Shots - Health News
3:42 am
Mon July 8, 2013

Finding Simple Tests For Brain Disorders Turns Out To Be Complex

Anne Jones, 62, and Robin Jones, 73, at their home in Menlo Park, Calif. He took a test that revealed proteins typical of Alzheimer's disease.
Ramin Rahimian for NPR

Originally published on Mon July 8, 2013 1:17 pm

If you're having chest pain, your doctor can test you for a heart attack. If you're having hip pain, your doctor could test for osteoarthritis.

But what if you're depressed? Or anxious? Currently there are no physical tests for most disorders that affect the mind. Lab tests like these could transform the field of mental illness. So far efforts to come up with biomarkers for common mental health disorders have proved largely fruitless.

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Parallels
3:41 am
Mon July 8, 2013

Call Centers Call On Multilingual Portuguese

New employees train for call center work at Teleperformance Portugal, an outsourcing company in Lisbon. The outsourcing industry is adding thousands of jobs while other Portuguese industries shed them.
Jose Faria Courtesy of Teleperformance Portugal

Originally published on Mon July 8, 2013 1:04 pm

Filipa Neves speaks five languages but still couldn't find steady work in her native Portugal. So she was about to move to Angola, a former Portuguese colony in Africa, where the economy is booming.

But she sent off one last resumé — to a call center. It was sort of a last resort. She'd heard the stereotype.

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The Salt
12:35 am
Mon July 8, 2013

Farming Got Hip In Iran Some 12,000 Years Ago, Ancient Seeds Reveal

An ancient wild barley sample recovered from Chogha Golan, Iran.
Courtesy of TISARP/Science

Originally published on Mon July 8, 2013 11:46 am

Archaeologists digging in the foothills of Iran's Zagros Mountains have discovered the remains of a Stone Age farming community. It turns out that people living there were growing plants like barley, peas and lentils as early as 12,000 years ago.

The findings offer a rare snapshot of a time when humans first started experimenting with farming. They also show that Iran was an important player in the origin of agriculture.

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9:13 pm
Sun July 7, 2013

Michigan breweries among those calling for tougher clean water rules

Lead in text: 
Arcadia Brewing of Battle Creek is one of seven in state requesting stricter Clean Water Act standards
A fight is brewing as environmentalists press the Environmental Protection Agency to expand wetlands and waterway protections that many Michigan business groups contend would be costly and lack much benefit. At issue are long-delayed updates of the federal Clean Water Act environmentalists hope will broaden the EPA's reach.
9:03 pm
Sun July 7, 2013

State Superintendent says countywide school systems could be answer to financially troubled districts

Lead in text: 
Mike Flanagan says millions can be saved through consolidation, but skeptics want to see proof
With a record number of school districts sinking into a deficit and two districts possibly on their way to being dissolved, State Superintendent Mike Flanagan is urging drastic action - including a plan to convert Michigan's nearly 550 districts, 56 intermediate districts and nearly 280 charter schools to countywide school districts.
Author Interviews
6:20 pm
Sun July 7, 2013

How 'Dancing In The Street' Became A Protest Anthem

In November 1964, Betty Kelly, Martha Reeves and Rosalind Ashford (aka Martha Reeves and the Vandellas) were at the top of the charts with their hit "Dancing in the Street."
AP

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 12:37 pm

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The Two-Way
5:43 pm
Sun July 7, 2013

For Pilots, Most Landings Are 'Routine' Procedure

This aerial photo shows the wreckage of the Asiana Flight 214 airplane after it crashed at the San Francisco International Airport on Saturday.
Marcio Jose Sanchez AP

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 12:37 pm

Two Chinese teenagers were killed and dozens of other passengers were injured when an Asiana Airlines Boeing 777's tail snapped off and the plane struck the ground just short of the runway on Saturday. Dramatic landings like this are ones commercial pilots hope to never encounter as they guide the hundreds of planes safely to the ground each day.

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Around the Nation
4:58 pm
Sun July 7, 2013

New Handicapped Sign Rolls Into New York City

In the beginning of their project, Sara Hendren and Brian Glenney stuck their new design over existing handicapped signs around Boston.
Darcy Hildreth

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 12:37 pm

The handicapped sign is getting a new look — at least in New York City.

The initial design, created in 1968, depicted a person with no head in a wheelchair. The sign has changed since then — the figure eventually got a head — and now it's trying something new.

Sara Hendren, a Harvard graduate design student, is co-creator of a guerrilla street art project that replaces the old sign with something more active.

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Theater
4:53 pm
Sun July 7, 2013

Broadway's 'First Date': A Greek Chorus Of Emotional Baggage

Krysta Rodriguez played Ana Vargas in the recently canceled backstage-on-Broadway TV series Smash, and Zachary Levi earned a fervent following in the title role of NBC's Chuck. Both performers have backgrounds in the theater, and they'll be together on Broadway this summer in the premiere of the musical comedy First Date.
Matthew Murphy

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 12:37 pm

Many fans of the TV show Chuck fell in love with the nerd-turned-unwitting spy at the heart of the show, but most probably didn't know that he could sing.

Zachary Levi is now rehearsing for his first role on Broadway — a new musical comedy called First Date — which also features Krysta Rodriguez, the star of another NBC program, Smash.

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U.S.
8:40 pm
Sat July 6, 2013

Officials Confirm Fatalities In San Francisco Plane Accident

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 12:49 pm

Transcript

REBECCA SHEIR, HOST:

It's Weekends on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Rebecca Sheir. We go to the latest now out of San Francisco. An Asiana Airlines flight from Seoul, South Korea crashed there earlier today. Two people are confirmed dead, several are injured. NPR's Richard Gonzales joins us now from San Francisco with the latest. Now, Richard, let's start with casualties. What do we know at this point?

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U.S.
7:35 pm
Sat July 6, 2013

San Francisco General Takes In Patients From Plane Crash

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 12:49 pm

Transcript

REBECCA SHEIR, HOST:

It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News, I'm Rebecca Sheir. More now on the breaking news out of San Francisco. That's where an Asiana Airlines flight from Seoul, South Korea, crashed earlier today.

Reporter Molly Samuel is with our member station KQED, and she joins us from the San Francisco General Hospital. And I understand there was just a press conference there. So, Molly, what do we know now?

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U.S.
6:42 pm
Sat July 6, 2013

Investigation Into San Francisco Plane Crash Begins

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 12:49 pm

Transcript

REBECCA SHEIR, HOST:

It's Weekends on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Rebecca Sheir. More now on the breaking news out of San Francisco, that's where an Asiana Airlines flight from Seoul, South Korea crashed earlier today. A team from the National Transportation Safety Board is on its way to investigate the crash at San Francisco International Airport. Details are still sketchy surrounding the crash, which occurred at 11:36 a.m. Pacific Time. NPR's Brian Naylor joins us now. Brian, what do we know about injuries?

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Author Interviews
5:29 pm
Sat July 6, 2013

Finding Meaning In The Mosh Pit Among Often-Reviled Groupies

Shaggy 2 Dope, left, and Violent J make of the rap duo Insane Clown Posse, seen here in their stage makeup in 1999.
Joseph Cultice AP

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 12:49 pm

The bands Phish and Insane Clown Posse have spawned some of the most rabid fans in music history. Their world of obsession is not an easy one to break into, but on a warm December night in Miami back in 2009, pop culture writer Nathan Rabin went to see a concert that would inspire him to enter the orbit of these infamous groupies.

He wrote a book about them, You Don't Know Me But You Don't Like Me, and tells weekends on All Things Considered guest host Rebecca Sheir about his first-hand look at the two often-reviled sub-cultures.

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Music Interviews
5:29 pm
Sat July 6, 2013

Yiddish Preservationists Take Their Subject To The Stage

Michael Alpert and Ethel Raim perform as part of the An-sky Yiddish Heritage Ensemble.
Janina Wurbs Courtesy of The Center for Traditional Music and Dance

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 12:49 pm

The name of the An-sky Yiddish Heritage Ensemble doubles as its mission statement: The quartet of performers and researchers has built a repetoire of old Yiddish folk songs dating back 100 years to the shtetls of Ukraine, in hopes of keeping that music from disappearing. Michael Alpert, who sings in the group, says it's part of a revival of Eastern Eurpoean Jewish culture that's be going on for nearly 40 years.

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U.S.
5:29 pm
Sat July 6, 2013

Following Up On Reports From The SFO Plane Crash

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 12:49 pm

Transcript

REBECCA SHEIR, HOST:

It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Rebecca Sheir.

More now on the breaking news out of San Francisco. That's where an Asiana Airlines flight from Seoul, South Korea, crashed earlier today. A team from the National Transportation Safety Board is investigating. Details are still sketchy surrounding the crash at San Francisco International Airport, which occurred at 11:36 a.m. Pacific Time.

NPR's Brian Naylor joins us now with more details. Brian, what do we know about injuries?

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Politics
4:26 pm
Sat July 6, 2013

Big Personalities Are Front And Center In NYC Mayoral Race

Mayoral candidate Christine Quinn marches in the New York Gay Pride Parade on June 30.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 12:49 pm

Everything about the New York City mayor's race is supersized.

No less than a dozen candidates are vying to succeed Michael Bloomberg as leader of the nation's biggest city — five Republicans and seven Democrats. The candidates have appeared at more than 100 forums and debates, and the primary is still two months away.

Observers say that the crowded field could favor big personalities.

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Music Interviews
9:54 am
Sat July 6, 2013

George Benson Follows The Path Of His 'Unforgettable' Idol

George Benson's latest album, Inspiration: A Tribute to Nat King Cole, is a tribute to his hero.
Greg Allen Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat July 6, 2013 1:22 pm

You could say George Benson's latest album, Inspiration: A Tribute to Nat King Cole, was conceived decades ago. Benson was just a kid when he first mimicked Cole off the radio, singing his own version of "Mona Lisa" while accompanying himself on the ukulele. He even made a recording.

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Pop Culture
9:54 am
Sat July 6, 2013

Miranda July: From The Outboxes Of The Noteworthy

Performance artist Miranda July's new project, We Think Alone, blasts a set of random emails from some well-known names on intimate topics to anyone who signs up for them.
Courtesy the artist

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 1:16 pm

Filmmaker and artist Miranda July is blasting emails copied from the outboxes of some well-known names on intimate topics to anyone who signs up.

The project is called We Think Alone, and includes messages sent from a range of notable people (who agreed to participate in advance, of course). Those names include the NBA's all-time leading scorer Kareem Abdul Jabar, fashion-designing siblings Kate and Laura Mulleavy of Rodarte, and a Canadian-American theoretical physicist.

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National Security
9:54 am
Sat July 6, 2013

Defense Contractors See Their Futures In Developing World

A mannequin in night-vision goggles is part of a display at a border-security expo in Pheonix last year. Defense companies are seeking growth in markets in the developing world, or in homeland and cybersecurity.
Amanda Meyers AP

Originally published on Sat July 6, 2013 5:12 pm

Defense manufacturers worldwide are facing tough times ahead, as tight budgets force Western governments to cut spending. But while the West is cutting back, developing countries around the world are spending more on defense — a lot more.

Last fall, defense contractors warned of massive layoffs if the U.S. government enacted the automatic budget cuts known as sequestration. Now, sequestration is in effect, but job losses are limited, in part because many Pentagon contracts were already in place and will keep assembly lines rolling for much of this year.

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Fresh Air Weekend
9:03 am
Sat July 6, 2013

Fresh Air Weekend: Questlove, Elisabeth Moss And 'Claire DeWitt'

In his new memoir, Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson describes his life in music — and how he mimicked beats at just 10 months old.
Danny Clinch Grand Central Publishing

Originally published on Sat July 6, 2013 11:54 am

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

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Environment
8:25 am
Sat July 6, 2013

One Garden's Climate Struggle (And How To Save Yours)

Many of the flowers at Hillwood are doing well despite the ever-changing local climate.
Emily Files NPR

Originally published on Sat July 6, 2013 12:44 pm

At the Hillwood Estate gardens in Washington, D.C., the new norm is: "Expect the unexpected." So says volunteer coordinator Bill Johnson, who has worked on property belonging to the heiress of the Post cereal fortune for 30 years.

Like home gardeners, the horticulturalists and professional gardeners at Hillwood are confronting an unpredictable climate.

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Political Crisis In Egypt
8:21 am
Sat July 6, 2013

The U.S. Holds The Aid Card, Yet Egypt Still Trumps

Egyptian protesters celebrate in Tahrir Square on Wednesday. The United States has managed to alienate just about every political actor in Egypt.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Sat July 6, 2013 9:04 pm

The ouster of Mohammed Morsi puts the U.S. in an awkward position: By law, the administration is supposed to cut off aid to a country after a military coup, but Egypt's military has been a key to regional stability. As the administration considers its next steps, it's come under criticism from all sides in Egypt over how it's handling the situation.

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Scott comes to BSPR from WFAE in Charlotte, N.C., where he served as local host of NPR’s “Morning Edition” for the past eight years. He began his new position as Morning Edition Host/Senior Editor for BSPR in 2012.

Around the Nation
6:24 am
Sat July 6, 2013

With Bullets Scarce, More Shooters Make Their Own

Since the Newtown school shooting in December, gun stores nationwide have had difficulty keeping ammunition, like these .223-caliber rifle bullets, in stock.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Sat July 6, 2013 9:05 pm

Gun stores around the country have had difficulty keeping up with demand for ammunition in recent months. Fears of government tightening of gun and ammunition controls have meant that retailers, from Wal-Mart to mom-and-pop gun shops, haven't been able to keep bullets on the shelves.

Cliff Poser's gun shop, Cliff's Guns, Safes and Reloading in Boise, Idaho, is one of them. Business has been so crazy lately that he has to keep a special stash of ammunition, just so customers who buy guns from him can also buy bullets.

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Code Switch
4:48 am
Sat July 6, 2013

Remembering Birmingham's 'Dynamite Hill' Neighborhood

Three civil rights workers stand guard in front NAACP attorney Arthur Shores' house in Sept. 1963. The house was blasted by dynamite the night before.
AP

Originally published on Sat July 6, 2013 9:54 am

Long before the Civil Rights marches of 1963 thrust Birmingham, Ala. into the national spotlight, black families along one residential street were steadily chipping away at Jim Crow segregation laws — and paying a price for it. As part of our series looking back at the seminal events that changed the nation 50 years ago, NPR's Debbie Elliott paid a visit to Birmingham's Dynamite Hill.

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Health
4:31 am
Sat July 6, 2013

Growing The Latest In 16th-Century Medicine

The opium poppy is the most common source of opium and morphine.
New York Botanical Garden

Originally published on Sat July 6, 2013 6:37 pm

The Renaissance Garden at the New York Botanical Garden, a re-creation of a 16th-century medicinal garden, is so lush and colorful, it takes only a stroll through to absorb its good medicine.

The garden, part of a summer exhibit called Wild Medicine: Healing Plants Around the World, is a small-scale model of the Italian Renaissance Garden in Padua, Italy, Europe's first botanical garden.

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Theater
6:29 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

For Hannibal & Co., A Horrifying New Stage

Exorcistic, a rock parody inspired by a certain 1971 novel and the William Friedkin film made from it, showcases Merlin as a rapping priest inspired by Max von Sydow's Father Merrin. Above, the show poster for the musical's Los Angeles fringe production.
David Haverty Hollywood Fringe

Originally published on Wed July 24, 2013 2:26 pm

What do a reanimated deviant surgeon, a cannibalistic serial killer and a demon-plagued, vomit-spattered priest have in common? They're all characters in camp stage musicals inspired by horror films — and they're all played by the same classically trained opera singer.

His name is Jesse Merlin, and he looks a little like a young, untanned George Hamilton. But he has a bass-baritone voice that would be perfect for Gilbert and Sullivan.

Since that's not what Hollywood's looking for, Merlin had to scare up roles elsewhere.

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Around the Nation
5:48 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

Vacation Horror Stories: Battling Snow And Broken Transmissions

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The search for true relaxation can be a taxing one. You take some time off to get away thinking of paradise and then harsh reality sets in. That's the sort of experience we're chronicling this summer in a series we call...

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Vacation...

(SOUNDBITE OF SCREAM)

SIEGEL: ...Horror Stories.

JIM MCLAUGHLIN: Hi, my name is Jim McLaughlin, and I live in Hershey, Pennsylvania. My wife, my sister, and our combined four children...

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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The Salt
5:32 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

What Is Farm Runoff Doing To The Water? Scientists Wade In

Scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey sample water in Goodwater Creek, Mo., for pesticides and other chemicals that may have run off from the surrounding land.
Abbie Fentress Swanson Harvest Public Media

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 12:37 pm

America's hugely productive food system is one of its success stories. The nation will export a projected $139.5 billion in agricultural products this fiscal year alone. It's an industry that supports "more than 1 million jobs," according to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

But all that productivity has taken a toll on the environment, especially rivers and lakes: Agriculture is the nation's leading cause of impaired water quality, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

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Parallels
5:24 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

Gatsby-Like Extravagance And Wealth ... In Communist China

A waiter delivers glasses of wine to guests at a luxury hotel bar near the Bund in Shanghai, on Sept. 8, 2012.
Aly Song Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 12:37 pm

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