Editor's Note: Who better to advise you on surviving the stresses and strains of a modern Christmas than a 14th-century English poet? We gleefully present holiday advice from the Internet's own Chaucer Doth Tweet. Warning: Middle English ahead!
Gentil folke, yt ys wyse and profitable to seeke advyce and counsel yn all thinges. Ich am Geoffrey Chaucer, deputy forester of North Petherton and amateur poet, and Ich am heere to helpe yow wyth advyce and counsel regarding the seasoun of holidayes.
Originally published on Sat December 20, 2014 9:39 am
Into The Woods is a 1987 Stephen Sondheim musical that we'd now call a mashup: A baker and his wife want a child. The little girl in a red hood who lifts pies from their shop lives next to a witch who once kidnapped the baker's baby sister, whom she now keeps locked in a tower. But she'll reverse a curse on the baker and his wife if they can find a white cow, a red cape, long blond hair, and a gold slipper: Jack and the Beanstalk meets Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel and Cinderella.
Originally published on Sat December 20, 2014 9:39 am
For many people, being retired means playing golf in Florida or baking in the sunshine in Palm Springs. But at one retirement community in Los Angeles, the most popular activity isn't shuffleboard. It's producing TV shows.
The Wasserman Campus of the Motion Picture and Television Fund is a retirement home for people who worked in the entertainment industry. These actors, producers, editors, and other showbiz veterans have credits dating back to the days of live television.
It was Christmas Eve 2002, at the height of midsummer, when I arrived to take up a year-long job as doctor at Halley base â€“ the most remote research station operated by the British in Antarctica.
As we cruised up to the Caird Coast of Antarctica, a crowd of us stood out on the deck of the supply ship RRS Ernest Shackleton, singing Christmas carols in the 24-hour sunlight, wearing Santa hats and reindeer antlers.
Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 7:07 pm
Rejecting a request by Florida's attorney general to maintain a judge's stay that would have kept same-sex couples from marrying in the state, the Supreme Court cleared the way for gay marriages to be held in Florida next month.
The stay stems from a ruling by U.S. District Judge Robert L. Hinkle, who said in August that Florida's 2008 ban is unconstitutional.
As has happened with many similar cases, Judge Hinkle issued a stay on his own ruling that Florida's ban was illegal, to give the state time to appeal. That stay is set to expire at the end of the day on Jan. 5.
Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 5:33 pm
On a day when President Obama added his voice to criticisms over the decision to pull the satire The Interview, Sony Pictures CEO Michael Lynton says the studio "did not capitulate" to hackers, and that its actions have been misunderstood.
Lynton defended his studio in an interview on All Things Considered, saying that Sony still wants an audience to see The Interview â€” if not in theaters, then by other means.
Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 5:50 pm
"The dog ate my homework?" Try, "I was protesting a grand jury decision," instead.
Students at some top law schools want exam extensions for what they are calling the trauma of the Michael Brown and Eric Garner grand jury decisions. But other law students are wondering what message that sends to future employers.
It was an honest mistake. But when President Obama meant to talk about James Franco and instead said "James Flacco" â€” on a Friday marking the full-on start of the holidays, no less â€” the slip was eagerly received by people on Twitter and elsewhere.
Originally published on Sat December 20, 2014 12:21 am
Today, details of the Obama administration's plan known as the Postsecondary Institutional Ratings System, or PIRS, finally saw the light of day. The idea, in this incarnation, was just under three years old.
Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 3:50 pm
The Environmental Protection Agency has issued new national standards designating coal ash â€“ a nearly ubiquitous byproduct of coal-fired power plants that contains arsenic and lead â€“ as non-hazardous waste.
NPR's Christopher Joyce reports that coal-fired power plants produce more than 130 million tons of the coal ash each year and they have long stored millions of tons of it in giant ponds.
But many of those ponds have failed in recent years, allowing contaminated water to get into rivers and streams, and ultimately into drinking water.
Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 6:32 pm
The main boulevard in Tunisia's capital, Tunis, is alive with political debate about the two candidates for president in this Sunday's election.
In one tent, campaign workers play music and hand out fliers for Beji Caid Essebsi, an 88-year-old candidate who held posts in the old regime and then served as an interim prime minister after the country's revolution in 2011.
Some witnesses were clearly lying when they spoke to a grand jury about the August police killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., according to St. Louis County prosecuting attorney Robert McCulloch. In an interview about the case Friday, the prosecutor says he won't seek perjury charges.
Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 5:39 pm
Thousands of people sentenced under the tough drug laws of the 1980s and '90s are still behind bars, serving mandatory minimum prison sentences requiring them to spend decades, if not life, in prison. Nowadays people convicted of the same crimes serve far less time.
Jeff Williams, Apple's senior vice president for operations, has responded to a BBC report that workers at Asian suppliers for the iPhone 6 are mistreated and overworked, saying he's "deeply offended" by the accusations.
In an email to some 5,000 Apple staff in the United Kingdom, Williams hit back at the British broadcaster's Panorama program, which sent in undercover reporters to observe conditions at the Pegatron factory, near Shanghai, where iPhones are assembled.
Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps was sentenced to 18 months' supervised probation today after pleading guilty to drunken driving.
He was arrested in September after leaving a casino in downtown Baltimore. Police documents show that he swerved over a yellow line while going 84 in 45-mph zone. Police say Phelps failed field sobriety tests and registered a 0.14 on a blood-alcohol test. In Maryland, the legal limit is 0.08.