Dear EarthTalk: I was in Los Angeles recently and the smog was not nearly as bad as when I visited 15 years ago. Is it really better now, and if so, how did it get that way? Or did I just happen to visit on a good day?-- Marjorie Hicke, Atlanta, GA
Theologian Lauren Winner was 21 when she became a Christian.
Although she was raised in a Jewish household and had converted to Orthodox Judaism, she says she felt drawn to Christianity. Her surprising conversion is the subject of her first memoir, the bestseller Girl Meets God.
In Winner's new book, Still: Notes on a Mid-Faith Crisis, she writes about a spiritual crisis.
Winner, an ordained Episcopal priest who teaches Christian spirituality at Duke University, says it happened around the time her mother died and her marriage collapsed.
This week, weekends on All Things Considered begins a new series called "Why Music Matters": stories from fans, in their own words, about how music has changed their lives. In this first installment, Seattle resident Nathan Hotchkiss reflects on a sheltered childhood.
"My parents were very religious," he says. "I was limited to listening only to Christian music and classical. My father would stay away a lot, and my mother would be wrapped up in her own turmoil, and it would spill over onto me."
Part one of a two-part series on the Keystone XL pipeline
Gas prices are spiking once again; the cost of a gallon of regular unleaded is about 12 percent higher than it was a year ago. But winter typically isn't the time for a rise in gas prices. Demand for gasoline is at a 14-year low and domestic oil production is at an eight-year high.
Yawa Agbenowossi came to the United States from Togo, in West Africa, as a young child. She discovered the Boys & Girls Club of Manchester when she was in middle school.
YAWA: Well, before I found the club, I just never took anything into consideration. I was never worried about the future. I found the club by a friend introducing it to me actually. She said that “you can come to the Boys and Girls Club” and soon enough I was coming there every day. They couldn’t keep me away from the club. That’s when I started to change.
Ask people who know John Herman of Newmarket and they’ll tell you he keeps really busy –plays, meetups, video blogs, improv comedy, music… He’s basically everywhere at once, but there’s one place even John Herman hasn’t gone (yet): space.
That may change, as John is one of 20 semifinalists in the Space Race 2012 contest; the winner goes into sub-orbital flight on a trip with a commercial spaceflight company.