Parallels
2:06 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

In A Church Built On Tradition, The Pope Likes Spontaneity

A young man gives a Catholic skullcap to Pope Francis as he greets the crowd before his general audience at St. Peter's Square at the Vatican on Oct. 16.
Alberto Pizzoli AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 5:36 pm

In the seven months since he was elected, Pope Francis has shaken up the Catholic world and beyond with off-the-cuff homilies, phone calls to ordinary folk and unscripted interviews. His Twitter followers now exceed 10 million. Described by the Vatican as "conversational," the new papal style is drawing praise from large numbers of Catholics and nonbelievers alike.

But it's also making some conservative Catholics deeply uncomfortable.

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All Tech Considered
2:06 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

HealthCare.gov's Rocky First Month Leaves Plenty Of Questions

Suzanne Cloud on the first day the health exchange marketplace opened, Oct 1. Because of problems with the HealthCare.gov website, she's now planning to use a paper application.
Elana Gordon WHYY

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 3:49 pm

When the federal health exchange marketplace opened Oct. 1, we visited jazz musician Suzanne Cloud in Philadelphia. She tried to start an account early in the morning, but technology thwarted her plans.

She wasn't alone, as it became clear quickly that the unprecedented system for Americans in 36 states to shop and enroll for health insurance was broken in several places. A week into her failed attempts, Cloud stayed positive.

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NPR Story
1:55 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

Suspected Gunman In Custody After LAX Shooting

A still image from NBC LA shows a person being loaded into an ambulance at Los Angeles International Airport. (Joseph Weisenthal/Twitter)

Update 4:23 p.m.: Law enforcement officials identify LAX shooting suspect as 23-year-old Paul Ciancia.

Update 2:49 p.m.: Union official: TSA agent killed in LAX shooting.

Update 2:20 p.m.: Police say 3 shot, including TSA agent, by gunman with semi-automatic weapon at LAX.

A suspected gunman was in custody Friday following a shooting at Los Angeles airport that left multiple people wounded and disrupted flights nationwide.

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NPR Story
1:55 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

Microbiologist Says To Avoid The Flu, Go Outside

A microbiologist recommends spending time outside in order to avoid getting sick this flu season. (Maxwell GS/Flickr)

Want to avoid catching the flu or your co-worker’s cold this year? 

Get some fresh air and wash your hands with soap and water, microbiologist Jack Gilbert tells Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson.

Gilbert says we’ve created an urban world complete with air conditioning, filtration and windows that don’t open, leading to an environment of homogeneous microbes.

Add a healthy dose of bacteria from the outdoors, and you may just be fine. Getting a dog could help, too.

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NPR Story
1:55 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

'Ender's Game' Director Says Focus On The Message, Not The Author

Asa Butterfield (left) plays Ender Wiggin and Harrison Ford (right) plays Colonel Graff in the new film "Ender's Game." (Richard Foreman Jr., SMPSP, © 2013 Summit Entertainment, LLC. All Rights Reserved.)
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Movie Reviews
1:25 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

Matthew McConaughey, Fiercely Committed To This 'Club'

In Dallas Buyers Club, Matthew McConaughey takes on the role of Ron Woodroof, a Texas man who, diagnosed with AIDS in the 1980s, begins to smuggle experimental drugs in from Mexico.
Anne Marie Fox Focus Features

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 3:49 pm

Texas good ol' boy Ron Woodroof was a player — drugs, alcohol, women, gambling. As Dallas Buyers Club starts, he's at a rodeo, snorting cocaine, with a fistful of bets, when he gets it on with two prostitutes. Not a "healthy" lifestyle — one that's left him gaunt, weak, coughing.

With the advantage of hindsight, what's ailing him seems obvious now. Back in 1986, it didn't, until doctors did a blood test and told him he had 30 days to live.

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The Two-Way
12:27 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

Pakistani Taliban Chief Killed In U.S. Drone Strike

Pakistani Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud (left) with his commander Wali-ur Rehman in South Waziristan, in October 2009.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 4:01 pm

The head of the Pakistani Taliban, Hakimullah Mehsud, has been killed in a U.S. drone strike, U.S. and Taliban officials tell NPR and other news organizations.

"We confirm with great sorrow that our esteemed leader was martyred in a drone attack," a senior Taliban commander was quoted by Reuters as saying.

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All Tech Considered
12:10 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

Tech Week That Was: Kids And Screens, NSA And Our Data

A protester appears behind Gen. Keith Alexander, director of the National Security Agency, at a hearing of the House intelligence committee this week in Washington.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 1:52 pm

Each week, we round up the tech and culture stories from NPR and beyond. Let's do this, folks.

ICYMI

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Parallels
12:04 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

How One Kenyan Tribe Produces The World's Best Runners

Runners train in Ngong, Kenya, in 2012. The country has produced the world's best distance runners for decades, and most belong to the Kalenjin people.
Michael Steele Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 5:35 pm

Kenyan Wilson Kipsang won this year's Berlin Marathon in 2 hours, 3 minutes and 23 seconds — an average of 4:42 per mile. It was easily the fastest marathon time ever recorded, an incredible feat for another powerful Kenyan runner.

But perhaps equally remarkable was that his fellow Kenyans also came in second, third, fourth and fifth place in this major international race. On the women's side, Kenyans placed first, second and fourth.

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Shots - Health News
11:26 am
Fri November 1, 2013

Sorry, Red Sox, Heavy Stubble Beats Beards For Attractiveness

Hey man, that's sensitive: Mike Napoli of the Boston Red Sox pulls teammate Jonny Gomes' beard after hitting a three-run homer in Game 4 of the 2013 World Series in St. Louis.
Jamie Squire Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 4, 2013 1:02 pm

When Mike Napoli got up to bat in Game 6 of the World Series, my first thought was, "Oh my goodness, that beard is awful." But after the Red Sox's first baseman laid off a few bad pitches, I started liking the hair on his chin.

All that got me thinking about beards.

Sometime during evolution women lost their facial hair. This strong difference between the sexes implies that facial furriness, or the lack thereof, has played a role in how we picked our partners, at least at one point in human history.

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