Record breaking fires in the Southwest have burned thousands of acres, disrupting people and animals, and leaving muddy, flood-prone landscapes in their wake. Ira Flatow and guests discuss fire ecology, and how new forest management strategies may help stifle the blazes.
The Flagstaff Festival of Science gets underway this week. Ira Flatow talks with two festival participants about some of the highlights: Astronaut John Grunsfeld previews a talk on the Hubble Telescope and archeoastronomer Bryan Bates tells what the Mayans knew about 2012.
The Grand Canyon may seem to be a simple case of "river carves rock," but to geologists, its formation is still puzzling. Ira Flatow and guests discuss the canyon's mysteries, and the scientific sleuthing being done to solve them--millions of years after the Colorado River carried off the evidence.
Perched on a mesa just above Flagstaff is the historic Lowell Observatory, founded back in the days of the Wild West. Observatory director Jeffrey Hall talks about landmark discoveries made there, like 'Planet X'--later renamed Pluto--and the exoplanets astronomers are spotting there today.
Socialist candidate for the presidency Norman Thomas parades down Wisconsin Avenue in Milwaukee in 1932, where he made a speech.
Credit Charlie Neibergall / AP
Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) speaks during the Iowa Republican Party's straw poll on Aug. 13, in Ames, Iowa.
The perennial presidential candidate: Like the Energizer Bunny, he just keeps going and going. Like Old Man River, he keeps on rolling along. And he is held up as a pure example from the high school civics class in which we were taught that in America anyone can run for president.
He is also, like the majority of people who seek office, an also-ran.
This artist's conceptual image provided by NASA shows the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite, or UARS.
NASA has updated its news on the pending descent of the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite, and here's the headline: the satellite's re-entry has been pushed back. The UARS is now expected to plunge towards Earth late today or early Saturday, EDT.
The main drag on the satellite's speed - solar activity - is no longer the main reason why the spacecraft is slowing down. Its path, speed and spin are now so unpredictable that scientists say they cannot estimate when it will fall.
No so spontaneous: A stuntman burns during a controlled stunt in Ontario.
Lead singer of the fake rock band Spinal Tap, David St. Hubbins, famously uttered these words in the 1984 mockumentary This Is Spinal Tap: "Dozens of people spontaneously combust every year. It's just not widely reported."
And so an obscure phenomenon exploded into pop culture's collective consciousness.
Originally published on Mon September 26, 2011 1:48 pm
Credit Spencer Platt / Getty Images
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas speaks during the United Nations General Assembly in New York City.
The president of the Palestinian Authority handed United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon an application that asks the world body to recognize Palestine as a member state. The dramatic move caps months of diplomatic wrangling in which the United States and Israel tried to dissuade Mahmoud Abbas from reaching this point.
Ban Ki-moon's spokesperson made it official on Twitter, saying:
President Abbas just handed the Palestinian application to the Secretary-General.
The wife of former U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair is helping African first ladies and their staff become stronger advocates for change. She speaks with Michel Martin about this work, the challenges and relationships she's had with the media, and what it takes to be an effective first lady.
MICHEL MARTIN, host: I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News.
Just ahead, most people want to do right by their loved ones when it comes time to say their final good-byes. But what if you've lost touch with the rituals of your faith? That's where the Shiva Sisters come in and we'll tell you about them in just a few minutes.
But first, it's time for our weekly visit to the Barbershop, where the guys talk about what's in the news and what's on their minds.
While mourning the death of a loved one, many may find themselves at a loss when trying to incorporate their family's beliefs and traditions. That's when the Shiva Sisters step in. Their event planning business specializes in shiva, the period of mourning observed by Jews after a death. Michel Martin speaks with Allison Moldo and Danna Black about their work.
Mrs. Sia Nyama Koroma is working hard to fight one of the most common causes of death in Sierra Leone — maternal mortality. She's also participating in a new program that helps the first ladies of Western Europe, America and Africa share ideas on working effectively. She speaks with Michel Martin.
Host Michel Martin and Senior Editor Alicia Montgomery comb through listeners' comments about Tell Me More's coverage of political debates surrounding wealth and class, as well as tribal citizenship for those who descended from African slaves of Cherokees. They also share updates on the online series 'The Mis-Adventures of Award Black Girl,' and the case of the transgender woman who was assaulted at a Baltimore McDonalds.
In the 1970s, a stage band from the Texas-based Kashmere High School rose to national prestige, winning multiple championships and recording eight records. After some 35 years, members reunited to honor their 92-year-old bandleader. Their story is told in the new documentary 'Thunder Soul.' Executive producer Jamie Foxx speaks with Michel Martin.
Originally published on Fri September 23, 2011 11:29 am
Credit John Moore / Getty Images
An eviction team removes furniture during a home foreclosure in Longmont, Colorado.
In two reports released today, regulators say the federal mortagage-financing giant Fannie Mae knew as early as 2006 that lawyers were illegally signing foreclosure documents, but it failed to stop the practice.
Top executives of Solyndra, a bankrupt solar-energy company, have declined to testify in a congressional hearing Friday, invoking their Fifth Amendment rights. The company is under investigation for a half-billion dollar government loan guarantee it received.
I'll never forget the taste of a particular glass of milk offered to me at my friend's house when we were in the fourth grade: Sour grass. After I tried it, my friend's hippie mom proudly informed me it was goat's milk. Gross, I thought.
I had a pretty typical East Coast 1980s childhood diet of sugary cereals and processed dinners, and so my palate was completely unprepared for the funky flavor of goat.
But now, some 30 years later, I've often pulled goat cheese out of the fridge to bolster a quick dinner or to serve unexpected visitors.
Originally published on Mon September 26, 2011 9:02 am
True North Health Center in Falmouth, Maine, accepts "time dollars," in addition to real dollars. Patients perform services in the community, like raking leaves, to earn the currency, and they can spend it for care at True North.
European leaders insist they will take all necessary measures to ensure Greece does not default on its debt. A default would throw Greece's economy — and the European banking system — into deeper crisis. But many financial experts are advocating an orderly default. They argue it will be painful but preferable to round-after-round of painful austerity measures and more uncertainty.
The huge meal that white supremacist Lawrence Russell Brewer ordered and then left untouched before his execution Wednesday has convinced Texas officials to end the state's traditional practice of giving death row inmates a "last meal" of their choice.
There are "vehement denials and also ... a good degree of indignation" from Pakistan today, Los Angeles Times correspondent Alex Rodriguez tells NPR from Islamabad. Officials there are responding to comments from the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff — who said Thursday that "extremist organizations serving as proxies of the government of Pakistan are attacking Afghan troops and civilians as well as U.S. soldiers."
Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum during Thursday night's Republican presidential debate in Orlando.
Read and listen to the reaction from some in the audience at last night's Republican presidential debate after a video question from Stephen Hill, a gay soldier who Fox News said is serving in Iraq. The question was directed to former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, and here is Fox News' transcript:
Hilton Worldwide hosted a legal training conference for the Justice Department. News reports cited the department's inspector general saying Hilton billed the government $16 for each muffin. The company says its receipts were misinterpreted. Hilton says the price included fruit, a drink, tax and tips.
Two thousand volunteers showed up for training recently. When the Super Bowl comes to Indianapolis, volunteeers will greet fans at the airport or give directions. The city's team, however, may not make it to the big game. The Colts are 0-2 so far this season.
And let's go next to Pakistan, the scene of both a natural disaster and political turmoil. And we'll talk about the disaster first. NPR's Julie McCarthy is on the line from a flood zone in southern Pakistan. Julie, hi. Where are you?
Earlier this week, Marine Major Darrel Choat revealed on Morning Edition that he is gay. Choat made the statement on the day that "don't ask, don't tell" was formally repealed. That law had banned gays from serving openly in the military. Steve Inskeep checks back in with Choat to hear how those he serves with reacted to the news.
Pakistan lashed out at the U.S. for accusing the country's most powerful intelligence agency of supporting extremist attacks against American targets in Afghanistan. Steve Inskeep talks to Alex Rodriguez, a reporter for the Los Angeles Times, about what Pakistan had to say.