NPR Blogs

Monkey See
8:58 am
Thu October 16, 2014

With Few Stages Left To Conquer, Neil Patrick Harris Goes To The Oscars

Neil Patrick Harris, seen here hosting the 2013 Emmys, is getting the Oscars job many have long wanted for him.
Kevin Winter Getty Images

It was an announcement of an old-school job that played out in a new media landscape: Yesterday, Variety reported that Neil Patrick Harris would host the Oscars, which they tweeted at 4:49 P.M. Harris himself tweeted a little video of himself crossing "Host the Oscars" off his bucket list — also at 4:49 P.M. Then finally, an interminable 26 minutes later, we got the press release from the Academy that announced with excitement that Neil Patrick Harris would host the Oscars in 2015.

Read more
The Two-Way
8:33 am
Thu October 16, 2014

Hong Kong's Renewed Offer Of Talks With Protesters Meets Skepticism

Hong Kong's leader has revived the prospect of talks with student pro-democracy activists, after his government reneged last week on an offer of dialogue with protest leaders.

"As long as students or other sectors in Hong Kong are prepared to focus on this issue, yes we are ready, we are prepared to start the dialogue," the territory's Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying told reporters, according to The Associated Press.

Read more
The Two-Way
7:44 am
Thu October 16, 2014

Book News: The 'Dickens Of Detroit' Leaves His Collection To South Carolina

Elmore Leonard was famously picky with his words — but not with his papers. He left behind more than 150 boxes, or about 2,400 linear feet, of documents.
Vince Bucci Getty Images

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

In a bit of a twist, the archives of the late, great crime novelist Elmore Leonard have come to rest at the University of South Carolina, the school announced Wednesday. Leonard, long known as the "Dickens of Detroit," chose Columbia, S.C., over the Motor City to house his collection after visiting the school last year, just months before his passing.

Read more
The Two-Way
2:29 am
Thu October 16, 2014

Amazon To Hire 80,000 Holiday Workers

Ross D. Franklin AP

Originally published on Thu October 16, 2014 7:44 am

An increase in customer demand is spurring Amazon.com to create 80,000 seasonal positions at its network of distribution centers across the U.S.

That's a 14 percent increase over the number of temporary workers it hired last year at this time.

Read more
13.7: Cosmos And Culture
1:32 am
Thu October 16, 2014

When Is It OK For Scientists To Become Political?

David Jones iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu October 16, 2014 10:58 am

It's not everyday that a world famous climate scientist gets himself arrested in front of the White House. But that's exactly what happened to James Hansen in 2011 as part of a protest against the Keystone Pipeline.

In the 1980s it was Hansen's highly respected work that helped people realize that the climate change we humans were driving was real — and really dangerous.

Read more
The Two-Way
7:32 pm
Wed October 15, 2014

Kansas City Royals Sweep Baltimore Orioles To Advance To World Series

Outfielder Alex Gordon of the Kansas City Royals celebrates the team's Game 4 win over the Baltimore Orioles, which completed a sweep of the American League Championship Series, at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., on Wednesday.
Jamie Squire Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 16, 2014 7:24 am

The Kansas City Royals, who had not seen the playoffs since 1985, have swept the Baltimore Orioles, winning the American League pennant and securing a spot in the World Series.

As The New York Times puts it, right now, the Royals can do no wrong. The team has yet to lose a playoff game, stringing together eight straight victories, a feat no other team has accomplished.

Today, they perfected that run by beating Baltimore 2-1.

Read more
The Salt
7:01 pm
Wed October 15, 2014

New GMOs Get A Regulatory Green Light, With A Hint Of Yellow

Corn farmer Jerry McCulley sprays the weedkiller glyphosate across his cornfield in Auburn, Ill., in 2010. An increasing number of weeds have now evolved resistance to the chemical.
Seth Perlman AP

Government regulators have approved a new generation of genetically engineered corn and soybeans. They're the latest weapon in an arms race between farmers and weeds, and the government's green light is provoking angry opposition from environmentalists.

Read more
Shots - Health News
6:03 pm
Wed October 15, 2014

How A No-Touch Thermometer Detects A Fever

A school official shows a pupil an infrared digital laser thermometer before taking his temperature in Lagos, Nigeria, in September. Starting this week, similar hand-held devices are checking foreheads for fever at some U.S. airports.
Akintunde Akinleye Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri October 17, 2014 11:39 am

In the battle to stop Ebola's spread, health officials worldwide have been deploying thermometers in hopes of detecting the earliest symptoms among people who might be sick. The no-contact thermometer, already broadly used in some airports in Africa, has come to U.S. airports this week — now at New York's John F. Kennedy Airport, and, starting Thursday, at D.C.'s Dulles, Chicago's O'Hare, Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson, and Newark's Liberty.

Read more
The Two-Way
5:36 pm
Wed October 15, 2014

Texas College Rejects Nigerian Applicants, Citing Ebola

A letter reportedly sent by a small Texas college to an applicant from Nigeria.
Idris Ayodeji Bello via Twitter

A small, two-year college in Texas sent at least two Nigerian students rejection letters saying they were not "accepting international students from countries with confirmed Ebola cases."

The story came to light when Idris Ayodeji Bello, a Nigerian activist and entrepreneur, tweeted a copy of a letter apparently sent by Navarro College to one of his friends:

Read more
The Two-Way
3:40 pm
Wed October 15, 2014

In 2014, U.S. Budget Deficit Falls To Pre-Recession Level

Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 15, 2014 4:44 pm

As tax revenues increased and spending cuts took effect, the 2014 budget deficit dropped to the lowest level in six years.

In a statement, the Treasury Department hailed the news by pointing out a few key figures:

-- "The deficit in FY 2014 fell to $483 billion, $197 billion less than the FY 2013 deficit and $165 billion less than forecast in President Obama's FY 2015 Budget."

Read more
Monkey See
1:55 pm
Wed October 15, 2014

Pop Culture Happy Hour, Small Batch: A Report From New York Comic-Con

Costumes were plentiful at the New York Comic-Con at Jacob Javitz Center.
Daniel Zuchnik Getty Images

Friend Of PCHH and NPR Books editor Petra Mayer recently returned from New York Comic-Con, so we asked her to talk a little about what she did while she was up there. As it happens, she kept herself very busy, moderating a panel full of authors she admires and chatting up one of the biggest nerd icons of her (and my) pop-culture coming-of-age.

Read more
Shots - Health News
12:51 pm
Wed October 15, 2014

Ebola In The United States: What Happened When

Scenes from an outbreak: Ebola survivor Dr. Kent Brantly; Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas; A worker cleans the apartment where Ebola victim Thomas Eric Duncan stayed in Dallas; experimental vaccine; the Carnival Magic cruise ship off Cozumel, Mexico.
Jessica McGowan/Getty; Mike Stone/Getty Images; Jim Young/Reuters/Landov; Steve Parsons/AP; Angel Castellanos/AP

Originally published on Fri October 24, 2014 5:02 pm

When Ebola virus resurfaced in West Africa in December 2013, public health officials were hopeful that it could be contained, as it had been in past outbreaks.

But the virus continues to ravage communities in Africa and has now spread to the United States and Europe. The number of new cases in Africa make it likely that there will be more cases in other countries.

Read more
The Salt
12:39 pm
Wed October 15, 2014

The Texas Road Food Takeover: Smoked, Fried And Tex-Mex

Originally published on Wed October 15, 2014 3:22 pm

Recently, a friend and I rode bicycles from Brownsville, Texas, to Oklahoma, 738 miles from the Rio Grande to the Red River, just for the hell of it. Naturally, eating was the highlight of the journey. The trip turned into a 13-mph tour of Texas's evolving food geography.

Read more
The Two-Way
12:35 pm
Wed October 15, 2014

Thailand's Leader Hints At Putting Off Return To Democracy

Thailand's Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha signs a guest book Friday during his visit to Shwedagon Pagoda, a landmark in Myanmar, also known as Burma.
Khin Maung Win AP

Originally published on Wed October 15, 2014 2:57 pm

Thai Prime Minister Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha, who seized power in a coup nearly five months ago, is hinting that he may need to backtrack on an earlier promise to restore democracy by next year.

In June, little more than a month after the May 22 putsch that overthrew the government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, Prayuth said elections would be held by late 2015.

In remarks today, however, Thailand's former army chief said the date could be pushed back.

Read more

Pages