Here is a question that social scientists have been pondering for years: How much of your success in life is tied to your parents, and how much do you control?
The academic term used for this is "social mobility." And a striking new finding from economic historian Gregory Clark of the University of California, Davis claims your success in life may actually be determined by ancestors who lived hundreds of years ago. That means improving opportunities across generations might be a lot harder than anyone imagined.
President Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney speak almost every day throughout the campaign season, sometimes two or three times a day. They deliver everything from commencement addresses to foreign policy analyses. But at rallies and union halls, high school auditoriums, at county fairs and a thousand other venues, they offer slight variations on a set of standard remarks known as the stump speech.
You Can't Do That On Film, an independently made 2004 documentary about Nickelodeon's '80s-afternoon staple You Can't Do That On Television, comes out today on DVD. It's got a treasure trove of interviews from an impressive number of the show's kid stars (Alasdair! Hey, Moose!), now adults who, almost to a person, look back on the sketch show with nothing but affection.
As the presidential candidates make their cases to the nation, health care is taking up a lot of talking points. But one subject that's less likely to be debated forthrightly is end-of-life care.
A big driver of U.S. health care expenditure is what's spent in the last year of life. Those who argue in favor of rationing that care say the country cannot afford to provide unlimited health care — either the government or insurance companies have to ration end-of-life care as a policy response.
"Hi, this is Alan Cumming's Suit. No, I'm not one of those obnoxious inanimate objects with a Twitter feed. I'm just a suit. Just one brightly colored suit against the world. Sometimes, Alan Cumming's Hair and I get together on Skype and talk about what kind of look we're going for, but sometimes, we just show up and see what happens.
A Virginia teenager recently had a pilot fly a helicopter over his high school to ask a girl to a dance. Some say these spectacles are out of control but others ask, "why not?" Host Michel Martin leads a parenting panel on the costs of teen courtship with TV critic Eric Deggans, psychologist John Duffy, and blogger Carol Cain Alvarez.
Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 2:46 pm
It was Bill Clinton who made the town hall-style debate famous, and looking back to his performance in the first such fall faceoff in 1992, it's easy to see why.
Clinton commanded the stage and used the format — in which voters, not journalists, ask the questions — to "feel the pain" of the audience. Now, President Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney get a shot at the same format.
However, it's the president who comes at it from a distinct disadvantage, says Chris Arterton, a professor of political management at George Washington University.
The Tea Party may have took the 2010 midterm elections by storm, but many analysts are now asking if the party's influence has cooled off. Host Michel Martin looks at the Tea Party's prospects for this election with NPR's Senior Washington Editor Ron Elving and Shelby Blakely, journalist coordinator for the Tea Party Patriots.
Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 4:43 pm
This week at Monkey See, we're looking at friendship in pop culture.
In the 1997 film My Best Friend's Wedding, Julianne (Julia Roberts) rushes to stop the wedding of her best friend Michael (Dermot Mulroney) to the adorable Kimmy (Cameron Diaz). (Spoilers follow, so if you haven't been paying attention to cable for the last 15 years, take heed.)
Adolescent brains have gotten a bad rap, according to neuroscientists.
It's true that teenage brains can be impulsive, scientists reported at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in New Orleans. But adolescent brains are also vulnerable, dynamic and highly responsive to positive feedback, they say.
Yesterday, a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit brought by Christopher Johnson and Nathaniel Claybrooks, two black men who had auditioned for The Bachelor, who claimed that the show discriminates against people of color both in choosing the primary bachelor/ette and in choosing the people he or she will have to choose from.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
And I'm Renee Montagne, good morning.
Presidential candidates play a game before debates, each lowers expectations that he'll do well, then tries to beat expectations. The last part didn't work out for President Obama this last time, so he tries again tonight.
INSKEEP: The president meets Mitt Romney with their contest effectively tied. They hold a town hall meeting with about 80 uncommitted voters.