There's been something wacky with the weather this winter, and many forecasters never saw it coming.
Among them was the Old Farmer's Almanac, the quirky, centuries-old mix of historical data, prognostications and folk wisdom. Millions of people consult the quirky, centuries-old almanac, which uses a secret formula to come up with its annual, year-long weather forecasts, even though meteorologists say it has a dubious track record.
It's hard to write a musical about capitalism. Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill gave it a shot with The Threepenny Opera. The musical Urinetown took a crack at it. Now comes Mission Drift, a two-hour experimental work created by a group called the Theater of the Emerging American Moment. The musical attempts to probe the love and ambivalence Americans have for endless growth.
Mission Drift's director, Rachel Chavkin, wondered what defines American capitalism compared to capitalism in the rest of the world. She went to composer Heather Christian.
Sandra Fluke, the Georgetown University law student who has become a "poster child" for Democrats since Republicans wouldn't let her testify at a House hearing about President Obama's policy on contraception, said today she was stunned and outraged Wednesday when conservative radio broadcaster Rush Limbaugh called her a "slut" and "prostitute" on his nationally syndicated show.
If Rick Santorum has a lead on Mitt Romney in Ohio, it looks like it's not much of one. A new Quinnipiac University poll shows Santorum leading Romney by four percentage points, 35 percent to 31 percent.
With the margin of error at +/-4.3 points, the two top rivals for the Republican presidential nomination are essentially tied just days before Super Tuesday when voters in Ohio and nine other states take part in the presidential primary process.
Children are diagnosed with lead exposure only when their health is already endangered. Wouldn't it be better to prevent that danger instead? That's the goal of a project in the city of St. Louis that tests the homes of pregnant women and removes dangerous lead before babies were born.
That SWAT-team approach can reduce children's exposure to toxic lead, according to a new study.
South Sudan gained independence in 2011, but it has been locked in a bitter conflict with its northern neighbor. Rep. Frank Wolf (R.-Va.) just returned from the area. He talks with host Michel Martin about what some observers are calling a humanitarian crisis, and what the U.S. can do to help.
Among the reports of more deadly violence in Pakistan today — about 70 people were killed in three incidents, DAWN reports — is word that about 20 of the deaths were the result of one militant group attacking another.
President Obama tells both Israel and Iran through an interview with The Atlantic that "as president of the United States, I don't bluff," when he leaves open the possibility of a U.S. military strike against Iran's nuclear program.
It would be easy not to have known Continental Airlines has been merged with United for two years. That will change Saturday when all operations and branding are combined under just United. Any hiccups could mean delays throughout the airline's system.
When Joan and Izzy Schwartz got married, they spent their wedding night in a suite at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in Manhattan. Back then, the room cost $16.80. For their 60th anniversary, the Waldorf will give the couple a room for the same rate they paid in 1952.
Students at London's Kingston University this week unveiled luxury designs made of bio-degradable materials. There are stilettos made from pistachio shells and coffee beans, a wood-chip corset and a top made from orange peel.
The areas inside the red lines are where tornadoes were being reported at 11:36 a.m. ET.
Credit Whitney Curtis / Getty Images
Steve McDonald stands in the debris from the home of his mother-in-law, Mary Osman, who died when a tornado touched down Wednesday in Harrisburg, Ill. She was one of five people killed on Brady Street.
Credit NOAA/NWS Storm Prediction Center
The darker the color, the worse the weather is likely to be today.
Credit Scott Olson / Getty Images
In Harrisburg, Ill., on Thursday: Kritstin Allen searched for valuables in her mother's home.
Five of the estimated 13 deaths from the tornadoes that pounded Illinois, Missouri and Tennessee on Wednesday happened on one "short avenue in a tight-knit neighborhood" of Harrisburg, Ill., the Los Angeles Times writes today.
Brady Street was pummeled. "There are no words to describe this," Dena McDonald, whose mother was killed there, tells the Times. The newspaper describes the aftermath this way:
Interest in natural gas vehicles soared in the 1990s and then faded. Twenty years later, the cost of gasoline is going up while the cost of natural gas is going down. And that difference in price explains the resurgent interest in natural gas vehicles.
In Indiana, Fair Oaks Dairy Farm does more than just produce milk — it is also in the transportation business. The farm owns 60 trucks, which deliver milk to a processor halfway across the state. Last September, most of the trucks were converted to natural gas.
The district of Baba Amr in the city of Homs had been the heart of the Syrian uprising, where mass protests turned into an armed resistance. Activists say government troops are combing the area, arresting any male over the age of 12.
Greece has taken almost all the action needed to secure a second bailout from eurozone countries, according to the head of the European currency group. The first loan can now be paid out by March 20, as long as Greece completes a bond swap between Athens and private investors, which should cut the nations privately-held debt in half.
David Greene talks to materials chemist Donald Sadoway from the TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) conference in Long Beach, Calif. Sadoway is the co-inventor of the liquid metal battery. It's inexpensive, super efficient, sustainable and can provide large scale energy storage.
This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
The next big day for Republican presidential hopefuls is Super Tuesday. But on the way to Tuesday, the candidates are making stops in Washington state. Republican caucuses there are set for tomorrow morning.
And as NPR's Martin Kaste reports, with the fight for the nomination still tight, for once the caucuses in Washington state may actually mean something to the presidential race.
When Grant Coursey was a toddler, he was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a cancer often found in young children. A tumor had wrapped itself around Grant's spinal cord and had grown so that it pushed against his lungs.
Now 12, Grant is cancer-free; he received his first "clean" scan 10 years ago in March 2002. He had to undergo several procedures to rid his body of the cancer.
Recently, Grant and his mother, Jennifer, sat down to talk about his young life and how cancer has affected it.
Credit The Estate of Richard Diebenkorn / Courtesy Philadelphia Museum of Art
Richard Diebenkorn's 1975 work Ocean Park #79, features pastel blues, lavenders and aquas — and thin strips of deep red and green at the top to draw the viewer's gaze upward.
Credit Colin C. McRae /
Over the course of more than 20 years, Richard Diebenkorn created 145 paintings for his Ocean Park series. Nearly 80 of those works created between 1967 and 1988 are on display at the Orange County Museum of Art in Southern California. Diebenkorn, pictured above in 1982, died in 1993.
Credit The Estate of Richard Diebenkorn / Courtesy Yale University Art Gallery
Diebenkorn's studio sat on a hillside; he looked out and up at the geometry of the hill, and how the streets crossed one another. Above, his 1969 oil painting Ocean Park #24.
Credit Leo Holub /
Diebenkorn and many other artists flocked to Ocean Park in the late 1960s — rent in the then-derelict area was cheap. He's pictured above in his Ocean Park studio in Santa Monica in 1984.
Credit The Estate of Richard Diebenkorn
Diebenkorn played music in his studio while he painted — he loved Bach and Mozart — and it's reflected in his composition of colors. "I really do see them as kind of music," says curator Sarah Bancroft. Above, Diebenkorn's 1984 work, Untitled #26 — gouache, acrylic and crayon on joined paper.
In the late 1960s, while America was in turmoil over the Vietnam War and the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy, a painter in Santa Monica, Calif., was creating a series of tranquil, glowing canvases that made his reputation and transfixed art lovers. Those works — the Ocean Park series — are now on view at the Orange County Museum of Art, about an hour's drive from the place where they were painted.
A Malaysian customs official examines elephant tusks at a port in Kalang. Malaysia has become an ivory transit hub, with African elephant tusks bound for China. Worldwide, authorities seized more than 5,000 smuggled tusks.
Credit Frank Langfitt / NPR
The price for raw elephant tusks in China has tripled in the past year because of growing demand, according to Grace Gabriel, the Asia regional director for the International Fund for Animal Welfare.
Credit Frank Langfitt / NPR
An investigation of this Beijing antique mall in November found more than 20 shops selling illegal ivory.
Armed with tips from animal welfare activists, I recently went on an ivory hunt with my Chinese assistant, Yang, in an antiques market in Beijing.
Activists say China's growing purchasing power is driving global demand for products from vulnerable animals, everything from elephant ivory to rhino horn.
Two huge stone lions stood sentinel outside the four-story market nestled among a forest of buildings off one of Beijing's beltways. In China, vendors usually accost shoppers and try to lure them into stores.
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin delivers a campaign speech during a rally of his supporters in Moscow, Feb. 23. Putin is mounting a vigorous campaign in the face of growing opposition but is expected to win Sunday's presidential elections.
Credit Kirill Kudryavtsev / AFP/Getty Images
Russian presidential candidate and Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov addresses his supporters while campaigning in Moscow, Feb. 29. He is a three-time loser in the presidential race who is seen as a hidebound traditionalist.
Credit Ivan Sekretarev / AP
Russian billionaire and presidential candidate Mikhail Prokhorov speaks with Russian voters at the Russian Academy of Science in Moscow, Feb. 25. The 46-year-old commands the support of anti-Putin protesters and is running American-style campaign events around Russia.
When Russians go to the polls Sunday, they will have several choices for president. But none is a serious threat to Vladimir Putin, who has been the most powerful figure in Russia for the past 12 years.
Boris Makarenko, a longtime observer of Russian politics, says the candidates arrayed against Putin are all more or less part of what Kremlin leaders call "the systemic opposition."
In other words, he says, they are "the tolerable opposition ... which can never even hope of replacing them in the Kremlin."
One clear threat once menaced civilization: nuclear war with the Soviet Union. The Cold War is over, but decades later, some of the fortifications built to fight that war still dot the American landscape.
Four years ago, Larry Hall bought a nuclear missile silo out on the open rolling land north of Salina, Kan. Hall paid $300,000 and spent much more to clean out all the scrap metal and stagnant water.