Originally published on Fri February 8, 2013 12:10 pm
There was barely room to walk from one end of the social hall to the other last Saturday night at St. Rita Catholic Church in Vinita Park, Mo.
The occasion wasn't a wedding, a christening or even a bingo game. It was trivia.
You can participate in trivia contests on slow nights in bars in practically any city across the country. But in the St. Louis area, trivia has evolved into a major source of revenue for nonprofit organizations.
"Shake it like a polar bear ninja!" If you suspect that these are not the correct lyrics to Outkast's "Hey Ya!", then this week's game of mondegreens (misheard lyrics) is for you. We'll also visit the world of late-night infomercials and root for our favorite gluttonous, envious, lustful basketball team--the Phoenix Sins. Plus, V.I.P. David Rees teaches us how to sharpen pencils the artisanal way.
Originally published on Mon February 11, 2013 2:37 pm
About 3,000 years ago, give or take a couple of decades, the Chinese people began celebrating the beginning of their calendar year with a joyful festival they called Lunar New Year. They cleaned their homes, welcomed relatives, bought or made new clothes and set off firecrackers. And there was feasting and special offerings made to the Kitchen God for about two weeks.
Originally published on Fri February 8, 2013 7:35 am
A Smoking Gun report about the hacking of several email accounts belonging to members of presidents George W. and George H.W. Bush's family and some family friends has prompted a criminal investigation.
The Houston Chronicle says that Bush family spokesman Jim McGrath confirmed an investigation is under way, but declined further comment.
Republicans are trying to find their way in the wake of their second consecutive presidential defeat and immediately they take advantage of the opportunity: Marco Rubio, chosen to respond to Obama's State of the Union address, decides Tupac is not a political action committee. Plus: Karl Rove's group plays sides in GOP primaries, and we remember Ed Koch.
Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep, with a story of the power of words. Trevis D. Baker swore at a cop in Rochester. Police arrested him, but New York State's highest court threw out the charges. He has a First Amendment right to swear, so long as it's not a challenge to fight. Because the arrest was invalid, the court disallowed a search police conducted afterward.
Good morning, I'm David Greene with this headline: "Hung-over Energy Secretary Wakes Up Next to Solar Panel." It's a fake story from The Onion, with a doctored photo showing Secretary Steven Chu in bed with a solar panel. Chu played along. On Facebook, he said he won't confirm or deny the charges, but clarified his recent announcement that he's stepping down is unrelated.
He even gave a plug to the energy source, saying: It's no surprise lots of Americans are falling in love with solar.
Originally published on Fri February 8, 2013 4:32 pm
(We'll be updating this post throughout the day; most recently at 12:30 p.m. ET.)
Police in Southern California were still searching Friday for former Los Angeles police officer Christopher Jordan Dorner, who they say is the lone suspect in a series of shootings over the past week that have left three people — including a cop — dead. It's feared he is intent on killing more police officers in revenge for his firing from the L.A. police force four years ago.
All right. And our last word in business today is snakebite.
Over the next couple of weeks skies in many parts of Asia will be lit up with fireworks to celebrate the Lunar New Year. The Year of the Dragon is ending and Sunday marks the start of, yes, the Year of the Snake.
We'll begin NPR's business news starts with strong winds in Spain.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
GREENE: Spain has a pretty good location in the south of Europe. They are accustomed to good weather, plenty of sunshine, clear skies and wind - which the country is putting to good use. Spain has become a leader in renewable energy.
In fact, the countries wind farms have broken a new record, as Lauren Frayer reports from Madrid.
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Boeing engineers in the Pacific Northwest are voting on whether to authorize a strike. The labor dispute is playing out against a dramatic backdrop. Here, the engineers are needed, now more than ever, to help fix the batteries on Boeing's flagship 787 Dreamliner.
As Ashley Gross of member station KPLU reports, that's given the engineers something that is rare for unions, these days - leverage.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
And I'm Steve Inskeep.
It's been a tense 24 hours in Southern California. The former Los Angeles police officer wanted in connection with three murders is still at large this morning, despite a manhunt that has spanned hundreds of miles.
An asteroid the size of an office building will zoom close by Earth next week, but it's not on a collision course, NASA says.
Still, some people think this near-miss should serve as a wake-up call.
"It's a warning shot across our bow that we are flying around the solar system in a shooting gallery," says Ed Lu, a former astronaut and head of the B612 Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to protecting humanity from asteroids.
The asteroid known as 2012 DA14 was first spotted last year by astronomers in Spain. It's thought to be about 150 feet across and made of rock.
Congress likes to say it no longer does earmarks, the provisions that direct federal dollars to serve local interests or campaign supporters. And though that may be true, it's also a fact that targeted provisions are still useful in moving legislation — even critical legislation like the bill that pulled Washington back from the fiscal cliff last month.
More than 200 houses of worship damaged in Superstorm Sandy have applied for aid from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. But given the separation of church and state, it's unclear whether federal funds are available to them.
The sanctuary of Temple Israel of Long Beach, N.Y., was flooded with more than 10 feet of saltwater in some places, says Rabbi David Bauman.
"Roughly 5 to 7 feet [of water] in most, and there were surges — particularly in our mechanical room — that went upwards of 12 to 14 feet," he says.
Fifty years ago this Saturday, U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy went for a walk — a 50-mile walk, to be exact — trudging through snow and slush from just outside Washington, D.C., all the way to Harper's Ferry, W.Va.
He had no preparation, and no training. And in spite of temperatures well below freezing, he wore Oxford loafers on his feet.
It began as an innocent Sunday outing to see the movie The Life of Pi. By the time the night was over, it had become a grisly gang rape that shocked the world.
Five men went on trial this week, charged with the rape and killing of a 23-year-old woman who died of the injuries she suffered when she was attacked on a bus as it moved through the streets of Delhi — an assault that ignited public outrage over the violence against women in the Indian capital.
Originally published on Fri February 8, 2013 5:41 am
There are more troubles for disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong.
A Texas-based promotions company sued the former cycling champion Thursday for more than $12 million, which was paid to Armstrong for several of his record seven Tour de France wins. Armstrong publicly admitted last month that those herculean victories were aided by doping.
The lawsuit is part of a flurry of activity: Armstrong still is in talks with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, and there is now word that he is under federal investigation, a year after another federal criminal inquiry ended abruptly.
The Great Recession touched a vast majority of Americans personally, a new study from Rutgers' Heldrich Center finds.
The most stunning number in the study: "Some 73 percent [of Americans] either lost a job themselves, or had a member of their household, a close relative, or a friend lose a job at some point in the past four years."
The report is pretty depressing. A few more findings:
Fried chicken washed down with sweet tea — it's a classic Southern lunch. That fat/sweet nexus is also a recipe for a stroke, according to a recent study.
Researchers at the University of Alabama, Birmingham, have been trying to nail down how diet relates to stroke, particularly in the "Stroke Belt" — the Southeastern states that have the dubious distinction of hosting the nation's highest stroke rates.
This past weekend, a surprising little movie topped the box office over pop-action juggernaut Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters and the Oscar-nominated Silver Linings Playbook.
Warm Bodies is a zombie romance brought to you by the man behind the recent cancer comedy 50/50; clearly, director and screenwriter Jonathan Levine has an interest in genre bending, and this latest flick is equal parts Night of the Living Dead and Romeo and Juliet. It's told through the eyes of R (Nicholas Hoult), a zombie living in an airport.