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All Tech Considered
5:35 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Net Neutrality, Shall I Compare Thee To A Highway? A Showerhead?

Members of global advocacy group Avaaz stand next to a digital counter showing the number of petition signatures calling for net neutrality outside the Federal Communication Commission in Washington in January. Avaaz joined other groups to deliver more than a million signatures for a free and open Internet to the FCC.
Kevin Wolf AP

The Federal Communications Commission says it's writing rules for the Internet to preserve the status quo.

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Music News
3:42 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Teenage Songwriters Take On 'Bro-Country'

Maddie Marlow and Tae Dye, whose first single, "Girl In A Country Song," takes aim at one-dimensional representations of women in country music.
Kevin White Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 5:35 pm

No theme has dominated country radio playlists and charts more in the past couple of years than celebration of the sort of small-town good life that features trucks, beer and scantily clad women as the must-have accessories. The young country duo Maddie & Tae aren't fans of the third element in the "bro-country" trinity.

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Code Switch
4:15 am
Mon July 21, 2014

The Youth Unemployment Crisis Hits African-Americans Hardest

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 9:50 am

Young people are being chased out of the labor market. Though the national unemployment rate has fallen steadily in recent months, youth unemployment remains stubbornly high, and the jobless rate is even higher among young minorities. For young people between the ages of 16 and 24, unemployment is more than twice the national rate, at 14.2 percent. For African-Americans, that rate jumps to 21.4 percent.

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Around the Nation
6:00 pm
Sun July 20, 2014

Despite California's Drought, Taps Still Flowing In LA County

A sign over a highway in Glendale, Calif., warned motorists in February to save water in response to the state's severe drought. But a study released earlier this week showed residents in the southern coastal part of the state used more water this spring than they did last year.
Robyn Beck AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 10:52 am

This January, after the driest calendar year in California history, Gov. Jerry Brown declared a drought emergency. He called on residents to reduce their water intake by 20 percent.

But downtown Los Angeles doesn't look like a city devastated by the state's worst drought in decades. The city is green with landscaping, and fountains are running. People still water their lawns, wash their cars and fill their pools.

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My Big Break
4:31 pm
Sun July 20, 2014

Fitness Trainer Shaun T: 'I Understand Why You Feel Weak'

Shaun Blokker, known as Shaun T, is the man behind the fitness programs Hip Hop Abs and Insanity.
Derek Baron

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 1:43 pm

As part of a series called "My Big Break," All Things Considered is collecting stories of triumph, big and small. These are the moments when everything seems to click, and people leap forward into their careers.

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Music Interviews
4:31 pm
Sun July 20, 2014

Unlocking The Eclectic: A Conversation With Shabazz Palaces' Ishmael Butler

Shabazz Palaces' new record, Lest Majesty, comes out July 29.
Patrick O'Brien-Smith Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 7:39 am

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Science
4:31 pm
Sun July 20, 2014

Sixth-Grader's Science Project Catches Ecologists' Attention

Scientists previously underestimated the ability of the lionfish to live in less salty water.
Mark Ralston AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 28, 2014 12:28 pm

(July 24, 2014: See the editor's note at the bottom of this page for an explanation of the story's new headline.)

When 12-year-old Lauren Arrington heard about her sixth-grade science project, she knew she wanted to study lionfish. Growing up in Jupiter, Fla., she saw them in the ocean while snorkeling and fishing with her dad.

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The Sunday Conversation
10:13 am
Sun July 20, 2014

Astronaut Who Walked On The Moon: 'It Was Science Fiction To Us'

During the Apollo 12 mission, astronaut Alan Bean holds a container of lunar soil. The astronaut Charles "Pete" Conrad, who took the photograph, is reflected in Bean's faceshield. Bean says he used to think that in his lifetime, we'd build a base on the moon and start preparing to travel to Mars.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Sun July 20, 2014 1:20 pm

In November of 1969, astronaut Alan Bean became the fourth man to walk on the moon. His mission, Apollo 12, arrived at the moon a few months after Apollo 11 made the first moon landing. That historic event celebrates its 45th anniversary Sunday.

Apollo 12 got off to a dramatic start: A storm rolled in as the rocket was scheduled to launch. Bean, with fellow astronauts Pete Conrad and Dick Gordon, sat inside the spacecraft while the bad weather threatened the operation.

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Movie Interviews
9:14 am
Sun July 20, 2014

The Secret Behind Romero's Scary Zombies: 'I Made Them The Neighbors'

George A. Romero says zombies are just the disaster in his films. "My stories are more about the humans," he explains. Romero's latest project is a comic book called Empire of the Dead.
Vittorio Zunino Celotto Getty Images

Originally published on Sun July 20, 2014 2:59 pm

Director George A. Romero grew up on classic movie monsters — and he says he never dreamed he'd be responsible for creating the modern zombie that now lurks alongside those monsters. "I never expected it. I really didn't," he tells NPR's Arun Rath. "... All I did was I took them out of 'exotica' and I made them the neighbors ... I thought there's nothing scarier than the neighbors!"

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Deceptive Cadence
4:04 am
Sun July 20, 2014

A Guitar Hero Draws His Own Sketches Of Spain

Milos Karadaglic's latest album, Aranjuez, released this July.
Lars Borges Mercury Classics

Originally published on Thu July 24, 2014 11:26 am

If you're a classical guitarist, it may be impossible to resist the pull of one iconic piece: the Concierto de Aranjuez by Spanish composer Joaquín Rodrigo. Many musicians regard it as the holy grail of guitar repertoire, including a man so big in the classical world he is known by only one name: Milos.

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Author Interviews
4:05 pm
Sat July 19, 2014

To Meet A 'Mockingbird': Memoir Recalls Talks With Harper Lee

Harper Lee, pictured in 2007 before receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 7:34 am

In 1960, Harper Lee published To Kill a Mockingbird, won the Pulitzer Prize, and overnight became one of America's most beloved writers. But Lee was overwhelmed by the media blitz that followed. She retreated from the public eye, became wary of journalists, and never published another book.

Then, in 2001, a reporter for The Chicago Tribune showed up in Lee's hometown of Monroeville, Ala., to work on a story about the town, which is the model for the fictional setting of Lee's novel.

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Music Interviews
4:05 pm
Sat July 19, 2014

Rainbow In The Dark: Jenny Lewis On Staring Down Sadness

Jenny Lewis is set to release her latest album, The Voyager, on July 29.
Autumn de Wilde Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 7:42 am

Once upon a time, Jenny Lewis was one of those child actors you might have seen on shows like Growing Pains and Mr. Belvedere. But then she started making music, and in the late '90s that started taking off. Once her band Rilo Kiley started scoring hits, it was hard to go back to sitcoms.

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Around the Nation
4:05 pm
Sat July 19, 2014

Learning To Love The Ocean After A Lifetime Of Fearing It

Every Wednesday for a decade, Tim Bomba has been helping people in Santa Monica, Calif., get over their fears of the ocean.
Carlo Allegri Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 10:14 am

Tim Bomba is a tall, rangy guy with a quick smile. He's a marathoner, a triathlete (he's done two Ironman races), and every Wednesday morning for the last decade, Bomba has taught a ocean swimming course in Santa Monica, Calif.

The course, called Ocean 101, isn't for accomplished swimmers like Bomba. It's for people who are new to the ocean, and many participants are afraid of the water when they arrive. Bomba knows what they're going through. He himself was terrified of swimming until he was in his 50s.

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Music Interviews
1:03 am
Sat July 19, 2014

Fred Hersch Floats On, With A Dynamic Trio In Tow

Jazz pianist Fred Hersch released his latest album, a trio recording called Floating, in July.
Vincent Soyez Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri August 1, 2014 7:57 am

The last time Fred Hersch was featured on Weekend Edition Saturday, the headline read, "Back On Stage By No Small Miracle." It was 2009, and scarcely a year earlier, the jazz pianist had suffered AIDS-related dementia and fallen into a coma for several months. Since recovering, Hersch has come roaring back to music, releasing a string of live albums to critical success.

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Movie Interviews
3:40 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

In New Film, Zach Braff Asks: How Long Can You Pursue Your Dreams?

In Wish I Was Here, Braff plays a father who embarks on a chaotic attempt to home-school his kids, Tucker (Pierce Gagnon ) and Grace (Joey King).
Merie Weismiller Wallace, SMPSP Focus Features

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 6:54 pm

Zach Braff is currently performing on Broadway, and for a time he starred in the TV comedy Scrubs. But he's also known for directing and starring in the 2004 film Garden State, a model of 20-something angst.

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The Salt
4:55 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

QUIZ: Which Of These State Fair Foods Are Faux?

Deep-fried breakfast on-a-stick is a new food at this year's Minnesota State Fair. It contains American and Swiss cheeses, a sausage patty, one egg and Canadian bacon sandwiched between two pancakes, then dipped in a light, sweet batter and deep-fried on a stick.
Courtesy of Minnesota State Fair

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 6:54 pm

It is the season of state fairs, when you may have a chance to expand your palate or test your gag reflex at the concession stands. (Once you're stuffed, maybe you'll get to admire a butter sculpture.)

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Parallels
2:32 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Amid A 'Shimmering' Tension, A Walk Through Israel And The West Bank

Paul Salopek, National Geographic fellow, looks out over Jerusalem during his seven-year journey by foot from Africa to South America.
Bassam Almohor National Geographic

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 10:09 am

Not long ago, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Paul Salopek traveled through Israel and the West Bank as part of his journey walking from Africa to South America. He was there this spring, before the current violence erupted. Talking recently from Cyprus to Morning Edition's Steve Inskeep, he says the long-standing conflict was part of daily life.


Interview Highlights

On coming under fire from Israeli soldiers

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The Salt
7:48 am
Tue July 15, 2014

Calorie Counting Machine May Make Dieting Easier In The Future

A model of General Electric's automatic calorie counter, fitted over a plate of food.
Courtesy of GE

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 11:51 am

Part of losing weight boils down to making tweaks to the simple equation of calories in versus calories out.

Americans spend over $60 billion a year on diet and weight loss products, according to market research, but the weight often comes right back. That may be because it's such a hassle to count calories — tracking everything you order or cook at home.

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Men In America
3:38 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

The 3 Scariest Words A Boy Can Hear

Joe Ehrmann, shown in 1975, was a defensive lineman with the Baltimore Colts for much of the '70s. He says that as a child, he was taught that being a man meant dominating people and circumstances — a lesson that served him well on the football field, but less so in real life.
Neil Leifer Sports Illustrated/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 5:24 pm

This story is part of All Things Considered's "Men in America" series.

It's rare that a man makes it through life without being told, at least once, "Be a man." To Joe Ehrmann, a former NFL defensive lineman and now a pastor, those are the three scariest words that a boy can hear.

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Code Switch
4:12 pm
Sun July 13, 2014

Princess Of 'Fresh Prince' Brings History To Children

A record of Garrett Morgan's traffic light patent submission at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Garrett Morgan U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 2:51 pm

Hey, remember Hilary Banks from Fresh Prince of Bel-Air?

She's back, but in a different light. Actress Karyn Parsons has started a new organization — Sweet Blackberry — that makes short, animated films about influential, yet lesser-known African-Americans.

She still loves acting, she told Kelly McEvers of Weekend All Things Considered, but her priorities have changed since she became a mom.

Parson says being pregnant with her daughter got her thinking about her responsibility, as a parent, to add to her kids' formal education.

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Movies
4:12 pm
Sun July 13, 2014

Kids' Films And Stories Share A Dark Theme: Dead Mothers

Sarah Boxer is the author of Ultimate Blogs and the graphic novel In The Floyd Archives.
Courtesy of Sarah Boxer

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 4:37 pm

The death of Bambi's mother has moved — and horrified — generations of children. The fleeing, the gunshot, the desperate search and then the gut-wrenching words: "Your mother can't be with you anymore."

For many, that scene was traumatizing; for some it was the very first experience of loss. But Bambi is far from the only animated film featuring a mother's tragic death.

Just ask Sarah Boxer.

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Author Interviews
4:12 pm
Sun July 13, 2014

William T. Vollmann Explores The Afterlife In 'Last Stories'

Originally published on Sun July 13, 2014 6:10 pm

William T. Vollmann has been called a "unique and essential voice in American letters." He's the author of novels, story collections, a memoir and massive works of nonfiction.

His latest book, Last Stories and Other Stories, is his first work of fiction in nine years. And he says at the book's beginning that it will be his final work — as a living human, at least. "Any subsequent productions bearing my name will have been written by a ghost," he writes.

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Shots - Health News
4:12 pm
Sun July 13, 2014

Hearing Aid Evolution Unveils What The World Sounds Like In '3-D'

Kathleen Raven, a health reporter, found out she had hearing loss when she was 5 years old.
Jessica Horwitz

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 8:41 am

As hearing aid technology has improved, so has health reporter Kathleen Raven's confidence.

When she was 5 years old, she found out she had a hearing problem. Complications during her birth led to damage in her inner ear.

"I couldn't hear water dripping from a faucet. I couldn't hear crickets on a summer night," she tells NPR's Kelly McEvers. "I couldn't hear sirens, couldn't hear fire alarms in our school fire drills, so I did a lot of watching other people."

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Deceptive Cadence
8:52 am
Sun July 13, 2014

Richard Reed Parry Turns Musicians Into Metronomes

Richard Reed Parry is best known as a core member of Arcade Fire. His classical solo album, Music For Heart And Breath, comes out July 15.
Guillaume Simoneau Deutsche Grammophon

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 7:35 am

Richard Reed Parry is famous for making music sound big. As a core member of Arcade Fire, the Grammy-winning indie rock group from Montreal, he wields multiple instruments to help create deep, layered textures in which strings and synthesizers, slow ballads and disco dance tracks are all at home.

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Music Interviews
4:23 am
Sun July 13, 2014

The New Thing In Jazz, Revisited

New Orleans pianist Henry Butler (left) and arranger and trumpeter Steven Bernstein will release their collaborative record, Viper's Drag, in the U.S. on July 15.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun July 13, 2014 10:47 am

Impulse Records is the legendary label that proudly delivered the "new thing" in jazz in the 1960s: avant-garde records from the likes of John Coltrane and Pharaoh Sanders. It also helped jazz cross over to a larger audience; quite a few flower children bought Impulse albums.

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Music Interviews
4:20 pm
Sat July 12, 2014

Chrissie Hynde Steps Out, But She's Not Alone

Chrissie Hynde released her debut solo record, Stockholm, this June.
Dean Chalkley Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu July 31, 2014 6:53 am

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Arts & Life
3:54 pm
Sat July 12, 2014

Wounded Bull-Runner: 'If You Run Long Enough, You Get Gored'

U.S. runner Bill Hillmann is gored on his right leg during the running of the bulls of the San Fermin festival, in Pamplona, Spain, on Wednesday.
Daniel Ochoa de Olza AP

Originally published on Sat July 12, 2014 5:30 pm

When Bill Hillmann joined this year's running of the bulls in Pamplona, Spain, he knew exactly what he was signing up for. After all, he co-wrote the book on it.

Hillmann was a contributor to Fiesta: How to Survive the Bulls of Pamplona. But his expertise didn't protect him from harm this year: A lone bull, or suelto, gored him through the right leg.

From his hospital bed, Hillmann tells NPR's Kelly McEvers that he feels fine. "They've got me on some really good painkillers, so I'm just kind of floating here," he says.

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Author Interviews
3:54 pm
Sat July 12, 2014

'Fightshark' Recounts His Struggles, In Kickboxing And Beyond

HarperCollins

Originally published on Thu July 31, 2014 12:42 pm

In the kickboxing ring, Mark Miller goes by "Fightshark" — a name he chose, he says, because when he smells blood, he attacks.

The legendary super heavyweight kickboxer first made his name in fighting in the early 2000s.

"In the early part of the decade, I was 6'4, 230 [pounds], and I was small for heavyweight kickboxing," he tells NPR's Kelly McEvers. "It's a lot of speed and power involved."

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Shots - Health News
9:18 am
Sat July 12, 2014

Searching For Stress Relief? Try Feeling Your Breath

Stressed? Try taking a fresh look at what's actually going on.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Sat July 12, 2014 11:12 am

Many Americans are swamped with stress, but there may be ways to ease the tension without changing the circumstances.

Almost half of all adults say they've experienced a major stressful event in the past year, according to a poll conducted by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health.

Meditation can help people cope, says author Sharon Salzberg, co-founder of the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Mass.

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Music Interviews
6:38 am
Sat July 12, 2014

'Weird Al' Yankovic On Parody In The Age Of YouTube

"Weird Al" Yankovic's latest album, Mandatory Fun, comes out July 15.
Robert Trachtenberg Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat July 12, 2014 11:12 am

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