It's being called a destroyer, or perhaps a helicopter carrier. But by any name, Japan's new warship, unveiled Tuesday, is the largest it has built since World War II. The ship was shown to the public on the anniversary of the 1945 atomic bombing of Hiroshima, and at a time of escalating tensions with China.
Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 1:48 pm
Can't we just leave our fruit alone?
Last year, apple farmers were soaking their fruit in grape flavor to make them more attractive to kids. Now, plant breeders in California have created a grape that tastes like — well, spun sugar and air.
That's right, Salties. Say hello to the Cotton Candy grape.
It's hardly news that people are having trouble understanding the nitty-gritty of the Affordable Care Act. Recent polls have detailed the difficulties.
But work by economists at Carnegie Mellon University suggests a big reason for the confusion that's been largely overlooked: The public doesn't understand how health insurance works in the first place.
They dominated our planet for 130 million years. You can't do that without having babies, and to have babies, dinosaurs had to have sex. The mystery is — and this is still very much a mystery — we don't really know how they did it.
The key problems being:
First, dinosaur ladies and dinosaur gentlemen were roughly the same size. No big/little asymmetry as with spiders. With spiders, the little fellow mounts the big lady. There are no body-crushing weight issues.
Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 12:18 pm
Before I read Adelle Waldman's brilliant debut novel, The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P., I had about as much interest in reading about the hip, young literary types who've colonized Brooklyn as I do in watching Duck Dynasty, that reality show about a family of bearded Luddites who live in the Louisiana swamps. Both clans are ingrown and smug, each, in their own way, disdainful of the American mainstream.
Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 12:42 pm
George Duke, the legendary jazz keyboardist, died on Monday, his publicist tells NPR.
Duke's career spanned five decades and he always straddled the line between disparate genres, collaborating with artists such as Miles Davis, Barry Manilow, Frank Zappa, George Clinton and some of Brazil's top musicians.
Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 12:35 pm
India has accused Pakistani troops of killing five Indian soldiers after firing across the Line of Control, the de facto border in disputed Kashmir. Pakistan denies any firing from its side, and calls the allegation "baseless."
This latest incident comes amid attempts to renew diplomatic overtures for peace between the two nuclear-armed rivals.
Indian officials say Pakistani soldiers fired into Indian territory overnight, ambushing a patrol of Indian troops.
Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 4:20 pm
Public health advocates have lobbied hard in recent years to clear restaurants, bars and other workplaces of tobacco smoke, and the winds seem to be at their back.
Already, 36 states and the District of Columbia have enacted some version of an indoor smoking ban to protect the health of workers and patrons, and many local communities in other states have followed suit.
The Mountain Goats' John Darnielle spent the 1990s recording his songs — just a voice, an acoustic guitar and bracingly articulate lyrics about catastrophe and survival — on low-fidelity equipment like boom boxes. It got to the point where the tape hiss felt like another instrument, but in the last decade, the Mountain Goats' music has become ever more polished.
The term "shark attack" is under attack by the leading society of shark researchers. They're calling on the media to stop labeling any sort of interaction with humans as an "attack." They suggest using specific terms like: shark sightings and shark encounters.
Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 10:56 am
Marisha Pessl's dark, cinematic and wildly over-the-top new novel, Night Film, starts with a mysterious death: Ashley Cordova, troubled former child prodigy and daughter of mysterious filmmaker Stanislas Cordova, is found dead at the bottom of a disused elevator shaft, an apparent suicide. Disgraced investigative journalist Scott McGrath thinks there's more to the case.
Originally published on Sun August 11, 2013 5:23 pm
In Choire Sicha's Very Recent History: An Entirely Factual Account of a Year (c. AD 2009) in a Large City, a voice from our future looks back at events taking place in a "massive" East Coast metropolis, its citizens perpetually gripped with "a quiet panic" while living in a gritty landscape of iron and excess. Throw in a mysterious virus, a rich, blind governor, a sketchy mayor campaigning for a third term, and this novel gets even more curious.