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The Torch
1:47 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

Fencer Mariel Zagunis Will Carry U.S. Flag In Opening Ceremony

Mariel Zagunis has been named the U.S. flagbearer for the London 2012 Opening Ceremony. Here, Zagunis celebrates a win in the individual sabre final at the Pan American Games last year.
Jorge Saenz AP

Mariel Zagunis, the two-time gold medalist in sabre, has been named the U.S. flagbearer for Friday's Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics. Zagunis, who was chosen by her peers for the honor, will be the first fencer to carry the flag since 1968, when Janice Lee Romary led the U.S. team in Mexico City.

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Music Interviews
1:38 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

The Practical Side Of The Great American Jam Band

The Grateful Dead circa 1970. The band's members were quintessential rock hippies — but, a new exhibit reveals, savvy businessmen as well.
Gems Redferns

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 4:29 pm

The Grateful Dead's eponymous live album started it all for Nicholas Meriwether.

It was 1985. He was studying history at Princeton and got hooked by psychedelic jams like "Wharf Rat." After his first concert, he knew: "I will spend the rest of my life thinking and studying this."

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The Salt
1:16 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

Pizza Museum To Offer A Slice Of American Food And Culture

Brian Dwyer owns the world's largest collection of pizza-related items. He plans to display some of his memorabilia, including pizza-themed music records, in a new museum-restaurant in Philadelphia.
Kimberly Paynter for NPR

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 8:23 am

Many foods have their own dedicated museums — like burnt food and mustard — so why not pizza? That's what Brian Dwyer, the owner of the world's largest collection of pizza memorabilia, has wondered for a long time.

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The Two-Way
1:06 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

'Truly Ironic': Sandy Weill Says Big Banks Should Be Split Up

Sandy Weill, former chairman of Citigroup, in 2006.
Louis Lanzano AP

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 1:44 pm

Sandy I. Weill, the former Citigroup CEO who helped usher in the era of super banks, said during an interview with CNBC today that big banks should be split up.

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Shots - Health Blog
12:58 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

As Pain Pills Change, Abusers Move To New Drugs

Opana is the latest painkiller that's become popular with drug abusers.
Thomas Walker Flickr

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 4:29 pm

To the uninitiated, Austin, Ind., doesn't look like a town under siege.

In the maze of back roads off the city's main drag, the houses are close together. Some look rundown; others are well-kept.

For Jeremy Stevens, these are his former drug haunts. Steven says many of the homes are inhabited by people who abuse and deal prescription painkillers.

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Movie Interviews
12:42 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

For Ai Weiwei, Politics And Arts Always Mix

The famous Chinese artist Ai Weiwei is also a prominent dissident in his home country. His political side is the focus of Alison Klayman's documentary Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry.
Ted Alcorn IFC Films

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 5:49 pm

Last week, a Chinese court rejected artist Ai Weiwei's lawsuit against the tax bureau that had imposed a massive fine on his company. Ai was fined more than $2 million after being detained for three months last year.

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Environment
12:40 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

Massive Ice Melt In Greenland Worries Scientists

Images released Tuesday show the extent of surface melt on Greenland's ice sheet on July 8 (left) and July 12 (right). Measurements from three satellites showed that on July 8, about 40 percent of the ice sheet had undergone thawing at or near the surface. By July 12, 97 percent of the ice sheet surface had thawed.
AFP/Getty Images/NASA

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 1:53 pm

A pair of NASA satellite images taken just four days apart tells a potentially worrying story of melting ice in the polar summer.

The first, snapped from orbit on July 8, shows about 40 percent of the Greenland ice sheet shaded in pink or red to illustrate probable or confirmed surface melting. The second photo, taken on July 12, shows nearly the entire land mass — 97 percent — blotched in a red hue.

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The Salt
12:39 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

Meat Producers And, Ultimately, Consumers Hurt By Drought

These piglets on the Hardin farm in Danville, Ind., are going to cost more to feed than they will fetch at market.
Dan Charles NPR

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 3:13 pm

Despite headlines about the crushing drought that's afflicting much of the country's prime agricultural land, the USDA isn't expecting any dramatic increases in the price of food this year or next.

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The Torch
12:29 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

U.S. Women's Soccer Starts London Olympics With A Comeback Win

Carli Lloyd scores the U.S. team's winning goal, in a comeback win over France. The Americans are bidding for their third straight Olympic gold medal.
Graham Stuart AFP/Getty Images

On the first day of competition in the 2012 Summer Olympics, the U.S. women's soccer team bounced back from an early deficit to beat France, 4-2. The game was a rematch for the two teams that met in last year's World Cup semifinals.

France jumped out to a 2-0 lead before the match was 15 minutes old, scoring on a breakaway run by Gaetane Thiney; moments later, a short-range shot found the back of the net after several U.S. players failed to clear the ball following a corner kick.

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Economy
11:42 am
Wed July 25, 2012

Pray For Rain: Food Prices Heading Higher

A "historically low inventory" of cattle and hogs is driving up meat prices, a trend that's expected to continue next year, USDA economist Richard Volpe says.
Justin Lane EPA/Landov

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 1:30 pm

A fierce drought has been scorching crops this summer, but it's still too soon to know exactly how much of a hole it will burn in your wallet.

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Economy
11:36 am
Wed July 25, 2012

The Ripple Effect From Rising Food Prices

As drought and high temperatures continue to devastate much of the country's corn and soybean crops, the USDA reports that food prices will continue to rise at least into 2013. NPR senior business editor Marilyn Geewax and The Earth Policy Institute's Lester Brown discuss the rising cost of food.

The Two-Way
11:14 am
Wed July 25, 2012

Reports Finds 'Widespread Human Rights Violations' In Policing Of Occupy Protests

An Occupy Wall Street protestor is arrested in Zuccotti Park July 11, 2012, in New York.
Frank Franklin II AP

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 1:21 pm

The New York Police Department has shown "a pattern of abusive and unaccountable protest policing" during the Occupy protests, a wide consortium of legal experts detail in a report (PDF) issued today.

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Politics
11:14 am
Wed July 25, 2012

The Tea Party's Texas Strategy For 2012

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. W will skip the GOP convention, the presidential rivals vie for the vet vote, and Romney lambasts White House leaks. It's Wednesday and time for a...

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Contemptible...

CONAN: ...edition of the Political Junkie.

PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: There you go again.

VICE PRESIDENT WALTER MONDALE: When I hear your new ideas, I'm reminded of that ad: Where's the beef?

SENATOR BARRY GOLDWATER: Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice.

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Movie Interviews
11:10 am
Wed July 25, 2012

Navajo Teens Make Tough Choices In 'Heartbreak'

Thomas Martinez stands in front of "The Wall," an inspirational collection of his accolades, at his father's house.
Anthony Thosh Collins

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 8:13 am

Like many high school students, Thomas Martinez and Tamara Hardy dreamed of leaving for college and finding their futures away from home. But both grew up on a Navajo reservation and were torn, between those aspirations and their strong ties to their poverty-stricken community.

Martinez struggles to balance the needs of his family with plans to run track in college. Hardy wants to earn an engineering degree away from home, yet like many Native parents, her mother and father are reluctant to see her leave.

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Around the Nation
11:10 am
Wed July 25, 2012

Eagle Scouts Return Badges In Protest

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 11:30 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

Last week, the Boy Scouts of America reaffirmed the longtime policy of excluding openly gay Scouts and a ban on openly gay and lesbian adults as leaders. The Supreme Court ruled that this private organization is within its rights to do so. While many praised the group for upholding its values, some who earned the badge of Eagle Scout decided to return those coveted badges in protest. We'd like to hear from Scouts in our audience.

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The Two-Way
10:58 am
Wed July 25, 2012

Reporter's Notebook: In Afghanistan, Facts Are Difficult To Pin Down

  • Sean Carberry, in his second report on the defections
  • Sean Carberry in his first report on the defections

(Sean Carberry is a producer on NPR's foreign desk. From Kabul, he sent us this glimpse into the challenge of reporting on events in places such as Afghanistan.)

A story broke Tuesday that an Afghan police commander had defected to the Taliban along with a number of officers under his command. Early statements from the governor's office in Farah province said that "Mirwais," the commander of a police checkpoint, had poisoned seven of his men who refused to go along with the defection, and then he and 13 others disappeared with weapons and police vehicles.

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The Two-Way
10:17 am
Wed July 25, 2012

AP: 911 Tape Shows NYPD Operating Far Outside Its Jurisdiction

This July 13, 2011, photo shows the apartment complex in New Brunswick, N.J., where an apartment was rented by an undercover NYPD officer.
Matt Apuzzo AP

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The Torch
10:15 am
Wed July 25, 2012

Olympic Athletes' Names: Endurance (Track), Moist (Swimming), And A Leeper

Nathan Leeper of the United States jumps during the IAAF World Championships in this photo from 2001. A high jumper, Leeper is one of several athletes whose name suited their sport.
Andy Lyons Allsport/Getty

"What's in a name?" a British writer named Shakespeare once asked in Romeo and Juliet, long before the Olympics ever came to London.

Well, it turns out that some Olympic names herald the greatness athletes seek, and the events they enter, while some bear monikers better suited for others.

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The Two-Way
9:53 am
Wed July 25, 2012

As Details Emerge On Difficulty Getting Help To Victims, Colorado Funerals Begin

An ambulance and police cars outside the Century 16 movie theater complex in Aurora, Colo, during the early hours of July 20, 2012. A gunman attacked an audience there — killing 12 people and wounding 58.
Bob Pearson EPA /Landov
  • Aurora, Colo., police dispatch recordings

There's an account in today's Denver Post of the huge problems first responders faced early Friday when they got to the scene of the shooting rampage at an Aurora, Colo., movie theater where 12 people were killed and 58 others wounded.

According to the Post:

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The Salt
9:46 am
Wed July 25, 2012

How Many Calories Do Olympic Athletes Need? It Depends

Endurance athletes like Michael Phelps, here at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Swimming Team Trials in Omaha, can easily burn off stacks of pancakes.
Jamie Squire Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 10:06 am

Food, as we so often note on this blog, means a lot of different things to different people. To Olympic athletes, food is fuel for exceptional athletic performance. But there's a surprising amount of variety in just how much fuel elite athletes need.

Anyone who followed Michael Phelps' astonishing performance in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games surely will remember one of the secrets of his success: Consuming as many as 12,000 calories in a day.

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