And finally this hour, a U.S. Olympic athlete in her own words. Kacey Bellamy plays defense for the U.S. women's hockey team. This is her second trip to the Olympics. She was on the team that made it to the final round in Vancouver in 2010. They lost to Canada, 2-0. Bellamy grew up in Westfield, Massachusetts. And as she prepares for this year's games, she took some time to reflect on the role her family has played in her career.
2013 saw a record number of exonerations in the U.S.; 87 prisoners were set free after they were shown to have been falsely convicted of crimes. That's according to a study of exoneration, released this week by law school researchers who study these cases.
Craig Watkins has been a trailblazer in re-examining questionable convictions. And what's surprising is that he's a prosecutor. He's the district attorney of Dallas County. When he took office, he created a Conviction Integrity Office, the first of its kind in the country.
Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 3:34 pm
Part of an antitrust agreement with the European Union regulators, Google has agreed to tweak its search results in Europe.
The search giant has agreed that when a user searches for a product, for example, the search results of its rivals — Amazon, let's say — will be displayed along with those of advertisers paying Google for prominent space.
Disputes between Palestinians and Israelis are a constant in their decades-old conflict, and that's what the wider world usually hears about.
But there are also near constant internal disagreements among Israelis. And Palestinians have divergent views too. On a recent trip through the Jordan Valley, which is deep inside the Israeli-occupied West Bank, near the border with Jordan, I spoke with Israelis and Palestinians about their internal differences.
Hackers who broke into Target's computer network and stole customers' financial and personal data used credentials that were stolen from a heating and air conditioning subcontractor in Pennsylvania, according to digital security journalist Brian Krebs.
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is stepping down as chairman of its board and into a new role, which the company is calling "technology adviser." The change comes as a new CEO — Satya Nadella — takes the helm. Gates says he will actually be spending a little more time at Microsoft. Microsoft watchers say if he manages his new role well, it will be good for the company.
Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 3:39 pm
California's drought is getting very serious — so serious that even those water refills you didn't ask for at restaurants are now under scrutiny.
"We have not had this dry a time period in all of California's history since we've been keeping records — that's how bad it is," Rep. Jim Costa, D-Calif., who represents a district in the Central Valley, told reporters on Tuesday.
Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 11:00 am
The White House on Wednesday rolled out a high-profile plan to help farmers and ranchers adjust to climate changes that have already begun to upend growing seasons and threaten livestock.
The "climate hub" initiative was praised by environmentalists, though they were quick to warn President Obama that it would not provide him cover on another environmental issue in the headlines: the Keystone XL pipeline.
William S. Burroughs was a counterculture icon: In more than two dozen books, including the landmark novel Naked Lunch, helaid down an original vision that influenced everyone from political activists to punk rockers, filmmakers to sci-fi writers.
In 1962, writer Norman Mailer described himas "the only American novelist living today who may conceivably be possessed by genius."
Count Sandra Fluke out — at least on a national level, for now.
After suggesting that she was gearing up for a possible congressional campaign, the women's rights activist and lawyer has announced she won't be entering the race for California Rep. Henry Waxman's soon-to-be-available seat after all.
Instead, Fluke says she's pursuing a different route: She plans to run for the state Senate spot currently held by Ted Lieu.
Lieu is running for Waxman's job, as is former City Controller Wendy Greuel, a finalist in last year's Los Angeles mayoral race.
David Beckham's career in American soccer isn't over, despite his recent retirement from the field. Beckham confirmed Wednesday that he will create a Major League Soccer expansion team in Miami. Details about the team's stadium and start date are still being worked out.
Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 11:49 am
Ladies, if that Super Bowl Sunday pitch from '90s heartthrob John Stamos didn't leave you craving more yogurt, here's some science that might do the trick: There's tantalizing new research suggesting that some friendly bacteria commonly found in yogurts may help women shed more weight while on a diet and keep it off.
"Make it work," fashion guru Tim Gunn tells young designers on Project Runway. But life hasn't always "worked" for Gunn. "I can't even recite the number of schools I went to as a kid because I was constantly running away from them," he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "It's so ironic that I would become a career educator because I hated school so profoundly. It wasn't the learning experience that I hated. I hated the social aspects."
"A White House spokeswoman declined to comment about the S&P move specifically but said the administration's position had not changed since Jan. 22, when she said that no 'deep federal assistance' was being contemplated.
In the opening paragraph of Moby-Dick, Ishmael tells us he takes to sea whenever he feels the onset of "a damp, drizzly November in [his] soul." I know how he feels. Whenever the frigid funk of February settles in, I, too, yearn to get out of town. This year I have, thanks to two exquisite vehicles of escape fiction. Both Rachel Pastan's Alena and Katherine Pancol's The Yellow Eyes of Crocodiles are smart entertainments perfect for curling up with on a winter's night.
Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 6:04 am
Think about your fifth-birthday party. Maybe your mom carried the cake. What did her face look like? If you have a hard time imagining the way she looked then rather than how she looks now, you're not alone.
The brain edits memories relentlessly, updating the past with new information. Scientists say that this isn't a question of having a bad memory. Instead, they think the brain updates memories to make them more relevant and useful now — even if they're not a true representation of the past.
Was an attack last April on an electric power station near San Jose, Calif., the work of vandals or something far more dangerous — domestic terrorism or a trial run by an individual or organization bent on damaging the nation's electric grid?
Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 12:28 pm
The sound of Deleted Scenes, a D.C.-based quartet formed in 2005, is potent, angular and distinct. The lyrics of Dan Scheuerman, who sings and plays guitar, can be simultaneously poetic and direct. The best part of Deleted Scenes is the unexpected, the unpredictable, and "Stutter" is a perfect example of their hard-to-label style. It mixes grating vocals with sporadic bursts of guitar, those abrasive sounds morphing into a likable, memorable track.
Martha Woodroof has been writing about the First Novel Experience. For this post, she reports on her travels to the American Booksellers Association's Winter Institute in January.
The American Booksellers Association Winter Institute was billed as providing independent booksellers with a chance to get together "...in vibrant Seattle for three-plus days of networking, special events, and professional development."