Participation Nation
4:33 pm
Mon August 20, 2012

A Simple Gesture In Paradise, Calif.

Cool green bags of food for the hungry from A Simple Gesture.
Courtesy of A Simple Gesture

In 2010, my wife Karen and I — inspired by the Ashland Food Project in Oregon — founded A Simple Gesture in Paradise, a small northern California town.

Simply stated: We give a donor a cool green shopping bag. Every time she goes shopping for her own groceries she buys one extra non-perishable item and puts it in the cool green bag. Every two months a volunteer picks up the bag at the home and gives her another.

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Environment
4:20 pm
Mon August 20, 2012

Wood Energy Not 'Green' Enough, Says Mass.

Originally published on Mon August 20, 2012 6:02 pm

Wind and solar get lots of attention, but another kind of renewable power actually creates more energy in our country --wood. The state of Massachusetts on Friday decided that these plants aren't green enough to get some special breaks.

Destination Art
4:20 pm
Mon August 20, 2012

North Adams, Mass.: A Manufacturing Town For Art

MASS MoCA is a complex of 26 renovated 19th-century factory buildings. The site was formerly the home of Arnold Print Works (1860-1942) and Sprague Electric Company (1942-1985).
MASS MoCA

Originally published on Tue August 21, 2012 3:06 pm

If you ever decide to visit one of the largest museums of contemporary art in the world, prepare yourself: It's a little intimidating. First, you have to drive to upper Massachusetts, just south of the Vermont border, where you'll behold 26 hulking brick buildings: We're talking 600,000 square feet of raw, sunlit space, roughly equivalent to a mid-sized airport.

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World Cafe
4:05 pm
Mon August 20, 2012

Next: Carrousel

Carrousel.
Courtesy of the artist
  • Hear two new tracks from Carrousel

The Tallahassee band Carrousel released its first full-length album, 27 rue de mi'chelle, in May. The group's trippy, cathartic, lovelorn dream-pop often references time spent around the ocean, but there's meticulousness to the sound that could only come from countless hours in the studio. Download Carrousel's head-turning "14" and the new album's title track in this installment of World Cafe Next.

The Two-Way
3:48 pm
Mon August 20, 2012

Phyllis Diller, Legendary Comedian, Is Dead

In this May 20, 1966 file photo, comedian Phyllis Diller appears in character in the ABC-TV comedy series "The Pruitts of Southampton."
AP

Phyllis Diller, who was known for her trademark self-deprecating humor and laugh, has died at 95.

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Presidential Race
3:38 pm
Mon August 20, 2012

Ann Romney Adds Fire, Faith To Husband's Campaign

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and his wife, Ann, greet supporters during an Illinois primary victory party in March.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Mon August 20, 2012 8:52 pm

If you want to see how much Mitt and Ann Romney consider themselves a team, check out his official portrait at the Massachusetts Statehouse. He's the first governor to request that an image of his wife be included in the painting — he's posed beside a framed picture of her.

By all accounts, the Romneys consult each other on everything. So after a bruising campaign in 2008 that left Mrs. Romney openly disgusted by the process and vowing she would never do it again, it looked like that might be it for Mitt.

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It's All Politics
3:35 pm
Mon August 20, 2012

Todd Akin Fallout Spreads From Missouri To White House Race

Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., and his wife Lulli, talk with reporters last Thursday at the Missouri State Fair in Sedalia, Mo. On Monday, Akin was resisting GOP calls to resign from his Senate race.
Orlin Wagner AP

Originally published on Mon August 20, 2012 9:28 pm

After Republican Rep. Todd Akin's inflammatory comments over the weekend in which he blithely minimized rape-induced pregnancies, there are at least two inescapable questions:

1) What impact will his remark have on his U.S. Senate race in Missouri against Democratic incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill?

2) And how much will the shockwaves buffet the presidential contest or other races elsewhere?

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Remembrances
3:29 pm
Mon August 20, 2012

Comedy's Self-Deprecating Pioneer Phyllis Diller Dies

Diller poses with a photo at her Los Angeles home in 2005.
Chris Pizzello AP

Originally published on Mon August 20, 2012 6:02 pm

A queen of comedy has died. Phyllis Diller had audiences in stitches for more than five decades with her outlandish get-ups and rapid-fire one-liners. She died at her home, where she had been in hospice care after a fall. She was 95.

Diller was glamorously outrageous — or at least the character she created was glamorously outrageous, the one who wore wigs that made her look like she had her finger in an electrical outlet, who wore gaudy sequined outfits. She was known for her laugh and those nasty jokes about her dimwitted husband, "Fang."

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Latin America
3:03 pm
Mon August 20, 2012

Dissident's Death Stirs A Drama In Cuba

Oswaldo Paya, who challenged Cuba's communist regime for decades, died in a car crash on July 22. A Spanish man who was driving Paya has been charged with the equivalent of vehicular manslaughter. Here, a nun holds a portrait of Paya during his funeral in Havana.
Adalberto Roque AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon August 20, 2012 6:02 pm

The family of well-known Cuban dissident Oswaldo Paya, who was killed in a car crash in July, claims that the Cuban government may have had a role in his death.

But as new details come to light, it appears that a European activist who came to help Paya ended up accidentally killing him on a trip gone horribly wrong.

Actually, two Europeans, both 27, were in the car with Paya at the time of his death. The Europeans had met through Facebook.

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Election 2012
2:47 pm
Mon August 20, 2012

Medicare And Medicaid: How The Campaigns Differ

Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., discusses Medicare, Medicaid and the federal budget last year, in Kenosha, Wis.
Jeffrey Phelps AP

Originally published on Mon August 20, 2012 5:07 pm

Since GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney picked Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin as his running mate, seems all we've been hearing about is Medicare and its future.

No surprise, of course: Ryan is the author of the GOP budget plan that would dramatically remake how the health care insurance program for seniors is managed and funded. He also calls for big changes to Medicaid, the insurance program for the poor, including elderly Americans who have exhausted their means.

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