Was Francis Bacon a 16th-century pioneer of the scientific method, or a 20th-century painter known for his raw graphic imagery? The answer is: both! In this game, Ophira Eisenberg quizzes contestants about famous people who share the same first and last name. Extra credit if you can link the two celebrities in six degrees or less. After the game, hear house musician Jonathan Coulton get sassy with a cover of the Destiny's Child hit "Bills Bills Bills."
Welcome back to ASK ME ANOTHER, NPR's hour of puzzles, word games and trivia. I'm Ophira Eisenberg and with me on our stage is our very important puzzler, Michael Ian Black.
MICHAEL IAN BLACK: Hello.
EISENBERG: So Michael, we thought that before we throw you in the puzzle pit, we'd make you run a game with us. We're going to first, welcome our contestants that are going to play this game. Let's welcome Andrew Sommerfeld and Erica Pietricola.
War photographer Tim Hetherington said he thought war was wired into young men. And he risked, and ultimately gave, his life to capture these young men in photographs and video — in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan and other war zones. Hetherington was killed by shrapnel from a mortar round while taking pictures in Libya in 2011, during the uprising against President Moammar Gadhafi.
Our series on government disability programs continues to provoke debate. A group of former commissioners from the Social Security Administration (Social Security runs the programs) put out this response.
Whether or not you give a damn for Superman, you know who he is. Even if you've never read a comic book in your life, no one can hear the name "Superman" without a flash of recognition: red-and-yellow S on blue background, red cape, the dark-haired man in flight, jaw set, blue eyes fixed on a distant destination. He's on his way to save the world.
Two prominent Harvard economists have admitted there are errors in an influential paper they wrote on government debt. This paper was widely cited in recent budget debates. But the economists insist their mistakes do not significantly change their research.
NPR's Jim Zarroli reports.
JIM ZARROLI, BYLINE: In their 2010 paper, Ken Rogoff and Carmen Rinehart argued that economic growth falls significantly when a country's debt level rises above 90 percent of its Gross Domestic Product or GDP.
All right. In recent days, the government has begun sending out checks to about 4 million people whose homes fell into foreclosure during the housing crisis. This is part of a multibillion dollar agreement with banks accused of making serious errors in processing those foreclosures.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
Most of these checks are not so big. They average several hundred dollars. But still a check, an effort to make amends, so this is a bit of a problem. When some of the home owners try to cash their checks, the checks bounced.