Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 3:23 pm
Every year around this time, the All Songs Considered team begins the process of listening to nearly 2,000 MP3s by bands playing the SXSW Music Festival in Austin, Texas. We acquire them from any number of sources, as bands willing to circulate their songs for consideration make them available online. But every year, we wind up missing something. In pursuit of music by thousands of bands, hundreds slip past our radar altogether.
Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 3:26 pm
The latest wrinkle in Ukraine's crisis doesn't involve the government and the protesters there.
Instead, it has to do with the diplomats trying to resolve the crisis.
A leaked phone conversation between Victoria Nuland, the top U.S. diplomat for Europe, and Geoff Pyatt, the U.S. envoy to Kiev, appears to show them discussing the merits of Ukraine's various opposition figures. In it, Nuland can also be heard using a distinctly undiplomatic phrase while describing the European Union.
Mathew Martoma, a former portfolio manager with SAC Capital Advisors, has been convicted of helping the hedge fund reap hundreds of millions of dollars in illegal trades based on inside information. His is the latest in a series of legal actions related to the firm owned by billionaire Steven A. Cohen.
Martoma, 39, was found guilty by a federal jury in Manhattan on three counts of conspiracy and securities fraud related to trades made on inside information about a possible breakthrough in the treatment of Alzheimer's.
For an increasing number of Americans, access to high-speed Internet has become an essential part of our lives. We do work, email friends, find restaurants, watch videos and movies, and check the weather. And the Internet is increasingly used for important services, like video medical consults and online education, and is relied upon by businesses for critical operations.
Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 5:19 pm
A long time ago, in a world before email, cellphones and the World Wide Web, my girlfriends and I had a mantra: "Life is too short for annoying boys."
I was lucky. I met my own Mr. Perfect-For-Me when I was young enough to not feel desperate to find him, but old enough to have already lived a pretty interesting life. I had traveled. I had a college degree. I had a few "lessons learned" relationships in my back pocket.
Warning that no single authority can order utilities to beef up security at their facilities, the former head of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission continues to raise the alarm about a sniper attack last April on an electric power station in San Jose, Calif.. He says it highlights the vulnerability of the nation's power grid and that more needs to be done to protect that infrastructure.
Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 5:42 pm
Take a close look at the stunning image above showing a newly formed impact crater on Mars: The blue streaks of material, known as ejecta, radiate 9 miles from the 100-foot crater, according to NASA.
The picture was taken from orbit by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter on Nov. 19. The same area was imaged by the MRO's Context Camera in July 2010 and again in May 2012 â€” with no crater in the first and a telltale surface scar in the second.
Parliament in London is an old-fashioned place. When members gather in the House of Commons, the sea of faces is generally wrinkled, white and male.
The chaplain who leads them each day in prayer is emphatically not.
The Rev. Rose Hudson-Wilkin is the first black woman to serve as chaplain to the speaker in the House of Commons. She broke the same barrier when she was appointed chaplain to Queen Elizabeth II. She was also the first woman, and the first person of color, to run her parish in Northeast London.
If you remembered that John Paul White and Joy Williams had announced they were taking a hiatus last year, the news of a new digital EP from The Civil Wars might make you scratch your head. But this cover of Elliott Smith's "Between the Bars," which lends its name to the EP, was actually recorded a while back with producers Rick Rubin and Charlie Peacock.
Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 2:19 pm
Food industry, beware of the power of the online petition.
Just a few days after food blogger Vani Hari, known as Food Babe, created a buzz with an online petition raising questions about the safety of a food additive commonly used in commercial baking, sandwich giant Subway has announced plans to phase it out of its fresh-baked breads.
The additive, azodicarbonamide, is used by the commercial baking industry to bleach flour and condition dough.
Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 5:43 pm
Aston Martin, James Bond's conveyance of choice, has expanded its recall of vehicles built since 2007 because of problems with fake plastics from China.
In a letter last month to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, Aston Martin said it had received reports that throttle pedal arms broke during installation, and it discovered that "initial tests on the failed pedal arm have shown that the Tier Three Supplier used counterfeit material."
If you don't know the meaning of a word, says Mary Caton Lingold, you can look it up in the dictionary, but if you don't know what a particular sound sounds like, where do you go? (Besides NPR, of course.)
Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 12:26 pm
The teenage years are a tumultuous time, with about 11 percent developing depression by age 18. Lack of sleep may increase teenagers' risk of depression, two studies say.
Teenagers who don't get enough sleep are four times as likely to develop major depressive disorder as their peers who sleep more, according to researchers at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston. They tracked the habits of more than 4,000 adolescents over a year.
What are people excited about seeing at the Winter Games, which start this week? How do figure skaters spin without getting dizzy? What kind of place is Sochi? Those are some of the questions we're seeing on Quora, the question-and-answer site that calls itself "your best source of knowledge."
Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 3:40 pm
A fried, battered coating can hide a multitude of sins. (Everything tastes yummy when deep-fried, amiright?) So it's not surprising, really, that allegations of "mystery meat" have dogged McDonald's famous chicken McNuggets on and off for years.