Jason Samenow, The Washington Post's weather editor and chief meteorologist of the Capital Weather Gang, tells Robert Siegel about the weather phenomenon known as the "polar vortex." It means frigid temperatures and wind chill in much of the country.
"Historic" โ that's one of the terms being used to describe the brutally cold temperatures across the Midwest and other parts of the country. Some temperatures are the lowest recorded in two decades, many in the single digits or below zero with wind chills predicted as low as minus 50.
Top commanders in the U.S. Army have announced publicly that they have a problem: They have too many "toxic leaders" โ the kind of bosses who make their employees miserable. Many corporations share a similar problem, but in the Army's case, destructive leadership can potentially have life or death consequences. So, some Army researchers are wondering if toxic officers have contributed to soldiers' mental health problems.
I began last year with some ambitious goals as far as music goes. I vowed to go to more live shows, to pay more attention to lyrics and to spend more time in general with the albums I hear. This was in addition to losing weight, writing a novel and quitting World Of Warcraft. (Ha ha, just kidding! Why would anyone quit World Of Warcraft?).
Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 12:01 pm
It's -16 degrees today here in Chicago, which for many of us has triggered hibernation mode. Fortunately the great Jerry's Sandwiches has created the Ignatius R., with enough calories to get us to the end of winter, which we expect to occur sometime in August.
The ingredient list: fried chicken, cold hickory-smoked sirloin, applewood bacon, fresh mozzarella, lettuce, Carolina vinegar, fried shrimp, fried green tomato, mortadella, country ham, pickled okra, American cheese, lettuce, tomato, and Southwest mayo on a potato bun.
Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 6:38 am
Frostbite isn't usually a major worry here in Washington, D.C., but with wind chills below zero forecast for half of the Lower 48 by Tuesday morning, millions of people from the Plains to the East Coast will have to start thinking like Arctic explorers while waiting for a school bus or heading to work.
Noses, fingers, toes and ears face the biggest risk. Those body parts have less blood flowing through them and a lot less mass than the body's core. They're also more likely to be exposed to the elements. Obviously, bundling up those tender parts is key.
Bangladesh's parliamentary election Sunday proved to be among the most violent vote in the country's short history. At least 18 people were killed, including an election officer who was beaten to death, and scores of polling stations firebombed, according to local media reports.
When you think about what Downton Abbey has achieved, and is continuing to pull off, it's actually pretty remarkable. In an era when the most acclaimed TV series of the decade is an edgy cable drama about a dying, meth-making criminal, Downton Abbey draws similarly large audiences on broadcast TV โ public TV, at that โ with an old-fashioned soap opera about servants and household staffers and those they serve. As Season 4 begins on PBS, Downton Abbey is the most popular drama in the history of public television.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, high unemployment in the U.S. is an ongoing political issue - one reason lawmakers right now are starting to talk about extending long-term unemployment benefits. But younger workers have been particularly hard hit during the world-wide economic slowdown. We're going to take a look how youth unemployment around the world is affecting political discussions. That's in just a few minutes.
Switching gears now. Unemployment for young people is another one of those contentious political issues as well as a burden for people living through it. Overall, the unemployment rate in the U.S. is just over 7 percent, but for younger workers it's much higher. For some young workers or would-be workers in sub-groups like black teens, unemployment is at depression levels. But what you might not know is that youth unemployment is a global concern.
A stylish if ultimately silly attempt to marry erotic puzzler and art-world critique, The Best Offer benefits from assured performances and an agreeably nutty Ennio Morricone score. The movie plays as if director Giuseppe Tornatore (best known for Cinema Paradiso) is doing all he can with a dubious script. But he's the one who wrote it.
Much as families reunite around the holidays, Jazz at Lincoln Center's artistic director Wynton Marsalis convened his own family reunion of sorts at the end of the year. His septet(s), his working configuration of the 1990s and easily among his best bands, gathered anew for a six-night run to cap the year โ including New Year's Eve. The four-horn frontline showcases Marsalis the arranger; the rhythm section floats it with buoyant bounce. Along with WBGO host Josh Jackson, the septet rang in 2014 at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola in New York.
A photograph published Sunday by USA Today along with a story about the frigid weather sweeping across much of the nation led to the discovery of a man from western New York state who had been missing since New Year's Day.
There is something prickly and provocative about the back story of Spike Jonze's Her, a futuristic drama in which a man named Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix) falls in love, as it were, with his artificially intelligent operating system.
Originally published on Mon January 6, 2014 10:50 am
It's hard to imagine a much more dramatic weekend of NFL playoff games.
There was the big comeback by the Indianapolis Colts, who had fallen 28 points behind the Kansas City Chiefs.
Indy bounced back to win a 45-44 thriller.
The game included arguably the most amazing play of the weekend: Colts quarterback Andrew Luck's touchdown late in the fourth quarter when he picked up a ball that had bounced off a teammate's shoulder. Luck dove toward the end zone and managed to just stretch across the goal line.
One of the challenges of writing about China is the country moves fast โ sometimes faster than the publishing business. Take Enigma of China, the latest detective novel by Chinese-American author Qiu Xiaolong.
In one scene, Qiu's main character, Inspector Chen, sits in a Shanghai restaurant scanning a hotel where government agents are holding a corrupt official in secret detention.
Recently, Qiu took me on a tour of the book's real-life settings, including the site of that eatery.
I have a few quibbles with this lengthy profile/evaluation of Jennifer Weiner in The New Yorker, particularly in that it makes the common error of describing her argument as primarily about why her own books are not considered literary fiction, when in fact a major part of her argument is that commercial/genre fiction market