In Virginia, there is a cold, damp relic of American ingenuity called the Crozet Tunnel. It was built in the 1850s for the Blue Ridge railroad. For a time, it was the longest tunnel in America, nearly a mile long, under Afton Mountain. Well, today, it's abandoned. But for years, local officials wanted to turn it into a walking path. Well, now it looks like that'll happen.
Reporter Eric Mennel visited the tunnel before it's a change.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
And I'm Robert Siegel. Ten years ago tomorrow, a sagging electrical line outside of Cleveland touched some overgrown tree limbs. That seemingly minor event triggered a chain reaction and a massive power outage. The blackout affected some 50 million people in eight states and Canada. From member station WCPN, David C. Barnett reports on the biggest power blackout in U.S. history and some of the changes that it prompted.
At Blue Ridge Veterinary Blood Bank in Purcellville, Va., dog holder Diane Garcia snuggles with one-year-old Doberman Leon as phlebotomist Rebecca Pearce taps his jugular vein to start the blood draw. Leon's "mom," Carrie Smalser, feeds him peanut butter, to keep him happily distracted and calm.
Credit Christopher Connelly / NPR
"It's pretty slim pickin's," Blue Ridge Veterinary Blood Bank manager Jocelyn Pratt says of the fridge where she stores packed red blood cells before they are mailed out. More than half of these will be gone by the end of the day, she predicts.
America is facing a blood shortage — a shortage of dog blood. Whether Fido tangles with a car and loses, or Barky contracts a blood-damaging disease, dogs — like their people — sometimes need transfusions. And while there's no centralized Red Cross for Rover, there are a few commercial canine blood banks across the country, and many veterinary schools do their own blood banking.
At a Human Library event at the Santa Monica Public Library, a police detective "book" talks to two "readers." Human Library events and projects, which are held at libraries across the country, allow participants to "check out" volunteers and have conversations about their life experiences.
Credit Annie Wyndham Solomon (Wynsolo Photography) / Santa Monica Public Library
What's the point of a library in the digital age? It's a question that makes librarians bristle. They are quick to remind you that they are not just repositories for printed books and DVDs. Regular patrons know this, but public libraries want to reach beyond the faithful. To that end, many librarians are finding creative ways to get people through the doors despite their limited resources.
While the cat's away, the mice will play rock-and-roll! On this week's episode of All Songs Considered, with Bob Boilen on vacation (to hunt through the treasure trove of memorabilia in his basement), co-host Robin Hilton and NPR Music's Stephen Thompson attempt to fulfill their vision of a perfect bizarro world episode, with premieres from Cults, Minor Alps, Weed and more.
One question remains: Can Bob really resist the temptation of trying to ruin Stephen's vision of a Bob-less show? Hear the show to find out.
Originally published on Tue August 13, 2013 1:46 pm
Derision: It's what would usually greet plans for a futuristic transportation system that could take passengers from Los Angeles to San Francisco in 30 minutes. But when Elon Musk, the billionaire inventor behind PayPal, Tesla and SpaceX, unveils such a plan, the world pays attention (even if it draws skeptics).
'Stranger Danger' used to be the mantra parents taught their kids to keep them safe. But now we're learning that strangers aren't the main problem - children are usually harmed by people they already know. Guest host Celeste Headlee talks child safety with a roundtable of experts and parents.
With so many marriages ending in divorce today, some people wonder if the legal definition of marriage needs updating. One lawyer, Paul Rampell, says maybe it's time to consider 'leasing' your marriage - with the option to renew. Guest host Celeste Headlee talks to Rampell about his idea.
Now we want to hear from one of the plaintiffs in the New York's stop-and-frisk lawsuit. Nicholas Peart is a lifelong resident of Harlem. He told his story to StoryCorp, that's the national project that records interviews between families and friends across the nation. More than once, he was stopped by police and patted down. One of the first incidents occurred seven years ago while he was out celebrating his 18th birthday, and he talked about that night in his own words.
A federal judge says New York City's stop-and-frisk policies have violated the rights of thousands of people. Guest Host Celeste Headlee discusses the ruling with Scott Burns of the National District Attorneys Association and criminal justice professor Delores Jones-Brown.
Valerie June wants to be on your mind; to get inside your head. She writes or co-writes songs that mix blues, gospel, folk and soul, and which describe emotional isolation, financial deprivation and insecurity about her place in the world. She's unafraid to proclaim her neediness — perhaps because, possessed of a powerful voice, she knows that her vulnerability isn't likely to come off as passive or self-pitying on Pushin' Against a Stone.
Originally published on Tue August 13, 2013 11:54 am
The railway whose crude oil-carrying train derailed and exploded in the center of Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, last month can no longer operate in Canada, the country's Transportation Agency says. The disaster resulted in more than 40 deaths and the destruction of many of the town's central buildings.
A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that the Obama administration is breaking the law by delaying its review of a plan to store nuclear waste in Nevada. The court ruled that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission must complete its licensing process — that is, approve or reject — the Energy Department's plan for the waste site in Nevada.
NPR's Geoff Brumfiel filed this report for our Newscast unit:
"The Nuclear Regulatory Commission's original job was to issue or deny a license to build a nuclear waste dump inside Yucca Mountain, Nevada.
Originally published on Mon August 26, 2013 10:47 am
Few musicians today are as versatile as Marcus Miller: bassist, keyboardist, bass clarinetist, film composer, producer and more. He does jazz, rock, jazz-rock, pop, R&B, smooth jazz — anything that black musicians have invented in the last half-century. He was in Miles Davis' last band, and the ethos of that music tends to carry over into his own. His band closed out day one on the main Fort stage.
Originally published on Tue August 13, 2013 11:21 am
Tensions over fishing rights and border checks are driving officials in Spain and Britain to consider legal options in their newly escalated dispute over the status of Gibraltar.
In recent weeks, Spain has insisted on performing comprehensive border checks that slow traffic to Gibraltar, a rocky outcropping of land at the southern tip of the Iberian Peninsula, in a move seen as an answer to Gibraltar's creation of a concrete reef in disputed waters.
Originally published on Tue August 13, 2013 11:05 am
Meet Pamela Maria Wright — the "contemporary Latina consumer." She has two kids — Nico and Rita — whom she hopes will be bilingual, as she is. She's a tech-savvy working professional with a master's degree, but she's also very traditional and family-oriented. (While I was visiting her home, her father showed up for a surprise visit. "How much more Latino can you get?" Wright asked.)
Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 3:27 pm
Two British scientists are dumping cold water on campaigns to promote urban beekeeping. They say that trying to "help the bees" by setting out more hives is naive and misguided if the bees can't find enough flowers nearby to feed on. You'll just end up with sick and starving bees.
Now that the Supreme Court has ruled that the federal ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, federal agencies have to figure out the regulations that govern everything from immigration permission to income taxes.
Originally published on Tue August 13, 2013 10:09 am
The appearance of a Brazilian fish has sent a chill through summertime swimmers in Sweden and Denmark. The alarming fish isn't the much-feared piranha but its cousin, the pacu, which has large teeth and a reputation for attacking men's testicles.