Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 2:47 pm
Richard Powers, whose novels combine the wonders of science with the marvels of art, astonishes us in different ways with each new book. His 11th, Orfeo, is about a 70-year-old avant-garde composer who has sacrificed family and fortune to his relentless pursuit of immortal, transcendent music.
Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 9:34 am
With a major push from the U.S., a new Syrian peace conference opened Wednesday in Switzerland, the first such effort since the middle of 2012. It wasn't easy getting everyone there, and it will be harder still to achieve a breakthrough.
Here are a few key things to know about the conference:
It's difficult to understand why certain athletes are harshly singled out by the media, but one of the most baffling examples has to be the criticism displayed toward figure skater Nancy Kerrigan after she was clubbed in the leg at a practice session just weeks before the 1994 Olympics.
The ex-husband of another member of the U.S. women's team, Tonya Harding, was convicted of arranging the attack. Harding herself was fined and banned from the sport.
There are more than a thousand species of sharks and rays in the world, and nearly a quarter of them are threatened with extinction, according to a new study. That means these ancient types of fish are among the most endangered animals in the world.
Bobby Foster Jr. can often be found reading the paper on a wooden bench outside Murry's grocery store on the corner of Sixth and H streets northeast in Washington, D.C.
"The sun shines over here this time of day," says Foster, a retired cook. "It's always good when the sun shines."
Murry's has been an anchor in this neighborhood for decades — during the crack wars of the 1980s and the urban blight that followed, when most other businesses packed up and left. Foster has been somewhat of an anchor, too. He's lived here for 54 years.
The first time Jamie Anderson performed a "cab 7," it was not in the script. The trick involves a snowboarder launching off a jump and spinning two full rotations. Anderson had tried it in practice but had never fully executed it.
"I didn't have to do that trick, but I really wanted to and knew I could do it," Anderson says. "For me it was more about the principle of knowing that I can do something even that was really challenging and difficult."
When it comes to Italy's enormous art heritage, officials are often faced with an unbearable choice: Which pieces should be saved when the government can't afford to save them all? Now, thanks to an online vote, it's up to Italian citizens to answer that tough question. In the end, some art will get a new lease on life, but many works that epitomize Western civilization remain seriously in danger.
Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 7:36 pm
Wendy Davis' meteoric rise, from Texas state senator who barely won re-election to Democratic candidate for governor and darling of the national party, has hinged on her powerful personal story and a famous filibuster.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.
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And I'm Robert Siegel.
A fast-moving winter storm is barreling across the mid-Atlantic and up the East Coast today. Some places are expecting up to a foot of snow. The blizzard conditions from Virginia to Massachusetts will be followed by bitterly cold temperatures. NPR's Allison Keyes reports.