There was a time when Debora Spar was used to being the only woman in the room. As a professor at Harvard Business School, she was surrounded by what she describes as "alpha men of the academic sort — men with big egos and big attitudes and an awful lot of testosterone."
Then, in 2008, she found herself in the opposite situation: She became the president of Barnard College, the women's college affiliated with Columbia University, where "there was barely a male in sight."
Ten years ago, literary scholar Carla Kaplan released an acclaimed edition of the letters of Zora Neale Hurston. In the course of researching Hurston's life, Kaplan became curious about the white women who were in Harlem in the same period as Hurston, women who risked family exile and social ostracism to be part of the artistic and political movements of the Harlem Renaissance. Now, Kaplan has published a cultural history of those women called Miss Anne in Harlem: The White Women of the Black Renaissance.
Originally published on Mon September 16, 2013 12:41 pm
For the first two millennia of McDonald's Breakfast Menu, very little changed, but the past several months have brought startling reforms. The company introduced the Egg White Delight McMuffin, which has 50 fewer calories and one fewer yellow spot than the regular McMuffin. They stopped slapping you in the face when you try to order the Fruit 'N Yogurt Parfait. And now, they bring us the Steak, Egg & Cheese McMuffin.
Originally published on Mon September 16, 2013 1:20 pm
Not long ago, we reported on a new University of Michigan study that found the more young people used Facebook, the worse they felt. According to the research, Facebook use led to declines in moment-to-moment happiness and overall life satisfaction.
Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 4:09 am
Chemical weapons were used in Syria "on a relatively large scale" on Aug. 21, says U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who issued a report by U.N. inspectors Monday. The attack killed civilians, "including many children," and constitutes a "war crime," Ban wrote. He expressed his "profound shock and regret" at the findings.
Ban received the report over the weekend from professor Ake Sellstrom of Sweden, who headed the inspection team in the incident that took place near Damascus. The secretary-general briefed the Security Council on the report earlier Monday.
Amid chanting and drumming, a crowd gathers in Sao Paulo and waits for the gods to come to them from the spirit world.
They are celebrating a sacred festival day in honor of Omulu, a deity of life and death. The women wear white dresses with crinolines, colorful belts and headdresses. The men wear lace, pajama-style suits. They sing and dance in a circle for hours; the room gets warmer, the chanting more intense.
Suddenly, they are here: Orixas have possessed the chosen among the faithful. They are spirit gods, the deified ancestors who link humans to the other world.
Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 6:10 am
The sprawling Washington Navy Yard, scene of a deadly shooting Monday, is the Navy's oldest shore establishment and has long been considered the "ceremonial gateway" to the nation's capital.
The yard went into operation at the turn of the 19th century. Today, it employs thousands of people and is regarded as the "quarterdeck of the Navy" for its role as headquarters for the Naval District Washington.
Originally published on Mon September 16, 2013 1:29 pm
Thousands of North Korean defectors have made their way to the South, but it rarely goes in the opposite direction. So, news that South Korean troops at the border shot and killed a man trying to swim north across the Imjin River is unusual.
Originally published on Mon September 16, 2013 1:36 pm
New York City Democrats breathed a sigh of relief late Monday morning when Bill Thompson conceded the mayoral primary to Bill de Blasio, avoiding what could have been a nasty intraparty battle.
Thompson, 60, made his announcement on the steps of New York's City Hall in lower Manhattan, flanked by de Blasio and New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
"I am proud to stand here today and support Bill de Blasio to be the next mayor of the city of New York," said Thompson, a centrist former city comptroller who finished a distant second in last week's nine-candidate primary.
Jazz pianist Art Hodes, born in Russia in 1904, grew up near Chicago. His recording career really took off in the 1940s in New York, where he also hosted a radio show and wrote for the magazine The Jazz Record. Later, he moved back to Chicago and the atmosphere that nurtured him.
We will go to NPR's business news in a moment. Right now, let's get an update on what we do know about a shooting at the U.S. Navy Yard in Washington, D.C. today. We have to begin by being frank. What we do not know exceeds what we do. NPR's Jennifer Ludden is on the scene of that shooting today - or near it - and she's on line. And Jennifer, what have you been learning?
Originally published on Mon September 16, 2013 9:26 am
The U.S.-Russia plan to rid Syria of chemical weapons by next summer faces many hurdles and includes "unrealistic" deadlines, says former U.N. weapons inspector David Kay, who worked on efforts to detail chemical weapons in Iraq.
Kay says the plan will require an international military presence — "boots on the ground" — to make sure the weapons don't fall into the wrong hands.
Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 6:41 am
As summer winds down and cool breezes fill the evenings here on much of the east coast, summer never ends in the music of Best Coast. "I Don't Know How" is the new single from the L.A.-based duo, featuring Bethany Cosentino and Bobb Bruno. The song is the last cut from their seven-song EP called Fade Away due out October 22.
NPR's Sylvia Poggioli on the salvaging of the Costa Concordia
The effort to shift the luxury cruise ship Consta Concordia into an upright position has begun, and several news outlets are streaming their coverage of what's said to be the biggest such operation of its kind ever.
In 1892, Mansfield University held the first night football game. Brand-new electric lights illuminated the field, just not very well. Squinting in the darkness, players tackled their own teammates and even the ref. Mansfield abandoned night games until this past Saturday, then the Pennsylvania school defeated Princeton. The athletic director says the 121-year pause between night games allowed time to work out the bugs.
It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Originally published on Mon September 16, 2013 4:02 pm
This post was last updated at 6 p.m. ET.
Helicopters were back in the air on Monday over the 15 counties across Colorado's Front Range where historic flooding has killed at least seven people, left hundreds more stranded and unaccounted for, and forced nearly 12,000 to evacuate their homes.
In a news conference, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper said 21 helicopters were conducting "search and rescue missions," and other teams were trying to assess the damage to transportation infrastructure.
Former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers has withdrawn from consideration as the next chairman of the Federal Reserve. He cited a potentially divisive nomination hearing. Summers was widely thought to be President Obama's top choice to replace Ben Bernanke next year.
Five years ago this week, a Canadian company proposed building a pipeline to send heavy crude oil from Alberta to U.S. refineries. Although the Obama administration's answer on the Keystone XL pipeline is not expected anytime soon, politicians in Washington and Canada are ramping up the pressure for the project, while environmentalists are pushing hard against it.
Chili's Grill & Bar is leading the way in digital dining. The restaurant chain is installing table-top computer screens to allow customers to place orders and swipe their credit card, according to The Wall Street Journal.
South Korean managers are heading back to their factories at a complex located just north of the Demilitarized Zone. They're teaming up with North Korean workers to test-run idle assembly lines. The complex has been closed for five months because of political tensions between the two countries.