The man whose research led to the world's first test-tube baby more than three decades ago, has died at age 87.
Robert Edwards, who later won the Nobel Prize, began experimenting with in vitro fertilization, or IVF, in the late 1960s. His work, controversial at the time, eventually led to the birth of the world's first "test tube baby," Louise Brown, on July 25, 1978.
Since then, IVF has resulted in about 5 million babies worldwide, according to the European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology.
Originally published on Mon April 15, 2013 2:37 pm
Roasted fish on a stick is OK, but wouldn't it be nice to be able to cook up some fish soup?
That's what might have crossed the minds of hunter-gatherers who made the world's first cooking pots. A new analysis of pottery made 15,000 years ago in what's now Japan reveals that it was used to cook seafood, probably salmon.
Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 12:23 pm
NEAL CONAN, HOST:
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. Robin Kelly's in in Chicago, Anthony Weiner wants back in in New York, and Mitch McConnell claims somebody broke in and bugged his campaign office. It's Wednesday and time for...
SENATOR MITCH MCCONNELL: Nixonian...
CONAN: Edition of the Political Junkie.
(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDINGS)
PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: There you go again.
VICE PRESIDENT WALTER MONDALE: When I hear your new ideas, I'm reminded of that ad: Where's the beef?
Names are possessions that we carry with us all our lives. But we seldom think about what goes into picking the right one. Some choose to change their first names in adulthood, because of family history or pure disdain for a moniker. For Silas Hansen, the reason was that he's transgender.
Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 7:04 am
The patent medicines sold in days gone by may, contrary to the name, not have had real government patents. But that didn't stop their makers from claiming the concoctions could cure ailments ranging from indigestion to jaundice and fever.
Now, researchers have put some of these old elixirs and pills in the Henry Ford Museum's large collection of patent medicines to a modern test. They found a mix of potentially harmful metals like lead and mercury along with benign ingredients, including calcium and iron.
I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Today, we're going to be talking about something that preoccupies many Americans, no more so than since last December. That, of course, is when that awful shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., took place.
Do you mind if I say this? You look great. The hair is on point. I love the way that shirt goes with that sweater. And, no, that's not the only thing I care about about you. But, yes, I do appreciate a good looking....whoever you are. And now that I think about it, whoever you are, it would be great if we could all just admit that that how you feel about what I just said well, it depends. It depends on who you are, what you do and, yes, how badly you need or want that compliment.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, can I tell you how great you look? No? Well, that's my Can I Just Tell You essay and it's coming up in a few minutes.
But first, we are focusing on the economic progress or lack thereof facing African-Americans. This year marks the 50th anniversary of a number of important dates in civil rights history, including the march on Washington and Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have A Dream" speech.
And next, the latest in our series, Muses and Metaphor. We're celebrating National Poetry Month by hearing your poetic tweets. We've been hearing your poems that are 140 characters or less. We call our series Muses and Metaphor.
Today's poem comes from Christina Lux of Lawrence, Kansas. She's the assistant director of the African Studies Center at the University of Kansas. Our series curator, Holly Bass, says this tweet reminded her of how poetry can help us sort out difficult emotions and share personal pain. Here it is.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Later in the program, we are going to talk about some provocative new research that sheds some light on how personal relationships play a role in getting a job and we'll talk about how that plays out differently or may play out differently for whites and minorities. That's coming up later in the program.
Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 12:50 pm
The U.S. Postal Service has backed off a plan to halt Saturday mail delivery, saying that Congress has forced it to continue the service despite massive cost overruns.
In a statement released Wednesday, the USPS Board of Governors said restrictive language included in the latest Continuing Resolution, which keeps the government operating until September in lieu of a budget, prevents it from going ahead with the plan.
Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 11:41 am
A young man is parading the streets of the city of Glasgow with a slogan daubed onto the back of his black leather jacket in big, freshly painted white letters. "We're havin' a party," it declares. "Thatcher's dead."
In what was the coal belt of northern England, a burly former miner lights up an enormous cigar and takes a satisfied puff. He says he's looking forward to a few celebratory drinks.
Hundreds of miles to the south, in Brixton, south London, a boisterous crowd prances around, joyously boozing and setting off fireworks under the wary gaze of police in riot gear.
This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. The CIA and the military have been transformed in ways that have blurred the boundaries between them. The shape of the new military intelligence complex is the subject of my guest Mark Mazzetti's new book, "The Way of the Knife." He writes: The CIA is no longer a traditional espionage service, devoted to stealing the secrets of foreign governments. The CIA has become a killing machine, an organization consumed with man-hunting.
In 1955, John R. Cash was a sometime auto mechanic, sometime appliance salesman who liked to play the guitar and sing, mostly gospel songs. The "R" in his name didn't stand for anything — and, in fact, he'd been named J.R. at birth and had to come up with "John" when he joined the Air Force. He'd spend the rest of his life reinventing himself.
Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 11:52 am
We last updated this post at 1:50 p.m. ET:
Saying "this is a start and it's not the end of our work," Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia confirmed Wednesday morning that he and Republican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania have put together a bipartisan plan that they believe will "keep guns out of dangerous hands."
Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 7:04 am
It may cost less to do business in places where there's what some people call a culture of health. And that's put Colorado, which has the lowest rates of adult obesity in the country, on the map for companies looking to relocate or expand.
Kelly Brough is making the most of it. She runs the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, and she's creative about luring businesses to relocate to Colorado. She runs a "Colorado loves California" campaign, for instance.
Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 10:46 am
UPDATE at 11:05 a.m. ET: Obama: Growing Economy, Shrinking Deficits Both Possible
President Obama unveiled his 2014 budget proposal Wednesday, calling it a "fiscally responsible blueprint" that can help grow the economy and shrink deficits.
The president said his plan addresses the debate about how to expand the economy while reducing government red ink: "This budget answers that argument because we can do both," he said at the Rose Garden.
Middle and high school girls participate in the Dorothy's House and Land of Oz program in Liberal, Kan.
Credit JoAnne Mansell
"I am the executive director of Dorothy's House and Land of Oz in Liberal, Kan. We have a Dorothy program where girls from middle school to high school age dress up as Dorothy Gale. The girls give tours of Dorothy's House and guide people on a walk-through of the 1939 <em>Wizard of Oz</em> movie. In this photo, all of the girls who play Dorothy are on the Kansas Senate floor." -- JoAnne Mansell
Credit JoAnne Mansell
"My daughter and I each won best costume awards last year at the annual Oz Fest, held in Chittenango, N.Y., birthplace of L. Frank Baum." — submitted by <a href="http://amberink.tumblr.com/">amberink</a>
"The whole family dressed up one year for Halloween — Dad was the Wizard, Mom was the Lion, oldest son was Tin Man, middle son was scarecrow, daughter was Dorothy, and guinea pig was Toto." — submitted by <a href="http://amberink.tumblr.com/">amberink</a>
"My twins dressed up as Dorothy and the Lion one year. The Lion suit has now been passed down through three generations." — submitted by <a href="http://barteleye.tumblr.com/">barteleye</a>
"This is a photo from 1977 when the 1st-grade class of Miss Franceschetti and the kindergarten class of Mrs. MacNabb took on the challenge of the FULL Wizard of Oz script and musical production. ... Recently the photo was shared on Facebook reconnecting the cast who shared their fond memories of being a part of the play over 35 years ago." — Debbie (Coccia) Young, 42, Wicked Witch of the West
Credit Debbie Young
"Dorothy and her Flying (crying) Monkeys!" — Amy Brodsky
Credit Amy Brodsky
submitted by Richard Walker
Credit Richard Walker
submitted by Scott Lindsey
Credit Scott Lindsey
"I have always been terrified of <em>The Wizard of Oz.</em> My mom made me this costume at age 8 to go along with my siblings and cousins as a group for trick-or-treating that year. Because every 8-year-old girl wants to be the Tin Man for Halloween? My 'body' was made of a Styrofoam container a rose bush came in. I couldn't sit or go to the bathroom all day." — Nina Schmidt, 35
Credit Nina Schmidt
"I was Dorothy every year for Halloween as long as I can remember. This was the year I made my brother join in the fun as well." — Hannah Kinsley
Credit Hannah Kinsley
"Here is the Wolkenfeld Family dressed for Purim 2013. The theme was chosen collectively, and the kids worked out who should be which character. Top, from left: Rabbi David Wolkenfeld, Sara Wolkenfeld, Sophie (1), Grandma Jo Lang, Aunt Debra Tillinger. Bottom: Hillel (4), Noam (6), Akiva (4), and Uncle Richie Miller." — submitted by <a href="http://drmermaid.tumblr.com/">drmermaid</a>
"My name is Jenny Barker Devine and I grew up in Council Bluffs, Iowa. We had the perfect back porch for staging productions. Over the years we did such classics as<em> Lady and the Tramp</em> and <em>The Wizard of Oz</em>. This is my sister, Karen Barker Crowley, as the Cowardly Lion, ca. 1985." — Jenny Barker Devine
Credit Jenny Barker Devine
"Welcome to Oz — Colin the Cowardly Lion, Karen the Scarecrow, Napoleon as Toto, Lauren as Dorothy, and Scott as the Tin Man. This imaginative book and movie has captured the heart of my daughter! She loves the whimsical characters and the catchy tunes of the movie." — Karen Hamilton, 36, San Jose, Calif.
Credit Karen Hamilton
"I took my children (dressed as Dorothy and The Tin Man) to a local JCPenney portrait studio (circa 1989) and I was surprised when the young woman photographer asked what they were supposed to be. When I explained, I was even more shocked when she claimed to have never before heard of <em>The Wizard of Oz</em>." — Sonja Brouwers
Credit Sonja Brouwers
"2008: Mom made the Dorothy costume about 10 years earlier for older sister and made the Lion costume this year; Dad assembled the Scarecrow costume." — submitted by David W.
Credit David W.
"My four oldest grandchildren, the Weitzes of Oz, on Halloween 2006 in Stockton, Calif. These costumes were a collaboration by me and their paternal grandmother. They were actually the second generation of <em>Wizard of Oz</em> trick-or-treaters. Their mom, aunt and two friends did it first in 1984." — Ava Simpson
Credit Ava Simpson
"For the Fall Festival each year, my elementary school would create a 'labyrinth' in the science lab, like a literary haunted house. ... I think the theme this year was something along the line of 'Great American Classics.' I was determined to be the Tin Man, and my dad made it happen (with lots of duct tape and silver spray paint)." — Heather Fauland
Credit Heather Fauland
"My mother took great pride and pleasure in designing my elaborate Halloween costumes each year. In 1987, when I was 3 years old, she handmade this adorable Dorothy costume. ... I am now an English teacher, and I keep two copies of the book in my classroom library. It is a timeless classic that captures the heart of the reader, regardless of his or her age." — Stephanie Moore
Credit Stephanie Moore
"This was from the 1970s. We became all friends. I was the lion." — Tom Payne
Credit Tom Payne
"Because we went from Kansas to Chicago for a Halloween-themed race (the Monster Dash) in 2011, we thought we'd represent the state by dressing as some familiar characters. I think our 4-year-old Lion was the most popular. We even won for best costumes!" — Eric R. Price
Credit Eric R. Price
"It all started with a hand-me-down Dorothy costume for our baby sister. Mom got crazed with making the costumes as authentic as possible. The Tin Man had moving joints, Scarecrow was itchy from all the straw, and the Lion was hot and sweaty under all that fake fur!" — Eyde Reilly, 50, Southern California
Credit Eyde Reilly
"Halloween 2009, Houston — there's Kathryn as Dorothy with her little moose named Toto (we didn't have a stuffed dog) and 2-year-old Eliza as a very tiny Good Witch Glinda, plus Phoebe as the Wickedest Witch of the West. The gorgeous costumes were handmade by my mother-in-law." — Brenda Lightfoot
Credit Brenda Lightfoot
"At 15, my friends and I joked about dressing up as characters from<em> The Wizard of Oz.</em> Ten years later, we actually did it! Left to right: Holland, Briana (that's me!), Beth, and Bree in College Station, Texas." — submitted by <a href="http://brimorrison.tumblr.com/">brimorrison</a>
Three kids dressed up as the Scarecrow, the Lion and Dorothy.
Credit Scott Lindsey
"My adventures in Oz started in the fourth grade in Ashby, Mass., in 1945. ... I dressed myself up as the Wizard. I took my bathrobe and made a cape, carved out a stick with the letters OZ for my wand and made a star-like crown for my head. I stood outside in the sun and called to my mom to take my picture. There I was at age 10, 'The Wizard of Oz.' " — Frank Maitoza, 75, Hemet, Calif.
Credit Frank Maitoza
"'We're off to see the Wizard' ... my amazing children (5, 4, 2 and 1) sang as they acquired more and more candy from the neighbors." — Bethany Jones
Credit Bethany Jones
"We were our mother's guinea pigs for the yearly county fair costume class. At the time, we hated it. But to her credit, we won the trophy every time." — submitted by <a href="http://equestrianshaming.tumblr.com/">equestrianshaming</a>
Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 12:33 pm
The Yellow Brick Road is a well-traveled one; generations of young readers have followed L. Frank Baum's path to the magical Land of Oz. This spring, as members of NPR's Backseat Book Club embarked on their own journeys to the Emerald City, we asked you to share your Oz memories and photos with us. Here's a sampling of what we received.
Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 8:27 pm
Tom Angelripper has been a part of the brash German thrash-metal game for more than 30 years now. Sodom's damning 1989 anti-war screed, Agent Orange, is a bona fide classic, but the impeccably named bassist and vocalist still has plenty of targets to hit and thundering bass riffs to deploy. Therein comes crashing "Stigmatized" from Sodom's 14th studio album, Epitome of Torture.