Any gardener will tell you that compost is "black gold," essential to cultivating vigorous, flavorful crops. But it always feels like there's never enough, and its weight and bulk make it tough stuff to cart around.
I belong to a community garden in Washington, D.C., that can't get its hands on enough compost. So you can imagine my delight when I learned that the U.S. Composting Council was connecting community gardeners with free material from local facilities through its Million Tomato Compost Campaign.
On the list of great postwar American male novelists — along with Philip Roth, Norman Mailer and John Updike — is James Salter.
With the publication of his first book in 1957, he won the admiration of writers and critics alike. But after 1979, his production slowed. Salter still wrote — essays, short stories, poetry — but nothing on a grander scale.
Now, that long-awaited novel has been published. All That Is sets out to give a sweeping portrait of human experience.
Last week, we wrote about the way members of minority groups are frequently linked in the popular imagination with prominent fellow members of their group. We asked Channing Kennedy, frequent contributor to Colorlines.com, for a commentary on this phenomenon from the perspective of someone without any immediately obvious minority affiliations. Here's what he told us:
A man inspects a plastic cover placed over <em>Slave Labour</em>, an artwork attributed to Banksy, in London. This piece of art was put up for sale in Miami last February, but the ensuing outrage led to the auction's cancellation. The mural is now part of an exhibition in London, and is is expected to move to the U.S. afterward.
You might remember the story of the uproar earlier this year over a piece of art by the mysterious graffiti artist Banksy that disappeared from its home on a wall in north London and ended up on the auction block in Miami.
In Turkey, officials have arrested nine people in connection with what authorities say were two car bombs that killed 46 people near the Syrian border Saturday. Turkish officials say the suspects are Turkish civilians who are loyal to the Syrian regime.
"The bombs exploded in the border town of Reyhanli, which has been a gathering point for refugees, aid workers and smugglers bringing supplies into Syria to aid the effort to oust President Bashar al-Assad's regime," NPR's Peter Kenyon reports from Istanbul for our Newscast Desk.
Nearly 14 years after being ousted from power by a military coup, Pakistan's former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is poised to lead the country once again. Unofficial results from Saturday's general elections predict a return to power for Sharif, 63.
Several media reports indicate the two-time former prime minister's Pakistan Muslim League will capture more than 100 of the 272 National Assembly seats directly elected in the vote. The final tally is still being conducted.
Four Filipino peacekeepers are now free, days after being abducted by Syrian rebels. They had been patrolling near the area that divides Syria and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. The rebels said Wednesday that the four had been held for their own protection. But Filipino officials say they were used as human shields.
Partial, unofficial election results in Pakistan show former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's party as the clear victor. Defying militant threats millions of voters turned out and sent the incumbent Pakistan People's Party packing after five years of rule marked by corruption allegations and a failing economy. Host Rachel Martin gets more on the election from NPR's Julie McCarthy in Lahore.
Anchee Min's best-selling memoir Red Azalea told the story of her youth in China during the Cultural Revolution. Her followup, The Cooked Seed, picks up nearly 20 years later as she arrives in America with $500 in her pocket, no English and a plan to study art in Chicago.
Min tells NPR's Rachel Martin that her life in China ended because of her relationship with Madame Mao, a former actress and the wife of Chairman Mao Zedong.
Amy Grant released her first album in 1977, when she was a teenager. Apart from a few secular mainstream hits in the 1990s, most of her work is unabashedly spiritual, and her name has become synonymous with contemporary Christian pop music. It doesn't bother the singer; for her, music has always represented a sacred place.
Daniele Coelho holds her newborn daughter as doctors finish her cesarean section at the Perinatal Clinic in Rio de Janeiro on Aug. 2. Brazil has one of the world's highest rates of cesarean births.
Credit Felipe Dana / AP
A pregnant woman is examined as she waits to give birth at a public hospital in Rio de Janeiro on July 25. The rate of C-sections — which cost more than vaginal deliveries — is much lower at public hospitals than at private facilities in Brazil.
The office is immaculate, as you would expect in an upscale neighborhood in Sao Paulo — all sterile, white, modish plastic furniture and green plants. Behind the reception desk are pictures that would look more appropriate in a pop art gallery than a private maternity clinic.
The list of services at the clinic in Brazil's largest city is long: fertility treatments, specialized gynecology and, of course, obstetrics. But one thing they rarely do here is preside over a vaginal delivery.
NPR's Frank Langfitt and Gregory Warner have teamed up for a series about how myth and money are driving extraordinary slaughter of rhinos. They talk with host Rachel Martin about the issue, which has repercussions from the African continent all the way to Asia.
The crisis at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp keeps growing in size and intensity. According to the military's own count, 100 of the 166 men held in the prison there are now on hunger strike, and the 27 most in danger of dying are being force-fed.
Last month, guards had to forcibly subdue a camp where even the most cooperativedetainees are held.
LL Cool J has been making music for more than 25 years. Through it all, he says, he's tried his best to remain authentic.
"The last thing that I want to do is be a hack," says the rapper and actor, born James Todd Smith. "Someone who is adapting to whatever the current trend is, and manipulating the public into being on board with me even though, from an artistic standpoint, I'm not doing anything."
In Pakistan today, millions went to the polls to elect new government. NPR's Julie McCarthy has been following the candidates, their campaigns and issues leading up to this. She joins us now from Lahore. Welcome, Julie.
JULIE MCCARTHY, BYLINE: Thank you.
RATH: So in the last 24 hours, we've heard a lot about the threats and violence aimed at stopping voters, and even shutting down polling places. What's the significance of this election? Can you put it into context for people?