George Plimpton boxed with Archie Moore, played quarterback for the Detroit Lions, and played percussion for the New York Philharmonic. He did these jobs, and many others, as an amateur. Plimpton was a professional writer. A new documentary about his life makes the case that Plimpton's best story was his own story, as NPR's Joel Rose reports.
JOEL ROSE, BYLINE: When you listen to George Plimpton's voice, it's like hearing echoes of a New York that no longer exists.
A British driver who struck a cyclist with her car — and who then bragged about the incident on Twitter — has issued an apology. The incident caused an uproar after the collision Sunday.
"Definitely knocked a cyclist off his bike earlier - I have right of way he doesn't even pay road tax! #bloodycyclist," tweeted Emma Way, in a message that has been widely circulated despite her apparent attempts to delete it, and seemingly her Twitter account, @EmmaWay20.
Add this to the list of Democratic worries surrounding the wave of Obama administration scandals: the downstream effect.
It's prime candidate-recruiting season right now — the period in the two-year election cycle when officials in both parties fan out across the map in hopes of persuading prospective candidates to run for Congress. Issues and money always get plenty of attention, but the ability of party leaders to attract strong, capable candidates is vital to success on Election Day.
Two Oregon counties have reportedly rejected property tax increases that would have funded law enforcement and public safety services. The counties once received federal timber subsidies, but those days are over — and now they're scrambling to pay for essential services.
Chuck used to sell marijuana in California. But the legalization of medical marijuana in the state meant he was suddenly competing against hundreds of marijuana dispensaries. So he moved to New York, where marijuana is still 100 percent illegal. Since making the move, he says, he's quadrupled his income. (For the record: His name isn't really Chuck.)
The kerfuffle Tuesday and today on Twitter about the "news" that the creator of the GIF gets annoyed if he hears someone use a hard "G" when pronouncing the name of his file format triggered our aging memory banks.
Hadn't we heard a while back that GIF creator Steve Wilhite and many other tech types insist it's supposed to be pronounced with a soft "J," like Jif peanut butter?
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. Immigration reform heads to the Senate floor, ex-congressman Weiner guns for Gracie Mansion, and Senator Inhofe on the distinction between disaster aid for a superstorm and tornados. It's Wednesday, and time for a...
It's true enough that there's plenty wrong withGatsby Le Magnifique, as the French are calling the latest from director Baz Luhrmann. But what better film could there have been to open the sensory onslaught that is the Cannes Film Festival than one orchestrated by that patron saint of overstimulation?
Scientists have completed an unusual survey: a census of the fungi that inhabit different places on our skin. It's part of a big scientific push to better understand the microbes that live in and on our bodies.
"This is the first study of our fungi, which are yeast and other molds that live on the human body," says Julie Segre, of the National Human Genome Research Institute, who led the survey.
After years of trying to conceive, novelist Jennifer Gilmore and her husband decided to pursue a domestic open adoption. They were told they'd be matched within a year; it took four. And along the way they faced complicated decisions and heartbreak.
Finally today, I'm still thinking about that massive Powerball jackpot last weekend. That caused me to think about what's wrong with Powerball — the most important thing, of course, being the fact that I didn't win. You know you feel the same way. I'm sure I would have been a good winner. Like Oprah, I would use my powers for good and not evil. Like, I might buy a Bentley out of the showroom window, just to prove to myself that I could. But then I'd settle down and endow scholarships, and fix up blighted storefronts, and invest in local businesses.
Now we'd like to turn to a story that more than five months later is still painful. In the aftermath of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School last December, the Newtown, Connecticut community had many tough decisions to make. One of them was just what should happen to the elementary school where 26 people were killed.
Former CIA Director David Petraeus is under renewed scrutiny over the role he played in creating the discredited "talking points" about the attack that killed four Americans last year in Benghazi, Libya. The Washington Post has a front-page story Wednesday that suggests Petraeus sought to shape the resulting memo to favor his agency.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. For the end of our program today, we want to talk about two aspects of American style. In a few minutes, we're going to talk about tattoos. They used to be something you got when you went into the Army or to jail, but now they've gone mainstream. We'll talk with a leading tattoo artist about that in just a minute.
America has a love/hate relationship with tattoos, but body ink is becoming more and more mainstream. Host Michel Martin speaks with Fatty, the owner of Fatty's Custom Tattooz in Washington, D.C, about America's fascination with tattoos, and the fading cultural taboos.
I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Today, as you would expect, we are continuing to follow events in Moore, Okla., where residents are recovering from the impact of a deadly tornado. We decided to call on leaders from Joplin, Mo. Two years ago today, that town was also hit. So we thought this would be a good time to check in on Joplin's recovery, and see if there are any lessons Joplin residents can offer their neighbors.
This is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, I'll talk about how that massive Powerball jackpot last weekend made me think about all the ways Americans are winners, even if they didn't buy the golden ticket. That's in my Can I Just Tell You essay, and that's later.
Great Britain is in the midst of a measles epidemic, one that public health officials say is the result of parents refusing to vaccinate their children after a safety scare that was later proved to be fraudulent.
More than 1,200 people have come down with measles so far this year, following nearly 2,000 cases in 2012. Many of the cases have been in Wales.
In the nearly impenetrable language that comes with his job, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told Congress on Wednesday that even though the economy is doing better, the central bank needs to keep giving it a boost.
I freely admit that, until the new Random Access Memories, I wasn't much of a Daft Punk fan. I could appreciate the craft and imagination that went into creating the French duo's mixture of electronic genres — techno, house, disco — but the mechanical repetitions and heavily filtered vocals didn't turn me on in any other way.
An international group of plant pathologists has solved a historical mystery behind Ireland's Great Famine.
Sure, scientists have known for a while that a funguslike organism called Phytophthora infestans was responsible for the potato blight that plagued Ireland starting in the 1840s. But there are many different strains of the pathogen that cause the disease, and scientists have finally discovered the one that triggered the Great Famine.