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Is The Nobel Prize A Boys Mostly Club?

Oct 15, 2012

As the last of this year's Nobel Prize winners are announced and media focus shifts away from Sweden, two things are clear about the winners.

One: They have all done laudatory work in their respective fields.

Two: Aside from the European Union, which was awarded the Peace Prize, all of this year's Nobel laureates are men.

They join the ranks of hundreds of people who have received the awards over the past 111 years. But what is surprising about the list of Nobel laureates is just how few women are on it.

Two Americans took the Nobel prize for economics this morning.

Alvin E. Roth, of Harvard University, and Lloyd S. Shapley, of University of California, Los Angeles, were given the award "for the theory of stable allocations and the practice of market design."

If that doesn't mean anything to you, the Nobel committee explained that their work essentially explained an important economic problem: How can different economic actors find each other.

They explain:

Iowa Baby's Birth Is One For Number Lovers

Oct 15, 2012

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Chuck Yeager Marks Speed Barrier Record

Oct 15, 2012

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The numbers coming out of Syria these days are staggering: hundreds of thousands of refugees, tens of thousands dead. The struggle, and the death, is being captured regularly on social media. The documentation not only serves as a bulletin for foreigners, but also as an alert for those with family members who become victims.

When Syrians first started protesting in March of last year, Fadi Zeidan was there. He and his friends thought the Syrian uprising would be fast, like the ones in Tunisia and Egypt.

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On a Monday, it's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

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And I'm Renee Montagne.

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And our last word in business today, is supersonic.

A space jump and the brand behind it mesmerized viewers yesterday.

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It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

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And I'm Renee Montagne.

Catholic voters are an important constituency in the battleground state of Ohio, where they represent about one-fourth of voters.

They went for President Bush in 2004, but for candidate Barack Obama in 2008. This year, for the first time, they'll be choosing between two tickets that both feature a practicing Catholic.

You'd think that someone who is a science correspondent and is as allergic to poison ivy as I am would have heard of urushiol, but no. I didn't recognize the word when I saw it a week or so ago. Now, thanks to my new beat (Joe's Big Idea), I'm allowed to dig a little deeper into stories, and what I learned about urushiol is pretty amazing.

Acne, the scourge of many an adolescent life, is getting harder to treat, but 80 percent of teenagers have some form of it.

Conventional treatment includes topical and oral antibiotics. Studies are now finding the bacteria that cause acne are increasingly resistant to antibiotic treatment. Alternatively, there are effective laser treatments. But these are costly and typically not covered by insurance.

It's Monday after another football weekend in America. From the Friday night drama on high school fields to the multibillion-dollar juggernaut NFL, the game seems as popular as ever.

But in fact, amid the cheering, there's concern — a growing anxiety about head injuries in the sport, from the NFL all the way down to the pee-wee leagues. Some say kids shouldn't be playing until their teenage years. High-profile NFL players have gone on record saying they don't want their children playing at all because of the concussion risk.

"I know the whole world is watching now, and I wish the world could see what I see."

Those were the words of Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner as he plummeted toward Earth faster than the speed of sound. He jumped 24 miles from the stratosphere and landed gracefully just more than nine minutes later in a desert in Roswell, N.M., Sunday.

His plunge was record-breaking on three fronts: the highest jump, the longest distance of a free fall and the fastest vertical velocity. Baumgartner's free fall was seconds shorter than the record set by Joe Kittinger in 1960.

The soaring drone of a full bagpipe and drum corps greeted thousands of people who marched into a Denver arena for the Great American Beer Festival this past weekend. The martial music seemed a fitting way to prepare the crowd to test their palates, and their fortitude, against 2,700 different beers made by some of the best breweries in the United States.

More Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders are running for Congress than ever before. A total of 36, including incumbents, launched campaigns this year — more than double the number from a record set just two years ago, according to the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies.

Of those, a record 21 contenders — 18 Democrats and three Republicans — claimed victories in their primaries and are now vying to represent districts across the nation.

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For Lady Arm Wrestlers, It's Brawn Or Bust

Oct 14, 2012

The universe of great theatrical sports is rather small. There's roller derby and wrestling, but that's about as far as it goes.

But there's a new addition to this little corner of the sports world: women's arm wrestling. Jayme Dyer didn't know what to expect when she signed up for her first event in Durham, N.C., two years ago.

The sport seems to combine all the right ingredients — promising empowering, women-centered bawdiness that raises money for good causes. Not to mention some suggestive outfits.

Fifty years ago, the United States stood on the brink of nuclear war.

On Oct. 16, 1962, the national security adviser handed President John F. Kennedy black-and-white photos of Cuba taken by an American spy plane. Kennedy asked what he was looking at. He was told it was Soviet missile construction.

The sites were close enough — just 90 miles from the U.S. — and the missiles launched from there could reach major American cities in mere minutes.

The Cold War was heating up to a near-boiling point.

In previous elections, candidates from both parties have campaigned on pledges to be environmental presidents. This time, neither candidate is talking much about cleaning up the air or protecting scenic lands.

Instead, the debate has focused on whether and how much environmental regulations hurt businesses, especially the energy industry.

Mostly it's been GOP candidate Mitt Romney criticizing President Obama for what he sees as overzealous environmental regulations that strangle the economic recovery.

Environmental Rules

He's an 80s teen heartthrob who turned to travel writing — and now soul searching. A few years ago, Andrew McCarthy decided to confront the fears that had followed him his whole life. As he prepared to marry the women he loved, he headed out around the world to find the part inside of himself that just kept saying "no" to everything good in his life.

McCarthy spoke with weekends on All Things Considered guest host Celeste Headlee about his new memoir, The Longest Way Home.

'Smashed': A Love Story Minus The Alcohol

Oct 14, 2012

What happens to a young marriage when the one thing that once brought two people together suddenly vanishes? In Smashed, the answer isn't pretty. But neither is the alternative, because in Smashed, the thing that brings the couple together is alcohol.

The couple is played by Aaron Paul of the series Breaking Bad, and Mary Elizabeth Winstead. The film also stars Nick Offerman of the TV show Parks and Recreation, Megan Mullally, best known from the TV show Will and Grace, and Oscar-winner Octavia Spencer.

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Word Wars And The 'Story Of Ain't'

Oct 14, 2012

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Jack Kerouac shot to fame after his jazz- and drug-infused book, On the Road, hit stores in 1957. During that hot period the autobiographical novelist also wrote his only play, The Beat Generation.

The play was never produced and all but forgotten. The lost work, however, was rediscovered in 2004 and is now set to premiere in the writer's hometown of Lowell, Mass.

Charles Towers, artistic director at the Merrimack Repertory Theater, remembers exactly what he thought after Kerouac's lost play was uncovered.

'A Thousand Mornings' With Poet Mary Oliver

Oct 14, 2012

Mary Oliver is a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet whose body of work is largely filled with imagery of the natural world — cats, opossums crossing the street, sunflowers and black oaks in the sunshine. Her most recent collection is entitled A Thousand Mornings.

Former Sen. Arlen Specter, one of the most influential senators of the last half-century, died Sunday from complications of non-Hodgkins lymphoma. He was 82.

The five-term senator, a moderate Republican-turned-Democrat, was a key member of the Judiciary Committee and a major player in the confirmation proceedings of 14 Supreme Court nominees. But he was consistently a thorn for leaders of both political parties and their presidents.

Sen. Arlen Specter Dies At 82

Oct 14, 2012

Arlen Specter, the outspoken senator who started off Republican, switched to Democrat and stayed moderate throughout, has died, the AP reports.

The former five-term senator from Pennsylvania announced that he was once again battling cancer in August. He died at his home in Philadelphia on Sunday, according to his son, Shanin, from complications of non-Hodgkins lymphoma.

In a new YouTube video, a Syrian colonel defects from the army, denounces President Bashar Assad and publicly joins the rebels of the Free Syrian Army.

Videos are a staple of Syria's 19-month revolt, and defections by officers have been increasing. But this one is highly unusual because the colonel, Zubayda Almiqi, says she is a member of Assad's Alawite sect.

The Syrian government indiscriminately used cluster bombs in last week's attacks on civilian areas, according to a Human Rights Watch report released Sunday.

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