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Around the Nation
3:45 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

Record High Corn Prices Coming Back Down, With Mixed Effects

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 6:33 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

When it comes to commodities, corn is king. About a third of U.S. cropland is planted with corn and prices have been high but that's changing. As Amy Mayer of Iowa Public radio reports, farmers have seen prices drop to their lowest point in three years.

AMY MAYER, BYLINE: On a clear fall day in central Iowa, Aaron Layman(ph) climbs into the cab of his green combine to do some maintenance. He's hoping his corn has a couple more weeks to grow before harvesting. He says he knew sky high corn prices were temporary.

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Politics
3:45 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

GOP's Short-Term Debt Deal May Be Hard Sell For House Democrats

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 6:33 pm

A possible deal is brewing between the White House and the GOP House leadership, but it's unclear if Congressional Democrats will go along with it. To find out, Robert Siegel talks to Maryland Rep. Chris Van Hollen, the top Democrat on the House Budget Committee, to hear how the proposal to extend the debt ceiling deadline into late November is being received by his fellow party members.

Politics
3:45 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

House Republicans Move To Avert Debt Crisis...For A While

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 6:33 pm

The 10-day-old government shut down and the need to raise the federal debt limit next week have been tied together as a single political crisis. But now, House Republicans seem ready to cleave the debt ceiling debate. Economists of all stripes say breaching the debt ceiling could be catastrophic, and on Thursday, House Speaker John Boehner said he is prepared to support a bill to raise the debt ceiling for six weeks if the president will agree to negotiations on long-term deficit reduction.

Politics
3:45 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

Here Comes The Debt Ceiling...But Does That Mean?

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 6:33 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

As the debate over the debt ceiling continues, we thought it'd be helpful to explain just how the Treasury pays bills and how many bills it pays. To help with that, we brought in Tony Fratto. He was assistant secretary for public affairs at the U.S. Treasury under the George W. Bush administration.

TONY FRATTO: The best estimates are around four million transactions a day, on the order of around 100 million transactions a month, so it's a lot.

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Politics
3:45 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

Boehner's New Pitch To Republicans And Obama: Push Back Debt Deadline

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 6:33 pm

House Speaker John Boehner pitched his Republican caucus Thursday on the idea of pushing back the debt limit deadline from next week to late November.

Around the Nation
3:45 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

Furloughed FDA Worker Hits The Streets To Drum Up Extra Cash

Furloughed FDA worker Jonathan Derr drums outside a Washington, D.C., Metro station to earn cash during the government shutdown
Karen Zamora/NPR

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 6:33 pm

Ten days into the partial government shutdown, the estimated 800,000 furloughed federal workers have got to be feeling a bit stir crazy.

Congress has agreed to pay back the furloughed workers for the time they are shut out of the office, so for some it's like an unexpected, but paid, vacation of indeterminate length. But the more than a week of shutdown definitely means going without that cash in the short term. And for some of those workers with less of a financial cushion, that means getting creative.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

Punk History, Embroidered Here And There

Malin Akerman, who plays Blondie singer Debbie Harry, is just one of many actors and musicians lip-syncing to the tracks of '70s punk legends in the loose but lively CBGB.
Beau Giann XLrator Media

Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 1:54 pm

Loose, lively and agreeably unsolemn, the alt-culture biopic CBGB is an account of that Manhattan punk-rock crucible whose audience will likely be even smaller than the crowd that actually went to the club in the 1970s.

That's because to really enjoy Randall Miller's film, viewers not only probably need to have experienced the club in its formative years; they'll also need not to be too terribly invested in their own versions of what happened there. This is not a film for purists or quibblers.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

Even In Hollywood Pulp Fiction, More Can Mean A Lot Less

Everything is more exaggerated in this sequel to 2010's Machete, including Machete's (Danny Trejo) signature weapon, now serrated and electric.
Rico Torres Open Road Films

Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 1:34 pm

There's the strong silent type, and then there's the strong mute type. In Robert Rodriguez's Machete Kills, journeyman tough-guy Danny Trejo skews toward the latter. If the recurring catchphrase in these films is "Machete don't ____" — as in, Machete don't text, Machete don't tweet, Machete don't die — the fact is that what Machete mostly don't do is speak.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

An 'Escape' Into Something Decidedly Un-Disneyfied

Isabelle (Annet Mahendru, left) and Sophie (Danielle Safady) are the young Frenchwomen who thoroughly distract Jim from his wife and children.
Mankurt Media

Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 12:43 pm

Escape From Tomorrow, a dystopian fantasy about a laid-off worker on the lam at Disney World, comes bloated with marketing bluster: The movie, as its PR people have been trumpeting for months, was shot guerrilla-style at Disney parks in Anaheim and Orlando.

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The Salt
2:36 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

Starbucks Pours Money, And Health Hype, Into Pricey Juice

Starbucks'-owned Evolution Fresh says its method of processing juice delivers more of the flavor and nutrients of raw fruits and vegetables.
Courtesy of Starbucks

Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 1:17 pm

Most Americans don't get the 4 to 6.5 cups of fruits and vegetables we're supposed to consume every day, per government guidelines. But companies that make juice, especially high-end, "fresh" juice, are ready to come to our rescue.

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NPR's Backseat Book Club
2:35 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

After Getting 'Plunked' On The Head, A Little Leaguer Makes A Comeback

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 6:33 pm

In the 12 years that Michael Northrop spent working at Sports Illustrated Kids, he met excellent athletes who had a lot more going on in their lives than just sports.

"They were young athletes, but they were also kids, so I didn't want to forget about that," he tells NPR's Michele Norris.

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It's All Politics
2:35 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

How Political Miscalculations Led To The Shutdown Standoff

The Capitol is seen under an overcast sky at dawn on Monday.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 6:33 pm

The standoff over the debt ceiling and the government shutdown showed signs of softening Thursday.

House Speaker John Boehner said he would bring a temporary hike in the debt ceiling to the House floor in exchange for negotiations on government spending and taxes. Democrats say if the House votes to raise the debt ceiling and reopen the government, they will negotiate.

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Books News & Features
2:35 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

Canada's Alice Munro Awarded Nobel In Literature

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 6:33 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And finally this hour, we celebrate the 110th winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, Alice Munro. She is the 13th woman to win the award. The Canadian writer was hailed by the Swedish academy as a master of the contemporary short story. Over her career, Munro has written 14 story collections and one novel. As NPR's Neda Ulaby reports, Munro began writing as a child in rural Western Ontario, raised in a family of tough Scottish Presbyterians.

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The Two-Way
2:24 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

Scott Carpenter, Second American To Orbit Earth, Dies

American astronaut Malcolm Scott Carpenter, the fourth American astronaut in space and the second to orbit Earth, died Thursday at the age of 88.
AP

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 4:14 pm

Scott Carpenter, the fourth American astronaut to fly in space and the second to orbit Earth, died on Thursday, a NASA official tells NPR.

Carpenter, an original Mercury 7 astronaut, was 88.

NPR's Russell Lewis filed this report for our Newscast unit:

"Scott Carpenter's 1962 flight was just five hours, and his mission was to determine how well humans could function in weightlessness. His capsule circled the Earth three times before returning for a parachute landing.

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The Two-Way
2:05 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

Baby Veronica's Biological Dad, Cherokee Nation Drop Legal Fight

This July 21, 2013, photo provided by Shannon Jones, attorney for Dusten Brown, shows Brown with his daughter, Veronica.
Uncredited AP

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 5:55 pm

In an emotional statement on Thursday, Baby Veronica's biological father said he and the Cherokee Nation were dropping the legal fight to regain custody of the 4-year-old girl.

"I know we did everything in our power to keep Veronica home with her family," Dusten Brown said in Oklahoma. "Veronica is only 4 years old, but her entire life has been lived in front of the media and the entire world. I cannot bear for [it to continue] any longer.

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The Salt
1:02 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

Catcher In The Fry? McDonald's Happy Meals With A Side Of Books

SerrNovik iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 3:12 pm

Fast-food giant McDonald's is set to become a publishing giant as well — at least temporarily. For two weeks next month, McDonald's says it will oust the toys that usually come in its Happy Meals and replace them with books it has published itself.

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All Songs Considered
1:01 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

The Good Listener: How Do You Get Your Parents Into New Music?

You don't need to attend Foreigner concerts in 2013 to bond with your parents over music.
Slaven Vlasic Getty Images

We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and amid the packages our kids discard in disgust for not including the new Pokemon 3DS games is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives — and, this week, tips on inter-generational bonding over music.

Jake Ibey writes via Facebook: "How do you introduce new music to a parent (mid-50s) who is stuck in late-'70s rock mode?"

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Parallels
12:16 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

If You Think Wealth Disparity Is Bad Here, Look At Russia

Prospective clients walk past yachts during the Millionaire Boat Show at the Royal Yacht Club in Moscow on Sept. 3, 2011. A new report says Russia has the highest rate of inequality in the world – barring some small Caribbean islands.
Sergei Karpukhin Reuters /Landov
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The Picture Show
12:03 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

For MacArthur 'Genius,' 'Love' Is The Essence Of Her Art

Carrie Mae Weems, a 2013 MacArthur Fellow.
John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 12:59 pm

Photographer and video artist Carrie Mae Weems was having a tough day at the studio last month when she learned that she had been named a MacArthur fellow.

"My assistants weren't doing some things they were supposed to be doing. And so I'm screaming at them, and just in the middle of my rant the phone rang," she tells NPR's Michel Martin. "I sunk into my chair, put my head down on my desk, and cried and laughed for about five minutes."

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Music News
12:03 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

A Young Torchbearer Lights The Way For New Orleans Music Students

Trombone Shorty, aka Troy Andrews, has started a foundation dedicated to music education in New Orleans.
Jonathan Mannion Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 6:33 pm

In New Orleans, it's cool to be in the high school band — especially when Trombone Shorty shows up in the band room.

The brass player and bandleader recently paid a visit to New Orleans' Warren Easton High School to work with band members. It's part of his work with the Trombone Shorty Foundation, a music education initiative.

"[Trombone Shorty] is, without a doubt, the role model for the next generation right now," says Bill Taylor, the foundation's executive director.

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The Two-Way
11:59 am
Thu October 10, 2013

Former Detroit Mayor Kilpatrick Sentenced To 28 Years

Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick on his way into court in March in Detroit.
Regina H. Boone MCT /Landov

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 12:45 pm

A federal judge on Thursday sentenced former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, who was once a rising star in the Democratic Party, to 28 years in prison over charges of corruption.

As we've reported, "Kilpatrick has faced a small mountain of charges in recent years and already served some time in prison for other crimes."

The AP reports:

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Shots - Health News
11:44 am
Thu October 10, 2013

Want To Feel 5 Years Older? Just Take A Memory Test

Playing this game won't make you feel older, unless you're already getting up there in age.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 2:11 pm

Researchers in a memory lab at Texas A&M University noticed that all the older people coming in as volunteers were really worried about how they'd do.

So the scientists decided to measure how taking a memory test affects a person's subjective sense of age.

Before the test, the 22 participants felt pretty darned good. Even though their average age was 75, they said they felt about 58.

Then they were given a list of 30 nouns, told to study them for two minutes, and then asked to recall as many of them as they could in three minutes.

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Music Reviews
11:13 am
Thu October 10, 2013

Two Bluegrass Truths From James King And Alan Jackson

James King.
Julie Lilliard King Courtesy of the artist

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Book Reviews
11:13 am
Thu October 10, 2013

Meet Ben's Sister Jane, History's Forgotten Franklin

Quill pen and ink
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 12:32 pm

"Her days were days of flesh." That's just one of a multitude of striking observations that Jill Lepore makes about Jane Franklin, the baby sister of Ben. What Lepore means by that line of near-poetry is that Jane Franklin's life, beginning at age 17 when she gave birth to the first of her 12 children, was one of nursing, lugging pails of night soil, butchering chickens, cooking and scrubbing.

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Movie Interviews
11:01 am
Thu October 10, 2013

From Child Actor To Artist: Radcliffe Reflects On Post-Potter Life

Daniel Radcliffe tells Fresh Air that his parents were initially hesitant about letting him play Harry Potter.
Warwick Saint

Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 10:11 am

Many child stars find themselves washed up by the time they reach adulthood, but Daniel Radcliffe's career is going strong — and that's no accident.

"There is never a moment's doubt in my mind that this is what I want to do," he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "If I die on a film set when I'm 80, I'll be happy with that."

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
11:00 am
Thu October 10, 2013

Van Gogh Teaches Us How To Keep Life Interesting

Vincent van Gogh, The Road Menders, 1889
Walter Larrimore Courtesy of The Phillips Collection

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 11:56 am

The two paintings are unmistakably by Vincent Van Gogh. Both show a street scene in the south of France, dominated by sturdy trees with limbs thrust upwards. Both show the same trees and the same houses and pedestrians — almost.

The Road Menders and The Large Plane Trees (Road Menders at Saint-Remy) were painted by Van Gogh in May 1889. They're so alike that they are sometimes called "copies." In fact, they're different: strikingly different in color, subtly different in detail.

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The Two-Way
11:00 am
Thu October 10, 2013

Report: Parks Shutdown Saps $750 Million In Visitor Spending

A hiker gazes 3,000 feet down to the Colorado River at Toroweap Overlook in Grand Canyon National Park. A parks advocacy group says the Grand Canyon region has lost 120,000 visitors and $11 million in visitor spending since the government shutdown began.
Courtesy of Wanda Gayle

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 12:28 pm

An estimated 7 million people have been shut out at 12 of the busiest and biggest U.S. national parks, costing parks and nearby communities about $76 million in lost visitor spending for each day the partial government shutdown drags on.

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The Salt
10:59 am
Thu October 10, 2013

Salmonella Shutdown? USDA Threatens Closure Of Major Chicken Plants

Foster Farms, the chicken processor at the center of a major salmonella outbreak, now faces the threat of a shutdown at its facilities.
PR Newswire

Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 9:17 am

Update: Friday, Oct. 11, 2013:

At 9:00 pm Thursday night, the USDA told us that Foster Farms had submitted and implemented immediate changes to their slaughter and processing systems to allow for continued operation.

"FSIS inspectors will verify that these changes are being implemented in a continuous and ongoing basis," Aaron Lavallee of USDA's FSIS told us. Additionally, to ensure that the Salmonella Heidelberg has been controlled, the agency says it will continue intensified sampling at Foster Farms facilities for at least the next 90 days.

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Books News & Features
10:25 am
Thu October 10, 2013

Alice Munro, 'Master' Of The Short Story, Wins Literature Nobel

Alice Munro has won the Nobel Prize in literature. The 82-year-old author recently announced that she plans to stop writing." href="/post/alice-munro-master-short-story-wins-literature-nobel" class="noexit lightbox">
Canadian author Alice Munro has won the Nobel Prize in literature. The 82-year-old author recently announced that she plans to stop writing.
AFP Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 6:31 pm

Alice Munro has been awarded the Nobel Prize in literature, the Swedish Academy announced Thursday morning. The academy often explains its decision — what it calls the "prize motivation" — with lush precision; recent winners have been praised for their "hallucinatory realism," "condensed, translucent images" and "sensual ecstasy." But for Munro, the committee came straight to the point: They called her simply "master of the contemporary short story."

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Shots - Health News
9:55 am
Thu October 10, 2013

As Health Insurance Choices Multiply, Buyers Face Challenges

Sizing up insurance options can be tricky.
iStockphoto.com

The state health insurance marketplaces that opened Oct. 1 give consumers who are looking for coverage on the individual market a whole new way to shop for health plans. At the same time, health insurance brokers and insurers will also continue to sell plans directly to customers. Sorting out who's selling what can be a challenge.

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