As the presidential campaign has unfolded, the candidates have traded polemics about wealth, class warfare, taxes, dependency and the role of government.
While it may be uncomfortable to admit, some Americans are simply more financially successful than others. But why do some achieve wealth, while others struggle? Why does one woman make it to the executive suite, while another man drives a taxi? And what do we think explains our prosperity — or lack thereof?
Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 4:22 pm
Halloween might be the best day of the year for kids who love candy and grown-ups who love to be scared, but it is also the last day of work for thousands of ghouls and clowns.
Every year, people from all walks of life — firefighters, students, preschool teachers — adopt the rather unconventional part-time job of scaring at haunted attractions. They spend a month caking their faces with makeup, dipping their bodies in jelly-like substances that resemble blood and practicing chilling screams and creepy laughs until they're pitch perfect.
Better satellites, smarter computer models and faster computers helped government forecasters correctly predict the devastation from Hurricane Sandy, scientists say.
It's unlikely the forecast would have been nearly as accurate just a couple of decades ago, they say.
"The National Hurricane Center did a fantastic job, particularly with the track forecast and the intensity forecast as it was moving toward the Northeast," says Sharan Majumdar, an associate professor of meteorology and physical oceanography at the University of Miami.
Much of the floodwaters along the New Jersey shore have receded. But just across the Hudson River from Manhattan in Hoboken, the water is still a foot or more deep. Reporter Scott Gurian of New Jersey Public Radio waded through the streets to talk with some residents there.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
And I'm Audie Cornish.
The most populous city in the country is drying out and beginning a long and complicated recovery. One positive sign: Tomorrow, some New York City subway routes are scheduled to reopen. But today, gridlock ruled as people took to their cars. And that means it's car pool time.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
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And I'm Robert Siegel.
The massive storm that battered the East Coast this week is now fading, but Sandy's toll has become all too clear. In the U.S., at least 66 people are not confirmed dead, eight of them in New Jersey where we begin this hour.
Staten Island is still dealing with the aftermath of severe flooding from Sandy. In some low-lying areas of the borough, houses were underwater almost to their rooftops. One police officer died in the deluge after saving six people.
The Assassin's Creed video game series has become a megahit for gaming enthusiasts. The story line follows a bloody war between Assassins and the Knights Templar, first during the Crusades and then in Renaissance Italy.
The newly released Assassins Creed III crosses the ocean and a couple of centuries so the action could take place during the Revolutionary War and would be wildly anticipated on its own.
If you ask climate scientist Radley Horton, it's difficult to say that Hurricane Sandy was directly caused by climate change, but he sees strong connections between the two. Horton is a research scientist at The Earth Institute at Columbia University. He says that in New York City, the sea level has gone up about a foot over the past century and that researchers expect that rise to continue and even accelerate.
Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 3:06 pm
As the presidential race zeroes in on Ohio, and the auto industry gets renewed focus in the all-important swing state, Mitt Romney's campaign is touting the backing of former Chrysler CEO Lee Iacocca and the company's former president, Hal Sperlich.
"In our opinion, Mitt Romney is the leader we need to help turn our economy around and ensure that the American auto industry is once again a dominant force in the world," Iacocca and Sperlich write on Romney's website.
Originally published on Thu November 8, 2012 9:51 am
Mark Danielewski is the author of The Fifty Year Sword.
When I was 12, the movie was forbidden. What my parents matter-of-factly declared too scary, friends confirmed with added notes of hysteria: "Nothing more terrifying!" "The most horrifying film ever made!" "People pass out!"
In Provo, Utah, where I grew up, Mormon children — and in my world that meant all of my friends — reported how just a glimpse resulted in actual, irreversible possession.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. The storm stops top-of-the-ticket campaigning for a couple of days; the president plays chief of state; Romney collects cans and water for disaster relief; it's Wednesday and time for a...
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Sandy...
CONAN: Edition of the Political Junkie.
(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDINGS)
PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: There you go again.
VICE PRESIDENT WALTER MONDALE: When I hear your new ideas, I'm reminded of that ad: Where's the beef?
A friend of mine — whose opinion is shared by hosts of viewers — has griped about Lena Dunham and the fame ofGirls and its cast members: "Everybody talks like they're the voice of our 'lost generation,'" she said. "But their parents are all famous people." In other words, the complaint goes, the extent of the Girls cast's success comes from the connections available to them.
Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 1:53 pm
It's not yet time to change the subject. That might pose a problem for Mitt Romney.
Media coverage of Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath has been intense in recent days, dominating regular news shows and prompting prime-time specials. With just a few days left before the election, the presidential contest has become an afterthought.
"It interrupted the news cycle at a time when there were favorable horse race stories for Mitt," says Tom Rath, a senior adviser to the Romney campaign. "In a campaign, you don't get to design the racetrack; you play the cards you're dealt."
Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 3:36 pm
It's a commuter's nightmare.
Cars and buses are back on the road in New York City and New Jersey, but workers are still trying to put the subway system and commuter trains back in operation after the devastating effect of Superstorm Sandy. It's a process that could take days or weeks to complete.
The impact on the country's most densely populated metropolitan area has been extensive. Here's a look at what is, and mostly what isn't, working:
As Gemma, the fierce matriarch of the biker gang in the FX series Sons of Anarchy, Katey Sagal has shot and killed people, hit somebody with a skateboard, pulled a gun on a baby and done other horrible things. It's all part of the challenge of playing the character, Sagal says.
"She does things in the name of loyalty, which I relate to, but she goes way beyond anything I would do."
Ilsa makes no secret of reveling in debauchery and exploitation flicks, so Intoxicantations is a perfectly clever title for the band's new album. The word-mash is a little hokey, like a B-movie with a lot of blood and bare-chested women, but still a line every metalhead or pulp comic-book writer will wish he'd thought of first. But even the most awesomely gruesome titles and covers need real guts (spilling out or otherwise), and with "Fluid Bound," the Washington, D.C., metal band drips with demented horror.