Born in a tiny pueblo south of Madrid, Esperanza Puente arrived in the Spanish capital fresh out of high school. It was the late 1980s, and Spain was reveling in newfound freedoms after its military dictator Francisco Franco died and democracy took hold.
"The end of the 1980s was a wild time in Madrid β alcohol, drugs, nightlife, sex without commitment. When I arrived from a small village, I ate it up, like it was the end of the world!" recalls Puente, now 43, smiling. "But I ended up pregnant, and my boyfriend suddenly didn't want anything to do with me."
More than the roar of the MGM lion, more than the 20th Century Fox fanfare, the iconic sound of moviemaking is the sharp clap of a slate β although film folks have a language of their own to describe it.
"Miki's hitting the sticks on this one," says assistant cameraman Larry Nielsen, pointing to his assistant.
Jeane Tomas scraped all her money together to build a house where she could raise her son. She'd been renting in the favela, or shanty town, of Vila Harmonia and wanted to put down roots in the community where she lived when her child was born.
The house went up β only to quickly come down.
"There is this frustration to have worked so hard, dreamed so much to leave everything behind," she said.
Now that the Winter Olympics in Sochi are over attention will be turning to Brazil, the host of the 2016 Summer Olympics.
Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 12:58 pm
For something that's become so ubiquitous in our lives, the World Wide Web is just a youngster. It was only 25 years ago that Tim Berners-Lee first created a rudimentary information retrieval system that relied on the Internet. It's since exploded into a primary means by which we learn, work and connect. (To put things in perspective, the film Die Hard is older than the World Wide Web.)
Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 12:24 pm
Are you streaming music right now? If you're in America's Pacific region, there's a much better chance you're nodding along with Cat Power rather than grooving to Fantasia, which you'd be more likely to be doing if you were across the country in the South Atlantic. Those observations come from a map titled "Regionalisms in U.S. Listening Preferences."
Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 5:31 pm
Can drones, the small unmanned aircraft that are at the forefront of fields from warfare to commercial delivery systems, fly without human intervention? A team of Hungarian researchers answers yes, having created 10 drones that self-organize as they move through the air.
The team based its creation on birds such as pigeons, which fly in tight bunches while making adjustments and decisions. They fitted quadcopters β drones with four rotors β with GPS, processors and radios that allow them to navigate in formation or while following a leader.
California is getting some much needed rain this week, but more than two-thirds of the state is still in extreme drought conditions, and that has the state thinking about alternative ways of getting water.
On the coast in Carlsbad, Calif., construction workers are building what will be the largest seawater desalination plant in the Western Hemisphere. When finished in early 2016, it is expected to provide up to 50 million gallons of fresh drinkable water every day.
The plastic additive has been vilified by environmental advocacy groups. But the chemical had no effect on rats fed thousands of times the amount a typical person ingests, government scientists are reporting in the journal Toxicological Sciences.
Paco de Lucia, considered by his fans and critics to be the world's greatest flamenco guitarist, died Wednesday in Mexico of a heart attack. The 66-year-old musician was a modern superstar in a Roma, or Gypsy, tradition that is hundreds of years old.
The escalating political crisis in Venezuela has set off alarms in Washington. But there's little the U.S. has been able to do, aside from criticize the jailing of opposition figures or the rising death toll as protesters continue to take to the streets, blaming the government for high inflation and crime.
When you hear the word outsourcing, you might think of threats to American jobs. To cyber experts, there's another threat: to our data.
This week, thousands of the industry's leading minds from around the world are discussing the Internet and security at their annual powwow in San Francisco, the RSA Conference. These topics matter more and more to us non-experts, especially as people become the victims of cybercrime.
Spanish flamenco guitarist Paco de Lucia died suddenly of a heart attack today in Cancun, Mexico, while on the beach with his children.
The 66-year-old guitarist vastly expanded the international audience for flamenco music and helped to legitimize flamenco in Spain itself, during a time when the music was largely being ignored by mainstream popularity.
Every five years, the U.S. Department of Agriculture takes a head count of who is farming the land. The latest census is out and it shows that thereβs been a slight uptick in the number of young people getting into farming, but not enough to stop the average age of American farmers from climbing.
That has observers of rural America worrying. Without new blood, the existence of many small communities is at risk. From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Grant Gerlock of Harvest Public Media has our story.
Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 7:57 am
Everybody's supposed to get screened for colon cancer starting at age 50, but many of us haven't gotten around to it. That's especially true in the Latino community, where about half of people are up to date on screening, compared to 66 percent of non-Latino whites.
A panel of government advisers has expressed serious concerns about a controversial proposal to allow scientists to try to make babies using eggs that have been genetically altered to include DNA from another woman.
Members of the Food and Drug Administration panel said they were worried that not enough research has been done to know whether the experiments would be safe.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.
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The nation's largest teachers union is calling for a delay in the adoption of the Common Core. That's the name of new math and language arts standards that are supposed to be in place next fall in 45 states. The 3 million-member National Education Association has been a strong supporter. But as NPR's Claudio Sanchez reports, the NEA now says teachers and students haven't had enough time to prepare.
In 2010, De'angelo Rollins got into a fight with a bully at his new middle school in Bryan, Texas. His mother, Marjorie Rollins Holman, says her shy son reported the bullying, but the teacher didn't stop it.
Then it came to blows.
"The boy ended up hitting my son in the face first," Holman says. "My son hit him back, and they got in a little scuffle."
That scuffle landed her then-12-year-old son in the principal's office β and in adult criminal court after the school police officer wrote the sixth-grader a ticket.
To shop for health care, it would help to know what childbirth or a CT scan will cost ahead of time. But is it possible to actually list prices for medical procedures? And will patients armed with the information look for bargains when they seek care?
Massachusetts is trying to find out. Since Jan. 1, hospitals and doctors there have been required to tell patients how much things cost, if they ask. It's part of the state's health care cost control law. We set out to run a test.
If you ever form a band, you'll be very lucky to find a collaborator like Benmont Tench. You may know him as the consummate sideman, keyboardist and co-founder of Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers. Or as a renowned session musician who has played with Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones and dozens of other artists.