Now, we turn to a giant in the arts world. You probably know the name, Anna Deavere Smith. You might know her from her role on "The West Wing" or as the no-nonsense old school hospital administrator, Gloria Akalitus, on the Showtime series, "Nurse Jackie."
(SOUNDBITE OF TV SERIES, "NURSE JACKIE")
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: How do you sleep at night putting someone out of a job?
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. In a few minutes, we will speak with an artist who just won one of the American art world's biggest prizes. It was endowed by the famous sisters of silent movie fame. It comes with $300,000 attached. It was just awarded to Anna Deavere Smith, and we will speak with her in just a few minutes.
Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 8:06 pm
NPR's Sam Sanders and Mandalit del Barco were backstage at the Oscars on Sunday, covering the awards show. They sat in the press room, where winners go for interviews during and after the show. Here's a roundup of what they saw that you didn't see, in senior superlative form.
Most Likely To Stand By Her Man Until The End Of All Natural Time: Jennifer Garner
There is speculation about a last minute settlement. But if that doesn't happen, a federal judge in New Orleans will today begin hearing arguments about BP's liability for the 2010 oil rig explosion and spill in the Gulf of Mexico that killed 11 men and led to one of the biggest environmental disasters in the nation's history.
At stake: Billions of dollars in potential penalties.
Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep. Betty LeMaster watched a television program in Smyrna, Tennessee - a show about geology - and it got Ms. LeMaster wondering about the 10-pound rock she'd used as a doorstop for years.
She took it to Middle Tennessee State University and according to the Daily News Journal, testing revealed her doorstop is fossilized coral 450 million years old. Older than the dinosaurs, and still holds the door just fine.
It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
And also this, President Obama's administration faces another deadline this week, to file a written argument in a Supreme Court case involving gay marriage. Now, in a separate case last week, the administration told the High Court it should strike down a law that bars the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages.
This case asked the Court if there is a constitutional right for gays and lesbians to marry nationwide. The president addressed that issue last week on KGO television in San Francisco.
It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep.
The worst environmental disaster in American history is the subject of a trial that is beginning today. It's a big and complicated civil lawsuit stemming from the 2010 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico - and, of course, the spill that followed that.
Let's talk next about a natural disaster. The many cities hit by hurricane Sandy included Hoboken, New Jersey. That city's mayor is ready to build walls to keep the water out next time, but that's a challenging proposition and the subject of today's business bottom line. Here's NPR's Joel Rose.
JOEL ROSE, BYLINE: Hoboken used to be an island, surrounded by the Hudson River on one side and tidal marshes on the other. By the 20th century, those wetlands were paved and developed. But after Hurricane Sandy, Hoboken was an island again.
Bad weather can mean big losses for homeowners and insurance companies. So recently, the insurance industry built a laboratory in rural Richburg, South Carolina in hopes of developing more weather-resistant buildings. The latest experiment was a giant, indoor hailstorm.
Julie Rose of member station WFAE takes us inside.
JULIE ROSE, BYLINE: Tanya Brown has had a single obsession these past two years...
TANYA BROWN: I'm a research engineer and the lead engineer on this project.
Jimmie Johnson won the Daytona 500 yesterday, only his second career victory. [POST-BROADCAST CORRECTION: It was his second win at Daytona.] And he made it past Danica Patrick, the first woman to ever win the pole position with the fastest qualifying time. She finished eighth. NPR's Mike Pesca was at the race.
A drawing from a child sent to Newtown. Illustrator Ross MacDonald, who wants to archive and preserve art like this sent to the town after the elementary school shootings, calls it "both profoundly moving and just a beautiful piece of folk art."
Credit Courtesy of Ross MacDonald
Some of the many cards, letters and artwork sent to Newtown from all over the world was on display at the Newtown Municipal Center on Jan. 30. The items were recently moved to temporary storage.
Credit Courtesy of Ross MacDonald
Ross MacDonald, an illustrator in Newtown, Conn., has been documenting the letters and artwork. He describes the outpouring of grief the town has received on <a href="http://www.drawger.com/yup/index.php?article_id=13858">his blog</a> and also <a href="http://letterstonewtown.tumblr.com/">here</a>.
Two months after the massacre at an elementary school in Connecticut, letters, cards and gifts continue to arrive in Newtown each day, but the town is not sure what to do with it all.
The outpouring of grief started arriving just days after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School — poetry, stories, banners and posters. Soon the halls of Newtown's Municipal Center and buildings all over town were packed with messages from children and parents, from a soldier in Afghanistan and an inmate at a California prison.