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NPR


  • Originally published 12/05/2013

    NPR's Robert Siegel Needs a Reality Check

    Most of the workers who occupy Wall Street on a daily basis can't make ends meet. But neither can their $22,000-a-year counterparts in any other part of the country.

  • Originally published 08/07/2013

    NPR Podcast: Historian Kevin Boyle On The Dangers Of Seeing Detroit As A Metaphor

    "On The Media," National Public Radio's weekly show, took on the way journalists and other commentators have used Detroit's bankruptcy to draw a larger picture of what is wrong with the country -- often with an ideological bent that suits their own purposes.  "Pundits and pontificators have seized on the moment to lay blame on their favorite targets and reductively declare that what ails Detroit is a microcosm of what ails America," said co-host Bob Garfield, who interviewed Northwestern University history professor Kevin Boyle on the most recent show.Boyle, who grew up on Detroit's East Side and attended the University of Detroit and received his master's degree and Ph.D from the University of Michigan, is the author of "Arc of Justice," the award-winning 2004 book about the Ossian Sweet case and Detroit in the 1920s, when, as he wrote, Detroit experienced explosive growth and the whole city seemed to function as one, huge, automobile-producing machine....

  • Originally published 07/31/2013

    NACLA: "This American Life" whitewashed U.S. crimes in Latin America

    Celebrating 2012’s best examples of broadcast journalism, the George Foster Peabody Awards attracted the likes of D.L. Hughley, Amy Poehler and Bryant Gumbel to the Waldorf-Astoria’s four-story grand ballroom in New York this past May. In a gaudy ceremony hosted by CBS star-anchor Scott Pelley, National Public Radio’s This American Life received the industry’s oldest and perhaps most prestigious accolade. The 16-member Peabody Board, consisting of “television critics, industry practitioners and experts in culture and the arts,” had selected a particular This American Life episode—“What Happened at Dos Erres”—as one of the winners of its 72nd annual awards on the basis of “only one criterion: excellence.”...

  • Originally published 06/04/2013

    French learned to make wine from Italians 2,400 years ago

    The French weren't the first to make wine? Mon dieu! But as anyone who has sipped a Bordeaux, Champagne or Burgundy can tell you, the French got pretty good at it once they learned how. And thanks to some molecular archaeology, researchers can now confirm they picked up these skills as early as 425 B.C.So who taught the French the art of viniculture? Probably the ancient Italians, says the man with perhaps the coolest nickname in science research — the "Indiana Jones of alcohol," .The Eurasian grape — Vitis vinifera, the source of 99 percent of the world's wine — was first domesticated about 9,000 years ago in the mountains of the Near East, says McGovern, a biomolecular archaeologist at the University of Pennsylvania Museum. Later, Canaanite, Phoenician and Greek merchants all played a part in spreading that wine culture across the Mediterranean....

  • Originally published 05/30/2013

    Ancient iron beads linked to meteorite

    Since it was found in 1911, an Egyptian iron bead has sparked wonder and debate over how it was produced — made around 3,300 BC, it predates the region's first known iron smelting by thousands of years. Now, researchers say the iron was made in space and delivered to Earth via meteorite."Tube-shaped beads excavated from grave pits at the prehistoric Gerzeh cemetery, approximately 3300 BCE, represent the earliest known use of iron in Egypt," the scientists write in the May 20 issue of .Early studies of the beads found their iron to be rich in nickel, a key indicator that the metal originated from a meteorite. But researchers contested that idea in the 1980s, suggesting the metal was instead the result of early attempts at smelting....

  • Originally published 04/25/2013

    Why the Bush Library won't make history

    Will history judge George W. Bush more kindly than his contemporaries have?The man himself seems fairly indifferent."I don't think he really cares much at all, to be honest with you," says Kevin Sullivan, who served as White House communications director during Bush's second term. "I think he cares very little about where his approval rating stands today, compared to 2005 or 2008."...Bush's new $250 million library, on the campus of Southern Methodist University, will be the staging ground for efforts at burnishing his legacy, including a policy center that will explore and promote his ideas."The Bush library is the first stage in what will be a multistage operation," says Jeremi Suri, a University of Texas historian....

  • Originally published 02/26/2013

    The hermit pope of the 1200s

    Beneath a glass coffin, wearing a pontiff's miter and faded vestments of gold and purple, there lies a tiny man with a wax head.This represents an Italian priest who, until this month, was the only pope in history to voluntarily resign.His name is Celestine V.Celestine became pope at 84, some seven centuries ago, after a long and self-punishing career as a hermit.Though a celebrated spiritual leader, and founder of a new branch of the Benedictine order, his papacy lasted just over five months. It's widely viewed as an utter disaster.He left at 85 — the same age as Benedict XVI....