Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 10:55 am
Richard Rodriguez begins his latest book, Darling, with an unfussy dedication to the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, a Catholic women's group committed to helping the sick and destitute. This Baptism, if you will, is the first and surely the most straightforward indication within the book that Rodriguez intends to delve into his complex relationship with religion. The path that lies beyond that dedication is weird and wonderful, and readers will find that it's far from a direct route.
For years, the small West African nation of Liberia was associated with violence, child soldiers, blood diamonds, 14 years of one of the world's most brutal civil wars. Now Liberia is celebrating a full decade of peace. Tamasin Ford brings us the story of one enterprising young woman there who's learning to operate in the new Liberia.
Originally published on Thu October 3, 2013 12:52 pm
Among the temporary casualties of the government shutdown, besides the paychecks of 800,000 workers, are all federally funded tourist attractions.
Sure, it's a bummer for those who planned vacations around the Smithsonian museums and galleries, national parks and national monuments (although barricades didn't stop some veterans at the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C., Tuesday).
Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 9:12 pm
Day 2 of the federal government shutdown found President Obama summoning congressional leaders to the White House to urge House Republicans to pass legislation to reopen agencies and raise the debt ceiling to avoid a first-ever default by the U.S. (Nothing was resolved; here's the story.)
Originally published on Thu October 3, 2013 9:55 am
Prominent members of the legal community are pressuring the Obama administration to do more to ensure that poor criminal defendants have access to a lawyer, a situation that Attorney General Eric Holder has already likened to a national crisis.
California scientists are reporting a pair of victories in the epic struggle between man and mosquito.
A team at the University of California, Riverside, appears to have finally figured out how bugs detect the insect repellent known as DEET. And the team used its discovery to identify several chemical compounds that promise to be safer and cheaper than DEET, according to the report in the journal Nature.
Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 5:59 pm
There's nothing like a government shutdown to make people angry about government, or at least the politicians who are running things.
"The people we have in the Senate and the House of Representatives, I don't know who they're working for, but they're not working for us," says Larry Abernathy, an insurance broker in St. Louis. "I think both parties are useless."
It's a widely shared belief. People in this Midwestern city may be far removed from the back and forth of the budget debate that has paralyzed Washington, but the partial shutdown is very much on their minds.
Originally published on Thu October 3, 2013 5:22 pm
The health benefits of eating fish are pretty well-known. A lean source of protein, fish can be a rich source of healthful omega-3 fatty acids and has been shown to benefit heart, eye and brain health.
On today's show, we visit Fulper Farms, a family-run dairy in New Jersey. It's a bucolic setting â€” white farmhouse, rolling hills, etc. But behind that peaceful image lies all the roiling tension, rising inequality and economic volatility of the 21st-century economy.
We meet Claudia, the prized, high-tech cow. And we learn why even a barn full of Claudias wouldn't be enough to keep a family-run dairy farm afloat.
In 1818, the 21-year-old Mary Shelley published the great (perhaps greatest) classic of gothic literature, Frankenstein, Or the Modern Prometheus. As we all know, it's the story of a brilliant and anguished doctor who wants to use the cutting-edge science of his time â€” the relationship between electricity and muscular motion â€” to bring the dead back to life. Two decades before Shelley's novel, the Italian Luigi Galvani had shown that electric pulses could make dead muscles twitch.
Russian prosecutors have filed charges of piracy against 14 people who were aboard a Greenpeace boat during a protest last month in the Russian Arctic. Under Russian law, piracy is punishable by as much as 15 years in prison. Greenpeace says it was peacefully protesting the dangers of oil drilling in the Arctic and that the Russian government is violating international law.
At NPR, our work is all about listening and inspiring others to listen. Reporters and editors wage a daily battle with distracting interjections - pesky 'umms,' 'likes' and 'wells' - so NPR listeners can focus instead on the content of our stories.
However, everyone talks their own talk. Sometimes guests (and even our own journalists) throw in verbal pauses that some listeners find distracting. One curious (and self-proclaimed faithful) listener wrote to tell us about a certain word they find soooooo irritating:
Little Comets, a trio from Newcastle upon Tyne, England, recently released its U.S. debut, Life Is Elsewhere. Described early in its career as a British Vampire Weekend, the band smoothly incorporates tricky percussive rhythms and Afrobeat-tinged guitars.