The Thistle & Shamrock
1:58 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

The Thistle & Shamrock: New Spring Sounds

The Allan Kelly Gang.
Courtesy of the artist

The flow of music is never-ending. A mountain of new recordings doesn't translate into a volume of great music, though, so rely on Thistle and Shamrock host Fiona Ritchie to hand-pick the best new sounds from rising artists and perennial favorites.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit

All Tech Considered
1:34 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Getting Your Head Into The Facebook-Oculus Virtual Reality Deal

An attendee wears an Oculus Rift HD virtual reality headset at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
Robyn Beck AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 6:02 pm

Author Howard Rheingold has been thinking about virtual reality tech for decades. He spoke to us on Twitter about Facebook's $2 billion purchase of Oculus VR, the company behind the Oculus Rift headset.

The Two-Way
12:26 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Soyuz Misfire Delays Crew Trying To Reach Space Station

From left: U.S. astronaut Steve Swanson, and Russian cosmonauts Alexander Skvortsov and Oleg Artemyev prior to the launch of their Soyuz-FG rocket Wednesday at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
Dmitry Lovetsky AP

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 1:18 pm

A problem with a thruster aboard a Russian Soyuz capsule ferrying one American and two Russians to the International Space Station has caused an unexpected delay for the crew in reaching the orbiting platform.

As NPR's Geoff Brumfiel reports, it was supposed to be a six-hour journey from the launch at Kazakhstan's Baikonur Cosmodrome to the ISS, but one of the thrusters didn't fire at the right time.

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11:48 am
Wed March 26, 2014

Polygamy May Seem Like A Man's Dream, But Kenyan Women Are Not Happy

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 12:41 pm



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The Two-Way
11:25 am
Wed March 26, 2014

Secret Service Agents Recalled From Overseas For Drinking

Members of the U.S. Secret Service's Counter Assault Team, known in the agency as CAT, are seen before boarding helicopters at a landing zone in Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, Netherlands, on Monday.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 1:52 pm

Another embarrassing episode for the Secret Service: The latest involves reports of three agents being recalled from the Netherlands for a night of drinking ahead of President Obama's arrival there this week for a two-day summit.

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The Protojournalist
11:13 am
Wed March 26, 2014

What Winter Will Be Like In 100 Years


Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 5:57 pm

One of the upsides to the seemingly endless winter of 2014 was that you had time to think.

And to ask futuristic questions, such as: What will the American Winter of 2114 be like?

Here are some of the answers.

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Code Switch
11:08 am
Wed March 26, 2014

To Some English-Speakers, Soccer Matches Sound Better In Spanish

Andrés Cantor is the legendary soccer play-by-play announcer behind GOOOOOOOOOOLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 3:35 pm

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Microphone Check
11:03 am
Wed March 26, 2014

Young Chop: 'I Gotta Stay Working'


Originally published on Wed July 2, 2014 2:23 pm

Microphone Check co-hosts Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Frannie Kelley spoke to Young Chop in the backyard of a store on the east side of Austin, Texas. Even in the midst of SXSW, the Chicago producer was selling beats and putting in studio time. He took a rare break to talk about studying songs from the '70s, Polow da Don's snare and encouraging up-and-coming artists, including those who step to him at the Texaco.

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The Two-Way
10:18 am
Wed March 26, 2014

U.S. And Europe Stand United, 'Russia Stands Alone,' Obama Says

President Obama at a news conference Wednesday in Brussels.
Yves Herman Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 1:46 pm

Saying again that Russia's annexation of Crimea and insertion of military forces there violate international law and the sovereignty of Ukraine, President Obama declared Wednesday that while the U.S. and European union stand united, "Russia stands alone" on the world stage because of its actions.

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All Tech Considered
10:08 am
Wed March 26, 2014

How A Cold Brew Can Stop You From Checking Your Smartphone

A beer glass that only stands if it can rest on your smartphone.
Fischer & Friends Agency

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 10:29 am

Regular All Tech readers may know that we've been exploring the social norms around obsessively checking your smartphone while out with real, live human beings. Is it a big no-no, or a new normal? Is it totally not cool in a movie but OK to peek at dinner?

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
9:27 am
Wed March 26, 2014

Listening To The Echoes Of Creation

The National Science Foundation's South Pole Station, home to the BICEP2 telescope.
Steffen Richter Harvard University

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 2:58 pm

Nine days ago, the unbelievable became believable as an enthralled scientific community heard the announcement of an amazing experimental result: For the first time, astronomers detected signals from events dating back to the origin of the universe. Scientists heard the first echoes of creation.

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The Two-Way
8:28 am
Wed March 26, 2014

'Bishop Of Bling' Gets The Boot

Then-Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst last August. The Vatican has accepted his resignation. Tebartz-van Elst spent lavishly on renovations at his residence and allegedly made false statements about expensive travel costs.
Fredrik Von Erichsen DPA/Landov

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 12:10 pm

The more than $40 million he allowed to be spent on renovations at his residence and allegations that he lied about some of his other lavish spending have now officially cost the "bishop of bling" his job.

The Vatican announced Wednesday that it has accepted the resignation of Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst, who had been the bishop of Limburg, Germany. He will be assigned other duties.

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The Two-Way
8:10 am
Wed March 26, 2014

Book News: Tennessee Williams Tale Of Disappointed Love To Be Published

Playwright Tennessee Williams sits at his typewriter on Nov. 11, 1940, in New York.
Dan Grossi AP

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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8:03 am
Wed March 26, 2014

A Field Recording Bonus Track: The Silk Road Swings

Sandeep Das, Shane Shanahan, Mark Suter and Joseph Gramley, percussionists in the Silk Road Ensemble, perform at ACME Studio in Brooklyn, New York, for a Field Recordings video shoot.
Mito Habe-Evans NPR

Originally published on Tue July 1, 2014 3:52 pm

We had so much fun taping cellist Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble's Field Recording, we couldn't stop at just one selection, so we recorded the group's four talented percussionists in a deep groove.

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Field Recordings
8:03 am
Wed March 26, 2014

Welcome To Yo-Yo's Playhouse

Mito Habe-Evans NPR

Originally published on Wed July 2, 2014 3:13 pm

When you're lucky enough to have cellist Yo-Yo Ma and members of the Silk Road Ensemble, some of the world's premiere instrumentalists and composers, gather for an afternoon of offstage music making, you've got to think long and hard about where to put them. And we decided that the perfect match would be ACME Studio, a theatrical props warehouse in Brooklyn.

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NPR Story
7:03 am
Wed March 26, 2014

Dining At 'My Usual Table' May Leave You Unsatisfied

The first thing you have to ask yourself is, why do I want to read a memoir in the first place? Not this particular memoir — Colman Andrews's chronicle of his life in restaurants — but any memoir. What is it you're looking for, exactly? What's your purpose in crawling so intimately into someone else's head?

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The Two-Way
6:59 am
Wed March 26, 2014

More Images, More Possible Debris, But No Sure Sign Of Flight 370

Crew members on the Chinese icebreaker Xue Long scanned the southern Indian Ocean on Wednesday as they assisted in the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. Earlier this year, the Xue Long assisted in the rescue of more than 50 scientists and paying passengers from a ship that got stuck in the Antarctic Ocean.
Zhang Jiansong Xinhua/Landov

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 11:10 am

This post has been updated with word that the aerial search is over for today.

Images taken on Sunday by a French satellite show 122 "potential objects" in the area of the southern Indian Ocean that searchers are now combing for any sign of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, Malaysia's acting transport minister said Wednesday.

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5:04 am
Wed March 26, 2014

Ukraine Crisis, NSA Eavesdropping Dominate Summit Discussions

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 7:39 am

President Obama is in Brussels for meetings with NATO and the European Union. Events on the sideline of Tuesday's nuclear summit at The Hague have eclipsed the nuclear agenda itself.

5:04 am
Wed March 26, 2014

Arizona Struggles To Gain Cross-Border Trade With Mexico

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 9:00 am

In 2010, Arizona passed laws aimed at undocumented immigrants. As a result, business relations with Mexico — Arizona's biggest trading partner — began to suffer.