Last Monday, an amateur astronomer in Wisconsin, Dan Peterson, was gazing through his telescope when he caught sight of a flash of white light in Jupiter's gassy atmosphere. Lucky for him, someone else also had a scope trained on Jupiter that night. George Hall, an amateur astronomer in Dallas caught that flash on video, hard evidence that an explosion had indeed happened on the giant planet.
This interview was originally broadcast on April 12, 2012. Fernando Trueba's Chico & Rita is now out on DVD.
The animated film Chico and Rita is set in 1940s Havana, at a time when Cuban musicians were starting to leave the country and join the jazz scene in New York. It was also a time when musical styles were fusing — and changing the Afro-Cuban jazz scene entirely.
Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master is both feverish and glacial. The vibe is chilly, but the central character is an unholy mess — and his rage saturates every frame. He's a World War II South Pacific vet named Freddie Quell, played by Joaquin Phoenix to the hilt — the hilt above the hilt. We meet him at war's end on a tropical beach where he and other soldiers seek sexual relief atop the figure of a woman made out of sand.
This interview was originally broadcast on Oct. 24, 2011. The third season of Boardwalk Empire starts Sunday.
HBO's Boardwalk Empire, set in Atlantic City in the 1920s, is about organized crime in the era of Prohibition. The show stars Steve Buscemi as Nucky Thompson, an Atlantic City politician who sees the coming of Prohibition as an opportunity to make even more money from illegal activities and kickbacks.
In an election that's supposed to be about the economy, tragic deaths overseas push foreign policy onto the political stage in the race between Mitt Romney and President Obama. While Romney seems to have lost the initial battle, questions remain about the administration's Middle East goals.
Join NPR's Ron Elving and Ken Rudin for the latest "It's All Politics" roundup.
We taped this week's show with half of us in D.C. and half of us — me and Trey, plus NPR's own Bob Mondello — in a studio in Toronto. Why? Because of the Toronto International Film Festival, which provides the front half of the show. Trey, Bob and I talk about a bunch of the films we saw, many of which you can see covered on the blog's TIFF '12 section.
And now, we turn to Faith Matters. That's the part of the program where we talk about matters of faith, religion and spirituality. This Sunday night marks the start of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, and the beginning of what are known as the High Holy Days, for observance used, the most spiritually profound time of year.
After the deadly attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya earlier this week, Google took down the YouTube video said to have sparked the violence — but only in Libya and in Egypt, where anti-American protests also flared up.
It's an example of the challenges of balancing U.S. free speech concerns and of something known as the "heckler's veto."
The Innocence of Muslims isn't the only YouTube video that can be seen in the U.S. but not elsewhere. Nazi propaganda is banned in Germany, for example, and slurs against Turkey's founder don't appear in that country.
Originally published on Fri September 14, 2012 10:58 pm
It's had top sustained winds above 170 miles per hour. It's got very low pressure. It is life threatening. And its cone of possible landfall includes Okinawa and the Asian mainland.
It's super typhoon Sanba, and it could strike the Japanese island by late Saturday night (local time) before storming on to China, South Korea and North Korea. Stars and Stripes writer Dave Ornauer says the storm's outermost bands are already hitting Okinawa:
Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 2:45 pm
Twice in all of history, humans have managed to eradicate a devastating disease. You've heard of the first one, I suspect: smallpox. But rinderpest?
That's a German word for "cattle plague" a feared companion of cattle throughout history. When outbreaks occurred, as in Europe of the 1700s or Africa in the 1880s, entire herds were wiped out and communities went hungry. Now the disease is gone, eliminated from the face of the earth.
Originally published on Fri September 14, 2012 10:36 am
The Obama administration has stepped back from remarks by the president earlier this week in which he suggested that Egypt was something less than a firm ally.
Following unrest in Egypt and the killing of four Americans in Libya that was sparked at least in part by a film seemingly aimed at stoking Muslim anger, Obama, referring to Egypt, told the Spanish-language Telemundo: "I don't think that we would consider them an ally, but we don't consider them an enemy."