practiced his German: "Thank you, danke, dankeschon."
The man, who asked not to be named, is part of a group of Syrian refugees offered temporary resettlement by Germany for two years. The contingent, which flew out Wednesday, included 70 adults and 37 children and infants.
While researching his buoyant, impassioned (and thoroughly subtitled) new book about education, I Got Schooled: The Unlikely Story of How a Moonlighting Movie Maker Learned the Five Keys to Closing America's Education Gap,M. Night Shyamalan suddenly found himself at the head of an inner-city school English classroom. And he was terrified. "Time stopped," he writes, "similar to when you are on a plane with turbulence that's supposed to last thirty seconds, but it feels like much, much longer."
Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 2:28 pm
Almost 20 years ago, the members of the Greyboy Allstars got together to play a record release party for DJ Greyboy and discovered a perfect fusion. Call it rare groove, acid jazz or Electric Boogaloo (as they named their 1995 debut album), guitarist Elgin Park, keyboardist Robert Walter, saxophonist Karl Denson and the rhythm section of Chris Stillwell and Aaron Redfield have a special sound. These Allstars still draw from '60s boogaloo on their new album, Inland Emperor.
We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and along with the quilt my kind sister couldn't possibly have made me herself came a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives — and, this week, a request for ideas on music awards that double as useful buyer's guides.
Music and song have carried the story of the Battle of Harlaw through the centuries. Fiddler Bonnie Rideout and a gathering of musicians have recorded ancient music commemorating the 600th anniversary of the battle. Travel back in time with them and music historian John Purser who tells us of this legendary conflict in the age-old struggle between war and peace.
Tastiest Scenery To Chew:August: Osage County, the John Wells-directed adaptation of the Tracy Letts stage play, stars Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Juliette Lewis, Chris Cooper, Margo Martindale, Benedict Cumberbatch, and a generally very impressive cast. But Streep is cranked up to 11 as the miserable, pill-popping matriarch. I expect her to win an Oscar for this role, simply because it's so over-the-top and because she is compelling in it.
Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 1:33 pm
While most of us were distracted waiting for a gold iPhone — gold! — the billionaire industrialist Koch brothers quietly made a deal to acquire an electronics company for $7.2 billion. The company they bought? Molex.
Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 12:44 pm
Dell Inc. shareholders, as expected, have approved founder Michael Dell's $25 billion offer to take the company private, ending a protracted battle that saw billionaire investor Carl Icahn mount his own takeover bid for the computer maker.
Mourners carry the coffin of a car bomb victim during the funeral in the Shiite holy city of Najaf, Iraq, last week. Violence is on the rise in Iraq, but it is receiving little international attention.
Civilians gather at the site of a bomb attack in Kirkuk last week.
Credit Ako Rasheed / Reuters/Landov
A man weighs goods at a market in Baghdad on Sept. 1. Baghdad's once-bustling markets are facing difficult times as customers stay away, increasingly fearful of bomb attacks.
Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 12:56 pm
With the current focus on Syria it's easy to miss that things are getting worse again in Iraq. Since the spring, the country has been pounded by waves of attacks on civilians and security forces by extremists with links to al-Qaida. Three car bombs in the Iraqi city of Baquba killed 10 people Tuesday.
Do you like trivia? Do you enjoy food? This week, you can have your cake and eat it too. Two professional competitive eaters square off in a music round inspired by a certain Twisted Sister song. Our Very Important Puzzler, Bon Appétit editor-in-chief Adam Rapoport, dishes about culinary trends, the scourge of Yelp reviews and why he hates giving wine advice. Plus, trivia rounds about nursery rhymes, bad spelling and ironic facts. Find out who's the cream of the crop, and who'll be mincemeat.
In Washington, D.C., this week, there have been demonstrations both in favor of and against a military strike on targets in Syria. Outside the White House on Monday, supporters of Syrian President Bashar Assad waved a Syrian flag with his face on it.
Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 9:12 am
The closer we get to the end of Breaking Bad, the less I want to read about it.
I'm not calling for a moratorium on Breaking Bad content from now until the finale (and not only because of ... you know, futility.) From now until then, I expect an avalanche of recaps, interviews, think pieces, retrospectives, speculations and so forth. That's exactly as it should be with any show coming to a close, let alone a show as great as this one.