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1:58 am
Sun April 14, 2013

Jazz In The Cafeteria: Kids Learn To Listen While They Chomp

Saxophonist Harold Rapp plays during lunchtime at Alice Terry Elementary School in Sheridan, Colo.
Jenny Brundin for NPR

Originally published on Sun April 14, 2013 3:44 pm

School lunch is often synonymous with loud noise. Studies have shown the decibel level in some cafeterias is as high as a lawn mower.

Every so often, though, students at Alice Terry Elementary School, southwest of Denver, are asked not to make any noise.

When the music teacher told students here they'd occasionally have a "silent" lunch break, this was kindergartner Alyssa Norquette's reaction: "Why do we need a silent lunch? Is it because we're too loud or something?"

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Shots - Health News
1:57 am
Sun April 14, 2013

Scientists Race To Stay Ahead Of New Bird Flu Virus

Workers prepare an H7N9 virus detection kit at the Center for Disease Control in Beijing on April 3.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 15, 2013 6:01 am

A precious package arrived at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last Thursday afternoon.

Inside, packed in dry ice to keep it frozen, was a vial containing millions of viruses derived from a 35-year-old Chinese housewife who died last Tuesday of respiratory and kidney failure.

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Music Interviews
3:27 pm
Sat April 13, 2013

Thao Nguyen's Musical Life Is Far From 'Common'

Thao & The Get Down Stay Down's new album is titled We The Common.
Nick Walker Courtesy of the artist

Thao Nguyen, of the folk-rock group Thao & the Get Down Stay Down, has been on a musical journey since she started performing in her teens in Northern Virginia. Delicate yet fierce in her vocal delivery, she writes often about her social concerns — and it was a trip to a California women's prison that inspired much of her latest album, We the Common.

Ngyuen and her band are on the road for the first time in several years; she spoke with NPR's Jacki Lyden from a tour stop in Kansas City.

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Movies
2:43 pm
Sat April 13, 2013

Jurassic Bark: How Sound Design Changed Our Imaginations

A single trumpet from a baby elephant at the San Francisco Zoo was used for every single T. Rex roar in Jurassic Park.
Universal Pictures

Originally published on Sat April 13, 2013 5:15 pm

Nobody actually knows what dinosaurs sound like. But if you can imagine the roar of a T. Rex or the bellow of a brachiosaurus, it's probably thanks to the 1993 blockbuster Jurassic Park, which turns 20 this summer.

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All Tech Considered
2:11 pm
Sat April 13, 2013

When Digital Dust Is Gathered, Constellation May Be Muddled

The Orion nebula is the brightest spot in the sword of the Orion, or the Hunter constellation.
NASA

Originally published on Sat April 13, 2013 3:09 pm

That constellation of information known as Big Data can be a sight to behold.

Adam Frank of NPR's 13.7 blog explains Big Data as "the ability to understand (and control) a seemingly chaotic world on levels never before imagined."

Big Data is like gathering digital dust, says New Yorker tech blogger Gary Marcus. "It's a very valuable tool," he says, "but it's rarely the whole solution by itself."

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NPR Story
1:59 pm
Sat April 13, 2013

Down To The Put: Golf Analytics Gain Traction

Originally published on Sat April 13, 2013 3:09 pm

Numbers crunching has become a big deal in sports. Analytics have been slower to take hold in the tradition-bound game of golf, but it is happening. NPR's Tom Goldman reports on the phenomenon from the tournament most steeped in tradition, the Masters.

NPR Story
1:59 pm
Sat April 13, 2013

Week In News: Guns In U.S., Threats Abroad

Originally published on Sat April 13, 2013 3:09 pm

The gun control debate continued to dominate the news this week with President Obama coming out strongly in support of reforming the current gun control laws alongside the Newtown families. Host Jacki Lyden speaks with James Fallows, national correspondent with The Atlantic, about that story along with the bird flu in China, North Korea and the Postal Service.

NPR Story
1:59 pm
Sat April 13, 2013

'First American Ballet Star' Soared To Fame With 'Firebird'

Originally published on Sat April 13, 2013 3:09 pm

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

The dancer who brought "Firebird" and "The Nutcracker" to life at the New York City Ballet died this week. Maria Tallchief was one of America's great prima ballerinas. NPR's Joel Rose has this remembrance.

JOEL ROSE, BYLINE: Maria Tallchief soared to fame in 1949 when she danced the lead role in Stravinsky's "Firebird" in a production choreographed by George Balanchine.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED INTERVIEW)

MARIA TALLCHIEF: He was a poet. And he taught us how to react and to become this poetry.

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The Two-Way
1:16 pm
Sat April 13, 2013

Palestinian Prime Minister Fayyad Resigns Post

Salam Fayyad passes through an Israeli checkpoint in the West Bank town of Hebron in January. This week, he resigned from his post as prime minister of the Palestinian Authority.
Hazem Bader AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun April 14, 2013 5:54 am

Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad has resigned, ending a power struggle with President Mahmoud Abbas that rose to new heights in recent months. Fayyad had reportedly tried to quit his job earlier this week; Abbas initially refused it, but he finally accepted the resignation Saturday.

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The Two-Way
12:26 pm
Sat April 13, 2013

Egyptian Judge Abruptly Steps Down From Mubarak Retrial

Ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, waves from behind his son, Alaa, during the opening session of Mubarak's retrial in Cairo on Saturday.
AFP/Getty Images

A Cairo courtroom burst into chants of "The people want the execution of the president" on Saturday after the judge overseeing former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's retrial withdrew from the case on opening day. NPR's Leila Fadel reports:

"The session lasted only seconds. Judge Mustafa Hassan Abdullah opened the trial, quickly recused himself and transferred the proceedings to the court of appeals for the case to be reassigned to a new court.

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The Two-Way
12:17 pm
Sat April 13, 2013

Jetliner Crashes Into Sea Near Runway In Bali; All Aboard Safe

The wreckage of a crashed Lion Air 737 sits in water near the airport in Bali, Indonesia, Saturday, in a photo released by Indonesian police. All 108 people aboard survived the crash.
AP

More than 100 passengers survived a crash into the sea, after the Boeing 737 they were traveling on from West Java to Bali, Indonesia, missed the runway at Denpasar International Airport. The plane came to rest in shallow waters, simplifying rescue efforts. Photographs showed the Lion Air jet in the water, its fuselage broken just behind its wings.

The aircraft was carrying 101 passengers and seven crew members when it crashed; afterward, rescue workers used rubber boats to get people off the plane.

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The Two-Way
10:02 am
Sat April 13, 2013

Storms Continue To Pound Large Parts Of The Country

An Xcel Energy crew works to restore a storm-damaged power line on Friday in Sioux Falls, S.D. More than 18,000 homes in the region were without power after a major spring storm brought freezing rain and heavy snow that downed trees and power lines.
DIRK LAMMERS AP

Originally published on Sat April 13, 2013 1:40 pm

Spring is spreading its share of nasty weather throughout much of the Midwest and Deep South, leaving thousands of people without power.

The upper Midwest is just emerging from a storm that dumped several inches of snow in parts of the Dakotas and forced temperatures down to as low as 22 degrees. Now, forecasters are saying another 6 to 12 inches of snow could fall as a new storm rages through Montana, North Dakota and northern Minnesota.

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The Two-Way
9:59 am
Sat April 13, 2013

In China, Kerry Seeks Help In Calming North Korea

Secretary of State John Kerry shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping before their meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Kerry sought China's help in easing tensions on the Korean peninsula.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

Secretary of State John Kerry is asking China's government to help ease tensions on the Korean peninsula, where North Korea has issued threats of war as it tests its weapons systems. The top U.S. diplomat met with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing just days before a North Korea-promised missile test.

"That meeting with the president ran over by quite a lot," NPR's Louisa Lim reports from Beijing. "And afterward, Kerry said it couldn't have been more constructive, and more forward-leaning."

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The Two-Way
8:26 am
Sat April 13, 2013

Woods Given Two-Stroke Penalty At Masters, Avoiding Disqualification

Tiger Woods drops his ball after hitting into the water on the 15th hole during the second round of the Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. He was later assessed a two-stroke penalty for the improper drop.
Mike Ehrmann Getty Images

Originally published on Sun April 14, 2013 4:19 am

Tiger Woods has been given a two-stroke penalty at the Masters, a tournament he's won four times, after a review found that he performed an illegal drop on the 15th hole of his second round Friday. Woods faced a possible disqualification for the infraction.

The incident began when Woods' wedge shot was a bit too on-target — it hit the base of the pin, and shot off the green and into a water hazard.

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Deceptive Cadence
7:11 am
Sat April 13, 2013

Extreme Drama: The Life And Music Of Richard Wagner

Rudolph Cronau's drawing of Wagner's opera house, Bayreuth, flanked by his birthplace (left) and place of death.
Wikimedia Commons

Richard Wagner was, and still is today, arguably the most controversial figure in classical music. A self-appointed deity and hyperdriven genius, Wagner is often considered the ultimate megalomaniac. He dreamed up and achieved a single-minded plan to change the course of classical music history.

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
7:03 am
Sat April 13, 2013

Panel Round One

Originally published on Sat April 13, 2013 8:25 am

Transcript

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

We want to remind everybody they can join us here most weeks at the Chase Bank Auditorium. And I want to tell you about the WAIT, WAIT...DON'T TELL ME! movie event on May 2nd. We will be beaming our show live into movie theaters across the country. For tickets and more information, go to waitwaittickets.org.

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The Two-Way
6:44 am
Sat April 13, 2013

Mother Of Slain Sandy Hook Student Sits In For Obama's Weekly Address

Francine Wheeler, seen here delivering the presidential address alongside her husband, David, urged the Senate to pass gun control legislation.
YouTube

Originally published on Sat April 13, 2013 12:16 pm

In a rare departure from tradition, Saturday's weekly presidential address was delivered not by President Obama but instead by Francine Wheeler, whose son Ben, 6, died in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings last December.

Flanked by her husband, David, Wheeler called for Americans to urge the Senate to pass gun control legislation that it is scheduled to begin debating in the coming week.

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Fresh Air Weekend
6:03 am
Sat April 13, 2013

Fresh Air Weekend: Mormon 'Elders', Johnny Cash And Jherek Bischoff

A new 64-disc box offers a complete retrospective of the Man in Black's storied career.
Sony Music

Originally published on Sat April 13, 2013 7:03 am

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

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StoryCorps
3:16 am
Sat April 13, 2013

A Pianist's Ultimate Sacrifice: Giving It All To Go To War

Staff Sgt. Daniel Hodd on deployment in Anbar Province, Iraq, 2008.
Courtesy of Daniel Hodd

Originally published on Sat April 20, 2013 1:25 pm

In 2001, Daniel Hodd was 17 and starting a promising career as a concert pianist. But he also wanted to become a U.S. Marine.

"At 3 years of age, you walked over to the piano, and you just started playing," Evelyn Hodd tells her son.

He played until he was 17 and performed in the Metropolitan Opera Theater. Juilliard offered him a scholarship. But Daniel decided to go to the military instead. He enlisted in 2002 and deployed to Iraq in 2003.

"That was devastating for me. And then, you had an accident," his mother says.

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Asia
3:16 am
Sat April 13, 2013

Diplomacy, Warnings Mark Kerry's Visit To Korean Peninsula

Originally published on Sat April 13, 2013 7:11 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News, I'm Scott Simon. Secretary of State John Kerry's in China as the world waits to see whether North Korea will test-fire a missile. Secretary Kerry hopes that Chinese leaders will put pressure on their traditional ally, the North Koreans. Before arriving he said there's no group of leaders on the face of the planet with more capacity to make a difference than the Chinese.

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