World

Code Switch
5:46 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

Ancient Jewish Tradition Meets Contemporary Design

Sukkah City finalists spread out across New York City's Union Square Park in 2010.
Babak Bryan BanG Studio

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 6:07 pm

At Georgetown University this week, an outdoor religious display looks more like a public art installation than a commandment from the Torah, Judaism's holy book.

First, the basics: It's called a sukkah, a temporary dwelling — translated from Hebrew as a "booth" — where observant Jews traditionally eat and sleep during the weeklong harvest holiday of Sukkot.

The holiday, which began the night of Sept. 18, also pays homage to the 40 years during which the Israelites wandered in the desert, living in temporary structures.

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The Two-Way
5:34 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

State Department Renews Global Terrorism Alert

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 6:55 pm

The U.S. State Department has renewed its global terror alert, following the attack in Nairobi, Kenya, by a group claiming to be part of the Somalia-based al-Shabab.

Because of the "continuing threat of terrorist actions and violence" toward Americans, the State Department said, U.S. citizens should "maintain a high level of vigilance."

The department adds:

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Asia
5:30 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

Concerns Growing Over North Korea's Nuclear Program

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 6:03 pm

Robert Siegel talks to Joshua Pollack, a consultant to the US government, about concerns that North Korea has or could soon have the tools to make the centrifuges to enrich the uranium to make the atomic weapons without having to import key elements in the process. Pollack studies arms control, proliferation, deterrence, intelligence, and regional security affairs. He also writes for the blog Arms Control Wonk.

It's All Politics
5:11 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

A Tale Of Two Talks: Ted Cruz Outlasts Rand Paul By 8 Hours

Republican Sen. Ted Cruz speaks to the media Wednesday after delivering a marathon Senate floor speech.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 6:23 pm

OK, so it wasn't a real filibuster, as no Senate action was actually blocked or delayed. But Texas Republican Ted Cruz's talk-fest did succeed in one key measure: duration.

At 21 hours and 19 minutes, Cruz held the Senate floor 8 hours and 27 minutes longer than Kentucky Republican Rand Paul did in March when he staged an actual filibuster over the country's drone policy.

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Music
4:55 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

Rokia Traoré On Taking Up Music, And Mali's 'Iron Women'

Rokia Traoré's latest album is titled Beautiful Africa.
Mathieu Zazzo Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 7:40 pm

When war broke out in the West African nation of Mali last year, one of the targets was that country's ancient music tradition. As Islamist rebels occupied northern Mali, they banned music and shut down clubs and record shops.

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The Two-Way
4:52 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

Oracle Team USA Defeats New Zealand, Keeps The America's Cup

Oracle Team USA skippered by James Spithill celebrates after defending the cup as they beat Emirates Team New Zealand in the final race on Wednesday.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 10:13 am

Oracle Team USA has successfully defended the America's Cup, leaving challenger New Zealand in its wake off San Francisco after clawing back from a seven-race deficit in one of the most spectacular comebacks in yachting history.

A week ago, it looked to be all over for the U.S., with the Kiwis having built a seemingly unassailable lead and poised at one race away from taking the Auld Mug back to New Zealand.

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Live At The Village Vanguard
4:44 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

Ravi Coltrane Quartet: Live At The Village Vanguard

Ravi Coltrane.
John Rogers for NPR johnrogersnyc.com

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 10:10 am

After releasing his latest album, last year's Spirit Fiction, saxophonist Ravi Coltrane put his decade-old quartet on hiatus, and has now assembled a new group. Had John Coltrane lived to see his son grow up, he might have told Ravi about how his own "classic quartet" broke up; he'd begun to incorporate new voices (including Ravi's mother Alice Coltrane) by the time his new band recorded live at the Village Vanguard in 1966.

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This Is NPR
4:41 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

2014 Wall Calendar: October

Richie Pope's illustration appears alongside August in the 2014 NPR Wall Calendar.
Richie Pope NPR

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 4:26 pm

"I first heard some of my favorite albums in the First Listen section of the NPR Music site. Every time I listen to a new album, it's always a discovery," says Richie Pope, illustrator and contributor to the October page of the 2014 NPR Wall Calendar.

It's precisely that music and discovery that inspired his work for the new NPR calendar - an imagined world where music boxes reach higher than people and each contains a special sound to explore. While these larger-than-life music players may be the stuff of dreams, thankfully, discovering music at NPR is not.

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World Cafe
4:34 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

Jamie N Commons On World Cafe

Jamie N Commons.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 12:01 pm

It's a story we've heard before: The British singer enamored of American music makes it his own. In the case of our guest today, Jamie N Commons, he didn't have to do it from afar.

Commons was born in Bristol, England, but moved to Chicago when he was 7. That's where he soaked up all the blues and R&B he could; he'll tell us today about an Allman Brothers concert at an early age that made a major impression. He returned to the U.K. at 19 and now, at 24, has just released his second EP, Rumble and Sway.

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The Two-Way
3:56 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

SEE: Baby Veronica Reunited With Adoptive Parents

Matt and Melanie Capobianco with "Baby Veronica," taken Monday.
Capobianco family photo

We're a day late to this, but it's a story this blog has followed for a while and this latest development represents some closure.

On Tuesday, the 4-year-old known as "Baby Veronica" was reunited with her adoptive parents. As we reported, that was the same day the Oklahoma Supreme Court opened the door to that possibility.

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The Two-Way
3:40 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

Ancient Fish With Strong Jawline Could Rewrite History Of Faces

A reconstruction of Entelognathus primordialis, with the fossil find highlighted above.
Nature

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 4:18 pm

As faces go, Entelognathus primordialis isn't much to look at, even for a fish.

But consider that the 419 million-year-old, armor-plated fish is the earliest known creature to have what humans might recognize as a face, according to research published Wednesday in Nature. That's mostly due to its bony, modern jaw.

As USA Today reports:

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Ask Me Another
3:38 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

Mind Your Ps And Qs

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 10:03 am

Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Now we're going to crown this week's grand champion so let's bring back the winners from all of our former games. From Which Came First Jamie Orenstein. From Triple Word Score David Schmidt. From Istanbul, Not Constantinople, Jim Sparnon. From In A World, Bill Holzapfel. And from Just Add Nada, Cody Lee.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: I'm going to ask our puzzle guru John Chanesky to crown our winner.

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Ask Me Another
3:38 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

Planet Money: Our Perplexing Economy, Explained

"If you bought [gold] now, you'd be making a slightly less bad mistake than if you bought two months ago," says Planet Money's Alex Blumberg, center. He and co-creator Adam Davidson, right, spoke with host Ophira Eisenberg.
Josh Rogosin NPR

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 4:16 pm

  • Bonus: Adam and Alex on what America can learn from Canada economy

Imagine that you had a fun evening at a bar, chatting with a friend about the economy. That's the essence of NPR's Planet Money. With the aid of a team of reporters, co-creators Adam Davidson and Alex Blumberg help listeners make sense of how economic changes impact our lives in an entertaining twice-weekly podcast.

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Ask Me Another
3:38 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

Just Add Nada

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 1:27 pm

A word that literally means nothing takes on a whole new meaning in this game led by house musician Jonathan Coulton. Contestants must identify words that, when the letter "O" is added to their end, become different words. For example, adding nada to what the "D" stands for in CD-ROM — "disc" — produces a music genre — "disco."

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Ask Me Another
3:38 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

In A World...

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 10:19 am

Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

On our stage right now we have Marti Davidson Sitchel and Bill Holzapfel.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Marti, Bill, summer blockbusters. Tell me about one that either changed your life or was the biggest waste of your money. Marti?

MARTI DAVIDSON SITCHEL: If you're going there, I really like the "Star Treks."

EISENBERG: You really like the "Star Treks." There you go.

SITCHEL: I do like the "Star Treks."

EISENBERG: That does well with our people.

SITCHEL: They're my kind of people.

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Ask Me Another
3:38 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

Istanbul, Not Constantinople

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 10:03 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

You're listening to ASK ME ANOTHER from NPR and WYNC. I'm Ophira Eisenberg. Coming up, we'll magically turn words into other words by adding nothing. Plus, we'll put Planet Money's Adam Davison and Alex Blumberg in the puzzle hot seat. But joining us right now are our next two contestants, Jim Sparnon and Dana Rossi.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Now, both of you are music lovers. Jim, you go to an extraordinary amount of concerts.

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Ask Me Another
3:38 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

Triple Word Score

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 10:03 am

Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

And we've got our next two contestants, Jon Early and David Schmidt.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Two fascinating guys. Jon teaches at science camp.

JON EARLY: Very much so. Yeah.

EISENBERG: What do you teach specifically at science camp?

EARLY: Well, today we made egg drops. Basically you just drop eggs off buildings. And I find an excuse to do it. So there we go. It teaches physics or something.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: That sounds very fun. Now, David, you grew up in Colonial Williamsburg?

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Ask Me Another
3:38 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

Which Came First?

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 12:03 pm

You may own every Apple product, but do you remember if the iPhone was released before the iPad? In this game, host Ophira Eisenberg gives you a list of three things, like books or consumer products, and you must identify which one came first. Plus, house musician Jonathan Coulton polishes off this game with the ABBA classic, "Money, Money, Money."

The Salt
3:32 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

Pork Politics: Why Some Danes Want Pig Meat Required On Menus

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 6:16 pm

In Denmark, pigs outnumber people 2 to 1. No traditional Danish meal would be complete without something wrapped in, wrapped around, or topped with pork.

In 2012, the country exported close to $6 billion in pig meat, a figure that includes "carcasses" — which leads to the question: What does one do with a pig carcass?

All this is by way of explaining the hubbub that erupted following a recent headline: "Day Cares Ban Pork."

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Parallels
3:10 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

For Some NYU Students, A Sweet Deal To Study ... In Shanghai

The university is currently located on the leafy campus of East China Normal University. Next year, NYU Shanghai will move to a 15-story building in the city's financial district.
Frank Langfitt NPR

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 9:58 am

First-year college student Stephanie Ulan, from Queens, N.Y., had her sights set on New York University, in the heart of Manhattan's Greenwich Village.

She got her wish — sort of.

At first, the school offered her a generous scholarship but told her and her father they'd still have to take out big loans.

"My father is 62 years old," says Ulan, who plans to major in international relations. "There was a big scene and he flipped out and he was, like, 'I can't do that.' "

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