Rene Lopez and Devin Burrell blast dirt off the polyurethane coating the iconic white roof of the Superdome in New Orleans. The job will cost about $130,000 and take roughly a month, partly because the roofers must move slowly. "You have to constantly be aware of where you're at," says project manager Tom Keller. "If something stupid happens, it's not going to end up pretty."
Credit Keith O'Brien for NPR
Keller helped rebuild the damaged roof of the Superdome after Hurricane Katrina. "It's not just a roof," he says. "This is the Superdome. It's probably the most infamous roof, and now famous roof, in the whole world."
Credit David J. Phillip / AP
The Louisiana Superdome plays an iconic role in the skyline--and heart--of New Orleans.
Credit Keith O'Brien for NPR
As the roofers get to the top, they literally straddle the void, swinging their bodies from the ladder to the roof over a small but frightening gap.
Most people have their route to work memorized; they can do it with their eyes closed. Heading into the office is some combination of elevators — stairs if you're more ambitious — and hallways. Easy.
Tom Keller's route is a bit more complicated.
"Step here, and there's a bad railing right here with a step," Keller cautions, threading his way up along a series of dimly lit, narrow catwalks suspended above the football field inside the New Orleans Superdome.
The stadium is home to the New Orleans Saints and will host this year's Super Bowl.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. After a two-year battle in court, lawyers in Portland, Oregon, said - last hour - that they'd release hundreds of confidential files kept by the Boy Scouts of America, on men they suspected of sexual abuse. The files went public online, within the last few minutes.
Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 4:54 pm
"It was the best of times, it was the best of times," riffs aspiring writer Sophia in the opening of MTV's new dramedy, Underemployed, as she taps away on her laptop, narrating the lives of her recent-grad friends a la Carrie Bradshaw. It's the first cliché in a series full of them. It's also a sign of the ongoing fascination with the lives of twentysomethings trying and failing to do big things in big cities during a big recession. (Take it from me — it's not that great.)
Originally published on Thu October 18, 2012 2:21 pm
Gathering voters to watch a presidential debate and then evaluate it is a long tradition in American journalism. So, I got to thinking: What would happen if I invited a bunch of interested foreigners — all of them Chinese citizens — to watch the presidential debate from my Shanghai office?
An Indian child receives the oral polio vaccine. Twice a year, an army of 2 million volunteers fans out across India to administer the vaccine. India has not reported a single case of polio in more than a year-and-a-half.
Credit Julie McCarthy / NPR
Dr. Kiran Kathuria (left) and veteran volunteer Santosh Sharma (front right) make the rounds with a team of vaccinators in Nehru Nagar, a middle-class area of Delhi. India's nationwide polio eradication program, begun in 1995, was modeled after Delhi's.
All this week, we've been examining the world's last remaining pockets of polio, a disease for which there is no cure. India marked a milestone when the World Health Organization struck it from the list of polio-endemic countries in February after no new cases were reported for more than a year. From Delhi, NPR's Julie McCarthy reports on how, despite poverty and poor sanitation, the world's second-most populous country is eradicating the disease.
Originally published on Thu October 18, 2012 1:04 pm
A small study offers a bit of cautious optimism about the prospects for treatment of tuberculosis, one of humankind's most ancient scourges.
This week's New England Journal of Medicine has a report showing that adding a 12-year-old antibiotic called linezolid, brand name Zyvox, to existing treatments cured nearly 90 percent of patients with a form of tuberculosis resistant to both first- and second-line antibiotics.
Now we want to tell you about history that was just made on a campus that is full of history, some of it difficult. Just a few days ago, a young woman was crowned homecoming queen at her university. And you might think, well, that's nice, but that happens all the time.
This is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, we take a look back 25 years to the 1987 stock market crash, which some people still call Black Monday. We'll talk about how that even compares to the more recent market turmoil and if there's anything we can learn from it about market ups and downs today.
As recently as last month, it was clear that a lot of Republicans were unhappy with their presidential nominee, Mitt Romney.
When I would ask GOP voters how they felt about Romney at campaign rallies or at their doorsteps, many made sour faces, like they were swallowing chalk. They offered their most backhanded endorsements, saying things like, "He wasn't my first choice," or, "He's who we've got."
It was clear they would vote for him, but for many it was not out of love — it was out of disdain for President Obama.
Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain (left) and Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama at the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner on Oct. 16, 2008. At center is Bishop Edward Michael Cardinal Egan.
After sharp words on the debate stage Tuesday and after weeks of tough talk about each other on the campaign trail, President Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney face a different kind of challenge tonight:
They have to be funny about each other and about themselves.
A special cake re-enacting the scene of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge's wedding in 2011 where he drove the car with his wife the Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, as he attends a reception prior to the annual October Club dinner in aid of the St Giles Trust on Wednesday night.
Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 4:48 pm
Mitt Romney is getting a lot of heat for his somewhat awkward comments about women in the workplace during Tuesday night's presidential debate.
The Internet's meme makers made merry with Romney's comment about the "binder full of women" that he sought out to work for him during his stint as Massachusetts governor. Cue the obligatory Ryan Gosling meme.
Two-thirds of American college graduates left school last year with student loan debt hanging over their heads and the average amount they owed was $26,600, up 5 percent from the previous year. They also walked into a "tough job market" that was only marginally more friendly than in 2010, according to a report released today by the Institute for College Access and Success (TICAS).