Tuesday marks six weeks until Election Day, but registered voters in two dozen states are already able to cast a ballot for president, with more states to allow early voting in the coming weeks.
In the 2000 presidential election, early voting accounted for 15 percent of the total ballots cast. By 2008, that doubled to 30 percent, according to the United States Elections Project at George Mason University. It's expected to be on the rise again this year.
Originally published on Thu September 27, 2012 3:04 pm
The election is not over, we are told time and time again, and it's not. There are still some 40-plus days to go, there are still debates to be had. It's true that Mitt Romney trails President Obama in most key battleground states, but the margins are in single digits. And, lest we forget, it's not that presidential candidates down in the polls haven't come from behind to win in the past.
Arctic sea ice is in sharp decline this year: Last week, scientists announced that it hit the lowest point ever measured, shattering the previous record.
But it turns out that's not the most dramatic change in the Arctic. A study by Canadian researchers finds that springtime snow is melting away even faster than Arctic ice. That also has profound implications for the Earth's climate.
Cecilia Bartoli has a passion for musical archaeology: "I am the Indiana Jones of classical," she says jokingly to All Things Considered host Robert Siegel.
Bartoli rummages through music history to uncover forgotten opera composers deserving of her detailed and dramatic performances. Her new album, Mission, introduces her most recent "find," the late-17th-century Italian Agostino Steffani.
You know that ad campaign for pork, the one that called it "the other white meat?" There's a fascinating behind-the-scenes story about that slogan, revealed in a new lawsuit that was just filed this morning by the Humane Society of the United States.
Each week, All Things Considered and Lenore Skenazy, author of the book and blog Free-Range Kids, bring you "Another Thing," an on-air puzzle to test your clever skills. We take a trend in the news and challenge you to help us satirize it with a song title, a movie name or something else wacky.
So six weeks to go before Election Day, but in-person early voting has already started in a handful of states. Many others will begin soon, and more and more of us are choosing to vote early. In Colorado, for example, where we just heard from Ari Shapiro, nearly 80 percent of votes were cast early in the 2008 presidential election.
Michael McDonald tracks these trends with the U.S. Elections Project at George Mason University and he joins me now. Welcome to the program.
We've all encountered loose change, loose teeth, and certainly loose-fitting pants, but only a lucky few of us have encountered the Loose Meat Sandwich. It's an Iowa classic that's basically like a hamburger, except the patty doesn't hold together at all. We picked up a couple from Maid-Rite here in Chicago.
Mike: The meat pebbles make it so much easier to fatten up those hard to reach parts of the body.
Leah: I think you have to have baleen to eat this properly.
The U.S. military, along with more than 30 allied countries, has just launched a new round of naval exercises in the Persian Gulf at a time when tensions in the region are running particularly high.
But U.S. officials say the aim is not to increase anxiety, but rather to ensure stability. More specifically, the exercises are designed to deal with mines that could hamper shipping in the Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, through which a fifth of the world's oil supply transits.
Originally published on Mon September 24, 2012 3:29 pm
All Tomorrow's Parties is an extra special music festival. Oddly, it's not just about the music. It's about film, comedy, lecture/conversation and new friendships all bound together by everyone's love for eclectic and passionate music. This year, following a move from Asbury Park (which followed a move from its original Catskill mountain hotel home) to a giant pier on southern tip of Manhattan, it felt more like a convention than a camp. Gone was the coziness of hotel lobbies where artists and participants co-mingled at all hours.
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Aung San Suu Kyi is on her first trip to the U.S. in decades. After years under house arrest, she is now a member of parliament in Myanmar, also known as Burma. So far, she's collected honors and drawn crowds in the places you might expect: New York City, Washington, D.C. But tomorrow, she heads to a smaller community in the Midwest. Sean Bueter, of member station WBOI, explains where she's going and why.
After decades of enforced silence, Singaporeans who spent years in jail without charges or trial are shattering a political taboo by speaking out about their detention — and the colonial-era security laws that made it possible.
The affluent trading hub — known for its solid rule of law — still allows the government to detain citizens indefinitely.
But people who say that the laws were used to abuse them and silence their dissenting voices are now talking — which many see as a foreshadowing of bigger political changes for Southeast Asia's wealthiest nation.
There was another exercise in Washington last week that involved Iran, the U.S. and the impasse over the Iranian nuclear program. The Brookings Institution staged a war game. No real weapons were used, but teams playing the roles of U.S. and Iranian policymakers were presented with a hypothetical but not very far-fetched scenario, and the results were not encouraging. Kenneth Pollack is a senior fellow in the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution, and he ran this exercise and joins us. Good to see you again.
We Googled the phrase: It's difficult to replace. And auto-complete suggested a couple things people clearly find difficult to replace: a radiator, a garbage disposal, a catalytic converter. Well, how about an NFL official? For three weeks now, NFL games have been officiated by replacement refs, due to a labor dispute, and things have been getting ugly.
For more, we're joined by NPR's Mike Pesca. Hi, Mike.
Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 9:44 am
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As anger over an anti-Muslim film continues to reverberate in the Middle East, a new controversial statement has emerged here in the U.S. It is an ad in New York City subway stations, which equates jihad with savagery. The ad was funded by a conservative activist who is no stranger to controversy.
Last year, after the Atlanta rock band Black Lips released the album Arabia Mountain, its members planned a trip to tour the Middle East, but the wave of Arab Spring protests forced them to change plans. Yet even with simmering anti-Americanism persisting throughout the region, singer-guitarist Ian St. Pe was determined to see this through. Cairo, where I spoke with them on Friday, was the band's second stop.
Starting a new car company from scratch isn't tried often in the United States. The last time one was truly successful was about 100 years ago. And Tesla Motors, a startup from Silicon Valley, faces some unusual hurdles.
Still, despite the challenges Tesla faces, the electric car company and its CEO, Elon Musk, have gotten further than most automotive entrepreneurs.
Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 10:17 am
In a ceremony and concert last night, the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz recognized Jamison Ross, 24, as the winner of its annual competition for young musicians. The competition, the highest profile event of its kind, was open to drummers this year.
Originally published on Mon September 24, 2012 1:05 pm
BuzzFeed says an email exchange between a journalist and one of Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton's top aides grew quite heated and profane on Sunday — marking at least the second time in recent months that a spokesman for a major political figure used an obscenity to get across his point.
This time it was the journalist who fired off the first word we can't repeat. But the Clinton aide deploys more verbal bombs.
Parents, have you somehow missed the YouTube videos of trampoline accidents?
There's the one of the kid who knocks his front teeth out trying a trampoline-assisted slam dunk. A whole bunch that show knuckleheads jumping from roofs then bouncing every which way and hitting the ground. And then there are the videos of a big kid bouncing a small kid into oblivion.