They called it "the brick." And Martin Cooper says it really did look like one: 8 inches high, an inch and a half wide, 4 inches deep, and weighing 2 1/2 pounds.
In other words, the world's first hand-held cellphone, the Motorola DynaTAC, weighed the equivalent of about eight iPhones. (Try jamming that into a pocket.)
"The battery life was only 20 minutes," says Cooper, a former vice president at Motorola who has been called the "father of the cellphone." "But that was not a problem because you couldn't hold that heavy thing up for more than 20 minutes."
Texas is saying no to key parts of the federal health care law. Today, Governor Rick Perry said Texas will not create a state exchange for people to buy health insurance and will not expand Medicaid. In a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Governor Perry called both provisions a power grab, brazen intrusions into the sovereignty of our state.
Silk is in neckties, scarves and some fancy underwear and pajamas. Before too long, it might just help keep people from getting sick with measles or polio.
Vaccines play an important role in health, but can be tricky to transport to the far corners of the world. Many vaccines and some other drugs require constant refrigeration — from the factories where they're made to the places where they're ultimately injected into people.
Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 11:58 am
Nothing breeds lawsuits like uncertainty. That being the case, the Supreme Court's landmark health care ruling is almost certain to open the door to lawsuits challenging the federal government's authority.
The court ruled the federal government can't force states to participate in a major expansion of Medicaid or else risk losing existing Medicaid funds from Washington. That threat amounted to unconstitutional coercion.
The Justice Department has unsealed criminal charges against four more people it says are connected to the death of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, as the FBI offered a $1 million reward for information leading to the capture of the fugitives.
The southern African nation of Botswana is grappling with a relatively new problem in the evolving AIDS pandemic: It now has a large group of HIV-positive adolescents.
The teenagers were infected at birth before Botswana managed to almost wipe out mother-to-child transmission of the virus. These children have survived because of a public health system that provides nearly universal access to powerful anti-AIDS drugs.
In her new memoir, Joy Harjo recounts how her early years — a difficult childhood with an alcoholic father and abusive stepfather, and the hardships of teen motherhood — caused her to suppress her artistic gifts and nearly brought her to her breaking point. "It was the spirit of poetry," she writes in Crazy Brave, "who reached out and found me as I stood there at the doorway between panic and love."
Any doubt, and there probably wasn't much, that Texas would reject an expansion of Medicaid under the big federal health law was dispelled today.
The Supreme Court decision on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act allows states to opt out of the expansion without losing all federal Medicaid funding. Only the federal money that would have gone toward the expansion is affected.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. At the end of last month, a line of powerful storms left millions without electricity in the midst of record-breaking heat. The storms killed some as trees fell on houses and cars, then the heat took more lives as people sweltered without fans or air conditioning.
The heat wave's broken, the power's back on for most, but the widespread outages left many frustrated and angry. What took so long? Can't we protect power lines? And what about the crews who arrive to help out?
And now, the Opinion Page. The ancient Greek philosopher Diogenes famously carried a lantern in daylight in hopes of finding an honest man. In an op-ed in Sunday's Washington Post, Kathleen Hall Jamieson embarked on an even more changeling quest: a search for an honest politician. Now more than ever, she wrote, with a public highly anxious about the economy and worn down after years of promises that things would get better, the time is ripe for a candid candidate.
Originally published on Tue July 10, 2012 12:34 pm
When we think about improving urban food systems, we tend think about growing more vegetables — densely planted backyard plots and community gardens, with tiny tomatoes ripening in the sun. But according to some experts, we should start thinking smaller — way smaller — as in bugs.
A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by Lance Armstrong that sought to stop a USADA hearing into accusations of doping. The AP reports:
"U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks ruled just hours later. He criticized Armstrong's attorneys for filing an 80-page complaint the judge says seems more intended to whip up public opinion for his case than focus on the legal argument.
"Sparks, however, did not decide on the merits of Armstrong's case and said he can refile his lawsuit."
Over the weekend, about 1.7 million Libyans cast a ballot to choose a prime minister. Like Tunisia and Egypt before it, these elections are the first free elections since a revolution toppled the country's dictator.
Moammar Gadhafi ruled since 1969. As Reuters reports, while there were some violent incidents and anti-vote protests, international observers gave the election process a thumbs up.
Brian Castner arguably had one of the most nerve-wracking jobs in the U.S. military. He commanded two Explosive Ordnance Disposal units in Iraq, where his team disabled roadside IEDs, investigated the aftermath of roadside car bombings and searched door to door to uncover bomb-makers at their homes.
For the second month in a row, Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney and his party have raised more money than the Democratic incumbent, President Obama.
Romney and his fellow Republicans hauled in $106 million in June for his presidential campaign, well above the $71 million raised by the president's campaign and Democrats. Both campaigns released their fundraising figures for the month earlier today.
I'm Maria Hinojosa and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Michel Martin is away. Coming up, violence continues to erupt across Syria. We'll talk to a human rights activist who has seen it firsthand. That's in a few minutes.
But first, a year ago today on July 9, 2011, the world's newest nation was born in Africa.
(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: We hereby declare Southern Sudan to be an independent and sovereign state.
Originally published on Sun August 19, 2012 1:22 pm
I have a simple question for you: Do you have a good idea? Something that could change the world?
Enter your big idea in NPR's "What's Your Big Idea?" video contest from July 9 to Aug. 12, 2012, and you could win the chance to get advice on making your big idea a reality from a big name in science and technology. And even if you don't win that grand prize, we'll showcase your video on NPR's YouTube channel and on Facebook.
"In what was an extraordinarily violent day even by Afghan standards, separate incidents on Sunday killed seven Western troops, including six Americans who died in a single blast, along with five Afghan police officers and at least 18 civilians," the Los Angeles Times writes.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Ronn Matt told the Chicago Tribune that his mother used to frown on his habit of spitting cherry pits. But now he's a champion. Over the weekend in Michigan, Matt managed to unseat two spitting dynasties, families who had won for the last 20 years the International Cherry Pit spitting contest. He won by spitting a pit 69 feet. Impressive but far short of the world record of 93 and a half feet. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.
Good morning. I'm Linda Wertheimer. A concert for North Korea's new leader Kim Jong Un was a little more animated than usual. It featured Disney characters - from the mouses Mickey and Minnie, to Winnie the Pooh - frolicking onstage, according to the AP. Disney says nobody asked permission. Now analysts ask what it means for decadent Western entertainment to appear before North Korea's new leader - seriously. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.