On Aug. 14, 2003, a series of cascading power failures led to a blackout that spread across the Northeast and as far west as Ohio. Some 50 million people were affected, and the power outages lasted up to 31 hours.
New York City was especially hard hit as the skyline went dark, and its 8 million residents coped without traffic lights or subways. We'll be exploring the lessons learned in the week ahead, but reporter Beth Fertig of member station WNYC reminds us what happened in her city.
Originally published on Sun August 11, 2013 12:59 pm
A leap of faith that sent an Arizona family bound for the South Pacific in a sailboat has returned them in an airplane after a harrowing ordeal at sea that saw them adrift and nearly out of food in one of the remotest stretches of ocean on the planet.
Originally published on Sun August 11, 2013 2:13 pm
An intense, week-long search for teenager Hannah Anderson and her alleged abductor ended in the Idaho wilderness when police shot and killed the suspect and rescued the girl.
Suspected kidnapper James DiMaggio, 40, was killed by an FBI agent after his campsite was discovered on Saturday in an aerial search of the rugged Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness, about 40 miles from the town of Cascade, Idaho.
Lancaster County, Pa., is well known for its pastoral landscape, Amish community, and agricultural heritage. Despite this reputation, few local chefs have embraced the farm-to-table concept until recently.
A restaurant called John J. Jeffries, in Lancaster City, was among the first. Although the menu changes seasonally, customers can order the restaurant's version of steak tartare year-round.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. It is August. Chances are where you are it's hot. So, maybe you want a drink to cool off. Will it be fruity or fizzy, maybe boozy? Whatever it is, Dan Pashman, host of the Sporkful podcast, thinks you may be overlooking one key ingredient: the ice. He joins us now from our New York studios. Hey Dan.
DAN PASHMAN, BYLINE: Hi, Rachel.
MARTIN: So, ice. This seems like a fairly forgettable part of a beverage experience. You say, no. Why?
On a hot summer afternoon in Albuquerque, N.M., the setting for the hit TV show Breaking Bad, a trolley that resembles a roving adobe house is packed with tourists.
The series follows Walter White, a chemistry teacher who turns to cooking methamphetamine to provide for his family after he gets cancer. The show, which begins its final season Sunday, has attracted critical acclaim, a slew of awards and rabid fans — some of whom have crammed onto the trolley for a tour of Breaking Bad filming sites.
Ah, the road trip - one of the great American summer rituals. But sharing this great tradition with other road trippers can also be intensely frustrating. Perhaps you've found yourself wondering why traffic jams take so long to clear up or why they seem to last so much longer than a crash. Well, Bill Beaty is a research engineer at the University of Washington. He has a little advice about that.
Baltimore, Maryland was one of the many American cities ravaged by the drug war. In the 1980s and '90s, drugs, mostly heroin and crack cocaine, flooded many of the city's neighborhoods. And with the drugs came violent crime. Today, to walk through some of those neighborhoods is to get an education in the underground drug economy - a group of kids on bicycles, a man in front of the corner grocery, a woman sitting on her front stoop. Any of them could be part of the drug chain.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.
The U.S. prison population has declined in the past few years but the incarceration rate is still the highest in the world. Prison overcrowding is a serious problem in several states, especially California. The federal government is weighing in on the issue too.
ATTORNEY GENERAL ERIC HOLDER: I think there are too many people in jail for too long and for not necessarily good reasons.
Each week, Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin brings listeners an unexpected side of the news by talking with someone personally affected by the stories making headlines.
In 2005, Brad Duke of Star, Idaho, hit a huge jackpot: $220 million in the Powerball lottery. It took a couple days, even a couple of weeks, for the magnitude of his win to hit. He didn't tell anyone, and went about his daily routines while he tried to figure out what he wanted to do next.
Life took a dramatic turn last week for 16 co-workers from a New Jersey town hit hard by Hurricane Sandy. The employees of a government garage in Ocean County reportedly have one of three winning tickets in the $448 million Powerball jackpot announced Wednesday.
Will their lives change for the better? Or will they end up like many lottery winners, losing the money, their relationships and their sense of self?
There are numbers all around us. They are in every word we speak or write, and in the passage of time. Everything in our world has a numeric foundation, but most of us don't see those numbers. It's different for Daniel Tammet. He's a savant with synesthesia, a condition that allows him to see beyond simple numerals — he experiences them.
Tammet drew attention around the world about a decade ago when he recited, from memory, the number pi. It took him five hours to call out 22,514 digits with no mistakes.
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."
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.
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?