Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 3:59 pm
Before President Obama canceled his Asia trip, some of us wondered how he could possibly leave the U.S., especially for the exotic resort island of Bali, during the federal government shutdown.
Forget the logistical complications caused by having so many staffers unable to work the trip. What about the optics of having the president at a lush tourist destination while hundreds of thousands of government workers were furloughed and worried about missing paychecks?
Obama solved that potential problem by canceling his overseas trip, which would have started Saturday evening.
Movie lovers have Netflix, music lovers have Spotify — and book lovers (whether they read literary fiction or best-selling potboilers) now have Scribd. The document sharing website has been around since 2007, but this week it launched a subscription service for e-book lending.
Originally published on Thu October 17, 2013 8:12 am
Until recently, if you wanted to find out the rules for raising goats in Hollywood, bees in Bel Air or squash in a community garden in South Central Los Angeles, it would have been pretty tough — like standing in various lines at the DMV.
The eye-popping new movie Gravity will make you very grateful you're planted on terra firma. It's a thriller directed by Alfonso Cuaron, in which shuttle astronauts on a spacewalk are stranded after a collision with a vast cloud of space debris.
And one of those astronauts — played by Sandra Bullock — is left on her own, hundreds of miles above Earth. She's running out of oxygen and tumbling untethered through the void of space.
On this episode of Piano Jazz, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Carline Ray is Marian McPartland's guest for a session recorded in 1997. The two veteran performers get together to perform a set including tunes by Duke Ellington, the Gershwins, Jimmy Van Heusen & Johnny Burke, and more.
Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 3:42 pm
James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, told Congress this week that the partial federal government shutdown has forced the furlough of some 70 percent of employees throughout the intelligence community.
"I've never seen anything like this," said Clapper, a 50-year veteran of intelligence work.
So what impact is all this having on the spy world?
In a season in which we're all talking about AMC's phenomenal Breaking Bad and Netflix's elating Orange Is the New Black, Hollywood needs you, your kids and everyone in Europe and China to get out from behind those TV monitors and into theaters. Movie studios are falling behind on compelling narratives. But they can give you what TV can't: absolute, total bombardment.
Originally published on Sun October 6, 2013 7:07 am
It must be draining to do eight interviews in a row, but Benjamin Netanyahu seemed energized by it. The Israeli prime minister walked into our meeting in a New York hotel room bantering and smiling. He commented on the shades (pulled down to avoid a backlit photo) and noticed a novel that our engineer had brought along. Netanyahu picked it up and looked it over — a novel by Joe Hill, the pen name for the son of Stephen King.
Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 1:12 pm
A weakened Tropical Storm Karen, the first named system this year to threaten the U.S., still has its sights set on the Louisiana coast, but the National Hurricane Center has shifted the system's path a bit.
At 10 a.m. CDT, the storm was about 250 miles south southwest of the mouth of the Mississippi River, moving at about 10 mph with maximum sustained winds of 50 mph.
Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 2:10 pm
Five Dances might be the least talky movie I've seen in months — but it's plenty expressive. What it says, it says silently, or at least nonverbally, in the music-and-movement language of Jonah Bokaer's haunting choreography, which speaks of solitary strivings and the brief, passionate connections that punctuate them.
Kuma's Corner, a Chicago restaurant that's built a reputation with foodies for its venturesome dishes, "has cooked up a controversial burger of the month for October, garnishing it with an unconsecrated communion wafer and a red wine reduction sauce," The Associated Press says.
As the budgetary stalemate in Washington continues, many federally funded science projects are now on hold. Matthew Hourihan of the American Association for the Advancement of Science describes some of the effects of the funding impasse on research programs, from the CDC to NASA.
After years of discrimination from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, black farmers are now getting a $1.25 billion settlement. Founder and president of the National Black Farmers Association John Boyd tells host Michel Martin what this settlement means for farmers and their families.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. After decades of litigation, checks are going out this week to thousands of black farmers who - lawmakers eventually agreed - faced discrimination by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. We'll speak with one of the people who helped lead the fight for years, even though he will not personally benefit. That's in just a few minutes.
Mark Ward is the U.S. State Department's senior adviser on assistance to Syria, and when he heard the Syrian border town of Azaz was overrun by an offshoot of al-Qaida in September, he knew it was time to get creative again.
"You always have to have a plan B in this kind of work," he says.
Ward is based in Turkey. His job is to oversee a growing and unusual U.S. humanitarian assistance program in rebel-held areas in seven provinces across northern Syria.
William Masters and Virginia Johnson became famous in the 1960s for their groundbreaking and controversial research into the physiology of human sexuality. Instead of just asking people about their sex lives, Masters and Johnson actually observed volunteers engaging in self-stimulation and sexual intercourse. Changes throughout their bodies during arousal were measured with medical equipment.