Credit Dan Curtis Productions / The Kobal Collection
In the influential Dark Shadows, a 1960s ABC soap opera with a gothic and supernatural bent, Jonathan Frid played Barnabas Collins, a vampire who returned to claim his coastal Maine manor.
Credit Warner Brothers Pictures
In the new film adaptation of Dark Shadows, Johnny Depp plays Barnabas. Seth Grahame-Smith, author of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, wrote the screenplay for the movie and says the idea of living forever as a vampire continues to fascinate.
Credit Quantrell D.Colbert / The CW
Ian Somerhalder plays the charming and dangerous Damon Salvatore on The Vampire Diaries, a gothic soap opera that shares some similarities with Dark Shadows.
When it comes to monsters on television, vampires have the market more or less cornered. Think about it: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, True Blood, The Vampire Diaries ...
Vampires' enduring popularity on TV may not be eternal, but they have been appearing on the small screen for decades. Mark Dawidziak, who's written books about vampires and teaches a class at Kent State University on their appearances in film and TV, says that part of the way vampires have remained a force in popular culture is through their evolution on TV.
Nurse Susan Peel gives a whooping cough vaccination to a high school student in Sacramento, Calif. The whooping cough vaccine given to babies and toddlers loses much of its effectiveness after by the time people reach their teens and early adulthood.
Washington state is in the midst of a whooping cough outbreak. The state has more than 1,100 confirmed cases so far this year — that's 10 times as many as this time last year, and health officials fear the number may rise.
The state is desperately trying to raise awareness of the epidemic. Take this public service announcement featuring a mother whose baby contracted the disease.
Republicans who control the House want to block some $55 billion worth of automatic cuts to the Pentagon budget next year. Instead, they want to cut funding for social programs such as food stamps, Medicaid and Meals on Wheels. It's a choice that has been framed as guns versus butter, and this time, guns are expected to win.
The Obama administration has threatened to veto the legislation, which the House votes on Thursday. But the president is willing to leave the Pentagon cuts in place for now, in hopes of bringing Republicans back to the bargaining table.
More people on the East Coast are acquiring a taste for snakehead, an exotic fish that's moved here from Asia. But the fish are still multiplying and spreading.
Snakehead came to Maryland almost 10 years ago. The so-called "Frankenfish" looks like its namesake and has multiple rows of teeth. Someone released it here — and then there was a documentary and an unbelievably bad movie.
It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And I'm Melissa Block.
The unemployment rate here in the U.S. is high, above eight percent. But at least one industry insists it can't find and hire experienced workers fast enough. Thousands of older employees are beginning to retire from the oil and gas industry.
And as NPR's Jeff Brady reports, the shortage comes at the very moment high oil prices have companies hoping to drill more.
A foreclosed home in Los Angeles. More than 4 million homeowners nationwide are eligible for an independent review of their foreclosure process, but only a small percentage have applied to the program.
It's been more than six months since government regulators and banks first extended an offer to 4.3 million homeowners facing foreclosure: to review, at no cost, the foreclosure process to check for any possible errors or misrepresentations.
Homeowners stand to collect compensation of as much as $100,000 if errors are found. But thus far, only a tiny percentage of those eligible have signed up.
The beauty industry has lost one of its titans. The hair stylist Vidal Sassoon died today at his home in Los Angeles after suffering an undisclosed illness. He was 84. NPR's Neda Ulaby has this remembrance.
NEDA ULABY, BYLINE: Vidal Sassoon was emblematic of an era.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SHE LOVES YOU")
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: One, two...
THE BEATLES: (Singing) She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah. She loves you...
There's not much news out of presidential primaries these days, but there was one surprise yesterday in West Virginia's Democratic primary. A convicted felon serving time in a Texas prison won 41 percent of the vote to President Obama's 59 percent.
For more on this unusual candidate and what his strong second-place showing says about Democratic voters in West Virginia, I'm joined from Charleston by Associated Press reporter Lawrence Messina.
Twice a week, local seniors in Warrenton, Virginia, flock to a hip new dinner spot called the Bistro on the Hill for good food, a great view, and musical accompaniment by a retired piano player from a nearby Nordstrom's.
Ryan Seacrest's double/triple/quadruple fakeouts. Our host used to screw with the contestants by teasing the results before throwing to a guest performance or commercial. Now he gives those results using sentences so convoluted, with so many double-backs and twist-arounds, that you need a white board to diagram them and unpack their actual meaning. Frustrating the singers, yes. Confusing them entirely, no.
What if it's not just our genes or our lifestyle, exactly, that makes us skinny or fat, healthy or sick? What if it's also the makeup of the bacterial ecosystem that inhabits our gut?
A growing pile of scientific studies is pointing us in that direction. Researchers in this hot new field describe the microbes in our gut as a vital organ that's as essential as our liver or kidneys. They're finding that this organ, which they call the "microbiome," varies greatly from person to person.
On June 11, 2011, Matt Rutherford set sail from Annapolis, Md., on an epic voyage. He traveled down the Chesapeake Bay, up the East Coast, then through the Northwest Passage, down the Pacific, around Cape Horn, back up the coast of South America, and all the way back home.
In 10 months, he sailed over 27,000 miles in a 27-foot sailboat — named the St. Brendan after the 6th-century explorer — and became the first person to complete a solo, nonstop circumnavigation of the Americas.
The Food and Drug Administration has a proposition for the companies that make X-ray machines.
Make sure your new equipment has settings and instructions that minimize radiation hazards for kids, or the agency will look to slap a label on the machines that recommends they not be used for children at all.
The agency proposed the approach today (details in the Federal Register); it's the latest move to curb radiation hazards from imaging equipment.