3:23am

Thu August 23, 2012
Joe's Big Idea

Telescope Innovator Shines His Genius On New Fields

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 12:23 pm

Roger Angel, an astronomer at the University of Arizona, stands in front of his new project: a solar tracker. Angel wants to use the device to harness Arizona's abundant sunlight and turn it into usable energy.
Jason Millstein for NPR

You may not be familiar with the name Roger Angel, but if there were ever a scientist with a creative streak a mile wide, it would be he.

Angel is an astronomer. He's famous for developing an entirely new way of making really large, incredibly precise telescope mirrors. But his creativity doesn't stop there. He's now turned his attention to solar power, hoping to use the tricks he learned from capturing distant light from stars to do a more cost-efficient job of capturing light from the Sun.

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3:22am

Thu August 23, 2012
Opinion

For Indian Women, Teasing Is No Laughing Matter

Originally published on Wed August 29, 2012 5:15 pm

Protesters take part in a street play during a protest against growing cases of sexual abuse in New Delhi on May 5. The protesters urged police to protect women from abusers and stop blaming victims for attacks.
Sajjad Hussain AFP/Getty Images

Morning Edition commentator Sandip Roy is back home in India after spending years in the U.S. He finds some Indians are standing up to a very old problem they call "eve teasing."

I lost touch with that peculiar Indian euphemism "eve teasing" in the years I was away from India.

It sounds coy, like a Bollywood hero romancing the pretty girl as she walks down the street, and it can mean that. But it can also mean what happened to a teenager a few weeks ago in the northeastern city of Guwahati.

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3:22am

Thu August 23, 2012
First And Main

Wis. Business Owner Relates To Romney's Resume

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 8:47 pm

Linda Wendt is the owner of a restaurant on Lake Winnebago in Wisconsin. Republican Mitt Romney "has done what I've done, so I can relate to him," she says. "He knows what business goes through and what it takes to run a business."
John W. Poole NPR

As the presidential election nears, Morning Edition is visiting swing counties in swing states for our series First and Main. We're listening to voters where they live — to understand what's shaping their thinking this election year.

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3:21am

Thu August 23, 2012
Planet Money

Why Do Taxpayers Subsidize Farmers' Insurance?

Originally published on Fri August 24, 2012 10:16 am

Grandpa Traub — corn former and millionaire.
Chana Joffe-Walt NPR

This summer's drought has hit more than half the states in the country. Crops are suffering, but farmers might not be. Most farmers have crop insurance.

U.S. taxpayers spend about $7 billion a year on crop insurance. It's our largest farm subsidy.

And this subsidy goes in part to farmers — who will tell you themselves they aren't so sure about the whole idea. "I have an aversion to it," says Jim Traub, a corn and bean farmer in Fairbury, Illinois. "But you're not going to turn it down."

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3:19am

Thu August 23, 2012
Around the Nation

Hurricane Andrew's Legacy: 'Like A Bomb' In Florida

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 11:46 am

Florida National Guardsmen keep people in line at a food distribution center in Florida City, Fla., on Aug. 27, 1992. Many residents of the Dade County farming community lost their homes to Hurricane Andrew.
Lynne Sladky AP

Twenty years ago, one of the strongest hurricanes ever to hit the U.S. changed the face of South Florida.

Hurricane Andrew wiped out communities south of Miami, killing 15 people when it struck in 1992. Dozens more died from injuries stemming from the storm and its aftermath.

Adjusted for inflation, the 1992 storm was, after Katrina, the second costliest storm in U.S. history. It also changed how we forecast and respond to hurricanes.

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3:18am

Thu August 23, 2012
Digital Life

In Japan, Mobile Startups Take Gaming To Next Level

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 8:47 pm

According to consultant Serkan Toto, the anonymity of mobile gaming is tailor-made for the Japanese.
Koji Sasahara AP

On the subway, in doctor's waiting rooms and during college lectures, millions of Japanese can be found glued to their smartphones. But they're not texting or making phone calls — they're playing video games.

In the U.S., video games are usually played on computers and consoles, like the PlayStation or Wii, but in Japan, gaming has migrated to smartphones.

With an ice coffee in one hand and an iPhone in the other, grad student Yoshiro Hinoki is fixated on slaying tiny cartoon monsters.

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3:17am

Thu August 23, 2012
Megafires: The New Normal In The Southwest

How The Smokey Bear Effect Led To Raging Wildfires

Originally published on Fri August 24, 2012 7:50 pm

Adams (left) talks with Swetnam in their laboratory, nestled under the football stadium.
David Gilkey NPR

First of a five-part series

The history of fire in the American Southwest is buried in a catacomb of rooms under the bleachers of the football stadium at the University of Arizona.

Here rules professor Thomas Swetnam, tree ring expert. You want to read a tree ring? You go to Tom. He's a big, burly guy with a beard and a true love for trees.

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6:34pm

Wed August 22, 2012
It's All Politics

Cut Off From Party's Purse Strings, Rep. Akin Plans Next Move

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 7:59 pm

Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., says Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., the GOP vice presidential candidate, asked him to end his Senate bid after recent comments he made referring to "legitimate rape."
Jeff Roberson AP

Republican Rep. Todd Akin's decision to stay in the U.S. Senate race in Missouri is likely to leave him with support from the state's evangelical community, but not much more, says a political scientist at the University of Missouri, St. Louis.

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6:28pm

Wed August 22, 2012
The Two-Way

Officials Say West Nile Outbreak Could Be Worst Ever In U.S.

A map that shows where West Nile cases have been reported. Note that areas shaded white have seen no virus activity.
CDC

As cases of West Nile virus continue to increase, authorities warned today that this could turn out to be the worst outbreak since the virus first showed up in the United States in 1999.

The New York Times reports that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is still unsure about "where and how far" the disease will spread, but so far there have been 1,118 cases and 41 deaths reported.

The Times adds:

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5:53pm

Wed August 22, 2012
Middle East

As Fighting Rages, A Prisoner Swap In Syria

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 7:59 pm

The daily fighting in Syria included this gun battle Wednesday involving rebels in the northern city of Aleppo. Still, the rival sides recently worked out a prisoner swap in which two women were freed from state custody, while the rebels released seven pro-government fighters.
James Lawler Duggan AFP/Getty Images

The bitter fighting in Syria seems to grow worse by the day, yet the rebels and the government do occasionally manage to work out something that requires each side to trust the other: prisoner swaps.

In one recent exchange, two women held by the government were freed in exchange for seven men who were fighting on behalf President Bashar Assad's regime.

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