News From NPR

Pages

The Two-Way
12:44 pm
Sat February 15, 2014

Mars 'Jelly Doughnut' Mystery Solved: It's Just A Rock, NASA Says

This composite image provided by NASA shows before-and-after images taken by the Opportunity rover on Mars of a patch of ground taken on Dec. 26, 2013, showing the "Pinnacle Island" rock.
AP

Originally published on Sat February 15, 2014 1:21 pm

It appeared out of the red, like something dropped by a Martian Homer Simpson. But now NASA has an explanation for the "jelly doughnut" object photographed by the Opportunity rover in December.

First, here's what it isn't: It is not a fungus-like Martian organism, nor is it ejecta shot into the air by a nearby (and unseen) meteor impact.

Instead, it's geologic roadkill. Basically.

"We drove over it," Opportunity's Deputy Principal Investigator Ray Arvidson said in a statement on Friday.

Read more
Shots - Health News
12:43 pm
Sat February 15, 2014

When A Prescription For Pain Pills Becomes A Gateway To Addiction

Katherine Streeter for NPR

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 9:48 am

On the surface, the 39-year-old construction worker looks like any other patient with back pain. He came to the Washington, D.C., emergency room, where I work, in severe discomfort after moving heavy cinder blocks a few days before.

The pain gets worse with twisting and bending, but he has no numbness or weakness in his legs. There's no tenderness along his spine, no difficulty urinating, no fever, so there's nothing to suggest a fracture, infection, spinal cord mass or anything other than a muscle strain.

Read more
Krulwich Wonders...
12:43 pm
Sat February 15, 2014

'O Wind A-Blowing!'

Robert Loebel Vimeo

Originally published on Sat February 15, 2014 8:05 am

Read more
Winter Olympics
4:50 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

How They Fared: Whitman Student Skis First Race At Olympics

Medals Ceremony in Olympic Park at Sochi, Russia.
Sarah Brunson U.S. Ski Team

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 1:29 pm

A college ski racer from Sun Valley, Idaho says she is "immensely relieved" just to finish her first Winter Olympic race in one piece.

Read more
The Salt
4:49 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

For The Love Of Oysters: How A Kiss From The Sea Evokes Passion

Lunch with oysters and wine by Frans van Mieris, 1635-1681.
Universal Images Group UIG via Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 4:58 pm

Question: Which of these foods are said to stir passion? An oyster, and avocado or a turnip? (Scroll down to the bottom for the answer.)

One of these, at least, is a gimme. The stories linking oysters and other shellfish to lust go back to at least the ancient Greeks.

Think of the image of Aphrodite, the goddess of love, rising out of the sea from the half-shell.

"There's something primal about eating oysters," says oyster-lover MJ Gimbar. He describes them as creamy and velvety. "It's like a kiss from the ocean."

Read more
A Blog Supreme
3:09 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

After 18 Years Of Marriage And Two Children, A Couple Releases Their Debut Albums

Shamie Royston (left) and Rudy Royston, married for nearly two decades, have recently issued their own debut albums as bandleaders.
Mike Molaire/John Rogers for NPR

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 3:09 pm

The basic story behind drummer Rudy Royston's first album sounds like that of many sidemen in jazz. He moved to the New York area. His talent got him into bands led by higher-profile artists like Bill Frisell, JD Allen, Ben Allison and Dave Douglas. And when it came time to document his own composing and arranging, he could rely on the network he had tapped into. Douglas issued Royston's album 303 earlier this month on his own record label, Greenleaf Music.

Read more
This Is NPR
3:08 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

An Alaskan Romance Story – Finding Love over the Bushlines

Detricia Hahn and Dave Anderson have been happily married for five years.
Detricia Hahn

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 8:55 am

How many texts did you send today? Maybe one or two were similar to these messages:

To the Princess of Bear Cove, Birthdays come and birthdays go – but few like you retain that glow. Happy belated bday from all of us. From Club Humpy

To the Kumquats – don't forget to pay your land tax – its due today! From the Carrots

To the Bear Cove Harbor Master – Batten down the hatches, tie an anchor on the dog and be safe. From the Geezers in Girdwood

Read more
Politics
3:08 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Boehner Fights Back Against Tea Party, Again

House Speaker John Boehner leaves a news conference on Capitol Hill earlier this month.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 4:58 pm

A high-stakes drama played out over the debt ceiling on Capitol Hill this week. It ended with President Obama getting exactly what he'd asked for — an extension of the Treasury's borrowing authority with no strings attached — and an even wider gulf between GOP congressional leaders and Tea Party-aligned conservatives.

Underlying the Republican rift was House Speaker John Boehner's determination to avoid another episode like last fall's government shutdown.

Read more
Science
3:07 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Illegal, Remote Pot Farms In California Poisoning Rare Wildlife

Fishers are among the small carnivores threatened by rat poisons used to guard plants at illegal marijuana farms.
John Jacobson U.S Fish & Wildlife Service

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 4:58 pm

People who grow marijuana illegally in the backwoods of Northern California use large amounts of rat bait to protect their plants — and these chemicals are killing several species of wild animals, including rare ones, biologists say.

Here's what happens: The growers plant their marijuana in remote locations, hoping to elude detection. They irrigate their plants — with water from streams — which lures animals looking for water. Rodents chew the flourishing plants to get moisture, which kills the plants. Researchers believe that's the prime reason growers use the poisons.

Read more
NPR Story
3:07 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Olympic Photo Of The Day: Don't Blink

Speedskaters train Friday at the Adler Arena Skating Center at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
Matt Dunham AP

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 2:59 pm

Speedskaters train Friday at the Adler Arena Skating Center at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. Skaters can reach top speeds of over 30 mph on the track.

More Olympics coverage can be found at The Edge.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Two-Way
3:07 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Author Of Book Yanked In India Says Move Has Backfired

Indian activists from the student wing of Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party protest near the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi on May 25, 2010, against Wendy Doniger's The Hindus. Penguin Books, India, said this week that it would withdraw the book and pulp it.
Anindito Mukherjee EPA/Landov

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 5:09 pm

We told you earlier today [Friday] about a University of Chicago professor whose book was withdrawn in India after a Hindu group brought a court challenge against the publisher, Penguin Books, India.

Read more
Books News & Features
3:07 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Swoon Reads: The Next Romance Bestseller, Selected By You

Swoon Reads, a new young adult romance imprint at Macmillan publishing, solicits manuscripts and invites users to read and rate them. The most popular manuscript gets a first printing of 100,000 copies.
Swoon Reads

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 4:58 pm

The rise of self-publishing has already catapulted a few lucky writers to the top of bestseller lists. And major publishing houses often try to woo these stars into their fold. Swoon Reads, a new young adult romance publisher, is taking this dance a step further. It has added crowdsourcing to the mix, promising a contract to the writer whose book wins the hearts of a community of online readers.

Read more
Parallels
3:06 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Will Helping Muslims Flee Central African Republic Aid 'Cleansing'?

Muslim women line up at a Red Cross distribution outside the mosque in Bouar. United Nations peacekeepers guard the mosque, where thousands of Muslim residents gather each evening for safety.
Gregory Warner NPR

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 4:58 pm

It is almost impossible to buy soap anymore in most small towns in the Central African Republic. Same with sugar, powdered milk, batteries, baby formula. Up until January, these kinds of imported goods — in the stratified society of this country — almost always would have been sold to you by a Muslim.

But for the past few weeks, bands of Christian militia groups called anti-Balaka have waged war on Muslims and their property.

Read more
Television
3:05 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Antihero Or Villain? In 'House Of Cards,' It's Hard To Tell

Robin Wright and Kevin Spacey play Claire and Francis Underwood in Netflix's House of Cards. When the second season is released on Friday, audiences can expect to see more ruthless behavior from these power-hungry characters — but are they antiheroes, or plain old villains?
Nathaniel E. Bell Courtesy of Netflix

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 5:00 pm

[Editor's Note: This piece references plot points from the first season of House of Cards. If you've been waiting a year to binge-watch it, consider this your spoiler alert.]

When Netflix's groundbreaking online series House of Cards releases its second season to the world Friday — unleashing 13 new episodes about a wily congressman willing to kill to reach the vice presidency — fans will get more than another jolt of TV's most addictive political drama.

Read more
The Salt
3:05 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

When Not In Sochi, Order The Khatchapuri And Eat Like You Are

Traditional foods in Sochi may be Russian, Ukrainian, Georgian or from the surrounding Krasnodar region. This table is set at Mari Vanna restaurant in Washington, D.C.
Meg Vogel NPR

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 4:57 am

We've got more snow here in Washington, D.C., than they have in Sochi, and it's colder. But still it's hard not to dream about being at the Winter Olympics, especially since reports from athletes and spectators say that the food in Sochi is beyond delicious.

Read more

Pages