When high school junior Nora Huynh got her report card, she was devastated to see that she didn't get a perfect 4.0.
Nora "had a total meltdown, cried for hours," her mother, Jennie Huynh of Alameda, Calif., says. "I couldn't believe her reaction."
Nora is doing college-level work, her mother says, but many of her friends are taking enough advanced classes to boost their grade-point averages above 4.0. "It breaks my heart to see her upset when she's doing so awesome and going above and beyond."
One of the largest obstacles in getting people to bike to work is their fear of getting hit by a car. A new grass-roots project in Los Angeles is helping folks navigate the ins and outs of traffic.
It's 6:45 a.m. and Barbara Insua is busy packing a bag. She will ride seven miles from her home in Pasadena to NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab, where she works as a graphic designer. She only started doing this ride a few months ago.
"It was kind of daunting," she says, "because seven miles to the lab — I didn't know how to do it. I'm not an avid cyclist."
Calling the improvements "night and day" from October, the Obama administration says it has met its goal of getting the troubled HealthCare.gov site working for a "vast majority" of users. But that's only part of a complex technology system that is designed to end with insurance companies providing coverage for millions of consumers.
It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR West. I'm Arun Rath.
A commuter train derailed as it was heading into Manhattan this morning, killing four people and injuring more than 60. Witnesses say the train appeared to be going too fast as it rounded a curve just north of a train station in the Bronx. The National Transportation Safety Board is trying to piece together what happened.
Now to a mode of transportation better suited to the budget of a public radio reporter - bicycling. If you think cyclists are not among the toughest athletes, well, you haven't been to Pittsburgh. The city has some brutal hills which actually attract a certain breed of cyclists. As Liz Reid from member station WESA reports, cyclists have been attacking those hills for 30 years in an event called the Dirty Dozen.
THRESHOLD CHOIR: (Singing) Can I stand here for you? May I use my heart as a gift?
ARUN RATH, HOST:
Those are the voices of the Northern California Threshold Choir, an a cappella group that brings music to a very specific audience. Kate Munger founded the Threshold Choir, and she explains what the organization does.
KATE MUNGER: Threshold Choir is a group of singers that go, when invited, to bedsides of people who are dying.
Actor Paul Walker has died. He was best known for his role in the "Fast & Furious" movie series. The 40-year-old actor was a passenger in a car that crashed in North Los Angeles. Walker was working on the seventh installment of the "Fast & Furious" series. And as NPR's Nathan Rott reports, he was also working on a life post-acting.
NATHAN ROTT, BYLINE: The Paul Walker that you probably know was this one...
American pioneers saw the endless stretches of grassland of the Great Plains as a place to produce grain and beef for a growing country. But one casualty was the native prairie ecosystem and animals that thrived only there.
Some biologists are trying to save the prairies and they've picked a hero to help them: the black-footed ferret. In trying to save this long skinny predator with a raccoon-like mask, the biologists believe they have a chance to right a wrong that nearly wiped a species off the planet.
It doesn't matter if you're a surgeon, a banker or a fisherman — if you're a woman in the United States, you're probably paid less than a man. That hasn't changed with federal laws or the feminist movement.
But now, Boston thinks it has a solution to completely erase the gender wage gap.
What would you pay for a fossil of two complete dinosaurs locked in what seems to be a fight to the death? An auction house put that question to the test with the dinosaurs, discovered in 2006 in the Hell Creek formation of Montana. It got an unexpected answer.
Despite a host of local and state laws meant to create gender parity in the workplace, women of all education levels continue to be paid less than men for the same work. Heather Boushey, an economist with the Center for American Progress, talks about why the gender gap persists.
The Obama administration set a self-imposed deadline of the end of November to have the major kinks worked out in HealthCare.gov, the website at the center of implementation for the Affordable Care Act. In the hours before its deadline, the site was taken offline for repairs. But the White House says the site is in much better shape than it was two months ago, when it launched and promptly failed to work for most users.
Originally published on Sat November 30, 2013 9:05 am
How to make dead fish look attractive? That's the challenge New York-based duo Shimon and Tammar Rothstein faced when they were hired to do the photography for famed French chef Eric Ripert's book On the Line.
About 20 scientists are clustered in a cramped conference room in San Diego, one of the country's science hubs, but they aren't there to pore over their latest research. Instead, this is a meeting of BioToasters — a chapter of the public speaking organization Toastmasters, geared specifically toward scientists.
"For a typical scientist, they will spend a lot of time at the bench, so they're doing a lot of maybe calculations or lab work where they're not interacting directly from person to person," says BioToasters President Zackary Prag, a lab equipment sales rep.
In the American criminal justice system, you have the right to an attorney. And if you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you.
That's not the case if you're a defendant in U.S. immigration court. Immigration proceedings are civil matters, and the Constitution does not extend the right to court-appointed attorneys to immigrant detainees.
Many small towns across the country are using special events to attract visitors and commerce. The strategy has been a big hit in places like Aspen, Colo., and Park City, Utah, whose names have become synonymous with major festivals.
But it can take a toll. Some residents in the northern Michigan town of Traverse City complain that they're suffering from festival fatigue and would like a little less excitement.
Ari Shapiro speaks with political commentators, EJ Dionne of the Washington Post and Brookings Institution and David Brooks of The New York Times. They discuss the latest on the HealthCare.gov Website and the discord over reaching a troop agreement between the U.S. and Afghanistan.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Ari Shapiro. Tomorrow is judgment day for healthcare.gov. The Obama administration has repeatedly said that by November 30, the troubled website will be up and running for the vast majority of users, and officials say they're on track to reach that goal.
Feeling extra American this week? Wanna keep that post-turkey glow going? Well, how about a very American beverage: cider?
We're not talking about the hot mulled stuff that steams up your kitchen, or the sweet pub draft in a pint glass. This cider is more like sparkling wine.
"This is a phenomenally funky, sour, even mildly smoky cider that has to be tasted to be believed," says Greg Engert, one of the owners of a bar in Washington called ChurchKey. He's pouring cider from a tall champagne-style bottle that retails for around $15.
From NPR News this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Ari Shapiro. An American teenager who spent three years in a Mexican prison for heinous crimes is believed to be back in Texas now living with his family. Edgar Jimenez Lugo was 14 when he was arrested and admitted to beheading four people in Mexico. He was working for a drug cartel. Lugo served nearly the maximum sentence for someone of his age and now he's free. Richard Fausset has been covering this story for the Los Angeles Times. He joins us from Mexico City. Hi there.
President Obama often talks about making sure American students graduate high school ready for college. But one program in Oregon is reaching out to the shop class crowd of students who would rather learn a paying trade right away than stay in a classroom. Manufacturers there are using a new internship program to recruit and train teenagers straight out of high school to be machinists, welders and painters. Oregon Public Broadcasting's Rob Manning reports.
Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, is one the busiest, most hectic shopping day of the year. But how important is it for retailers and as an indicator of the strength of the holiday shopping season?