When firetrucks blew through the small town of West, Texas, on the evening of April 17, 2013, sirens screaming, naturally everybody was curious. People got in their cars and went to see the fire at the West fertilizer plant. For 10 minutes, they watched from cars and backyards as the fire grew ever bigger. A few moved as close as they could because they were filming on their smartphones. At no time did it occur to anybody that they might be in danger.
Stargazers are in for a treat if they’re willing to stay up late tonight. A rare lunar eclipse known as a blood-moon will begin tomorrow morning at about 2 a.m. Eastern time. The full eclipse will last from about 3 a.m. to 4:30 a.m.
Kelly Beatty, senior contributing editor for Sky & Telescope magazine joins Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson to explain the phenomenon, which is part of a “tetrad,” and the best time to watch.
Have you ever gone up to an intriguing looking person at a party, tried to start a conversation and froze? Or perhaps you just babbled mundanely about the weather? Well, authors Chris Colin and Rob Baedeker can help.
Swimmer Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympic athlete in history, is coming out of retirement.
Patrick Sandusky, the U.S. Olympic Committee public affairs officer, tweeted this morning: "It is official, Michael Phelps is back.... competing next week in Arizona."
Phelps, who will be 29 in June, has already competed in four Olympic Games, winning 22 medals, including 18 gold. There is no word yet on whether he's looking to compete in the 2016 Summer Games in Rio.
Originally published on Tue April 15, 2014 6:06 am
Why is this Sandwich Monday different from all other Sandwich Mondays? In honor of Passover, I introduced my non-Jewish colleagues to the wonders of the Passover lunch.
It's not the Seder meal, but what I might have brought to school for lunch back in the 1970s, when the affluent Jews of suburban New Jersey ate tasteless food to remind themselves that thousands of years ago, they didn't have nice professional jobs like being a lawyer, or maybe a CPA. That's a steady living. I know David Birnbaum does nicely as an accountant; maybe you could look into that?
Traditionally, pawn shops have been the last stop for people desperate for cash. But now there's a small but growing group of pawn shops for the wealthy.
Actor and model Regi Huc needed $75,000 in a hurry last year. He was making his first feature film, and needed to do re-shoots before the deadline to enter this year's film festivals.
On paper his finances look good. He owns some buildings in Philadelphia and has a stake in a family business, but he needed that money within a week. He didn't have the cash in his bank account. He didn't have time to apply for a loan.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish. In eastern Ukraine, people are bracing for possible war. The government gave a deadline of this morning for pro-Russian separatists to lay down their weapons. Instead, the demonstrators took over still more government buildings in eastern Ukrainian cities. Ukraine's president has promised to send in the army to retake this region near the Russian border.
NPR's Ari Shapiro reports from the city of Donetsk.
The man suspected of killing three people at a Jewish community center and retirement home is a white supremacist formerly of the Ku Klux Klan. As Frank Morris of KCUR reports, 73-year-old Frazier Glen Cross once ran a paramilitary camp in North Carolina. Cross may have been planning the shooting for months.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
A standoff between federal agents and a Nevada rancher is over for now. Over the weekend, the Bureau of Land Management released about 400 head of cattle it had rounded up, fearing a violent confrontation. Militia members, including many with guns, had rallied in support of the rancher, Cliven Bundy, and his family. NPR's Ted Robbins has the story.
Originally published on Tue April 15, 2014 10:07 am
Months after lifting a veil of secrecy from the National Security Agency's surveillance operations, The Washington Post and The Guardian won a Pulitzer Prize for public service Monday. The two papers broke the story in tandem, relying on NSA documents provided by Edward Snowden.
There's a half-kilometer stretch of road in the Netherlands that looks a bit like something out of the movie Tron, thanks to new luminescent markings that glow green in the dark.
The photoluminescent paint, a sort of amped-up version of what is found on many wristwatches, charges up during daylight hours and then emits the green hue at night along the short test patch of N329 highway in Oss, according to Dutch companies Studio Roosegaarde and Heijmans, a road construction firm.
There are lots of theories about why food allergies, asthma, celiac disease and intestinal disorders like Crohn's disease have been on the rise. Dr. Martin Blaser speculates that it may be connected to the overuse of antibiotics, which has resulted in killing off strains of bacteria that typically live in the gut.
Blaser is an expert on the human microbiome, which is the collection of bacteria, viruses, fungi and other microbes that live in and on the body. In fact, up to 90 percent of all the cells in the human body aren't human at all — they're micro-organisms.
Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 11:34 am
A telephone box near Britain's Government Communications Headquarters is now bracketed with a trio of snoops, after a mural was added to a nearby wall this weekend. The art is believed to be the work of Banksy, who often uses public spaces as his canvas.
The mural was painted around the telephone box to create the image of three trenchcoat-clad men wearing sunglasses, holding microphones and other surveillance gear. A dark streak of paint rises above them, linking their scene with a satellite dish that's anchored on the side of the house.
Federal rules ensure that none of the millions of people who signed up for Obamacare can be denied insurance — but there is no guarantee that all health services will be covered.
To help make sure a patient's claims aren't improperly denied, the Affordable Care Act creates national standards that allow everyone who is denied treatment to appeal that decision to the insurance company and, if necessary, to a third party reviewer.
Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 11:33 am
The technology behind Japan's magnetically levitated train system, which whooshes passengers to their destinations at speeds topping 300 mph, could come to the U.S. without a traditional license fee, according to Japanese media outlets.
Japan is also willing to include billions in loans to help underwrite what would be a very expensive project, a government source tells The Japan Times.
Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 11:49 am
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said Monday that it expects the federal deficit will be about $22 billion less this fiscal year than previously thought, and about $9 billion less than had been anticipated next year.
Researchers found that as men grow older — from, say, 50 on — they have fewer obstacles and annoyances to worry about in life and, furthermore, they are more equipped to deal with adversity. But around age 70, life — or at least the perception of happiness — begins to go downhill.
Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 12:41 pm
At least 12 people are dead and more than 2,000 homes have been destroyed by a large fire that wreaked havoc over the weekend in Valparaiso, Chile. Some 10,000 people have been forced to evacuate parts of the port city.
Government spokesman Álvaro Elizalde says those figures are likely to go up as the fire continues to burn.