National

The Salt
3:15 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Science In A Scoop: Making Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream

The store uses a patented machine to keep ingredients churning and mix in the liquid nitrogen in a safe, controlled manner.
Alan Greenblatt NPR

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 12:14 pm

Robyn Sue Fisher's ice cream shop, Smitten, in San Francisco's Hayes Valley, may at moments resemble a high school chemistry lab, but that's because Fisher uses liquid nitrogen to freeze her product.

Nitrogen is "a natural element," she notes. "It's all around us."

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Shots - Health News
2:33 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

As Bird Flu Spreads In China, The Source Remains A Mystery

A vendor weighs a live chicken at the Kowloon City Market in Hong Kong Friday. Health authorities there have stepped up the testing of live poultry from China to include a rapid test for the H7N9 bird virus.
Lam Yik Fei Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 3:19 pm

The new bird flu in China has come with a long list of questions.

Are the 82 cases reported so far just the tip of a larger outbreak? Why does the virus cause mild symptoms in some people and severe pneumonia in others?

Perhaps the most critical question is also the simplest: How do people catch the bug?

The H7N9 virus clearly infects birds. Health workers have detected it in chickens, ducks and pigeons.

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National Security
2:20 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Public Safety: The Measures Taken To Keep Crowds Safe

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Celeste Headlee. Neal Conan is away. The attacks on the Boston Marathon have had a ripple effect around the world. Organizers of the London Marathon are working with local police to increase security measures there. And organizers of smaller marathons, like the Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon, are meeting to discuss how to best protect runners and spectators in the wake of the Boston tragedy. We'll speak to the emergency coordinator of that marathon in just a moment.

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Around the Nation
2:15 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

'The Hell Of American Day Care': Expensive And 'Mediocre'

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 2:49 pm

In his cover story for the April 29 issue of The New Republic, "The Hell of American Day Care," Jonathan Cohn writes that "trusting your child with someone else is one of the hardest things a parent has to do — and in the U.S., it's harder still, because American day care is a mess. And about 40 percent of children under 5 spend at least part of their week in the care of somebody other than a parent."

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Sports
2:02 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

What Spectators Add To The Marathon Experience

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 2:25 pm

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

You know, many of those injured and all three of the people who were killed at the scene of the Boston Marathon were there to cheer on the runners. They weren't running. Running is usually a fairly solitary sport, but a marathon is a unique moment when these athletes run alongside others, for one thing, and they're cheered on by sometimes thousands of spectators. Runners rely on those familiar faces and their cheerful signs to motivate them through all 26.2 miles.

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The Two-Way
1:10 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Why Use A Pressure Cooker To Build A Bomb?

This photo, produced by the Joint Terrorism Task Force of Boston, shows the remains of an explosive device at the Boston Marathon bomb scene.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 2:19 pm

They are cheap, easy to build and inconspicuous. And as the explosions this week at the Boston Marathon show, pressure cooker bombs can be devastatingly effective weapons.

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U.S.
12:56 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

What Boston Means To America

Faneuil Hall, in downtown Boston, was built in the 1740s.
Elise Amendola AP

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 2:20 pm

As a city, Boston is at the crux of this country's past, present and future.

This was brought home on April 15 — Tax Day, Patriots Day, Marathon Day — when two deadly bombs exploded on historic Boylston Street near the finish line of the 117th running of the Boston Marathon.

The tragic blasts occurred so close to the Boston Public Library that the building — home to the personal book collection of Founding Father John Adams — is included in the crime scene.

The bombs struck at the very heart of the heart of America.

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Politics
12:01 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

GOP Wooing Women & Minorities

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 4:03 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Now we head into the Beauty Shop. That's where we get a fresh cut on hot topics with our panel of women journalists, commentators, bloggers and activists.

Even though the next presidential election is several years away, the major political parties are already thinking about how to reach new voters. Republicans in particular have been in the news, both because of their poor showing with minorities last year and their efforts to address that by bringing more diverse perspectives and candidates to the Republican Party.

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Politics
12:01 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Asa Hutchinson: Gitmo, Guns, And Governorship Plans

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 4:03 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Later in the program we will speak with a man for whom art and politics were intertwined. South African musical great Hugh Masekela will be with us. He talks about his years in exile and how he stays creative after decades of performing. That's later.

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Monkey See
10:37 am
Wed April 17, 2013

'Off Pitch': A Show-Choir Story From The American Midwest

Director Rob takes charge of a rehearsal in VH1's Off Pitch.
VH1

Beware, Midwesterners: reality television is coming for you.

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The Salt
10:15 am
Wed April 17, 2013

'Modern Art Desserts': How To Bake A Mondrian In Your Oven

Left: One of Piet Mondrian's grid-like color block compositions. Right: Caitlin Freeman's cake homage.
Art 2013 Mondrian/Holtzman Trust c/o HCR International USA Reprinted by permission from 'Modern Art Desserts'

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 4:25 pm

As an artist, Caitlin Freeman found her calling in cake.

Freeman started out wanting to be an art photographer. But one day, while still in art school, she came across Display Cakes, artist Wayne Thiebaud's 1963 painting of frosted confections, during a visit to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. The image was so arresting, it stayed with her for years, and later inspired her to set off on a completely different career path: baking.

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Around the Nation
7:07 am
Wed April 17, 2013

Napster Billionaire Spends Big On Upcoming Wedding

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 2:46 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep, with good luck to Sean Parker and his bride-to-be. She's a singer; he's a Facebook billionaire and founder of Napster. Mr. Parker committed $10 million to their wedding. He paid for waterfalls, bridges and ancient ruins created for the occasion. Guests will wear outfits created by the costume designer from "Lord of the Rings."

Shots - Health News
6:59 am
Wed April 17, 2013

For Those About To Rock, We Salute Your Ears

Musician Jake Orrall performs onstage at the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival on April 14. Temporary hearing loss following concerts and other loud events may protect our ears from more permanent damage.
Frazer Harrison Getty Images for Coachella

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 5:33 pm

If you went to Coachella last weekend, you probably had a ball. But will your ears pay the price?

While short-term hearing loss caused by loud noise can be unnerving, it may not be an automatic sign of permanent damage.

Temporary hearing loss may actually be the ear's way of protecting itself from lasting damage, suggests a study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Well, if you're a mouse, at any rate.

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The Two-Way
6:55 am
Wed April 17, 2013

Boston Marathon Explosions: Wednesday's Developments

Flowers, flags and balloons at a memorial in Boston near the site of Monday's explosions.
Wang Lei Xinhua /Landov

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 7:50 am

(Note at 7:50 a.m. ET, April 18: We've begun a new post to track Thursday's developments.)

Investigators made progress Wednesday, as they tried to determine who planted two bombs near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, leaving three people dead and injuring about 180.

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Mental Health
4:44 am
Wed April 17, 2013

Bloston Blasts Reminds Us Of Fragility Of Life

Jillian Blenis, 30, of Boston reacts while stopping at a makeshift memorial to marathon bombing victims Wednesday.
Julio Cortez AP

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 5:33 pm

From the first explosion in Boston on Monday to the second, just 15 seconds elapsed. And in those 15 seconds, three people were mortally wounded, including an 8-year-old boy. The number of injured topped 100, and for those of us watching, it was a profound reminder of a reality we'd prefer to ignore.

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