Originally published on Sat February 22, 2014 10:41 pm
Events in the Winter Olympics can be highly technical, with arcane rules and specialized equipment that can defy easy explanation. On the question-and-answer site Quora, several interesting topics have come up in recent days, from why athletes use tape on their sleds to how a human can surpass 80 mph on skis.
Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 7:55 am
America's performance in the 2014 Winter Games has been solid, if not spectacular. Team USA has managed to stay at or near the top of the medal heap in Sochi for most of the games.
But big names like snowboarder Shaun White, speed skater Shani Davis, skier Bode Miller and both U.S. hockey teams have disappointed when they were expected by many experts to dominate. (With hockey, however, it might have been more hope than actual expectation of gold.)
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. After threats that they would not take place, hundreds of South Koreans are traveling to North Korea to meet with relatives six decades after their separation following the Korean War. The reunions went ahead despite tensions caused by the north's nuclear tests and the south's determination to conduct military exercises with the U.S. that begin on Monday.
So, we just heard a number of people believe Pope Francis is changing to change the tone at the Vatican. There are others who don't agree. George Weigel is a theologian at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. He wrote a biography of Pope John Paul II called "Witness to Hope." And he believes that Pope Francis is remarkably similar to his predecessors, Pope John Paul and Pope Benedict.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. The dying and suffering in Syria gets worse every week, even as turmoil in other areas demands coverage, too. Last September 10th, President Obama seemed to make the case for U.S. involvement following Bashar al-Assad's use of chemical weapons against civilians. This is not a world we should accept, said the president. It is in the national security interests of the United States to respond to the Assad regime's use of chemical weapons through a targeted military strike.
There's an old baseball legend about the kid out of nowhere who boards a train for a tryout in Chicago with nothing but his toothbrush and a bat he calls Wonderboy. The kid strikes out the Whammer, the best hitter in the game, but gets to his hotel and opens his door to a pretty girl. Wham, bam, she shoots him in the stomach and he doesn't make a comeback for 15 years.