In Montpellier, France, Vincent Autin (center) and Bruno Boileau, with Mayor Helene Mandroux, are married in a civil ceremony on May 29. They were the first same-sex couple to marry in France after the government voted to legalize gay marriage.
A pigeon that set out on what was to be a 600-mile race in Japan lost his way, and ended up landing 5,000 miles across the Pacific in Canada. When it was found on Vancouver Island, the bird was exhausted and very skinny. Now he's been adopted by a pigeon racing club there. They're considering breeding the bird, figuring his offspring will be just as resilient, though hopefully the young ones will get their sense of direction from the mother.
Secretary of State John Kerry goes to Jerusalem today to meet with Israel's prime minister, an effort to restart Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. Kerry's effort wasn't helped, though, when yesterday Israel announced permits for dozens of new homes in east Jerusalem, an area that's central to Palestinian hopes for its own state.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he supports the idea of a Palestinian state alongside Israel. Still, as NPR's Emily Harris in Jerusalem tells us, some of Netanyahu's own government are not on board.
Sony and Microsoft are preparing to launch their latest gaming consoles this fall with price tags from $400 for the PlayStation 4 and $500 for the Xbox One. But this week, a $99 game console went on sale and sold out at Target and Amazon.
The world's largest retailer Wal-Mart is joining the list of companies severing ties with southern food star Paula Deen. The Savannah, Georgia-based cook and restaurateur has been on the front burner since an admission she used a racial slur in the past.
New York City became the most populous place in the United States to require businesses to give employees paid sick leave. Mayor Michael Bloomberg had previously vetoed this requirement, but has now been overruled by the City Council.
<em>A table (Le Dejeuner)</em>, an 1892 oil painting by Edouard Vuillard, appears to show a quiet domestic scene. But Isabelle Cahn, the curator of a new show at the Musee d'Orsay, says this painting actually depicts a scandal-ridden household.
Credit Courtesy Musee d'Orsay
Vuillard's 1891 portrait of Bonnard is an intimate depiction of an artist at work. Both portraits are part of the Hays Collection, currently on display at the Musee d'Orsay.
Credit Courtesy Musee d'Orsay
Spencer and Marlene Hays' collection of French art usually adorns the walls of their Nashville home, an exact replica of a French palace. But for a few months, those pieces are back in their country of origin, on loan to the Musee d'Orsay.
Credit John Schweikert / Courtesy Musee d'Orsay
In 1891, the artists and lifelong friends Pierre Bonnard and Edouard Vuillard created complementary portraits of each other. Here, Bonnard's portrait of Vuillard emphasizes the painter's red beard.
To say that Nashvillean Spencer Hays is crazy for French art is an understatement. "French art just quickens our step, fires our spirit and touches our heart," he says.
Hays' passion began when he was in his 30s. By then he was already a millionaire; Forbes estimated his worth at $400 million in 1997, money earned from book-selling and clothing businesses. Hays had humble beginnings.
Global Thermostat's pilot plant in Menlo Park, Calif., pulls carbon dioxide from the surrounding air. The next challenge is to find uses for the captured gas.
Credit Courtesy of Global Thermostat
"If they don't tell you you're crazy, you're not doing something worthwhile," says Peter Eisenberger, co-founder of Global Thermostat, a firm that's building a device to pull carbon dioxide from the air.
Every year, people add 30 billion tons of carbon dioxide to the air, mostly by burning fossil fuels. That's contributing to climate change. A few scientists have been dreaming about ways to pull some of that CO2 out of the air, but face stiff skepticism and major hurdles. This is the story of one scientist who's pressing ahead.
NPR's Uri Berliner is taking $5,000 of his own savings and putting it to work. Though he's no financial whiz or guru, he's exploring different types of investments — alternatives that may fare better than staying in a savings account that's not keeping up with inflation.
<strong>No Free Doughnuts, Even In Space:</strong> PayPal is announcing a project with SETI, aiming to solve issues around taking regular people — and commerce — into space. Here, an artist's rendering of a space hotel, from the Space Tourism Society.
Originally published on Thu June 27, 2013 12:48 pm
Many people know how to buy things in cyberspace. But what about doing business in outer space? That's the question PayPal says it wants to answer. Citing the looming era of space tourism, the company is creating the PayPal Galactic project along with the SETI Institute, "to help make universal space payments a reality."
Harry Kaplan practices pitching during Home Run Baseball Camp at Friendship Recreation Center in June. Kaplan's arm is stretched long and toward the ground as his hips are faced away from the catcher. A chimp, in contrast, could never throw a fastball.
Credit Heather Rousseau / NPR
Barry Zito, of the San Francisco Giants, pitches against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field in Denver, in May.
Credit Justin Edmonds / Getty Images
Coach John McCarthy, with Home Run Baseball Camp, talks Harry Kaplan, 12, through a proper pitch at Friendship Recreation Center in Bethesda, Md., in June.
The ability to throw a baseball or any object with speed and precision is unique to us humans. And that ability depends on certain features of our anatomy that arose in our ancestors over 2 million years ago, according to a study published in this week's issue of the journal Nature.
From manufacturing to cupcake sales, companies are finding that machines can often do the job just as well, or better, than humans. But some tasks – like picking and tending to fruit and vegetable crops – have remained the territory of low-wage laborers.
But labor-starved growers are now eying machines with increasing interest.
Some 90 percent of the strawberries and 80 percent of the salad greens grown in the U.S. come from California. These crops and a lot of others have always been picked by hand because they don't ripen all at once and can bruise easily.
Pro football player Aaron Hernandez, who until today was a member of the New England Patriots, was charged with murder and other crimes in a Massachusetts courtroom Wednesday. He was arrested this morning and formally charged this afternoon, with authorities blaming him for the death of Odin Lloyd, 27, whose body was found on June 17.
A judge has ordered that Hernandez be held without bail.
The National Institutes of Health says it will retire hundreds of chimpanzees that the agency had been using for research. Animal rights activists see the move as a big step towards ending the use of chimps in research, but it will be awhile before any of the research chimps find their way into retirement homes.
At first, the inconspicuous facade of the El Segundo-based South Bay Customs motorcycle shop doesn't seem like the most compelling setting for one of our Field Recordings. But once we walked past the front doors, we quickly realized that this wasn't your everyday L.A. bike shop. South Bay's walls are lined with eccentric oddities, and the facility also houses an art gallery and a performance space for local musicians.