This weekend, independent video game developers and fans gathered for the international IndieCade Festival in Los Angeles.
One of the featured speakers Saturday was sound designer Ben Prunty, who integrates audio into some of the most popular independent video games. Prunty composed the soundtrack to the computer game Faster Than Light, which was nominated for IGN's Best Overall Music and Best PC Sound of 2012.
Over the last year of so, Tesla motors has received some really good press. But this past week, it's been knocked off its pedestal.
"We're a country that likes to put things up on pedestals and then tear them down from pedestals. We do that with people, I think we do that with things," says Jack Nerad, an analyst with Kelley Blue Book.
It's been a weekend of horrific violence in Iraq, and September had the highest number of civilian deaths since the U.S. withdrawal. Host Arun Rath speaks with Adam Schreck, Baghdad bureau chief for The Associated Press, about the on-going sectarian violence there.
In June, the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act said that the federal government must recognize same-sex marriages from states that allow them. Since the decision, couples in states which do not recognize same-sex marriages have filed a flurry of lawsuits.
Conditions are ripe for litigation in those states, like Pennsylvania. In July, a rogue county clerk outside Philadelphia started granting marriage licenses to gays and lesbians, defying the state's ban.
The vast majority of professional scientists, mathematicians and engineers are men. But why? More young women than ever are pursuing advanced degrees, but there are still very few female professors of physics, math or engineering. We caught up with some young women at UCLA, all good students who had scored well enough in math to get into UCLA, and asked them why they decided not to study science or math in college.
Tension, distrust, hostility: For more than 30 years, those words have described the relationship between Iran and the United States. But there's one other overriding word to describe it: silence.
Since 1979, no American president had spoken with a leader of Iran. That all changed on Sept. 27, when President Obama entered the White House briefing room and said that he had spoken with Hassan Rouhani, Iran's new president, by telephone.
Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 7:00 am
Three days of mourning have been declared in Chihuahua, Mexico, where at least eight people were killed by an out-of-control monster truck this weekend. A crowd had gathered to watch the truck at an outdoor arena that lacked any visible barriers.
From Mexico, James Blears reports for our Newscast unit that the truck went from crushing cars to plunging into a crowd of spectators, leaving eight dead and dozens more injured:
With a government shutdown nearing its second week, there were no signs of a new deal in Washington Sunday. But several leaders are speaking out about the impasse, even as they look ahead to the next battle: an Oct. 17 deadline to raise the U.S. debt ceiling.
When House Speaker John Boehner was asked on ABC's This Week about the possibility that he might present a "clean" funding bill that doesn't attack the new health care system in the Affordable Care Act, the Ohio Republican said there was no point.
Originally published on Sun October 6, 2013 12:21 pm
Students in a Virginia school system are now eating hamburgers with additives in them, after officials heeded their complaints about the appearance and taste of the all-beef burgers it had been serving. The burgers that are now being served include a reported 26 ingredients.
Cellist and composer Erik Friedlander lost his wife of many years, dancer and choreographer Lynn Shapiro, to breast cancer in 2011. She'd been diagnosed a decade earlier, and Friedlander says music became a place of vital release for him as her condition worsened.
"During the difficult years, I did take refuge in working," he says. "It was a place where I could make the rules; where I could control what I could control."
This is WEEKEND EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. Fifteen years ago today, a young man named Matthew Shepard was beaten and tied to a fence outside Laramie, Wyo. He later died of those injuries. The two men convicted of his murder, Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson, were said to have been motivated by hate because Matthew was gay. The event drew national attention. President Bill Clinton condemned it as a hate crime.
Originally published on Sun October 6, 2013 12:23 pm
In a referendum marked by a large turnout and an emphatic result, the people of Newtown, Conn., have voted to demolish Sandy Hook Elementary and build a new school. Sandy Hook was the scene of a mass shooting last December, when 20 children and six staff members were killed.
Saturday's vote asked citizens to decide whether to take nearly $50 million in state money to fund the demolition of Sandy Hook and the planning and construction of a new school on essentially the same site.
On-air challenge:For each given category, name things in the category starting with the letters R, H, Y, M, E. For example, if the category were "chemical elements with names ending in -ium," you might say: radium, helium, yttrium, magnesium and einsteinium. You can give the answers in any order, and any answer that works is fine.
Iran has arrested four people who it says were intent on sabotaging facilities in its nuclear program. The head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran says the four are now being questioned.
"Some time ago, a number of people were arrested in one of the (nuclear) facilities when they were involved in planning activities," Ali Akbar Salehi said Sunday, according to Iran's state-run Tasnim News Agency.
Originally published on Sun October 6, 2013 12:29 pm
Suicide car bombers carried out a deadly strike on a school and a police station near Tel Afar, a small town in northeastern Iraq, Sunday. At least 12 students and their principal died in the attack on an elementary school, according to reports.
Part of the school building is believed to have collapsed as a result of the blast. The suicide bombing at the town's police station reportedly did not cause further casualties.
Originally published on Sun October 6, 2013 8:09 am
In Syria, a team of international weapons experts has begun the process of destroying the country's chemical weapons arsenal.
"The inspectors used sledgehammers and explosives to begin the work," NPR's Deborah Amos reports for our Newscast unit. "They are on a tight deadline to destroy more than 1,000 tons of nerve gas and banned weapons within a year."
Originally published on Sun October 6, 2013 7:50 am
Karen, once feared to hit the U.S. Gulf Coast as a hurricane, has stalled out and weakened into a tropical depression. The National Weather Service says the storm is "drifting" at 2 mph, moving toward Louisiana's southeastern edge. As of early Sunday morning, it was about 165 miles west-southwest of the mouth of the Mississippi River.
Phyllis Chesler and Abdul-Kareem met in college. She was an 18-year-old Jewish girl from the East Coast; he was a young Muslim man from a wealthy Afghan family. They fell in love over New Wave cinema, poetry and existentialism, and eventually they married.
In her new memoir, An American Bride in Kabul, Chesler tells her story of excitedly traveling to Afghanistan in 1961 with her new husband, who said he wanted to be a modernizing force in his country. But, as she tells NPR's Rachel Martin, her passport was almost immediately confiscated upon arrival.
By a slight margin, Americans think Republicans are to blame for the government shutdown, says Michael Dimock, director of the Pew Research Center for People and the Press. Dimock talks to host Rachel Martin about how the public is responding to the standoff in Congress.
As we just heard, the government shutdown is affecting people inside and outside the Beltway. All over the country, there are workers going without pay and services grinding to a halt. But the government shutdown has also made for some great comedic fodder. Here's late night host Stephen Colbert earlier this week.
The shutdown is affecting communities all over the country. We're going now to San Diego. There is a big U.S. Navy presence in town and San Diego is home to the Miramar Air Show. But that show has been cancelled this weekend due to the partial government shutdown. In past years, the event has drawn over half a million people, earned millions of dollars for programs that help military families. NPR's Sam Sanders reports from San Diego.
It's chile season in New Mexico, where they take their chiles pretty seriously.
Indeed, the chile is the official state vegetable, so it's probably best to not mention it is actually a fruit. No matter what it is, the fall harvest is on, and that means it's time to fire up the grills.
Green chiles roasting over a hot gas flame give off a smoky, sweet, pungent perfume.
That smell is part of what has drawn customers like Lorenzo and Peggy Lucero to the Diaz farm in Deming, in southwest New Mexico, for the past 30 years.
Melissa de la Cruz and her husband Michael Johnston are the co-authors of Frozen.
How is this a risky read, you might ask? Piers Anthony's Xanth series is a tongue-firmly-in-cheek affair, filled with awful puns about bad dreams delivered by horses — literal "night mares" — and corny jokes about how Xanth is eerily similar to the geography of Florida, the author's home state.
Isn't this book just funny? How is it risky? Or dark? Or adult? Yet precisely because of its naughty, offhand humor, we found it risky and thrilling. Let us explain ...
The Taliban have been waging a particularly bloody offensive this year now that Afghan government forces are in charge of security. The result: Afghan army and police are suffering record numbers of casualties — far more than NATO ever did at the height of its troop presence in Afghanistan.
So even as NATO forces are preparing to leave, they are working to bolster the medical capabilities of Afghan forces at hospitals, clinics and training centers across the country.
Mountain climbing requires stamina and skill, but at some point — especially on the world's tallest and riskiest peaks — it becomes a game of chance. In August of 2008, if you were one of the dozens of people trying to climb to the top of K2, the odds of your living to tell your story weren't good: During the last push to the summit and the immediate descent that followed, 11 people died.
In the documentary The Summit, filmmaker Nick Ryan tries to piece together what happened in what has been called the deadliest event in modern mountain climbing.
Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 2:56 pm
What will it take to make intrauterine devices sexy?
IUDs are highly effective forms of contraception, but fear of side effects, lack of training for doctors and costs can keep women away. Health organizations and private companies are trying to change that by breaking down misconceptions and broadening access.
The contraceptives are inserted into the uterus and can prevent pregnancy for years. And they're reversible. Shortly after they're taken out, a woman can become pregnant.