I grew up in a town of about 6,000 people in rural Kansas back in the '70s and '80s. I've never romanticized it much, though it was certainly a simpler time and, for better or worse, it's where I learned to make some sense of my life. The world you inhabit when you come of age in your teen years has a way of digging its claws in you. As the years pass, no matter how far you try to get away from it, it stays with you. The people, the places, the sounds and even the smells become a part of your DNA.
Let's see, now. That self-proclaimed fortress of liberty and fellowship, the International Olympic Committee, awards the Winter Olympics to Russia for 2014. After all, China worked out so well as an exemplar of freedom of the press at Beijing in 2008.
Then, Russia, duly a signator of the Olympic charter proclaiming the "preservation of human dignity," trots out an anti-homosexual law that would've made Ivan the Terrible have second thoughts.
President Obama will stand in the symbolic shadows of Martin Luther King and Abraham Lincoln Wednesday, as he marks the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington.
Aides say Obama will use the opportunity to celebrate the progress that's been made, thanks to the civil rights movement. He'll also discuss the work that he says still has to be done to realize King's dream of racial justice in America.
That includes fighting to protect voting rights and building what the president calls "ladders of opportunity" for poor people of all races.
For the month of August, Morning Edition and The Race Card Project are looking back at a seminal moment in civil rights history: the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his iconic "I Have a Dream Speech" Aug. 28, 1963. Approximately 250,000 people descended on the nation's capital from all over the country for the mass demonstration.
Originally published on Wed August 28, 2013 6:57 pm
Last year, the federal government made accessibility standards at playgrounds mandatory under the Americans with Disabilities Act so that children with disabilities can more easily play alongside typical kids.
But whether children with disabilities are able to enjoy their new civil rights to play may depend on where they live, and the design decisions their cities and towns made when they built local playgrounds.
For 3-year-old Emmanuel Soto, who has spina bifida and uses a wheelchair, the local playground's design doesn't work.
Yahoo yesterday announced a redesign of some of its major sites, the latest step in CEO Marissa Mayer's dramatic turnaround of the company. Since she took the helm last year, Yahoo's stock has surged. And a leading industry measure recently showed Yahoo topping Google in the number of website visits - which is something, since Marissa Mayer jumped to Yahoo after years of being a top player at Google.
Originally published on Tue August 27, 2013 7:24 pm
Scientists in Sweden say they have confirmed a new, super-heavy element that was first proposed by Russian scientists in 2004. The element with the atomic number 115 has yet to be named.
In a press release, Lund University says a group of international scientists led by physicists from Lund University, made the element by shooting a beam of calcium, which has 20 protons, into a thin film of americium, which has 95 protons.
For less than a second, the new element had 115 protons.
There's concern the sport of swimming still may be dealing with a sexual abuse problem in the United States.
It's been three years since revelations emerged in the media. A number of in-depth reports in 2010 likened the situation in swimming to the Catholic Church sex abuse scandal: Coaches molesting under-age female swimmers; some of the abuse continuing for years without punishment.
Originally published on Wed August 28, 2013 4:40 pm
A 7-year-old vaccine that has drastically cut intestinal infections in infants is benefiting the rest of America, too.
A study published Tuesday from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that vaccinating infants against rotavirus has also caused a striking decline in serious infections among older children and adults who didn't get vaccinated.
After years of litigation and political jousting, Vermont is set to close its only nuclear power plant by the end of next year. As John Dillon of Vermont Public Radio reports, the plant's closure is a sign of how much the country's energy market is changing.