Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 1:47 pm
In 1983, buoyed by a $10,000 grant from a city arts fund, a new concert presenter in San Francisco put together a festival called Jazz In The City. Fast-forward 30 years, and that organization — now called SFJAZZ and presenting more than 100 concerts a year — has raised $64 million, largely in private donations, for a new state-of-the-art performance space and permanent home. The SFJAZZ Center held a grand-opening ceremony Monday, and will celebrate Wednesday night with an all-star opening-night concert.
President Obama pulled out a surprise in his inaugural address on Monday. After barely mentioning climate change in his campaign, he put it on his short list of priorities for his second term.
"We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations," he said. Today the White House had scant detail on what the president plans to do.
This undated image shows the Amenas natural gas field in Algeria, where Islamist militants raided and took hostages last week. Dozens of hostages and their captors were killed when Algerian forces subsequently raided the facility.
The prime minister of Algeria is defending his government's response to last week's attack on a natural gas plant that left 37 hostages dead. He says the Islamic militants who were behind the attack planned to blow up the facility and would have killed a lot more people if they hadn't been stopped.
The attack happened at a huge, internationally operated facility in the Sahara. And it underscores the dangers that energy companies face when they do business in politically unstable places.
Originally published on Tue January 22, 2013 5:37 pm
Should emergency rooms track the number of people who get hurt or sick after drinking coffee? That's what the maker of Monster Energy drinks suggests in response to a recent report that emergency room visits involving caffeine-laced energy drinks doubled from 2007 to 2011.
More than 30 men set out to sea in the titular boat of The Pirogue. With that many actors and only an hour of time, not every character gets fleshed out — but the director's eye for singular faces helps.
Credit ArtMattan Productions
Baye Laye (Souleymane Seye Ndiaye) is among a ragtag assortment of emigrants on a shaky boat, seeking economic opportunity in Europe.
The journey from Senegal and poverty to Europe and supposed prosperity takes seven days by fishing boat. The Pirogue spends only about an hour on open water, but that's enough to convey the risks that make the trip foolish, and the desperation that makes it inevitable.
Congress faces a battle over gun laws that could be the biggest in a generation.
Leading the charge for gun rights is the National Rifle Association, with its huge budget and grass-roots operations. On the other side, a new leader has emerged in recent years: New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is not only outspoken on gun control, he has also opened his substantial wallet for the cause.
A scene from director Ryan Coogler's Fruitvale, an entry in this year's U.S. Dramatic Competition at the Sundance Film Festival. It dramatizes the 2009 shooting of an unarmed man by a Bay Area transit police officer.
Credit Thomas Kloss / Sundance Film festival
Scarlett Johansson and Joseph Gordon-Levitt star in the comedy Don Jon's Addiction, Gordon-Levitt's debut film as a director and screenwriter.
Sundance, the biggest American film festival, has been known for its off-kilter picks. Steven Zeitchik, arts and entertainment writer for the Los Angeles Times, tells NPR's Melissa Block that this year's gathering in Park City, Utah, is no different.
Where's the Apple store? Where's the bathroom? How do I get out of here?
Those are some of the most commonly asked questions from people visiting New York's Grand Central Terminal, according to information booth officer Audrey Johnson-Gordon. And it's no wonder: The terminal boasts passages, ramps, restaurants, stores, subway connections and more passages. It is, after all, a temple of transit, full of people going somewhere else in a hurry.
A wave of racist tweets prompted a Jewish student organization to file a lawsuit asking the American company Twitter to reveal the identities of users sending anti-Semitic tweets. Twitter says data on users is collected and stocked in California, where French law cannot be applied.
A French judge will decide this week if Twitter must hand over the identities of users sending anti-Semitic tweets. The case, brought against Twitter by a Jewish student organization, pits America's free speech guarantees against Europe's laws banning hate speech.
The controversy began in October, when the French Union of Jewish Students threatened to sue Twitter to get the names of people posting anti-Semitic tweets with the hashtag #unbonjuif, or "a good Jew."
Originally published on Tue January 22, 2013 6:36 pm
Playing Mozart to young children will make them smarter, right?
Probably not. When it comes to media hype and intuitions about intelligence and early childhood, some skepticism is in order. A paper published just this month by John Protzko, Joshua Aronson and Clancy Blair at NYU reviews dozens of studies on a topic likely to be of interest to parents, educators, and policy-makers alike: what, if anything, one can do in the first five years of life to raise a child's intelligence.