Murhaballadeja features a striking photo on the cover: Two beefy, big-jawed men with cruel eyes are in prison garb, shackled with heavy chains at the neck, wrists, knees and feet. Turns out they're legendary 19th century murderers from Finland. These are the kinds of characters you'll find in a collection of murder ballads from Kimmo Pohjonen.
The Supreme Court has agreed to weigh the constitutionality of the decision by Congress in 2006 to reauthorize the Voting Rights Act, the landmark Civil Rights legislation enacted in 1965 that let millions of African-Americans cast ballots for the first time in states that had long blocked them from voting booths.
Singapore is taking local farming to the next level, literally, with the opening of its first commercial vertical farm.
Entrepreneur Jack Ng says he can produce five times as many vegetables as regular farming looking up instead of out. Half a ton of his Sky Greens bok choy and Chinese cabbages, grown inside 120 slender 30-foot towers, are already finding their way into Singapore's grocery stores.
The director of the Central Intelligence Agency David Petraeus submitted his resignation today, citing an extramarital affair.
"After being married for over 37 years, I showed extremely poor judgment by engaging in an extramarital affair," Petraeus, 60, said in a message sent to CIA staff. "Such behavior is unacceptable, both as a husband and as the leader of an organization such as ours. This afternoon, the President graciously accepted my resignation."
The Shanghai Propaganda Poster Art Center lies buried in an unmarked apartment building off the tree-lined streets of the city's former French Concession. There are no signs. You have to wend your way through apartment blocks, down a staircase and into a basement to discover one of Shanghai's most obscure and remarkable museums.
I've covered hurricanes, earthquakes and even tsunami cleanup, but I've never had a disaster hit home.
My fiancee's family is from one of the areas suffering the most after Superstorm Sandy — Rockaway Park in New York City. You don't just live in Rockaway, it's a place that you're from. Sarah's mom grew up in Rockaway. It's where her parents bought their first home and where her grandmother has lived for more than 40 years.
This interview was originally broadcast on Nov. 1, 2011. Don't Shoot is now out in paperback.
In 1985, David M. Kennedy visited Nickerson Gardens, a public housing complex in south-central Los Angeles. It was the beginning of the crack epidemic, and Nickerson Gardens was located in what was then one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in America.
This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Flora Lichtman, filling in for Ira Flatow this week. Last week, when Hurricane Sandy sent a surge of salty water into cities and towns up and down the East Coast, among the casualties were thousands of research subjects: lab mice. A building at New York University's Medical Center flooded, and thousands of mice and rats that were being used to study cancer, heart disease and all kinds of other medical disorders died.
Originally published on Fri November 9, 2012 2:08 pm
The post-election negotiations over taxes, the economy and the so-called fiscal cliff moved into a new phase this afternoon when President Obama stepped up to a microphone at the White House to lay out his latest thoughts about what needs to be done.
In many ways, this words were echoes from the hard-fought campaign.
Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 4:24 pm
Dee Dee Bridgewater's smile says it all: JazzSet is happily celebrating 20 years of performances every week on NPR. In September, we featured original host Branford Marsalis with his 2012 quartet for our anniversary. Now, today's host Dee Dee Bridgewater weaves her spell and leads a crack quintet through a new set from the Caramoor Jazz Festival.
Here in Washington, House Speaker John Boehner addressed a major economic issue this morning. In a press conference, the Republican talked about the so-called fiscal cliff. That's the combination of higher tax rates and spending cuts due to take effect at the end of this year.
With most Americans fat or fatter, you'd think we'd be lightening up on the anti-fat attitudes.
Alas, no. Even doctors often think their overweight patients are weak-willed.
But changing negative attitudes about body size might be as simple as changing what you see. When women in England were shown photos of plus-sized women in neutral gray leotards, they became more tolerant.
Cody ChesnuTT is the best sort of egomaniac. He places himself at the center of his musical universe; he contains that universe within him. On his new album, Landing on a Hundred, he sings one song in the voice of the entire continent of Africa.
Election Day has come and gone, but NPR's Ron Elving and Ken Rudin are still trying to make sense of it all. Was it close? Well, a 50-to-48 percent popular-vote edge for President Obama certainly indicates that.
But the president won just about every battleground state, pushing his Electoral College totals into landslide proportions. And, the Democrats did far better in the Senate than anyone expected.
The Iranian defense minister confirmed today that his forces had shot a U.S. drone. But Brig. Gen. Ahmad Vahidi said it shot at the MQ1 Predator drone because it had trespassed into its airspace, The New York Times reports.
This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Flora Lichtman. In his new book "Hallucinations," Oliver Sacks writes that you see with your brain, not with your eyes. And his book suggests our brains can play some bizarre tricks on is. Dr. Sacks describes a musician who sees intricate but unplayable sheet music superimposed on his field of vision.
Here's a big, giant question for you: Why do we believe what we believe? And how is it that two people can look at the exact same set of circumstances and see two completely different things? That philosophical question is at the center of a new book where, to put it another way, one person's beautiful miracle is another person's ecological crisis.
And one last salute to science before the weekend. Here are some news you can raise the glass to. Microbiologist Tomas Villa and colleagues report that they may be able to bioengineer better beer foam. That's right.
TOMAS G. VILLA: Beer foam. Foam is what you like the most in a beer. And a beer drinker wants foam to stay longer, right?
LICHTMAN: Of course. And the secret to long-lasting froth, proteins, produced by barley and yeast during fermentation.
With the electorate becoming more diverse, so are the people they're electing to represent them. Host Michel Martin speaks with congresswoman-elect Grace Meng. She's part of the new group of female lawmakers heading to Washington and the first Asian American to represent New York in Congress.
Host Michel Martin and the Barbershop guys talk about the minority voters who sealed the deal for President Obama's second term. They also weigh in on major ballot measures supporting same-sex marriage and marijuana use.
On Election Day, Washington, Maine and Maryland states voted to legalize same-sex marriage, stopping a 32-state losing streak. In Maryland, African-American faith leaders took vocal positions on both sides of the issue, and host Michel Martin hears from two of them: Reverend Delman Coates and Bishop Harry Jackson, Jr.
Two icons, Abraham Lincoln and James Bond, make triumphant appearances this week in movies with more in common than you'd expect. True, Lincoln is a titan of history, liberator of slaves, and as such an adversary of Western colonialism, while 007 is an outlandish stereotype embodying white male Western authoritarian power. But the makers of these films do a sterling job of testing their respective subjects in front of our eyes — before pronouncing them fit to carry on in our collective imagination.
Originally published on Fri November 9, 2012 12:49 pm
For as much criticism as pollsters endured in the run-up to Election Day, a look back shows many of them hit very close to the bull's-eye for the presidential race — but some did better than others.
Take the venerable Gallup. It had Mitt Romney at 49 percent and President Obama at 48 percent in a poll published Monday, a day before the voting. And when undecided voters were split up among candidates, Gallup put the figure at 50 percent Romney, 49 percent Obama.
Federal prosecutors say they will not bring charges against former Syracuse University assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine, who a year ago was accused of having sexually abused young boys.
According to The Post-Standard in Syracuse, "after nearly a year of police scouring more than 100,000 pages of seized documents and interviewing 130 witnesses, the investigation that attracted national media attention has ended, prosecutors said."