LATEST FROM NPR

Pages

Movie Reviews
5:03 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

A 'Big Picture' Intently Focused On The Details

Paul (Romain Duris), an aspiring photographer, assumes another man's identity to escape his job, marriage and dull life.
MPI Media Group

The original French title of The Big Picture — an adaptation of a novel by American expatriate writer Douglas Kennedy — means "the man who wanted to live his life." That's pointedly ironic, since this existential thriller is about a person who seeks personal freedom by becoming somebody else.

Read more
Books
5:02 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

From Boy King Of Texas To Literary Superstar

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 5:13 pm

Domingo Martinez is the author of The Boy Kings of Texas. He has been nominated for a National Book Award in the nonfiction category.

Yesterday morning I'm lying in bed and the phone rings. It's way too early. I'm thinking — "Wow, bill collectors are calling earlier and earlier."

Except it wasn't a bill collector. It was Alice Martell, my agent. She was calling to tell me that I'd been nominated for the National Book Award.

Read more
The Two-Way
4:57 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

'Softball-Sized Eyeball' Washes Up In Florida; Can You I.D. It?

Quite a baby blue.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 10:41 am

Tell us you can resist clicking on this headline from Florida's Sun Sentinel:

"Huge Eyeball From Unknown Creature Washes Ashore On Florida Beach."

It's big, it's blue and the newspaper says "among the possibilities being discussed are a giant squid, some other large fish or a whale or other large marine mammal."

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has sent the eye off for study.

Read more
Shots - Health Blog
4:51 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

Among Disciplined Nurse Aides, Criminal Records Turn Up

HHS found that 19 percent of nurse aides who'd been disciplined had a prior conviction that would have shown up on a background check.
Matt Rourke AP

There are two ways to look at results of a recent investigation of nursing homes by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Both are pretty disturbing.

Read more
The Salt
4:23 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

How A Sleepy Pennsylvania Town Grew Into America's Mushroom Capital

Four hundred million pounds of mushrooms come from farms in Chester County, Pa.
Eliza Barclay NPR

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 5:13 pm

Here's an astonishing fact: Half of America's mushrooms are grown in one tiny corner of southeastern Pennsylvania, near the town of Kennett Square.

But why? It's not as though this place has some special advantage of climate or soil, the kind of thing that led to strawberry fields in Watsonville, Calif., or peach orchards in Georgia. Mushrooms can grow indoors. They could come from anywhere.

Read more
Music Interviews
4:21 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

Blake's Poems, Reborn As Bluesy Folk Tunes, Burn Bright

Martha Redbone's new album is The Garden of Love: Songs of William Blake.
Fabrice Trombert Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 5:13 pm

The words of the English poet William Blake still resonate 185 years after his death. Blake, who was also a painter and printmaker, wrote the famous lines, "Tyger! Tyger! burning bright / In the forests of the night."

Read more
Shots - Health Blog
3:58 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

How Cellphones Helped Researchers Track Malaria In Kenya

More than 90 percent of Kenyans use mobile phones, giving scientists a powerful tool to track how diseases spread.
Simon Maina AFP/Getty Images

Cellphones are popping up all over in health care these days. They're monitoring our blood sugar, tracking the flu season and even mapping the junk food we eat at night.

Read more
It's All Politics
3:34 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

How Ohio Could Swing The Election

A campaign charter flight carrying Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan arrives in Ohio, which has seen nearly nonstop visits from the candidates in recent weeks.
Mary Altaffer AP

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 4:52 pm

Kentucky may be the site for tonight's debate between the vice presidential candidates, but the monster swing state of Ohio remains the focus of White House dreams for President Obama and Mitt Romney.

Both the incumbent and his challenger have been in and out of the state with increasing frequency; GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan plans a trip to the Buckeye State on Friday, after his tangle with Vice President Joe Biden.

Read more
The Two-Way
3:27 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

Panda Cub's Death Due To 'Lung And Liver Damage'

Mei Xiang at the National Zoo earlier today. Her cub died last month.
Rod Lamkey Jr. The Washington Times /Landov

The giant panda cub born at Washington's National Zoo did, as first suspected, die on Sept. 23 because of "lung and liver damage" stemming from problems with her development, zoo officials say.

Read more
The Two-Way
3:18 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

Very Fancy: Scientists Detail A Diamond Encrusted Super-Earth

Illustration of the interior of 55 Cancri e — an extremely hot planet with a surface of mostly graphite surrounding a thick layer of diamond, below which is a layer of silicon-based minerals and a molten iron core at the center.
Haven Giguere via Yale University

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 6:39 pm

Scientists have discovered a world much fancier than our homely, little Earth.

New research that will published in the journal Astrophysical Journal Letters details a planet that is eight times heavier than Earth and with twice its radius. But instead of being covered in water and granite, it is encrusted in graphite and diamond.

Read more
Inside NPR.org
2:55 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

Ways Ohio Could Swing The Election

Kentucky may be the site for tonight's debate between the vice presidential candidates, but the monster swing state of Ohio remains the focus of the White House dreams for President Obama and Mitt Romney.

Both the incumbent and his challenger have been in and out of the state with increasing frequency; GOP vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan plans a trip to the Buckeye State Friday, after his tangle with Vice President Joe Biden.

Read more
Asia
2:42 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

A Shooting Foreshadowed By Taliban Threats

Malala Yousafzai is treated in a hospital in Peshawar, Pakistan, after she was shot on Tuesday.
ISPR EPA/Landov

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 4:00 pm

A 15-year-old Pakistani schoolgirl remains in critical condition after being shot in the head for defying the Taliban and championing the right of girls to go to school. Malala Yousafzai rose to prominence during the recent war in Pakistan's Swat Valley by writing a blog under a pen name. NPR's Philip Reeves reported on that war — and twice met Malala's father. Reeves sent this account of the tough world in which Malala spent her childhood.

Read more
Technology
2:16 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

In Digital War, Patents Are The Weapon Of Choice

iStockphoto.com

If you don't think of patents as a particularly exciting or interesting field, consider a point Charles Duhigg makes in his recent New York Times article, "The Patent, Used as a Sword": According to an analysis done at Stanford: "In the smartphone industry alone ... as much as $20 billion was spent on patent litigation and patent purchases in the last two years — an amount equal to eight Mars rover missions."

Read more
World Cafe
2:02 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

Patrick Watson On World Cafe

Patrick Watson (right).
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 3:16 pm

Polaris Prize-winning singer-songwriter Patrick Watson makes music the way some directors make film: in three dimensions and with lots of emotion. With the aid of guitarist Simon Angell, percussionist Robbie Kuster and bassist Mishka Stein, Watson crafts songs that are experimental in nature, blending cabaret-style pop with classical and indie-rock music.

Read more
Book Reviews
1:50 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

'May We Be Forgiven': A Story Of Second Chances

Viking Adult

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 4:58 pm

A.M. Homes is a writer I'll pretty much follow anywhere because she's indeed so smart, it's scary; yet she's not without heart. It's been a while since her last book, the 2007 memoir The Mistress's Daughter, which is certainly the sharpest and most emotionally complex account of growing up adopted that I've ever read.

Read more
The Salt
12:58 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

100 Years Ago, Maillard Taught Us Why Our Food Tastes Better Cooked

A tower of profiteroles like this one, known as croquembouche, was created in France to celebrate Maillard, the man credited with identifying a key reaction in food science.
Gavin Tapp via Flickr

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 2:36 pm

Read more
The Record
12:45 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

Taking Stock Of The MP3 At Midlife

The Hardware: The Rio, a portable MP3 player introduced by Diamond Multimedia in 1998, had 32MB of internal memory, just about enough to hold one 35-minute album of MP3s encoded at 128 kBps.
Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 7:31 am

Last week, Joel Rose wrote about the compact disc on its 30th anniversary, but it could have been an obituary. In the last decade, CD sales in the United States have dropped by more than two thirds, fulfilling a cycle that dates back to wax cylinders and 78 rpm discs: the 20 to 30 year lifespan of a format, followed by the rise of a new technology. So we decided to look at the format that usurped the CD's place in music listener's ears and hard drives, if not always hearts.

Read more
Music Reviews
12:40 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

Ron Miles Finds Wide-Open Spaces On 'Quiver'

For Ron Miles, the better he knows how a tune works, the less he has to play to put it across.
John Spiral

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 3:19 pm

Teaching jazz history got trumpeter Ron Miles deep into the pleasures of early jazz, with its clarity of form and emphasis on melodic improvising that doesn't wander far from the tune.

Read more
The Two-Way
12:39 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

Masked Gunman Kills Yemeni Who Worked As Security Official At U.S. Embassy

A masked gunman killed a Yemeni man when he was on his way to work as a security official at the U.S. Embassy in Sanaa, the AP and Reuters are reporting.

The Associated Press reports that Yemeni officials said the drive-by shooting was reminiscient of other attacks undertaken by the al-Qaida offshoot in Yemen.

The AP adds:

Read more
Shots - Health Blog
12:35 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

Bioethicists Call For Privacy Protections For Personal Genomes

Would you like a genome with that?
iStockphoto.com

When a stranger can gain access to someone's entire genetic code by picking up a used coffee cup, it presents a whole new thicket of concerns about privacy and security.

Actually, we're already there, though we're still in the early stages of what's shaping up, after all the years of hype, as a genuine revolution. Just take a look at Rob Stein's recent series on the $1,000 genome to see how far we've come and where we're headed.

Read more

Pages