This is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. It is Presidents Day, a day we celebrate the nation's presidents, and for many people it's a day off: a day to spend time with friends and family.
Al Roker, the veteran weatherman on NBC's Today show, endured years of indignities as an obese teenager and throughout his television career. Then, in 2002, he had bariatric surgery and lost more than 100 pounds. But deciding to have the procedure, which is potentially life-threatening, wasn't easy — and neither was keeping the weight off afterward.
After huge critical and commercial success last year, breakthrough British sensation Emeli Sande has her sights set on America.
It's a long way from her roots. Born to a Zambian father and English mother, the singer-songwriter was raised in Scotland. She tells NPR's Michel Martin that being the only mixed-race family in a small village had a big impact on her.
Syria's war has thrown ordinary citizens into situations they never could have imagined and changed them in ways they never would have dreamed. It's turned carpenters, engineers and doctors into armed rebels. And in Aleppo, it has turned a young female teacher into a war photographer.
We first met Nour Kelze back in October, on our first trip to Aleppo. We asked her to work with us as an interpreter. She agreed but said she also would be shooting pictures.
Kelze, 25, had been teaching English and only recently became a war photographer.
Boeing's European rival Airbus announced a significant change to its A350-XWB airliner on Friday: It is abandoning plans to use a lithium-ion battery, the same kind that has caused Boeing so much trouble with its 787 Dreamliner.
The A350 is Airbus' version of the Dreamliner — a lighter, more fuel efficient plane made primarily out of a carbon fiber instead of aluminum and steel.
Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 7:47 am
Wouldn't it be great, considering how many of us are overweight, if carrying a few extra pounds meant we'd live longer?
A recent analysis of nearly 100 published studies involving almost 3 million people found, surprisingly, that being a little overweight was associated with a lower risk of death than having a normal weight or being obese.
In 1988, Chile's brutal military dictator, Augusto Pinochet, was facing international pressure to legitimize his regime. Confident that the opposition was splintered, and that state-run media could control the political dialogue, his administration agreed to a simple yes-or-no vote on extending his rule.
It was a vote that even Pinochet's opponents expected to go his way — but it didn't, for reasons made both compelling and instructive in Pablo Larrain's rousing Oscar-nominated drama, No.
Tony Kushner spent years writing the screenplay for Steven Spielberg's film Lincoln, but that wasn't the only heavy lifting he had to do. It also took some effort to overcome Daniel Day-Lewis' reluctance to play the title role.
Director Wes Anderson has many credits to his name — The Royal Tenenbaums,The Darjeeling Limited,Bottle Rocket and Fantastic Mr. Fox among them — but Moonrise Kingdom was his first film to open the prestigious Cannes Film Festival.
Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 7:42 am
It is perhaps one of the more frivolous stories out of the Middle East; still, it's tasty, so we'll tell you about it: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has angered his opponents by budgeting 10,000 Shekels ($2,716) to buy ice cream for his household.
As The Guardian reports, the news came at an inconvenient time for Netanyahu's coalition government: They had just proposed an austerity budget that cut benefits for public workers.
Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 1:00 pm
With 30 Rock off the air, Judah Friedlander has time to indulge other interests. Like processed cheese.
Friedlander, who played Frank on the sitcom (the guy with all the custom baseball caps), says he's been "obsessed" for the past several years with Provel, a processed blend of Swiss, provolone and cheddar rarely found outside its hometown of St. Louis.
"It's not even legally cheese," Friedlander tells The Salt. "It's melted plastic from the '80s."
The HeLa cell line — one of the most revolutionary tools of biomedical research — has played a part in some of the world's most important medical advances, from the polio vaccine to in vitro fertilization.
Many people believe that happiness comes from money or youth or beauty, but Dan Buettner would respectfully disagree. Buettner visited some of the happiest places on Earth and argues that the real keys to happiness lie in fundamental, permanent changes to the way we live.
Earlier this week, Pope Benedict XVI announced that he would be retiring from his position, but he's not the only prominent Catholic stepping down. Host Michel Martin speaks with top Catholic lobbyist and policy adviser, John Carr, about his own retirement and what's next for him and the Church.
The latest person to sue a university over a "bad" grade has failed to make her case.
As the Allentown, Pa., Morning Call reports, "a Northampton County judge on Thursday rejected the claims of a Lehigh University graduate suing over her C+ grade, a verdict that upheld the school's insistence that she earned the mark she got."
This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. Anyone who's taken a high school science class knows the name Isaac Newton. You remember this tale: He's sitting under a tree, an apple falls on his head, he figures out gravity, or so the story goes. Not really true.
FLATOW: Switching gears, and our gear is our Video Pick of the Week, and it's a real - as always, a real cool one.
LICHTMAN: This one, yeah, very cool. We're to the earthly pleasures now - part - segment of the show. It's about art. We went and visited the studio of artist Toni Dove, and she makes the art - the kind of art that's just my style. It satisfies my craving for fantasy, and also my real nerdy, geeky side.
This is SCIENCE FRIDAY, I'm Ira Flatow. Early this morning...
(SOUNDBITE OF EXPLOSION)
FLATOW: You heard it, a meteor exploded over Central Russia. It rattled buildings, shattered glass over a wide area, causing hundreds of injuries estimated at 900 or more at this hour. And at this very moment another asteroid, half the size of a football field, is speeding towards our planet. But there's no need to panic. This one is not raining space rocks, say scientists.
As a journalist, I've known Katherine Bouton for over 30 years. I first met her on a trip to Antarctica in 1979. A famous picture of me interviewing penguins was taken by Ms. Bouton. But I was never fully aware of the extent of the private battle she has been fighting, an invisible condition that affects 50 million Americans, I'm talking about hearing loss.
As Washington debates changing the immigration system, the demand for immigration attorneys has already jumped, even without new laws in place.
Lawyers such as Jose Pertierra, a veteran immigration attorney, are trained to interpret the law, but Pertierra sees his role as much more.
Every Thursday at 6 p.m. for the past 10 years, Pertierrra is here — on the set of the Spanish language TV studios of Univision in Washington, D.C., near Capitol Hill. He does a segment on immigration where he answers viewers' questions.
Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 1:22 pm
As they finally came off the Carnival cruise ship Triumph late Thursday and early Friday in Mobile, Ala., passengers from the ill-fated cruise told stories that call to mind TV's Survivor and literature's classic Lord of the Flies, the Los Angeles Times writes.
Call fried chicken and waffles a traditional Southern food, and you're liable to get accused of a damn Yankee conspiracy.
That's what we found out last week, when our story about the dangers of a Southern fried diet prompted many of you with roots in the South to protest – don't pin that dish on us! Here's a sampling of the comments we received:
"I'm a southerner, and I have never heard of fried chicken on a waffle!"