Math and sports are expressions of our controlled creativity. Above, Brazil goalkeeper Julio Cesar watches as the ball sails past for an England goal by Frank Lampard during a friendly at London's Wembley Stadium on February 6, 2013.
Originally published on Thu March 14, 2013 9:49 am
Some results in mathematics have the force of real truths, being independent of interpretation or context. When we state that 2 + 2 = 4 we know that this will be correct for any intelligent entity able to count. In algebra, given an equation, say, x + 3 = 4, we know that there is only one solution, x = 1. The same with Euclidean geometry that we learn in high school. Given certain axioms (assertions taken to be true that are the starting point to obtain results), we can prove a series of theorems that are unique.
Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 6:12 pm
In the ongoing Washington budget battles, one word gets more of a workout than most: balanced.
This single word illustrates the vast distance between the parties. Democrats and Republicans are working from very different definitions of the term in discussing their budget proposals being unveiled this week.
What Democrats are saying: A balanced budget is deficit reduction through a mix of tax increases and spending cuts. As in: We want a balanced approach to reducing the deficit.
Cardinals at the Vatican chose Argentine cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio as the new pope. He will take the papal name Francis and is the first pope from South America. NPR's Neal Conan talks with guests about the significance of the event around the world.
Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 9:41 pm
The new pope, 76-year-old Jorge Bergoglio, the archbishop of Buenos Aires, is the first pontiff from Latin America and the first Jesuit, but he appears to hold views very much in line with his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI.
Bergoglio has chosen the papal name Francis, becoming the 266th to hold the title of spiritual leader of the Catholic Church.
Originally published on Wed December 11, 2013 8:11 am
The world's 1.2 billion Roman Catholics have a new spiritual leader, and for the first time it is someone from the Americas.
As afternoon turned to evening in Vatican City on Wednesday, a little after 7 p.m. local time, white smoke rose from a chimney above the Sistine Chapel and bells rang through St. Peter's Square — the traditional signals that the church's cardinals have chosen a new pope.
The Boy Scouts of America has sent a detailed survey about its exclusion of gay members to 1.1 million scouts.
As The New York Times reports, the survey doesn't just pose a simple yes or no question on whether the Scouts should lift its ban on gay members and leaders. Instead it seeks answers using detailed hypotheticals.
What do Best Coast, Boba Fett, Beach Fossils and street yogis have in common? They were among the many artists and fans who came for the first day of South by Southwest. See a gallery of photos by Adam Kissick here and follow us on Flickr for much, much more.
European bison, or wisents, keep a safe distance from human visitors to their enclosure on the property of Prince Richard of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg in Germany's densely populated state of North Rhine-Westphalia.
Credit Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson / NPR
Prince Richard (left) and his son, Prince Gustav, stand in front of their palace in Bad Berleburg. The elder prince decided to reintroduce wisents into the wild in Germany a decade ago, but opponents and red tape hampered his efforts until recently.
Credit Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson / NPR
The prince owns about 30,000 acres of vast forestland, home to the wisents.
A small herd of European bison will soon be released in Germany's most densely populated state, the first time in nearly three centuries that these bison — known as wisents — will roam freely in Western Europe.
The project is the brainchild of Prince Richard of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg. He owns more than 30,000 acres, much of it covered in Norwegian spruce and beech trees in North Rhine-Westphalia.
For the 78-year-old logging magnate, the planned April release of the bull, five cows and two calves will fulfill a decade-old dream.
Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 3:57 pm
From the ongoing budget battle to Sen. Carl Levin's retirement announcement, NPR's Political Junkie Ken Rudin recaps the week in politics. NPR's Phillip Reeves provides an update from Rome as cardinals elected a new pope.
Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 4:12 pm
Three decades after giving the world The Number of the Beast, Iron Maiden is poised to release its latest work — and it's a beer. That's the latest from the Metal Injection website, whose "Bands and Booze" section makes it uniquely qualified to present such news.
Grammy-winning singer Angelique Kidjo is considered Africa's greatest living diva. She says music is her outlet for pleasure and activism. Kidjo shares some of the songs that have inspired her over the years.
Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 12:07 pm
Following up last month's news about reports that tie hackings of American defense contractors' websites to operations run — or at least encouraged — by the Chinese government, the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday told the tale of a Shanghai man who used to blog about his work in a People's Liberation Army
It's a battle fought by the makers of inconspicuous little products that cost a fraction of a penny to produce—the ones that everyone knows and nobody thinks about, but which represent more than an estimated $10 million in annual sales. Insiders describe the turf as the bakery bag closure and reclosure market; this is the battle of the plastic clip vs. the twist-tie. ...
The All Songs Considered gang has made their way to Austin, Texas for this year's South By Southwest music festival. The five day event, which showcases performances by over 1500 bands and artists, takes over the city, and this year officially starts one day earlier than in the past — Tuesday night.
Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 3:28 pm
Longtime college friends from Syracuse, N.Y., Ra Ra Riot gained notoriety with their unique blend of indie and orchestral pop songs. With their latest release Beta Love, the group moves towards catchy dance beats and synth sounds you can hear in "Dance With Me."
Retail sales rose an estimated 1.1 percent in February from January and were up 4.6 percent from February 2012, the Census Bureau says.
Kathy Bostjancic director of macroeconomic analysis at the The Conference Board research group, says in an analysis sent to reporters that the report's a sign that "consumer spending remains relatively robust." And since consumers buy about 70 percent of all goods and services, their willingness to spend is a key economic driver.