Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 11:31 am
Look at the center of this map, at the little red dot that marks Kansas City. Technically, Kansas City is at the edge of Missouri, but here on this map it's in the upper middle section of a bigger space with strong blue borders. We don't have a name for this bigger space yet, but soon we will.
Brad Paisley's Wheelhouse is yet another very good album from a singer, songwriter and guitarist who's made a bunch of them in a row. It features a slew of shrewd songs about finding pleasure and comfort in a frequently unpleasant, uncomfortable world. The music includes a bone-cracking song about domestic violence written from a woman's point of view, one that praises Christian values from the perspective of a jealous skeptic, and one that samples the great Roger Miller as deftly as any hip-hop production.
This is FRESH AIR. When the bombs went off Monday, my guest Amby Burfoot was seven-tenths of a mile from the finish line. Burfoot has a special place in the history of the Boston Marathon - he was the winner 45 years ago in 1968. To celebrate the anniversary of his win every five years he runs the Boston Marathon again. Many runners have turned to Burfoot for advice over the years.
From the first explosion in Boston on Monday to the second, just 15 seconds elapsed. And in those 15 seconds, three people were mortally wounded, including an 8-year-old boy. The number of injured topped 100, and for those of us watching, it was a profound reminder of a reality we'd prefer to ignore.
Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 2:25 pm
As an artist, Caitlin Freeman found her calling in cake.
Freeman started out wanting to be an art photographer. But one day, while still in art school, she came across Display Cakes,artist Wayne Thiebaud's 1963 painting of frosted confections, during a visit to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. The image was so arresting, it stayed with her for years, and later inspired her to set off on a completely different career path: baking.
Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 11:44 am
"The wife of a former justice of the peace is being held on a capital murder charge in the killings of the Kaufman County District Attorney, his wife and a top prosecutor," The Dallas Morning News reports.
Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 9:53 am
American Airlines has promised passengers that Wednesday's flight schedule will be nothing like the day before, when thousands were stranded due to a glitch in the reservations system that forced hundreds of flights to be canceled or delayed.
American Airlines and American Eagle scuttled 970 flights and delayed more than 1,000 others Tuesday, The Associated Press said, citing flight-tracking service FlightAware.com.
Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 12:52 pm
Margaret Thatcher, the prime minister whose time leading Great Britain in the 1980s brought joy to conservatives and despair to liberals, was remembered Wednesday for "a life lived in the heat of political controversy."
With her death last week at the age of 87, "there is great calm" for the Iron Lady, added the bishop of London, the Right Reverend Richard Chartres, during a funeral service at London's St. Paul's Cathedral.
Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep, with good luck to Sean Parker and his bride-to-be. She's a singer; he's a Facebook billionaire and founder of Napster. Mr. Parker committed $10 million to their wedding. He paid for waterfalls, bridges and ancient ruins created for the occasion. Guests will wear outfits created by the costume designer from "Lord of the Rings."
Chris Holmes worked at a London airport, but his true love was always making cakes. So Holmes decided to quit his job to run his own bake shop, which brings us to his resignation letter. He wrote it on a cake with icing. He said he wanted more time with his family. He wished his colleagues well. It took two hours, more time than he had ever spent on a birthday message or anniversary wish. A photo of his work went viral, publicity that he really felt was icing on the cake.
Now, the twin bombings at the Boston Marathon struck at a very special type of sporting event. Marathons have been called the most democratic of sports, with the fewest physical barriers between athlete and spectator.
NPR's Mike Pesca examines whether the attack could permanently damage that accessibility.
Yet another movie about Jackie Robinson arrived as baseball held its annual commemorative celebration of No. 42, but officials of the game are fretting over the fact that only 8 1/2 percent of current major leaguers are black.
Given that African-Americans only constitute about 13 percent of the U.S. population, and that rarely do we have any industry or school system or community population that correlates exactly to the whole country's racial or ethnic makeup, baseball's somewhat smaller black cohort hardly seems like an issue to agonize over.
Originally published on Tue April 16, 2013 5:30 pm
On Monday, CNN's Wolf Blitzer and some others made a point of highlighting President Obama's failure to use the words "terror" or "terrorism" in his first remarks following the Boston Marathon bombings.
Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 5:45 am
Quoting "congressional and law enforcement sources," CNN is reporting that an envelope sent to a senator's office has tested positive for the poison ricin.
"After the envelope tested positive in a first routine test, it was retested two more times, each time coming up positive, the law enforcement source said," CNN reports. "The package was then sent to a Maryland lab for further testing."
Originally published on Tue April 16, 2013 5:22 pm
Babies and toddlers in the poorest parts of the world are getting better fed.
What's the proof? Stunting in kids – a sign of poor nutrition early in life — has dropped by a third in the past two decades, UNICEF reported Monday. But there's a long way to go. Globally, a quarter of kids under the age of 5 were stunted in 2011. That's roughly 165 million children worldwide, with nearly 75 percent of them living in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, the report says.
The legislative process on Capitol Hill is often slow and grinding. There are committee hearings, filibuster threats and hours of floor debate. But sometimes, when Congress really wants to get something done, it can move blindingly fast.
That's what happened when Congress moved to undo large parts of a popular law known as the STOCK Act last week.
Two years ago, we reported on an ambitious campaign to end homelessness in downtown San Diego, a city with one of the largest homeless populations in the nation. The effort involved an unprecedented coalition of business leaders, community groups and government agencies.
At the time, some advocates for the homeless — after years of seeing other, failed efforts to get people off city streets — were skeptical that the campaign would amount to much.
It's been five decades since Martin Luther King Jr., began writing his famous "Letter From Birmingham Jail," a response to eight white Alabama clergymen who criticized King and worried the civil rights campaign would cause violence. They called King an "extremist" and told blacks they should be patient.
But the time for waiting was over. Birmingham was the perfect place to take a stand.
Originally published on Tue April 16, 2013 2:54 pm
A computer glitch in the reservations system at American Airlines caused all of the carrier's flights to be grounded for at least two hours on Tuesday.
"American's reservation and booking tool, Sabre is offline," American Airlines spokeswoman Mary Frances Fagan told Reuters in an email. "We're working to resolve the issue as quickly as we can. We apologize to our customers for any inconvenience."
NPR's Wade Goodwyn reports that the outage was announced about 2:30 p.m. Eastern time.
Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 4:03 am
As investigators combed through evidence in the deadly Boston Marathon bombings, seeking both motive and perpetrator, we turned Tuesday to a security expert for guidance on how the investigation may be unfolding.
Bryan Cunningham, a former CIA officer, assistant U.S. attorney and deputy legal adviser for the National Security Council, served in both the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations. He is now a senior adviser at the consulting firm the Chertoff Group, co-founded by former Homeland Security Director Michael Chertoff.
Listening to her ethereal sound, you might not guess that Rachel Zeffira was classically trained as an opera singer. But on her solo debut, The Deserters, she's not just singing: She also plays piano, synthesizers, vibraphone, cathedral organ, violin, viola, oboe and English horn.
Zeffira makes her home in London now, but she grew up in a small town in rural British Columbia and began playing music at a young age.
Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 3:35 pm
Hospitals can make much more money when surgery goes wrong than in cases that go without a hitch.
And that presents a problem for patients. The financial incentives don't favor better care.
"The magnitude of the numbers was eye-popping," says Atul Gawande, a professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School, and an author of the study, which was just published in JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association. "It was much larger than we expected."