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5:29 pm
Fri March 29, 2013

A Film So Sumptuous, 'Renoir' Himself Might Have Helped Out

Jean (Vincent Rottiers) assists his ailing father, the artist Pierre-Auguste Renoir (Michel Bouquet), in his studio on the French Riviera.
Samuel Goldwyn Films

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 7:55 pm

The year is 1915. A beautiful young woman bicycling through sun-dappled woods passes under an effigy of a German soldier and seems entirely unfazed. World War I is raging elsewhere in Europe, but here on the French Riviera life is serene.

The cyclist, Andree, is on her way to pose for an elderly Impressionist painter, Pierre-Auguste Renoir (Michel Bouquet), whom she somewhat startles by claiming to be an artist herself.

"An artist," wonders the great man.

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Religion
5:22 pm
Fri March 29, 2013

Thousands Trek To New Mexico Chapel On Good Friday

Students playing the roles of Roman soldiers lead a man playing the role of Jesus during a re-enactment of the Stations of the Cross at the Sanctuary of Chimayo in New Mexico on Thursday.
Brian Snyder Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue April 2, 2013 1:09 pm

Driving in northern New Mexico requires special caution on Good Friday. Tens of thousands of people — some walking all night — are converging on the village of Chimayo to pray inside a 200-year-old chapel before a carved wooden image of Jesus.

As it does every year, the highway department has put out portable toilets, orange barriers, and signs warning motorists of "Santuario walkers."

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Economy
5:22 pm
Fri March 29, 2013

Housing Recovery Offers Little Comfort To Family Whose Home Is Underwater

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 7:55 pm

The steady stream of good news about the recovering housing market isn't without its limits. Thad Salter and his family live in the Phoenix suburb of Maricopa since moving from California in 2006. He's seen his home drop in value by more than half and has been underemployed as an human resources professional since 2008. NPR's Ted Robbins reports that, for the Salters, the housing news isn't as good as reports in the housing industry would suggest.

Shots - Health News
4:57 pm
Fri March 29, 2013

In India, Discrimination Against Women Can Start In The Womb

Dr. Nayna Patel performs an ultrasound exam on Rinku Macwan, at a hospital near Ahmedabad, India. It's illegal in India for doctors to reveal a baby's sex during these exams, but many do it anyway.
Sam Panthaky AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 2, 2013 10:18 am

India has lately become infamous for its epidemic sexual violence and discrimination against women. Sexual harassment there is so rampant that it even has a nickname: Eve-teasing.

But mothers may be practicing discrimination, too, in how they treat their daughters in the womb.

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Architecture
4:46 pm
Fri March 29, 2013

Self-Taught Architect Behind Brooklyn's 'Broken Angel' Faces Eviction

Over the past three decades, Arthur and Cynthia Wood turned their four-story home into a work of art. They purchased the brick tenement at the intersection of Downing and Quincy streets in 1979 for $2,100 in cash.
Courtesy of Chris Wood

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 7:55 pm

A New York landmark of sorts is in danger of being wiped off the map. The building now known as Broken Angel was an ordinary 19th-century brick structure until self-taught artist and sculptor Arthur Wood started building on top of it in the late 1970s. Now Wood faces eviction from his own masterpiece — a towering structure that looks like a cathedral built out of salvaged junk.

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The Two-Way
4:32 pm
Fri March 29, 2013

UPS Agrees To Forfeit $40 Million In Payments From Illegal Online Pharmacies

A UPS truck drives along Grant Street on in San Francisco, California.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

United Parcel Post has agreed to forfeit $40 million it made in payments from pharmacies that shipped controlled substances to Americans without valid prescriptions.

Reuters reports:

"The company also agreed to put a compliance program into place to prevent illegal online pharmacies from distributing drugs through its shipping services in the future, authorities said.

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Economy
4:32 pm
Fri March 29, 2013

As Housing Industry Builds Up, Other Sectors Follow

Home Depot is hiring 80,000 employees for its spring season. As the housing market picks up, other industry sectors — like gardening, construction and furniture — move upward, too.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 11:31 pm

When fortunes rise in the housing industry — as they currently are — it tends to lift sales for other businesses, too. Home construction, sales and prices are all improving. And according to many analysts, the market is gaining steam.

For nearly two decades, Scott Gillis has owned his own moving company, Great Scott Moving in Hyattsville, Md. Moving high season is just around the corner, which means Gillis is hiring.

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Africa
4:24 pm
Fri March 29, 2013

Western Money, African Boots: A Formula For Africa's Conflicts

Ugandan soldiers serving with the African Union Mission in Somalia prepare to advance on the central Somali town of Buur-Hakba.
Stuart Price AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 7:55 pm

For the past six years in Somalia, Western countries have been putting up the cash and African nations have been supplying the soldiers, a formula that has pushed back al-Qaida-linked militants and allowed Somalia to elect it's first democratic government in 20 years.

"We can fix our problems in Africa," says Brig. Michael Ondoga, a contingent commander with the African Union Mission in Somalia or AMISOM. "All we need is your support."

It's not at all hard to see why this plan is so agreeable to the American government.

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The Two-Way
4:16 pm
Fri March 29, 2013

Scores Of People Rescued From Breakaway Ice Floes In Latvia

Latvian fishermen were among those rescued from ice floe in Riga on Friday.
Ilmars Znotins AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 4:36 pm

More than 200 Latvians were rescued by helicopters and Navy ships after suddenly finding themselves adrift on ice floes that were broken off and swept out to sea.

The rescue of 219 people from two ice floes in the Gulf of Riga on Friday was hampered by bad weather and high waves, according to Latvian police and fire officials quoted by Russia Today, or RT.com:

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The Two-Way
3:24 pm
Fri March 29, 2013

New Federal Scrutiny In Wake Of NPR Grain Bin Reports

Will Piper and Annette Pacas visit the grave of Annette's son, Alex, at Oak Hill Cemetery in Mount Carroll, Ill. Piper says he hopes to raise money to replace the makeshift, plastic marker with a permanent gravestone.
John W. Poole NPR

Congress, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Justice Department are beginning to respond to the NPR-Center for Public Integrity Series on hundreds of persistent and preventable deaths in grain storage bins and weak enforcement by federal agencies.

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The Two-Way
3:15 pm
Fri March 29, 2013

U.S. Navy Funding Development Of Giant Jellyfish Robot

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 4:09 pm

We've already seen drones shaped like various animals, including humming birds and dogs. Next is one made to look (and swim) like a jellyfish.

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
2:49 pm
Fri March 29, 2013

On Making It Up In The Media

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 2:26 pm

The other day I heard a remarkable conversation between Lawrence Weschler, the journalist and author, and Bob Garfield, host of WNYC's On the Media. The topic was accuracy and honesty, truth and fiction, in reporting. Weschler remarked that when he was working on a story, he never recorded interviews and rarely made verbatim notes, and yet he'd never once been accused of misquoting or in any way misrepresenting a source. "I write what people remember having said."

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The Two-Way
2:46 pm
Fri March 29, 2013

Illinois Man Charged With Stealing 42,000 Pounds Of Muenster Cheese

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 11:38 pm

Seems cheese crime is booming: Today we get news that an Illinois man is being charged with trying to steal 42,000 pounds of Muenster cheese from a Wisconsin creamery. Last year we had news of the "mozzarella mafia," which was smuggling American cheese into Canada and selling it for a third of the price.

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The Two-Way
1:38 pm
Fri March 29, 2013

New Gas Rules Aim To Clean Up Car Emissions

The new rules' would reduce harmful emissions, the EPA says.
David Paul Morris Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 2:23 pm

  • NPR's Richard Harris reports

Calling them "sensible standards for cars and gasoline that will significantly reduce harmful pollution, prevent thousands of premature deaths and illnesses [and lead to] efficiency improvements in the cars and trucks we drive," the Environmental Protection Agency on Friday proposed national rules to reduce the amount of sulfur in gasoline.

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Movie Reviews
12:58 pm
Fri March 29, 2013

Hunting For Secrets In 'The Shining's' Room 237

Rodney Ascher, director of the experimental documentary Room 237, leads an exploration of differing interpretations of Stanley Kubrick's classic horror film The Shining.
IFC Midnight

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 2:05 pm

Awhile back, I went to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art to see its show on filmmaker Stanley Kubrick. It was jammed with visitors poring over his letters, eyeing the dresses worn by the spooky twins in The Shining, and posing for photos in front of the sexy-futuristic decor of the Korova Milk Bar from A Clockwork Orange.

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