Originally published on Fri August 9, 2013 7:58 am
It's already August 8, which means you've got maybe three or four weeks left to complain about preseason football, inadequately shield yourself from the scorching heat of the sun, and communicate with your kids about something other than why they haven't done their homework. So why not get cracking on a book?
Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 10:01 am
Imagine a friend of a friend brings his family to stay with you — his family of tiny survivalists. For weeks or months you all live quietly side by side with no problems. You share meals. Your kids play together.
Then one day you get sick — maybe felled by a bad cold or the flu. Suddenly certain the end is near, your jittery houseguest breaks out an armory's worth of chemical weapons. He abandons his community to save himself and hunt for a new home, wreaking havoc on the way out the door.
Originally published on Fri August 9, 2013 7:19 pm
Here's what the Swedish artist Oscar Reutersvard did. In 1934, he got himself a pen and paper and drew four cubes, like this.
Then he drew some more, like this.
And, then — and this is where he got mischievous — he drew one more set, like this.
He called this final version "Impossible Triangle of Opus 1 No. 293aa." I don't know what the "293aa" is about, but he was right about "impossible." An arrangement like this cannot take place in the physical universe as we know it.
It's one of the most familiar stories in fantasy: someone from our world stumbles on a gateway to a world entirely other — usually magical, sometimes dangerous, and always ripe for a great adventure. But despite the iconic image of a paradise just beyond the doorway, the portal fantasy is often, at heart, a cynical work. After all, some of folkore's most notable archetypes were supernatural threats who crossed from their world to ours to beleaguer us.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. In Mozart's opera "The Magic Flute," Tamino and Pamina can't get married unless brave Tamino passes three tests or trials. At a performance on Lake Constance in Austria this week, the trials by silence and fire were no sweat but water turned out to be a bit trickier. As a gondola carrying three characters approached the floating stage it capsized, tossing the three into the lake's shallow waters. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 6:38 am
The cruise ship made famous by the TV show The Love Boat will end up in a scrap heap on the Turkish coast. A ship recycling company in Turkey bought the cruise liner for a little more than $3 million and will strip it for its parts and metal.
Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 6:09 am
JPMorgan Chase revealed on Wednesday that it's facing criminal and civil investigations by the Justice Department. The bank says the investigations focus on sales of subprime mortgage securities in the years preceding the financial crisis.
Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 4:53 am
The 2010 bestseller The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks highlighted ethical controversies surrounding scientists' use of HeLa cells. The cells are descended from a tumor taken without consent from Henrietta Lacks, a poor black woman who died in 1951. Ethical concerns resurfaced with the publication of the HeLa cell's genome. The National Institutes of Health has now issued guidelines. For an explanation, Linda Wertheimer talks to NIH director Francis Collins.
It was five years ago that the U.S. was chastising Russia over its invasion of the former Soviet Republic of Georgia. Russian tanks had moved across the border after Georgian forces tried to re-take a separatist region, a region which Russia backed. There is still tensions between the countries, but last year Georgian voters elected a new prime minister who pledged to improve ties with Moscow.
Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 5:41 am
The U.S. has canceled plans for an Obama-Putin summit because Russia granted temporary asylum to NSA leaker Edward Snowden. But Secretary of State John Kerry and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will go ahead with plans to meet their counterparts in Washington.
Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 5:06 am
The rail company involved in the explosion that killed 47 people in a small Quebec town last month has filed for bankruptcy. The bankruptcy is a direct result of the explosion, in which a run-away train carrying oil derailed and blew up not far from the Maine-Quebec border.
Every summer, a village in eastern France celebrates a Gallic chieftain who lost a major battle to Julius Caesar in 52 B.C. Despite that defeat, the mythic Vercingetorix, leader of the Gauls, is a French national hero today.
But Vercingetorix wasn't always remembered with such fanfare: For 2,000 years, he lay nearly forgotten.
Every year, the U.S. Congress appropriates more than $1 billion in military aid to Egypt. But that money never gets to Egypt. It goes to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, then to a trust fund at the Treasury and, finally, out to U.S. military contractors that make the tanks and fighter jets that ultimately get sent to Egypt.
The U.S. started sending M1A1 Abrams tanks to Egypt in the late '80s. In all, the U.S. sent more than 1,000 tanks to Egypt since then — valued at some $3.9 billion — which Egypt maintains along with several thousand Soviet-era tanks.
Originally published on Wed August 7, 2013 7:33 pm
Commotion over a pair of movies that haven't even been made proves, if anything, that the Clintons need not lift a finger to inspire a controversy.
That said, the hubbub over a planned CNN documentary and a proposed NBC Entertainment miniseries on Hillary Clinton, the former first lady and secretary of state, does feel somewhat premature. Clinton hasn't said whether she intends to run for president in 2016.
But it's never too early to take a Democratic Party titan down a few pegs, especially one who polls well ahead of all Republican presidential possibilities.