Now onto our final game, Lightning Fill in the Blank. Each of our players will have 60 seconds in which to answer as many fill-in-the-blank questions as he or she can. Each correct answer now worth two points. Carl, can you give us the scores?
CARL KASELL: We have a tie for first place, Peter. Tom Bodett and Faith Salie both have three points. Mo Rocca has two.
Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 5:30 pm
The New York Times reports that a former Port Authority official says "evidence exists" that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie knew about politically motivated lane closings on the George Washington Bridge as they were happening.
The assertion contradicts earlier statements by Christie, who has said that he was "embarrassed and humiliated" when he found out that the lane closures were politically motivated instead of, as he'd been led to believe, part of a traffic study.
The home of Sean Morey bears the impressive signposts of his 10-year career in the NFL: a Vince Lombardi trophy for his Super Bowl championship with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2006. A hefty Super Bowl ring. A framed photograph showing Morey in midair, launching himself like a missile to block a punt. With that play in 2008, his Arizona Cardinals became the only team in NFL history to win a game in overtime with a blocked punt.
Ben Bernanke hands over the reins at the Federal Reserve to Janet Yellen on Friday. The Fed's vice chairwoman will be the first female ever to lead the nation's central bank. It's a position many view as the second most powerful in the country.
The world of central banking is largely a man's world. But Yellen has been undeterred by such barriers since she was in high school in Brooklyn. Charlie Saydah, a former classmate, says she was probably the smartest kid in the class. Yellen was "clearly smart, and she was smart among a lot of smart kids," he says.
Jan. 31 brings the beginning of the Year of the Horse, and while concerns about air pollution have led to fewer celebratory fireworks than usual in China, Patty Chang Anker says that for her, there is no shortage of traditional food. Anker recommends a cookbook that eases the anxieties of anyone trying to cook Chinese-American meals.
House Republicans headed back to Washington on Friday from a resort along the frozen waters of the Chesapeake Bay. They were there for a three-day retreat aimed at mapping out a legislative strategy for this midterm election year.
One of the most pressing issues they face is the need next month for Congress to raise the nation's debt limit. GOP lawmakers seem leery of another debt ceiling showdown, and their leaders are pushing to act on immigration this year.
In a letter released by his attorney, the Port Authority official who personally oversaw the George Washington Bridge lane closures is alleging that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie knew about the action. David Wildstein asserts that evidence exists that will contradict Christie's claims to ignorance about the motives behind the lane closures.
The U.S. Department of State says Canada's production of tar sands crude, which has a bigger greenhouse gas footprint than other types of oil, is unlikely to be affected by the controversial Keystone XL pipeline proposal.
That assessment came Friday as part of a massive environmental review by the State Department — the analysis fills 11 volumes.
The Syrian government is also supposed to be surrendering its lethal chemical arsenal. But the handover of toxic chemicals to an international coalition is way behind schedule. As NPR's Geoff Brumfiel reports, that's causing real concern.
GEOFF BRUMFIEL, BYLINE: Under an agreed plan, hundreds of tons of toxic chemicals were supposed to be moved to a Syrian port by the end of December and loaded onto international ships. That plan is now a month behind schedule and the U.S. is not happy. State Department spokesperson, Jennifer Psaki.
Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 4:39 pm
On the Southeast coast of the U.S., jellyfish have earned a lengthy rap sheet for stinging beachgoers and getting tangled in shrimpers' nets. But lately, the tides have turned for shrimping, and some fishermen in South Carolina, Georgia and Florida are reaping profits from their local pests, the cannonball jellyfish, or "jellyballs."
"The shrimp season [of 2013] was the worst ever in history here," says Howell Boone, a shrimp trawler in Darien, Ga."The jellyfish industry has been about the best thing that's happened to us."
On this episode of Piano Jazz, composer and keyboardist Herbie Hancock stops by in a program recorded in 1987. The ever-inventive Hancock sticks with the acoustic piano for this set of solos and duets with host Marian McPartland. Hancock performs a mix of his originals — "Dolphin Dance" and "Still Time" — and standards including "Limehouse Blues," "It Never Entered My Mind" and "That Old Black Magic."
Pizza is an American favorite, with 93 percent of Americans eating pizza at least once a month. In Natick, Mass., researchers are using cutting-edge technology to creating state-of-the-art slices for the U.S. military.
From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Bruce Gellerman of WBUR delivers our report.
Super Bowl security measures have involved dogs, boats, divers and military jet drills. Reuters reporter Scott Malone speaks with Here & Now’s Robin Young about the huge security measures in place for the Super Bowl stadium in New Jersey and the Super Bowl street fair in New York City.
Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 4:32 pm
The FBI and other law enforcement agencies are investigating a suspicious white powder that was mailed to several New Jersey hotels near the site of Sunday's Super Bowl — but there were no reports of injuries and preliminary tests suggest the substance was cornstarch.
NPR's Margot Adler reports that the white powder was found in letters mailed to five New Jersey hotels. Another letter was sent to the Midtown Manhattan law office of former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. A worker in the mailroom at Giuliani's office opened the letter.
Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 4:11 pm
The State Department says that production of Canadian tar-sand crude, which has a bigger greenhouse gas footprint than other types of oil, is unlikely to be increased if the Keystone XL pipeline goes ahead — and therefore would do little to contribute to climate change.
Three-time Emmy winner Elaine Stritch became a star on Broadway before going on to play a string of highly regarded film and television roles. She recently played Colleen, mother of Alec Baldwin's character Jack Donaghy, on the hit sitcom 30 Rock.
After more than 40 years in New York, Elaine Stritch moved home to Michigan not long ago. But before leaving town, she sat down with host Michael Feinstein for an episode of Song Travels full of hilarious music and candid talk about her life and career in the spotlight.
Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 7:48 pm
We all probably sort of knew this already, but a new map seems to show quite clearly that it doesn't take much snow to close schools in the Southern U.S. — and that it takes a lot to close them in the Northern half of the nation.
For its sixth album, last summer's Chop Chop,Bell X1 simplified its recording process and ended up with some of its strongest songs. The Dublin band formed out of another group led by Damien Rice, but when Rice went solo, Paul Noonan took over songwriting duties and Bell X1 was born — named after the first airplane, Bell X-1, to break the sound barrier. Hear a full live set from the band on World Cafe.
When soprano saxophonist Jane Ira Bloom plays Kurt Weill's "My Ship" on her new album Sixteen Sunsets, a pale glow around her notes comes from a simple special effect: pointing her horn under the hood of a piano whose strings are free to resonate. Bloom has always been preoccupied with sound, and has one of the prettiest, clearest tones around on soprano.
Originally published on Sat February 1, 2014 5:54 am
First things first: No one was hurt.
Now, with that out of the way, we have to confess to being amazed by some photos from northern Italy — where a huge boulder broke free earlier this month, rolled down a mountain and turned a barn into splinters as it narrowly missed a farmhouse.