Research News
10:34 am
Wed March 28, 2012

Raindrops In Rock: Clues To A Perplexing Paradox

Researchers have analyzed the fossil imprints of of raindrops, like the ones shown here, to study the atmosphere of the Earth, as it was 2.7 billion years ago. The rule at the top is 5 centimeters, or about 2 inches, long.
W. Alterman University of Pretoria

The late astronomer Carl Sagan presented this paradox to his colleagues: We know the sun was a lot fainter two billion years ago. So why wasn't the Earth frozen solid?

We know it wasn't because there's plenty of evidence for warm seas and flowing water way back then. The question is still puzzling scientists.

But new clues to that paradox come from an unlikely source: fossilized raindrops, from 2.7 billion years ago. Back then, the Earth had no trees or flowers or animals birds or fish. But it did have volcanoes. And it did rain.

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Word of Mouth - Segment
10:12 am
Wed March 28, 2012

The Price of a Dollar... Store

Photo by Blandenburg Nostalgia-BurgerChefGuy Variety Pics, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Don’t let the profit margin fool you: dollar stores are one of the fastest growing niche retail markets.  Just this week, the national chain Family Dollar reported much higher than predicted second quarter earnings, with a profit of more than one hundred and thirty six million dollars. I guess all those dollars add up…

But in some communities, dollar stores aren’t welcome additions.  Vermont public radio reporter Steve Zind covered the recent battle over a proposed dollar store in Chester, Vermont, and joins us now to tell us about it.

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Something Wild
9:42 am
Wed March 28, 2012

The Lorax

Reuters/San Diego Police Department/Handout

The box office success of the new Universal Pictures animated feature film “The Lorax” - based on a classic Dr. Seuss tale – creates a window of opportunity to consider environmental messaging to a new generation of future leaders. The original Seuss tale is beloved. I can still recite it from memory. “Tell us ‘The Lorax’ Dad!” my kids would beg. Like all Seuss books, The Lorax features rhymes, nuances and a moral.

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Series: Shifting the Balance
9:34 am
Wed March 28, 2012

A Community Approach to a Growing Epidemic

Photo by acastrodad25, Courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Childhood obesity has become a public health crisis in America – and one of first lady Michelle Obama’s main causes. More than thirty percent of all children in America -- about 11 million -- are considered clinically overweight or obese. In Holyoke, Massachusetts, which has many Puerto Rican and low-income residents, the problem is even worse than the national average. In the first of a series, Karen Brown reports how one community health center is trying to reverse this trend.

 

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The Exchange
9:00 am
Wed March 28, 2012

Linda Killian and Independent Voters

 Independents are a the largest bloc of voters and they're growing. In her new book, journalist Linda Killian seeks to paint a portrait of this exceedingly important group in four swing states including New Hampshire. She talks about the frustrations these voters have with their elected officials, what they want to see from the political system, and what they can do to fix it.

Guest: 

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Sweetness And Light
12:01 am
Wed March 28, 2012

Watching College Basketball's Slump Into Anonymity

Duke freshman Austin Rivers, seen here in the Blue Devils' loss to Lehigh in the NCAA tournament, is leaving school for the NBA draft. The trend of athletes spending only one year in college has hurt the sport, says Frank Deford.
Streeter Lecka Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 28, 2012 10:31 am

This year's Final Four seems more like Best in Show at the Westminster. Such pedigree: Kentucky, Kansas, Ohio State and Louisville –– four of the very top dogs in the history of the sport. Well, it's a Meryl Streep kind of year, isn't it?

But if the Final Four might delight fans by giving them aristocracy in its teams, unfortunately the whole of college basketball is plagued by anonymity in its players, and external issues that have diminished the popularity of the game.

Good grief. This year, there has been more buzz about Mad Men than about March Madness.

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Movies
12:01 am
Wed March 28, 2012

In Japan, 'Sliced-Up Actors' Are A Dying Breed

Fukumoto in one of the numerous period costume dramas he has acted in for the Toei Company's film studios since he began work there in 1959.
Toei Kyoto Studio Park

Japan is home to Asia's oldest and largest motion-picture industry, with its own unique genres and traditions. While every film industry has stuntmen, only Japan has a class of actors whose main job is to be sliced and diced by samurai sword-wielding protagonists. But the decline of period dramas means that this class of actors is literally a dying breed.

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Health Care
12:01 am
Wed March 28, 2012

Texas, Feds Face Off Over Planned Parenthood

Rene Resendez, a 24-year-old uninsured graduate student, used to be a client at the Planned Parenthood in Odessa, Texas, which closed earlier this month because of state budget cuts.
John Burnett NPR

Texas and the federal government are going at each other again, this time over Planned Parenthood.

The Texas Legislature cut off all Medicaid money to Planned Parenthood because of its involvement in abortions; in response, the federal government has suspended funding for the state's reproductive health program.

Now, Texas is suing the Obama administration.

Closed For Business

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The Record
12:01 am
Wed March 28, 2012

Alan Lomax's Massive Archive Goes Online

Alan Lomax (right) with musician Wade Ward during the Southern Journey recordings, 1959-1960.
Shirley Collins Courtesy of Alan Lomax Archive

Originally published on Thu October 25, 2012 2:53 pm

Folklorist Alan Lomax spent his career documenting folk music traditions from around the world. Now thousands of the songs and interviews he recorded are available for free online, many for the first time. It's part of what Lomax envisioned for the collection — long before the age of the Internet.

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Law
12:01 am
Wed March 28, 2012

In Southern States, Immigration Law Battle Rages On

A protester blocks an Atlanta street during a rally protesting Georgia's new immigration law in June 2011. Now, the state's lawmakers are considering a bill that would also ban students here illegally from attending all public colleges.
John Bazemore AP

Originally published on Wed March 28, 2012 8:21 pm

Last year, several states passed strict laws aimed at cracking down on illegal immigration. Those laws are now being challenged in federal court, and next month the Supreme Court is set to hear arguments on Arizona's immigration law — but that hasn't stopped some Southern states from moving forward with more restrictions.

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