By the loading dock of Seattle's downtown library, librarian Jared Mills checks his tire pressure, secures his iPads and locks down about 100 books to an aluminum trailer the size of a steamer trunk. The scene is reminiscent of something you'd see in an action movie, when the hero is gearing up for a big fight, but Mills is gearing up for something very different.
"If you're not prepared and don't have a lot of experience hauling a trailer, it can be kind of dangerous," Mills says, especially when you're going downhill. "The trailer can hold up to 500 pounds."
If a LEGO lion can take pride of place at the New York Public Library, why not video games in the reading rooms? The NYPLarcade program is a kind of book club for gamers, inviting participants to dive deep with discussions of strategy, game structure and more.
Credit Bebeto Matthews / AP
Baltimore County's Sollers Point library is one of many in the U.S. using video games to spur curiosity and otherwise keep teens engaged.
Credit Sollers Point Branch, Baltimore County Public Library
There's a battle going down at the Sollers Point Branch of the Baltimore County Public Library system. It's a one-point game in the fourth quarter with only seconds left on the game clock. Huddled around a big screen in a small room, 10 or so teenagers cheer on their joystick-wielding buddies. The ball is snapped, the kick is up ... no good. It's wide right, and the crowd goes wild, trash talk flying.
If you like mysteries, thrillers or zombie flicks, you'll probably like Abigail Goldman's art.
Goldman takes the fake grass, dirt and tiny plastic people used in model railroad layouts, and turns them into imaginary crime scenes. She's been making the macabre art for four years, and it's become so popular there's a waiting list for her work.
On-air challenge:Every answer is an anagram of a word that has the letters A-B-C in it.
Last week's challenge: Name a foreign make of automobile. Cross out several letters in its name. The remaining letters, reading in order from left to right, will spell a food that comes from the country where the car is made. What is the country, and what is the food?
While American kids stand in line for the ice cream truck on sweltering summer days, kids in Russia have historically queued up for something different: the kvas truck.
Kvas is a fermented grain drink, sort of like a barely alcoholic beer. And in the heat of the summer, it was served from a big barrel on wheels, with everyone lining up for their turn at the communal mug. It may sound like a far cry from rocket pops and ice cream sandwiches, but most Russians have fond memories.
When dealing with aches and pains, sometimes the best way to get better is to feel better — and fast. Some popular medicines of old favored additives like cocaine.
Credit Courtesy of the National Library of Medicine
According to pioneering American physician Benjamin Rush, a draught of strong beer would lead to cheerfulness and nourishment, while a pint of grog could lead to idleness, anarchy, or even murder.
Credit Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Drink Burdock Blood Bitters to settle your stomach, calm your nerves, restore youthful vigor — and maybe get a little bit tipsy. These bitters, like many tonics of the time, contained up to 20 percent alcohol.
Credit Courtesy of the National Library of Medicine
Originally published on Sat August 10, 2013 6:05 pm
Feeling bilious? Have a swig of tonic. Got a kid with a toothache? A dab of cocaine tooth powder could do the trick.
Much to the shock of our 21st-century sensibilities, popular remedies of the late 19th century often contained strong mind-altering substances like cocaine and opium. And while patients may not have understood what the ingredients were or what they did, these heavy-hitting patent drugs could deliver a feeling of well-being, which may, in some cases, have led to actual well-being.
This is WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Jacki Lyden.
Coming up, we have a remembrance of actress Karen Black who made a name for herself in Hollywood during the 1960s and '70s. First, though, we turn to the silver screen for a look at another actress of the 1970s, Linda Lovelace.
What's next for The Washington Post? With a new owner, the paper is stepping into a new era. Its path may lead to the ever-evolving future of journalism.
"There is no map, and charting a path ahead will not be easy," said Amazon founder Jeff Bezos with the announcement of his purchase Monday. "We will need to invent, which means we will need to experiment."
Originally published on Sat August 10, 2013 4:40 pm
At least 60 people are dead in Iraq after a wave of car bombs in mainly Shi'ite areas of Baghdad as Muslims observe the end of Ramadan, Eid al-Fitr. Scores more are reported wounded.
The attacks come amid an especially violent Ramadan for Iraq. The BBC reports that more than 650 people have been killed since the start of the annual Islamic fasting period. The news agency says in the latest attack, 11 bombs have ripped through cafes, markets and restaurants in at least nine different Baghdad districts.
Arpeggios ricochet through three speakers and envelop us. We're on the modernist Bauhaus staircase at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, listening to techno-inspired electronica. This piece is part of a new exhibit, "Soundings: A Contemporary Score," that opens today.
BARBARA LONDON: I wanted work that pushed limits, pushed boundaries.
And if you're just joining us, this is WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Jacki Lyden.
In the winter of 2012, I came across a story on a drive through central coastal Florida in the town of Fort Pierce. Route 1 is now dominated by strip malls and fading condos, but the Florida of the 1950s and '60s was a candy-colored Eisenhower, Kennedy space-age dream of flaming red Poinciana trees and untamed beaches.
The State Department has announced that 18 U.S. embassies closed last week because of terror threats will reopen tomorrow. The U.S. post in Sana'a, Yemen, however, will remain closed. Prudence Bushnell is a former U.S. Ambassador to Guatemala and Kenya. She joins us now to talk about this. Welcome to the program.
It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, from NPR News. I'm Jacki Lyden. Coming up, the story of a group of African-American landscape painters known as "The Highwaymen." But first, how much of a threat is al-Qaida today?
Time now for an idea worth spreading from the TED Radio Hour. What if there were a way to hack into your brain and make your life better. Neurosurgeon Andres Lozano is doing just that. He told host Guy Raz how.
DR. ANDRES LOZANO: We are able to adjust the activity of circuits in the brain by using electricity...
Originally published on Sat August 10, 2013 7:13 pm
(Updated 8:40 p.m. ET)
Sixteen-year-old Hannah Anderson, the subject of a multistate police search, was rescued alive Saturday, and the suspect in her abduction was killed in rural Idaho, the San Diego County, Calif., sheriff announced Saturday.
"Hannah was successfully rescued, and appears to be in pretty good shape," said Sheriff William Gore at a news conference.
Originally published on Sat August 10, 2013 12:58 pm
A former Microsoft executive and his teenage son are among the dead after a small plane crashed into an East Haven, Conn., neighborhood a few blocks short of the airport.
Pilot Bill Henningsgaard and his teenage son, Maxwell, were in the 10-seater turbo-prop when it struck two small homes near Tweed New Haven Airport on Friday, killing as many as four people, according to The Associated Press.
The family learned it was Bill Henningsgaard's plane through the tail number, his brother, Blair Henningsgaard, said.
A group of 20 students sits in a big circle in the front parlor of a Victorian mansion at Davis & Elkins College. Everyone has a fiddle. And all eyes are on the teacher. Heads bop and toes tap as Dave Bing plays a West Virginia tune called "Camp Chase." Outside, a bevy of banjos plink out a mournful melody. Down the road the mandolin and guitar classes combine to jam on a new tune they've learned.
Bob Odenkirk plays sleazeball lawyer Saul Goodman on AMC's <em>Breaking Bad</em>. The show is in its final season, but creator Vince Gilligan has talked about doing a spinoff series for Saul that would star Odenkirk.
Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:
Originally published on Sat August 10, 2013 1:08 pm
A confrontation between Protestants and Catholics in Belfast, Northern Ireland, erupted into violence overnight, injuring 56 police officers and two civilians.
"Belfast's main shopping district was turned into a battlefield last night as thousands of loyalists clashed with riot police to prevent a republican dissident rally passing down the city's main thoroughfare," The Guardian writes.
Last week, we featured a segment on the People's Short Doc Award, a competition for the best short radio documentary - short - under three minutes. The competition was curated by the Third Coast International Audio Festival and the theme was appetite. We played a bit from the doc that won third place then the runner-up, and finally with a drumroll and much fanfare, introduced the winning documentary.
UNIDENTIFIED CHILDREN: (Singing) Four and 20 blackbirds baked in a pie...
For more on the strained relationship between Russia and the U.S., we're joined by Steven Pifer. He's former ambassador to Ukraine, and a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution. Ambassador, welcome.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee. Scott Simon is away. This week, President Obama said he's open to reforms of the National Security Agency's surveillance program. Speaking at a White House news conference, the President said he still believes the programs have adequate protections for Americans' privacy.
This is WEEKEND EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee. This week, Amazon.com's Jeff Bezos bought The Washington Post; Google's Sergey Brin backed the creation of a lab-grown beef burger. Then there's Richard Branson and his commercial space flights, and Oracle CEO Larry Ellison's win in the America's Cup - a very small group of incredibly well-heeled men with the power, and the deep pockets, to effect real change in the world.
This week, the U.S. housing market showed a few more signs of life. New reports show home sales and prices rising. And those gains have been coming despite the recent rise in interest rates. Meanwhile, President Obama spoke out about changes he'd like to see in the mortgage market. We're joined now by NPR correspondent Chris Arnold who's been keeping an eye on all of this. Hi, Chris.