If there's actually a secret Hollywood movie formula, we want to see the proof. In a game that will take you right back to your beloved high school algebra and geometry classes, host Ophira Eisenberg asks contestants to combine the titles of well-known movies with mathematical terms. For example, "Rectangled" combines the polygon "rectangle" with the title of the film Tangled.
What's your favorite franchise of Bravo's Real Housewives, Atlanta or New Jersey? How about The Acropolis? In this game, host Ophira Eisenberg stirs up the celestial domestic drama by performing imagined on-camera quotes from female Greek mythological figures. Can you guess the goddess?
Plus, Jonathan Coulton pays homage to another powerful lady with a cover of Bananarama's "Venus."
Don't freak out, but this game combines one part name-that-tune, one part doing-math-in-your-head, and a dash of The Proclaimers. It'll be fun, we promise. House musician Jonathan Coulton performs songs that feature a number in their titles, but the numbers have been replaced by algebraic expressions. Contestants must solve for 'x' to make the mathematical expressions in the songs correct.
When you hear the phrase, "I need a Band-Aid immediately!" is your instinct to reply, "Actually, it's called an 'adhesive bandage,' Band-Aid is a brand"? Don't be that person--unless you're playing along with this game. Host Ophira Eisenberg offers the generic name and description of a particular product, and you must name the specific trademarked name that commonly describes it.
To mark the final season of the TV show Breaking Bad, we've based this game on its opening credits, in which elemental symbols for Bromine (Br) and Barium (Ba) help spell the show's title. House musician Jonathan Coulton asks contestants to spell words using more symbols from the Periodic Table.
Plus, Coulton competes this round with a cover of "Particle Man" by They Might Be Giants.
Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 9:32 am
The head of the U.S. Postal Service has acknowledged that every piece of domestic mail is photographed for processing and that the information is sometimes made available to law enforcement, according to The Associated Press.
In an interview with the news agency, Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe says that exterior images of individual pieces of mail are snapped at some 200 processing facilities around the country primarily for sorting purposes, but that the images have been used "a couple of times" by law enforcement to trace letters in criminal cases.
MONTAGNE: The Labor Department says the U.S. economy added 162,000 new jobs last month. That's lower than many economists expected. Still the unemployment rate dropped to 7.4 percent. Workers did have fewer hours on the job and hourly earnings fell in July, for the first time since last fall. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
A man smokes marijuana outside Uruguay's parliament in Montevideo on Wednesday, where lawmakers in the lower house debated and passed a bill that would legalize marijuana and regulate its production and distribution.
The South American country's response to incessant drug-related violence in the region signals a quest for alternatives to the U.S.-led war on drugs, and a rethinking of official U.N. anti-drug policy, which has been in effect for more than half a century.
Penn State hopes to reduce its health care costs by helping employees become healthier. But some faculty members complain that charging them $100 a month for refusing to participate in a health improvement program is unfair.
Credit Jeff Brady / NPR
Matthew Woessner, an associate professor at Penn State's Harrisburg campus, says the university's Take Care of Your Health initiative compromises individual liberties and privacy.
If you work for Penn State and don't agree to step on a scale or have your waist measured, it could soon cost you $100 a month. The Pennsylvania State University is joining a growing list of employers penalizing workers who want company-sponsored health benefits but refuse to participate in health improvement programs.
University officials say they need to take dramatic steps to reduce health care costs, and getting their workers in shape is one way to do it.
Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 9:11 am
America's unemployment rate sank to 7.4 percent in July, a drop of two-tenths of a percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics says in its monthly summary of the U.S. economic situation. But employers added 162,000 jobs last month, coming in below economists' expectations.
After some 20 trials over two decades, Italian media tycoon Silvio Berlusconi received his first definitive conviction Thursday for evading almost $10 million in taxes while he was prime minister.
After more than seven hours of deliberations, Judge Antonio Esposito read the ruling of the five Supreme Court judges: "In the name of the Italian people," the judge declared, "Berlusconi's conviction and prison term are irrevocable."
Cozzie Watkins of Charlotte, N.C., holds a sign while joining a "Moral Monday" protest against recent actions of the North Carolina Legislature, in Raleigh last month.
Credit Gerry Broome / AP
Opponents of voter ID legislation protest in the gallery of the House chamber of the North Carolina General Assembly, where lawmakers debated and then passed a sweeping voter identification law in April.
Credit Ted Richardson / AP
North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory delivers the State of the State address, in Raleigh on Feb. 18.
Pat McCrory hasn't fared too well with protesters.
The Republican governor of North Carolina has signed off on a vast array of conservative legislation this year, cutting taxes, slashing unemployment benefits and abolishing teacher tenure. So much change so fast has led to protests, including "Moral Monday" events staged at the capitol a dozen weeks in a row by the NAACP.
Edward Snowden has chosen where to live in Russia, which granted him asylum Thursday, his lawyer said. Here, Snowden is seen at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport on July 12. At left is WikiLeaks' Sarah Harrison.
Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 9:20 am
NSA leaker Edward Snowden, who spent more than a month at Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport before being granted a one-year asylum Thursday, has picked out a place to live in Russia, his attorney there says.
Snowden is wanted on charges of espionage by the United States for leaking classified documents about secret U.S. surveillance programs. His departure from the Moscow airport ended, temporarily at least, weeks of uncertainty over his fate. He had applied to several other countries for asylum, as well.
Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 2:46 pm
Few details have emerged about the U.S. plan to shut down embassies that would normally be open this Sunday. A senior State Department official says that the U.S. facilities may be closed for more days, as well. The closures are being described as "precautionary steps" that are being taken "out of an abundance of caution."
NPR's business news starts with new trouble for B of A.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
GREENE: In a regulatory filing yesterday, Bank of America revealed it may be facing civil charges over its activities during the financial crisis. The bank disclosed an investigation by the Department of Justice related to residential mortgage-backed securities. Bank of America says it's cooperating. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. As Shavonnte Taylor was riding the metro in D.C. yesterday, headed to a prenatal doctor's appointment. Her baby was due in a few weeks, but as she was changing trains her contractions began. Fellow metro riders, including luckily an EMT, sprang into action. And in a few minutes, right there on the platform, a healthy boy was born. Appropriately, that station is called L'Enfant Plaza. As in l'baby. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
You know how school kids can get as summer break is getting closer: a little rowdy.
MONTAGNE: Not how you'd normally describe the U.S. Senate, which is widely considered the more gentile congressional body. But tempers flared yesterday when Senators Patty Murray and Susan Collins had the floor and were trying to talk about transportation spending, but were being not just ignored, but drowned out by talkative colleagues.
In New York, a jury has found former Goldman Sachs securities trader liable on six of the seven fraud charges. This is being seen as a big win for the Securities and Exchange Commission, as NPR's Dan Bobkoff reports.
When you check social media and you're not caught up on your favorite TV show, say, you never know when you might encounter a spoiler. Somebody on Twitter, some blog says too much about what happened in a plot line. My big spoiler moment came when I saw a post about a death on "Downton Abbey" and I thought that everything was just ruined. But is it really that bad when this happens? NPR's Neda Ulaby has this encore story about how spoilers might actually make you enjoy something more.
In Spain, efforts at economic recovery are being overshadowed by a bribery scandal. Top politicians have been accused of taking under-the-table cash from construction companies. The ruling party's former treasurer is in jail. And yesterday, the prime minister had to explain himself in parliament. Lauren Frayer reports from Madrid.
Zimbabweans remember well that 2008 presidential election, when many in the opposition were rounded up, tortured, and scores were killed. Ultimately Robert Mugabe stayed in power - 33 years now and counting. Fungai Machirori, who's 29 years old, is part of a generation that grew up under Mugabe. She's a poet and the founder of Her Zimbabwe, a not-very-political platform for women to share their stories.
One day after the school shootings in Newtown, Conn., last December, Liza Long wrote a blog post urging the country to focus on treatment for the nation's mentally ill youth. In it, she shared the story of her own son, "Michael" (not his real name). "I live with a son who is mentally ill," she wrote for The Blue Review.
The unemployment rate only includes people who don't have jobs and are looking for work. A much larger swath of people — about 36 percent of U.S. adults — don't have jobs and aren't looking for work at all. That figure is higher than it's been in decades (and, conversely, the share of adults in the labor force — shown in the graph above — is lower than it's been in decades).
Here are four reasons why so many people are leaving the labor force.
Changes to the acidity of the Earth's ancient oceans affected the coral reefs more than 50 million years ago. And researchers are using that information to try to predict how the planet might fare in our rapidly changing climate. Above, the Wheeler Reef section of the Great Barrier Reef.
One of the most powerful ways to figure out how the Earth will respond to all the carbon dioxide we're putting into the atmosphere is to look back into the planet's history.
Paleontologists have spent a lot of time trying to understand a time, more than 50 million years ago, when the planet was much hotter than it is today. They're finding that the news isn't all bad when you take the long view.
Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 5:54 pm
Now that the dust has settled somewhat on the rhetorical skirmish between Rand Paul and Chris Christie over NSA data-gathering, it's easier to see the irony of the confrontation.
We witnessed not just the punching and counterpunching of politicians considered likely contenders for the 2016 GOP nomination. It was also a clash between men who each possess a key to winning the White House.
A new homeless initiative in Hawaii is raising some eyebrows, and the department in charge of implementing it has concerns of its own.
As part of a larger housing bill in July, the state Legislature approved $100,000 per year for a three-year pilot project that would help get some homeless people off the island and back to their families on the mainland. Participants must leave voluntarily.