Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 1:41 pm
In August, we asked folks to share stories from moments when they've been the odd person out, the only one of their kind. We wanted to hear the uproariously funny and poignant stories that stuck in people's memories. And many of the memories that were shared came from the classroom. Below, you'll find some of our favorites — enjoy.
Writer, hip-hop artist and filmmaker MK Asante's new memoir is called Buck. It's about growing up in North Philadelphia in the 1990s. Asante describes his adolescence as, "Me, unsupervised, with my brother gone, my dad gone, my mom gone, and me just on the block in the neighborhood, roaming the streets of Philly - just lost."
Buck captures Asante's transformation from a drug dealer and delinquent to a poet and professor.
The country will pause Wednesday morning to remember the victims of the Sept. 11 terror attacks. At the site of the Twin Towers in lower Manhattan, the names of all the victims will be read, along with the victims of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
And I'm Renee Montagne. Good morning.
President Obama's push for a military strike on Syria is on hold, at least for now. The administration is exploring a possible diplomatic alternative that calls for Syria to surrender its stockpile of chemical weapons. That could provide a face-saving out for the president, who appeared unlikely to win Congressional approval this week for a strike.
Lauren Henderson goes everywhere with her service dog Phoebe — to the grocery store, Disneyland, the beach. For Henderson, who used to be paralyzed, her 100 pound, lumbering Saint Bernard is a necessity.
An actor who lives in Malibu, Calif., Henderson uses her dog for stability and balance. And if she falls, Phoebe helps pull her back on her feet.
"She's basically like a living walker," Henderson says.
Long-distance swimmer Diana Nyad swims toward shore in Key West, Fla., on Sept. 2, the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida without the help of a shark cage. She arrived at the beach about 53 hours after beginning her swim in Havana.
For sportswriters the fattest target has always been the America's Cup. It's too easy. It's like all those political writers who make fun of vice presidents and think they're being original. Sportswriters have been going har-de-har-har about the America's Cup even long before one of their wags said it was like watching paint dry. Or like watching grass grow. One or the other. Maybe both.
A debate is taking place in Iowa over the ability of people who are legally or completely blind to carry guns in public. The issue stems from a 2011 change in the state's gun permit rules, allowing visually impaired people to carry firearms in public.
Finally this hour, NASCAR nastiness. This past Saturday, one team appeared to pull out all the stops to rig a big race. One driver spun out his car, and another took an unnecessary pit stop. Both moves helped advance their teammate to the playoffs. NASCAR fined their team - Michael Waltrip Racing - $300,000, and suspended their general manager indefinitely.
Now, this is the biggest fine in NASCAR history, according to Nate Ryan. He's a senior motorsports reporter for USA Today Sports. He joins us from Charlotte, N.C. Hey there, Nate.
In the 1930s, the Dust Bowl ravaged crops and helped plunge the U.S. into an environmental and economic depression. Farmland in parts of Texas, Kansas, Nebraska and the Dakotas disappeared.
After the howling winds passed and the dust settled, federal foresters planted 100 million trees across the Great Plains, forming a giant windbreak — known as a shelterbelt — that stretched from Texas to Canada.
Now, those trees are dying from drought, leaving some to worry whether another Dust Bowl might swirl up again.
On Tuesday in Washington, D.C., the four girls killed in the 1963 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham, Ala., posthumously received the Congressional Gold Medal. The recognition comes after a year of civil rights ceremonies across the South. The events have drawn renewed attention to how the civil rights movement should be taught to a younger generation.
Adult film production in California is now suspended after a number of performers tested positive for HIV. Four cases have been reported in the past few months, including one on Monday.
If ever there was an "I told you so moment" for the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, it's now. The organization has been campaigning for condoms to be mandatory during porn shoots. Last year, it sponsored a measure in Los Angeles County to that effect, which voters approved.
Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 7:38 pm
The poet Langston Hughes liked to wryly describe the Harlem Renaissance — the years from just after World War I until the Depression when black literature and art flourished, fed by an awakening racial pride — as "the period when the Negro was in vogue." Note the past tense. Two new books published Tuesday explore the blossoming of black cultural life in two different decades.
Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 7:39 am
Should you want to super-size your meal (and boost your social status in the process), plenty of American restaurant chains would be more than happy to have you dine with them. Olive Garden, for one, is currently in the middle of a "Never Ending Pasta Bowl" promotion. According to the chain's Twitter feed, it has served more than 5.3 million bowls of "unlimited" pasta with soup and salad for $9.99 since Aug. 5.
Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 1:36 pm
Parents are forever warning children and teenagers that bad things will happen if they take big risks. But the kids never seem to listen. That may be because their brains just aren't properly processing the odds that they'll break an arm or be in a car crash.
To find this out, researchers at University College London asked 59 young people, ages 9 to 26, to guess the odds that particular bad things would happen to them. The list of 40 unfortunate events ranged from being seriously injured in a car crash to getting lice.
One man was convicted in the bombing in 1977, but more than two decades would pass before any other suspects were tried for murder.
Credit Dave Martin / AP
Bobby Frank Cherry (seated) was convicted of murder in 2002. Cherry was part of a group of white supremacists who felt the KKK was not doing enough to quell the civil rights movement in the 1960s.
Credit Debbie Elliott / NPR
Until the FBI re-opened the bombing case in the 1990s, much of the evidence surrounding the bombings was misplaced or withheld. Critical evidence in the 2001 conviction of Thomas Blanton was found in a discarded box.
From left, Denise McNair, 11; Carole Robertson, 14; Addie Mae Collins, 14; and Cynthia Wesley, 14, were killed in the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church, in Birmingham, Ala., on Sept. 15, 1963.
The U.S. Brig Niagara is a replica of the ship Oliver Hazard Perry sailed to victory. The Niagara carries four carronades, or short-range cannons. The original ship was outfitted with 18 carronades that could shoot a 32-pound ball about half a mile.
Credit Courtesy of Sol St. Clair
Around 2,000 pleasure craft surrounded the tall ships at the re-enactment of the Battle of Lake Erie on Labor Day weekend. The U.S. Brig Niagara can be seen in the far back.
Credit Courtesy of Sol St. Clair
Walter Rybka is senior captain of the Niagara and author of The Lake Erie Campaign of 1813: I Shall Fight Them This Day. He has been with the U.S. Brig Niagara since 1991 and is also director of the Erie Maritime Museum in Erie, Pa.
Two hundred years ago today, a young U.S. naval captain named Oliver Hazard Perry penned the words, "We have met the enemy and they are ours ..."
Perry's remarkable victory over the British changed the course of the War of 1812, and a full-scale re-enactment — the largest sailing re-enactment ever attempted in the U.S. — recently commemorated the anniversary of the win in the Battle of Lake Erie.
At Milwaukee Parkside School for the Arts on the south side of Milwaukee, kids are back in class and getting their bearings in the sprawling building. So is Lila Hillman, the school's brand-new principal. She has to figure out where everything is, who everyone is, how to run a school — and how to answer everyone's questions.
As Hillman walks through the halls, one teacher wants to know where to hang a cutout of a tree trunk. A few steps later, a janitor asks why all the lights went out in the school the night before.
Originally published on Mon September 9, 2013 4:28 pm
Rep. Jim Himes is willing to vote against the wishes of his constituents. Probably not this time, though.
"Like the rest of the country, my constituency is pretty much opposed to the intervention in Syria," says the Connecticut Democrat. "Since health care reform, I haven't seen an issue that energized as many people."
His colleagues in the House and Senate report the same.
Senator Susan Collins of Maine was part of a group of Republican senators who dined last night with Vice President Biden. Pasta was on the menu, Syria was on everyone's mind and President Obama was the surprise guest. Senator Collins went into the dinner undecided on the issue and joins us now from Capitol Hill. Welcome to the program once again.
SENATOR SUSAN COLLINS: Thank you very much, Robert.
Voters in New York City go to the polls tomorrow to choose their party's candidates for mayor. With just one day to go before the primary election, the candidates raced across the five boroughs trying to fire up their bases and woo any undecided voters. The Democratic primary grabbed national attention when former Congressman Anthony Wiener decided to run, he's since fallen out of favor. Now the race is playing out as a referendum on the 12 years of outgoing Mayor Michael Bloomberg's administration.