Many newly diagnosed Alzheimer's patients go through the stressful phase of realizing they are losing their memory while still having enough insight to know that, over time, they will no longer be able to care for themselves.
So a team of researchers from Chicago — a city known for improvisational theater — is testing a new idea of whether unscripted theater games can affect the well-being of these patients.
One area in the U.S. economy that is booming, despite the sluggish recovery, is technology. Facebook and Groupon are expected to go public in the coming year, and tens of billions of dollars of venture capital continue to pour into the tech industry every year to support new companies.
But one of the first challenges new companies face is coming up with a name, which can be a difficult task.
It appears as just a speck on the horizon, a slightly darker shape against a vista of Arctic ice. Soon enough, the ship's bridge makes the announcement: "Polar bear, starboard."
Crew and passengers onboard the CCGS Louis S. St.-Laurent, Canada's largest icebreaker, head to the open deck, binoculars and cameras ready, and watch as the bear lumbers from one ice floe to another, quickly dipping into the inky blue water and effortlessly pulling himself back up again.
Of World War II's many fronts, the one you've probably never heard about was the theater of war in the Arctic. Combat there centered around a crucial supply route that stretched from North America to the tiny Russian city of Murmansk, across the border from the northern tip of Norway.
"It was not the easiest route," U.S. Naval historian Tim Francis tells NPR's David Greene. And it might have been impossible if it weren't for help from some of Santa's friends.
Originally published on Wed August 24, 2011 9:59 am
Tim Pawlenty made headlines Sunday but not the sort he had hoped to. He announced on ABC News' This Week that he has dropped out of the hunt for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination after coming in a disappointing third in Iowa's Ames Straw Poll.
On Monday, President Obama flies to Minnesota to begin a bus tour devoted to job creation, confidence restoration and to reviving his own image as a leader. Guest host John Ydstie talks to NPR White House Correspondent Ari Shapiro about the president's itinerary and the motives behind the trip.
The Mars rover Spirit conked out in May, but its twin, the rover Opportunity, is still functioning and has just arrived at a spot NASA's dubbed Spirit Point. Guest host John Ydstie speaks with geologist John Grant about his decades working on the Mars Rover project.
Libyan rebels have reached the important port city of Zawiyah, where they are engaged in fierce clashes with government forces. Zawiyah is the site of Libya's sole remaining refinery and it's on the road to Tunisia. If the rebels hold it, they will control the port, the refinery and one of Libya's main roads. Guest host John Ydstie gets the latest on the fighting from NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro in Libya.
The whereabouts of an American development expert are still unknown 24 hours after he was abducted by a group of armed men in Pakistan. NPR's Julie McCarthy reports on the abduction of Warren Weinstein, who was within days of leaving the country when he was kidnapped Saturday during a brazen early morning raid on his home.
Famines like Somalia's might be a thing of the past if farmers in the Horn of Africa could grow enough crops to protect against hunger. Making that possible would require a number of things, including international development aid to small farmers, but that's been in decline over the past 25 years. Guest host John Ydstie talks to author and Harvard Professor Robert Paarlberg about U.S. investment in farm development in Africa.
Less than two months into her campaign for the Republican presidential nomination, Minnesota Congresswoman Michelle Bachman won Saturday's Iowa straw poll. Bachman won what is considered to be a bellwether event and one measure of a presidential candidate's strength. NPR's Debbie Elliott reports.
Texas governor Rick Perry declared Saturday that he's entering the race for the Republican presidential nomination. Perry spoke at the Red State Gathering conference in Charleston, S.C. WFAE's Julie Rose reports.
The political landscape in California is on the verge of drastic change. On Monday, the state's Citizens Redistricting Commission is expected to give final approval to a new map of congressional and legislative districts. Those newly drawn districts, combined with a new primary election system, are likely to shake up California's political status quo for the first time in two decades. Guest host John Ydstie talks to Bruce Cain, director of the University of California Washington Center, about the national implications of redistricting in California.
Psychologists have found that great stories can't be spoiled. Guest host John Ydstie has more on a UC San Diego study that says film buffs and bibliophiles not only don't mind spoilers, they actually like them.
South America has produced more than its share of soccer superstars. The soccer giant Real Madrid is banking on Leonel Angel Coira of Argentina to become one of them. Last week the club signed the soccer prodigy to a one-year contract. When the contract expires, young Leonel will be all of 8 years old.
"Well everyone's looking for the next big thing," Tim Stannard, who writes for the soccer publication FourFourTwo, tells Weekend Edition guest host John Ydstie.
In the 1890s, Russian Jews fleeing anti-Semitic violence and discrimination arrived by the thousands to a remote corner of the Argentine Pampas. They founded hamlets similar to the shtetls they left behind. They spoke Yiddish, built synagogues and traditional Jewish schools — and became farmers and gauchos, the mythical Argentine cowboys.
President Barack Obama's Midwestern bus tour will focus on job creation and restoring confidence, but the Federal Reserve doesn't seem very confident about the future.
Last week, the Fed committed to near-zero interest rates until 2013, indicating that the Fed board isn't anticipating much growth in the job market. That's a troubling prospect for Americans, and it leaves a big challenge looming over Washington about whether the government can push growth above the painfully low bar set by the Fed.
How can you feed starving people without feeding an insurgency as well? That is one of the challenges the Obama administration faces in providing aid to Somalia.
As the U.S. and other donors scramble to help Somalis survive a famine, some experts see an opportunity of sorts. The drought, they say, seems to be starving the Islamist militia group al-Shabaab of resources, limiting its ability to wreak havoc in Somalia.
It may seem hard to believe after such a tumultuous week on Wall Street, but economists do see a few bright spots.
For one, Americans with good credit scores can get some of the best housing bargains in decades. Freddie Mac's latest survey shows the average rate on 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages has dropped to 4.32 percent. That's down to the half-century lows set during the fourth quarter of last year.
As the rest of the Republican field jockeyed for support in Iowa's straw poll Saturday, Texas Gov. Rick Perry made a feisty late entry into the presidential race before hundreds of conservative bloggers in South Carolina, encouraging voters to "give a pink slip to the current residents of the White House."
Perry launched his bid touting his home state's record of job creation as a central reason to elect him, but Texas' economic picture is more complex than what the governor shares on the stump.
They love "the Huckster" in Iowa, and he loves them back.
And former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee says that Texas Gov. Rick Perry made a "tactical error" by shunning Saturday's straw poll, instead opting to announce his candidacy for president today in South Carolina.
"He's raining on the parade in Iowa," said Huckabee, taking a break from signing books for the happy crowd mobbing him Saturday morning. "I'm not against Rick at all, but this is the biggest day of the year for Iowa Republicans."
Some cab drivers might stay silent with customers in their cars. Others can talk your ear off. Joel Laguidao just wants to sing with you.
Laguidao has become known as the "karaoke cab driver." While driving for Red Top Cab Co. on weekend nights around Arlington, Va., he sings favorites like Journey's "Faithfully" and Bon Jovi's "Bed of Roses."
It started about three years ago. Laguidao grew tired of the FM radio offerings and bought a karaoke machine. He has two small monitors for reading lyrics, a large silver microphone and a thick song catalog.
This past week the stock market took a serious nose-dive, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 500 points on Thursday. As a result, investors across the board have been flocking to safer investments. Now you might expect older people to cash out in order to save their nest eggs — but young people? The standard investment advice would be to hold tight. Turns out, they're actually the ones fleeing from stocks the fastest.
It's been more than a week since the fatal shooting of a man by police in London. Riots that erupted after the killing of Mark Duggan have shaken England since. Many people are divided over the real reasons behind the riots, questioning how much is due to the current recession or alienation or boredom among young people. Some have suggested poor parenting is to blame.
Cultural critic and novelist Diran Adebayo grew up in north London, in a neighborhood next door to Tottenham, where the riots first broke out.
The swings in the U.S. market underline the contradictions in the European Union's economic underpinnings. The two most powerful nations in the EU plan a summit to seek a way out. Guest host Jacki Lyden talks with NPR's Tom Gjelten.
Republican presidential candidates are working to position themselves for November, but the man currently in the oval office seems to be losing his footing. Guest host Jacki Lyden speaks with Ted Widmer, director and librarian of the John Carter Brown Library at Brown University, about presidential leadership and recent criticism of President Barack Obama's leadership style.