The Reflecting Pool on Washington, D.C.'s National Mall began as a glorious mirror for the Washington Monument, stretching out from the foot of the Lincoln Memorial stairs. Visitors could see the reflection, the obelisk itself, and over its shoulder the huge dome of the Capitol, the site everyone who comes to Washington wants to see. But over the years, the pool grew increasingly dank and slimy looking, leaking, smelly. Finally, the Park Service closed it for a complete do-over. Two years later, it's almost ready.
Once the Republican convention gets underway, we can expect to hear a lot of talk about jobs and the economy. That is the ground where Mr. Romney wants this fight to happen. Just this past week, the Congressional Budget Office said the country would see a significant recession if Congress fails to resolve differences over a series of automatic tax increases and budget cuts, scheduled to happen in January. With so much at stake, just how constructive is the level of economic discourse in this presidential campaign?
After a year and a half of preparations, Tampa, Fla., is ready host the Republican National Convention.
Some 70,000 delegates, support personnel, media and protestors are gathering for the party's nominating event. Originally scheduled to start on Monday, the convention was pushed back because of Tropical Storm Isaac.
Inside the Tampa Bay Times Forum — a hockey arena that's been transformed into a high-tech political stage — it's a vision in red, white and blue. There's a nod to tradition, placards marking the sections reserved for each state's delegation.
It was the kind of history that ignites the imagination of humanity.
On July 20, 1969, hundreds of millions of people around the world watched or listened as the lunar module Eagle carried astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to the surface of the moon. Armstrong got on the radio to let them know "the Eagle has landed."
Almost seven hours later, Armstrong stepped off the ladder in his bulky white space suitand said those famous words: "That's one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind"
The droughts that have parched big regions of the country are killing forests.
In the arid Southwest, the body count is especially high. Besides trying to keep wildfires from burning up these desiccated forests, there's not much anyone can do. In fact, scientists are only now figuring out how drought affects trees.
Originally published on Mon August 27, 2012 6:51 am
I loved the TV show TheSix-Million Dollar man growing up. For me, Steve Austin (played by Lee Majors) wasn't less cool because he had bionic implants that enabled him to perform superhuman feats. He was more cool.
On-air challenge: Every answer is a two-word phrase in which one of the words starts with W and the other word is the same with the W removed. For example, if you were given the clue "desires scurrying insects," the answer would be "wants ants."
The Republican National Convention, in Tampa, has canceled almost all events for Monday night, citing Tropical Storm Isaac. Convention organizers made that announcement, saying safety is their primary concern. NPR's Jeff Brady is in Tampa, and he joins us now. Jeff, tell us what's happening.
Originally published on Sat August 25, 2012 6:55 pm
Tropical Storm Isaac has been difficult to track, but its potential to affect Florida has caused the Republican National Convention to change its plans. Events for Monday have been canceled, though the committee will convene briefly. As Alan Greenblatt reported for It's All Politics, this is now the second-consecutive Republican National Convention to be delayed by a storm.
It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Laura Sullivan, in for Guy Raz.
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NEIL ARMSTRONG: That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.
SULLIVAN: Astronaut Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon. He died today at the age of 82 after complications from a heart procedure. He was the first of just 12 Americans to step on the moon from 1969 to 1972.
While some 70,000 visitors are expected for the Republican National Convention, it's not the only big event heading towards Tampa. On Tuesday, another important visitor could be on the way, though perhaps not directly through Tampa - Tropical Storm Isaac. As of now, Isaac is still in the Caribbean. But as NPR's Greg Allen reports from Tampa, it's likely to be a hurricane when it passes near the city later in the week.
Ana Gonzalez, 63, has gone her whole life without a driver's license or a state-issued ID. That wasn't really a problem, until now.
She was born in Puerto Rico but moved soon after with her adoptive parents for the continental U.S., where she grew up.Her husband drives, and her odd jobs over the years have required only a Social Security card, which she has. She's just never needed a birth certificate before.
Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 9:18 am
More than 100,000 trees — including many beautiful live oaks and magnolias — were lost when Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans in 2005.
In response, Hike For KaTREEna — a nonprofit group dedicated to reforesting the Crescent City — was created.
Since 2006, more than 10,000 volunteers have helped to plant 13,400 trees — including oaks, cypress, red maples, crepe myrtles, magnolias, redbuds, Savannah hollies and citrus trees such as navel orange, satsuma, lemon, lime and grapefruit.
Originally published on Sun August 26, 2012 3:28 pm
Former astronaut Neil Armstrong, known for his words, "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind," has died. The first man ever to walk on the moon was 82.
Update at 5:15 p.m. ET:
Armstrong's family has released a statement, saying he died following cardiovascular procedures. NASA published it here. They say, "Armstrong was also a reluctant American hero who always believed he was just doing his job."
Originally published on Sat August 25, 2012 7:42 pm
The shooting outside the Empire State Building on Friday took a new turn Saturday: New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly says all nine bystanders wounded in the deadly incident were "struck either by fragments or bullets fired by the police."
Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 8:39 am
Washington, D.C. blogger Sam Hiersteiner is a hot sauce fan turned maker. He's already harvested two pounds of chiles — serranos, jalapenos, and habaneros — from his 30-plant pepper garden this month, and he's ready to mash them into hot sauce as soon as more ripen. Last year, he mashed fifty pounds total.While he loved the results, he thought it would be even better with a whisper of the flavor imparted by a barrel used for aging bourbon.
Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:
R Community Bikes is a grassroots organization in Rochester that repairs and gives away bikes to people in need.
The vision and tireless work of Dan Lill has helped this group grow from a seasonal bike clinic in a soup kitchen parking lot — with two would-be bike mechanics — to a full fledged nonprofit with 50-60 active volunteer bike mechanics and a 6,000 square foot shop-and-warehouse that provides free repairs to the entire population.
Originally published on Sat August 25, 2012 8:20 am
If you want to understand how the White House race will play out in North Carolina as we enter the convention phase, talking to Carter Wrenn, a Republican, and Gary Pearce, a Democrat, is a good start.
The two veteran political strategists have, over decades, been involved in many a Tar Heel campaign.
One of Wrenn's best known clients was Jesse Helms, the late North Carolina senator renowned for both his surliness and race baiting.
Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 2:35 pm
The dust has yet to settle on Apple's patent lawsuit victory Friday over electronics rival Samsung. Samsung has said it will ask the court to overturn the verdict, which would award Apple more than $1 billion in damages. But if that's unsuccessful, Samsung will likely appeal.
Mitt Romney, 65, has spent the better part of a decade running for president. And as the son of a Michigan governor who headed a Detroit auto company, he's been in the public eye much longer.
Yet the former Massachusetts governor has remained an enigma to many voters, his political positions malleable, and much of his business and private life — including his Mormon religion — intentionally obscured.
Or simply declared off limits, like years of his tax returns.
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