From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
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And I'm Melissa Block. Pope Benedict XVI shocked the world today with his decision to step down at the end of this month. It is the first papal resignation since the 15th century. The Vatican says a new pope may be elected before Easter, but as NPR's Sylvia Poggioli reports, it's not clear how the church will function with two living popes.
Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 8:59 am
During our week-long casting call for public radio-loving pets, we received dozens of great entries from our listeners as well as (some furry) fans tuning in around the country. And while there were lots of cute critters submitted, the seven photos in the slideshow below are the National Pet Radio Contest finalists, which were selected by a panel of NPR judges.
Vote Now: Take a look through the images below, and vote on your pick to win by Sunday, Feb. 17, at 11:59 PM (ET).
Originally published on Wed February 13, 2013 2:52 pm
There's a global campaign to force meat producers to rein in their use of antibiotics on pigs, chickens and cattle. European countries, especially Denmark and the Netherlands, have taken the lead. The U.S. is moving, haltingly, toward similar restrictions.
Jessica Harris speaks with television producer Joan Ganz Cooney, co-founder of Sesame Workshop. Cooney will describe the early days of educational programming and how she helped to revolutionize children's television. Later, Harris talks to Fred Swaniker, co-founder of African Leadership Academy.
Look, I know this isn't a sandwich. And it barely even qualifies under the Sandwich Draft Principle. But when we heard Taco Bell was selling something called Mountain Dew A.M. — Mountain Dew mixed with Orange Juice, as a breakfast drink — we felt duty-bound to drink it.
Eva: It's hard to tell if mixing Mountain Dew and Orange Juice together ruins the Mountain Dew, or the Orange Juice, or my entire day.
Originally published on Mon February 11, 2013 4:10 pm
As The National Catholic Reporter points out, one of the reasons Pope Benedict XVI's resignation is so surprising is because "most modern popes have felt resignation is unacceptable. As Paul VI said, paternity cannot be resigned."
The Grammy Awards are fun to complain about. That's fair. If you watched the telecast Sunday night, you probably care about music. People who care about music tend to have strong opinions about what's good and what's not. Strong opinions often lead to disappointment, especially since the pop-music sphere is increasingly consensus-free.
British musician, composer and producer Brian Eno is commonly recognized as one of the most important innovators in ambient music. Though he now mainly composes using computers, Eno was one of the early pioneers of tape-loop music.
Originally published on Mon February 11, 2013 3:41 pm
John Murry's first album, The Graceless Age, makes its U.S. debut on March 5. An active musician since 2006, Murry moved from his hometown of Tupelo, Miss., to Oakland, Calif., a couple years ago to work alongside musician Bob Frank.
A descendent of Nobel Prize in Literature recipient William Faulkner, Murry visits his family's literary past and channels it into his music. His dark, deep rock 'n' roll is alluring, emotional and infectious.
Hear two tracks from The Graceless Age in this installment of World Café: Next.
Rebecca Weel pushes a baby stroller with her 18-month-old up to the seafood case at Whole Foods, near ground zero in New York. As she peers at shiny fillets of salmon, halibut and Chilean sea bass labeled "certified sustainable," Weel believes that if she purchases this seafood, she will help protect the world's oceans from overfishing.
Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 11:34 am
Icelandic herring have been having a very bad winter. But that may be just a blip in the fish's reinvention as a trendy Nordic nosh.
On Feb. 1, an estimated 22,000 tons of herring were found dead in West Iceland's Kolgrafafjordur fjord. Even more fish — as much as 30,000 tons — were found floating in the same shallow fjord last December.
According to Gudmundur Oskarsson, a senior scientist at Iceland's Marine Research Institute, this accounts for about one-eighth of the total population of Icelandic herring.
It's easy to think of The xx as a fashionable band: Its members have a sleek all-in-black look, its typography and cover art is coolly and distinctively styled, and the group itself has been showered with validation, including Britain's 2010 Mercury Prize. But beneath all that tightly controlled image-making lays music that's raw and vulnerable; shy, worried tentativeness is wired into a sound that shimmers powerfully, but remains as fragile and delicate as a soap bubble.
It's Monday and time now for the Opinion Page. And after today's stunning news from the Vatican, Pope Benedict XVI plans to resign, we want to hear your opinion on his legacy. 800-989-8255 is our phone number. Email us: firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also join the conversation at our website. That's at npr.org, click on TALK OF THE NATION.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. The numbers from Syria can leave you numb: nearly 700,000 refugees now in neighboring countries, and the U.N. says their numbers grow by 5,000 every day, maybe two million internally displaced, 60,000 dead again according to the U.N., and that estimate came before the most recent intensification of combat in and around Damascus.
Award-winning chef and restaurateur Thomas Keller bought the French Laundry, a restaurant in Napa Valley California, and turned it into one of the leading fine dining establishments in the world. The French Laundry and Per Se, located in the Time Warner Center in New York City, have both been awarded three Michelin Stars.Thomas has won consecutive "Best Chef" awards from the James Beard Foundation and "Chef of the Year" award by the Culinary Institute of America, among other accolades.