When astronomers survey the universe, the landmarks are galaxies, those gigantic agglomerates of stars and interstellar gas spread across the immensity of space. A typical spiral galaxy, like our own Milky Way, boasts hundreds of billions of stars grouped along hundreds of thousands of light-years. That means that it takes a beam of light all that time to go from one extreme of the galaxy to the other, traveling, as light does in a vacuum, at 186,282 miles per second.
Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 11:02 am
In the backyard of an unassuming suburban home in Bethlehem, Pa., is a global cornucopia of botanical heritage. Almost 300 varieties of fig grow here, most of them with roots in Europe, Asia or Africa, and each one collected and propagated by Bassem Samaan, a 34-year-old Lebanese native with an unusually green thumb and an obsession with figs.
Samaan is one of a handful of eccentric gardeners around the world whose goal is to save and preserve rare or unusual fruit varieties — trees that may never have commercial value and which may barely cling to existence.
Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 5:08 pm
There's word this morning of another wildfire, this time outside the community of Manton in Northern California, where "dozens of buildings, many of them likely homes, have been destroyed," as The Associated Press reports.
Wildfires out West have been a constant topic this summer, it seems, on The Two-Way and other news outlets.
Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 12:55 pm
GOP officials and the Mitt Romney campaign have cut a deal with Texas Rep. Ron Paul's campaign to allow some — though not all — of Paul's delegates from Louisiana and Massachusetts to be seated at the Republican National Convention. The status of Maine's delegates remains unsettled.
The compromise would appear to avert a potential public clash with Paul supporters during the convention's opening day Monday.
Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 10:17 am
We absolutely, positively will not make a reference to the crown jewels.
Oops, we just did.
It seems that last Friday night in Las Vegas, Prince Harry — third in line to the throne over in England and one of the world's most eligible bachelors — did some "cavorting with two naked women in a Las Vegas hotel room," as the London Evening Standard puts it.
The evening apparently involved some "strip billiards."
The mystery surrounding the death of a rare white buffalo and the claim by some Lakota Sioux in Texas that it had been killed by other Native Americans deepened Tuesday. A local sheriff announced that investigators believe the animal died of a bacterial disease and said the case is now closed.
Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 11:42 am
When I moved to Philadelphia seven years ago, I was looking to take a ceramics class. Instead I found a wonderful community-minded program in which I've made lifelong friends, unleashed children's creativity and touched their hearts. They in turn have touched mine.
Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 6:41 am
The Expendables 2 — the movie starring a host of aging action heroes — opened at No. 1 over the weekend. Morning Edition commentator and Hollywood screenwriter John Ridley found the movie surprisingly stirring following last month's shootings in Aurora, Colorado.
In Kentucky yesterday, there was another sign of Tea Party clout. Mitch McConnell - minority leader in the U.S. Senate, and Kentucky's most powerful politician - turned up at his first-ever Tea Party rally. [POST-BROADCAST CORRECTION: This was not McConnell's first Tea Party rally. He participated in a Tea Party event in 2010.] This year, Tea Party candidates have scored upsets in Republican primaries in Missouri, Texas and Indiana. That's where longtime Senator Richard Lugar lost.
Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 7:03 am
Video games are getting better in terms of quality, so why are sales falling month after month? David Greene talks to Chris Kohler, who writes about video games for Wired Magazine. The two examine the trends and new technologies reshaping this big, and growing industry.
Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 5:27 am
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
Haiti plans to clear away a symbol of the country's devastation. The earthquake in 2010 ruined the National Palace, one of the most spectacular buildings in Port-au-Prince.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
We've been looking at some recent photographs. They show the white building still standing, if barely. The earthquake did not knock down its elegant rows of columns. But the white dome on top was left sloping at a dangerous angle, the supporting walls half-crushed beneath its weight.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, I'm David Greene.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
And I'm Steve Inskeep.
A deadline came and went yesterday and Todd Akin remains on the ballot for United States Senate in Missouri. On a radio program, the Republican said his party was overreacting in the effort to drive him out of the race.
What your next smart phone or tablet computer might look like is in the hands of a California jury. In one of the biggest patent infringement cases ever, Apple is suing Samsung — charging that in creating its products, Samsung ripped off iPhone and iPad technology. Samsung countered with its own allegations.
This case is complex, the legal issues are daunting, and the jury's decision has to be unanimous.
"What's at stake here is the future of smartphones and the tablet market," says intellectual property expert Christopher V. Carani.