Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 12:09 pm
Since beginning his "open-source" musical project in the 1990s, Lorin Ashton and his Bassnectar alias have become nearly superhuman. Bassnectar is associated with a community of devoted Bass Heads, several non-profit and charity organizations and shows of such epic proportions, they're called Bass Centers. Ashton describes his music as "the motion of [his] cells bouncing back at the world," and tens of thousands of people connect with it as a deeply human pursuit, as well. Last year, he sold out a New Year's Eve show attended by 10,000 fans.
You may recall the old TV program, "Mystery Science Theater 3000." It used to show terrible old science fiction movies and three characters provided an additional soundtrack, nonstop wisecracks about the acting, the dialog, the sets, everything.
Chicago is having a bloody year. Homicides there are up more than 50 percent over this time last year. The city has long struggled with a gang problem, one of the worst in the country. But NPR's David Schaper reports that this early surge in shootings has everyone puzzled, from crime experts to neighborhood activists.
DR. LARRY MITCHELL: This is where all the action starts. Right about here.
The House Wednesday passed a Republican version of a bill to renew the Violence Against Women Act. This is expected to set up a battle with the Democratic-controlled Senate, which has already passed a broader measure that's supported by the White House.
The defense in the John Edwards trial rested on Wednesday. Attorneys for the former presidential candidate and vice presidential nominee did not call Edwards, his daughter or Rielle Hunter, the woman he had an affair with and who bore his child. Edwards is accused of skirting federal campaign finance laws by accepting secret payments to cover up the affair and further his political ambitions. North Carolina Public Radio's Jeff Tiberii speaks with Melissa Block from Greensboro, N.C.
One of the year's fiercest political contests is taking place in Wisconsin. There, first-term Republican Governor Scott Walker faces a recall election in less than three weeks. Voters will choose between keeping Walker or replacing him with the Democrat on the ballot, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. The contest is expected to be close, and it has attracted lots of attention, volunteers and money from across the country. As NPR's Don Gonyea reports, many see the effort to recall Walker as a warm-up for the fall's national elections.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.
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And I'm Robert Siegel.
Those who want to raise standards on student achievement tests have suffered an embarrassing setback in Florida. The state made its writing exam harder and results plummeted. So the state is backtracking. It's now lowering its passing score and admitting something went wrong.
Sarah Gonzalez of member station WLRN has that story.
For almost 20 years, the UniverSoul Circus has been pitching its tent in urban plazas across the country. The circus was founded by a Baltimore native as a showcase for black talent, one that he hoped would inspire black audiences.
In more recent times, the circus has evolved into an eclectic mix of acts from around the world. Now, it's pushing to diversify its audience, with a show called "Us."
Strength, Precision And Crowd-Pleasing Nerve
In the beginning, all of the talent was black. They came from Africa, the Caribbean and the U.S.
Looking to get more popular on Facebook? Alex Melen will sell you 1,000 "likes" for about $75.
Melen runs an Internet marketing company. About six months ago, companies he worked with started coming to him more and more with a simple problem: They had created pages on Facebook, but nobody had clicked the "like" button.
"You would go there, and there would be two likes," Melen says. "And one of them would be the owner. And people right away lost interest in the brand."