Brooklyn-based keyboardist and vocalist Xenia Rubinos likes to play with syncopation. Her debut album, Magic Trix, is based around rhythms that sometimes are identifiable as Caribbean, and at other times veer into the experimental.
"It's something I have a lot of fun with — just taking one rhythmic figure and turning it around as many ways as I can," Rubinos says. "That's a huge part of my compositional process, just messing around with something very simple and seeing how far I can take it."
Sokeel Park sees the effects of North Korea's repressive government every day. He lives in South Korea, but works for an NGO named Liberty in North Korea. His job is to debrief those who've managed to leave the North and help them start new lives in the South.
Park says that with so much focus on the country's nuclear weapons and leadership, it's easy to forget about the 24 million people going about their everyday lives. Those lives are heavily controlled by the North Korean government, citizens are told where to work, where to live, and are not allowed to leave.
The House was set to vote this week on a bill modifying the president's health care law. The Republican bill was supported by the leadership, but ran into trouble and was pulled from the floor before the scheduled vote.
It's an example of the kind of obstacles Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, faces in getting legislation through the House. In many recent cases, his problem hasn't been the Democrats as much as members of his own party, backed by proudly conservative outside groups.
Superstorm Sandy pummeled the East Coast six months ago, and, as with other natural disasters, the Federal Emergency Management Agency was there from day one, finding people temporary shelter and later supporting rebuilding efforts.
FEMA also has a lesser-known role. It oversees the creation of flood maps, which model the risk of flooding in different areas during storms. These maps are also used to set building codes and flood insurance rates. In New York and New Jersey, FEMA is updating those maps, and so far many homeowners don't like what they are seeing.
In some ways, Michael Bublé is just of a different time. The songs the Canadian crooner sings are the Motown, jazz and swing classics he grew up listening to with his grandfather. Bublé says he misses the pure, unadulterated sound of music made back then — though he is willing to use a little Auto-Tune once in a while.
Kansan journalist Jason Probst says the Kansas he knows has disappeared.
"The great state of Kansas passed away on March 31, 2013 after a long and difficult battle with extremism," he wrote in an editorial for The Hutchinson News.
His faux obituary, lamenting Kansas' embrace of conservatism, went viral. Tens of thousands of people read it. Many were fellow Kansans who wrote to Probst to say they, too, were disturbed by their state's dramatic swing to the right.