Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me!
3:40 am
Sun June 3, 2012

A Parasite Fit For A Queen

A Lamprey Pie from Pleasant House Bakery in Chicago.
Louisa Chu Flickr/Creative Commons

Originally published on Sun June 3, 2012 9:02 am

From our "How To Do Everything" podcast:

Among the many gifts Queen Elizabeth II will receive for her Diamond Jubilee is a special lamprey pie from the town of Gloucester. It's a tradition dating back centuries. Lampreys may seem like an odd gift for a monarch, but one person's eel-like parasite which sucks the blood of fish is another person's delicacy.

Read more
Author Interviews
3:21 am
Sun June 3, 2012

One Man's Case For Regulating Hate Speech

Frank Collin, head of the National Socialist Party of America, tells the press about his organization's plans to march in the predominantly Jewish town of Skokie, Ill., on June 22, 1978. The Supreme Court affirmed the neo-Nazi organization's right to march, but Jeremy Waldron says that's just the kind of speech the government should be restricting.
AP

Originally published on Sun June 3, 2012 7:37 am

Warning: This story contains language that some might find offensive.

In the late '70s, Skokie, Ill., became the epicenter of the debate over free speech in the U.S. The town was home to many Holocaust survivors, along with their families, and that made it a target for the National Socialist Party of America — a neo-Nazi group from nearby Chicago.

Read more
Space
3:20 am
Sun June 3, 2012

Look Up, Stargazers: June 5 Is The Transit Of Venus

visit the NASA website." href="/post/look-stargazers-june-5-transit-venus" class="noexit lightbox">
To learn more about the Transit of Venus and to get tips for observing this rare astronomical event, visit the NASA website.
Joerg Koch AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun June 3, 2012 7:37 am

It's been a good season for stargazers, a veritable meteor shower of astronomical goodies, from a supermoon to a solar eclipse. Next up? On Tuesday, June 5, astronomy enthusiasts can witness the Transit of Venus — one of the rarest astronomical events.

During the six-hour transit, Venus moves in between the Earth and the sun. It's a daytime phenomenon: "Instead of seeing Venus as the brightest object in the night sky, you see Venus as a tiny black dot crossing the burning disc of the sun," explains Andrea Wulf, author of Chasing Venus.

Read more
Music Interviews
3:20 am
Sun June 3, 2012

Noah Stewart: From 'Opera Boy' To Singer

Noah Stewart's debut album is entitled Noah.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun June 3, 2012 7:37 am

When tenor Noah Stewart was growing up in Harlem, N.Y., his friends called him "opera boy." They were onto something.

Earlier this year, he became the first black singer to hit No. 1 on the classical music charts in the U.K.

But Stewart's musical tastes aren't confined to Puccini, Bizet and Strauss, and his new, self-titled album gives him a chance to put his mark on everything from American spirituals to Top 40 hits.

Stewart says he doesn't mind being called an opera singer, but that he would rather just be called a singer.

Read more
Art & Design
3:17 am
Sun June 3, 2012

Blacksmiths Forge A New Kind Of Artisanal Future

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sun June 3, 2012 4:37 pm

Adam's Forge is a dark, high-ceilinged warehouse space in Los Angeles. It's set up with anvils, medieval-looking tools and black ovens that breathe fire.

Recently, about a dozen people gathered for an advanced class taught by master blacksmith Mark Aspery.

Blacksmithing is an ancient trade that, like other crafts, saw a downturn during the Industrial Revolution, when machines took over jobs that humans once did. Now, blacksmithing is having a small revival as smiths build new ways of connecting with customers.

'This Is My Craft'

Read more
It's All Politics
3:16 am
Sun June 3, 2012

Congress May Not Be As Bad As All That

Flowers bloom at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., though the same can't be said of bipartisanship.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Sun June 3, 2012 2:24 pm

Washington isn't working. With control of the government divided between the parties and every political incentive working against bipartisan cooperation, Congress can barely pass the minimum amount of legislation needed to avoid a government shutdown, let alone address the most pressing issues of the day.

Read more
Sunday Puzzle
9:03 pm
Sat June 2, 2012

That's Jakarta, With A Capital 'J'

NPR Graphic

Originally published on Sun June 3, 2012 7:37 am

On-Air Challenge: Every answer is the name of a world capital. You'll be given clues to its phonetic parts, and you name the capital. For example, given the clues "person from Bangkok" and "salary," the answer would be Taipei ("Thai" plus "pay").

Last Week's Challenge From Listener Jack Lechner: Name two different kinds of wool. Take the first five letters of one, followed by the last three letters of the other, and the result will spell the first and last name of a famous actor. Who is it?

Read more
Music Interviews
2:05 pm
Sat June 2, 2012

The Beach Boys: The Harmony Is Endless After All

The Beach Boys' new album — the first collaboration in decades between founding members Brian Wilson (third from left) and Mike Love (second from right) — is called That's Why God Made the Radio.
Guy Webster Courtesy of the artist

The Beach Boys are in harmony again. The group is recording and performing together, after years of disputes and estrangement.

Brian Wilson and Mike Love tell Guy Raz, host of weekends on All Things Considered, that they're not surprised at the reunion.

"We've had 50 years' practice," Wilson says, "not just in music but in being guys."

Love says once they got back in the studio and started writing again, it felt like they had never left.

"It was nuts," Wilson says. "It was a nutbuster."

Read more
Remembrances
2:05 pm
Sat June 2, 2012

A Life's Promise, Tragically Broken

Marina Keegan, 22, graduated from Yale University just days before she died in a car crash.
AP

Originally published on Sat June 2, 2012 3:59 pm

Marina Keegan had just graduated from Yale University with a degree in English and was headed off to a job at The New Yorker. On May 26, she died in a car crash near her family's summer home in Massachusetts.

Read more
Middle East
2:05 pm
Sat June 2, 2012

Life Sentence For Ex-Egyptian Leader Hosni Mubarak

Protesters hold Egyptian flags during the demonstration in Tahrir Square.
Khaled Desouki AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat June 2, 2012 3:49 pm

Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was sentenced to life in prison Saturday for his role in killing protesters during the revolution that ousted him from power.

A hushed courtroom listened as the head judge read the verdict: guilty of accessory to murder and attempted murder. Mubarak lay motionless on a hospital gurney inside a courtroom cage, his only noticeable emotion being the slight quivering of his lips.

Read more

Pages