Originally published on Tue August 7, 2012 9:14 pm
There's a life-or-death drama unfolding in Texas tonight. It involves the death penalty, the Supreme Court and John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men.
First the basics: Marvin Wilson, 54, is set to be executed by Texas tonight. He was convicted of the 1992 killing of a police informant. His attorneys however argue that a Supreme Court ban on the death penalty for the mentally impaired prohibits the state from going forward with tonight's execution and are asking the high court to step in.
Arnold (Tommy Lee Jones) reluctantly agrees to go to couples therapy with his wife, Kay (Meryl Streep), in Hope Springs. The film, directed by The Devil WearsPrada's David Frankel, is a refreshingly subdued take on marital conflict.
Credit Barry Wetcher / Sony Pictures
Steve Carell plays Dr. Bernard Feld, Kay and Arnold's marriage counselor. The therapy scenes between the three go on for longer than expected and play like chamber pieces for the theater.
The act of sharing decades of your life with one person lends itself to repetition. If you aren't careful, repetition becomes routine, routines become ruts, and then, for the terminally uncommunicative, ruts dig themselves so deep that they become the sort of soul-sucking bottomless trench in which Kay and Arnold, the married couple played by Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones in Hope Springs, find themselves.
Wuhan's newest attraction is Han Street, a shopping complex that stretches several football fields, features fancy faux European architecture, and is filled with stores featuring foreign brands from Dairy Queen to Zara.
Credit Frank Langfitt / NPR
The central Chinese city of Wuhan has a population of 10 million people, more than New York City. Both Chinese and foreigners are flocking to Wuhan, the GDP of which is expected to double in five years.
Credit Frank Langfitt / NPR
The central Chinese city of Wuhan has a population of 10 million people, more than than New York City. Wuhan's economy is growing at a rapid clip, and the local government is building three subway lines in order to help ease traffic congestion and commute times.
Credit Frank Langfitt / NPR
Yun Peng, 26, moved to Wuhan seven years ago from western China for school. Now, he has a local girlfriend and plans to stay because of the many opportunities he sees.
China became a majority urban country this year. No nation has shifted so quickly from rural to urban than China, where more than half of the people now live in urban areas.
Everyone is familiar with megacities like Beijing and Shanghai, but they are just a tiny part of China's urbanization story. The country has more than 160 cities with populations of a million or more — places most of the world is only vaguely familiar with, if at all.
The American women's water polo team will again chase an elusive gold medal, this time at the London Olympics. The team qualified for the gold medal match by defeating longtime Olympic rival Australia.
Tied after regular time expired, the Americans scored two goals in overtime to beat the Australian water polo women, 11-9. Now the U.S. team moves on to the gold medal match Thursday.
Credit Richard Bain / Stratford Shakespeare Festival
The Festival Theater in Stratford, Ontario, is the main venue for the town's annual Stratford Shakespeare Festival. The town lies on the Avon River — just like Shakespeare's British birthplace — and had schools named after Romeo and Juliet before the festival started in 1953.
Credit Brian Santa Maria / iStockphoto.com
This summer, NPR's Destination Art series is going off the beaten path to visit small to midsize North American cities that have cultivated lively arts scenes. We want to hear from you! Where's your favorite art hot spot? What makes it unique? Tell us about it.
Credit David Hou / Stratford Shakespeare Festival
Cara Ricketts plays Innogen in Cymbeline, one of three Shakepeare plays produced for this year's festival.
Credit Peter Smith / Stratford Shakespeare Festival
For the first Stratford Shakespeare Festival in 1953, a circus tent was brought from Chicago and raised on a hillside.
Credit Cylla von Tiedemann / Stratford Shakespeare Festival
Mike Shara (left) as Cornelius Hackl and Josh Epstein as Barnaby Tucker in The Matchmaker, a play Thornton Wilder rewrote into its current form 50 years ago in Stratford .
Most theaters let audiences know the show is about to start by blinking the lights. Stratford's Festival Theater in Stratford, Ontario, is a bit more festive. Four burgundy-uniformed buglers and a drummer quicken the pace of hundreds of theatergoers who've been ambling up the hill from the banks of the Avon River. When curtain time arrives, a cannon will boom.
There's always a line at the Boulangerie Cauvet on the corner of rue St. Charles in Paris's 15th district. In their family owned bakery, Esmeralda Cauvet and her husband Cyril sell around 800 croissants and 3,500 baguettes a day.
In the kitchen, head pastry maker Pierre Gibert still rolls his croissants from triangular strips of dough. "The key to a good croissant is good ingredients and a high quality dough. You have to knead it, let it rise and roll it a second time in butter. That's what gives a croissant its flaky quality," Gibert says.
This month we are collecting your stories about the good things Americans are doing to make their community a better place. Some of your contributions will become blog posts and the project will end with a story that weaves together submissions to make a story of Americans by Americans for Americans.
The Mom and Dad's Record Collection series on All Things Considered continues with a memory of music and family from the Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and authorLeonard Pitts.
Pitts says his childhood mischief was set to the music of Nat King Cole, often courtesy of his mother's own voice. One afternoon, he remembers, she was singing "Don't Get Around Much Anymore" while he played out back.