NPR News

Pages

Politics
2:30 am
Wed March 26, 2014

How To Meet Your Congressman

The Capitol Dome is visible through the skylights of the new Capitol Visitor Center.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 2:21 pm

For all the campaigning and schmoozing members of Congress have to do, the truth is that the vast majority of Americans will never actually meet their lawmakers.

To be fair, not everyone wants to. But among those who do, there's serious competition for a lawmaker's time. So, how does an average citizen get access on Capitol Hill? The quick answer: It's not easy.

First, do the math. When it comes to face time with a member of Congress, there are 535 of them, and 314 million of you.

Read more
The Salt
2:22 am
Wed March 26, 2014

In Mexico And U.S., Lime Lovers Feel Squeezed By High Prices

A worker unloads a truck full of Mexican limes at a citrus packing plant in La Ruana, in the state of Michoacan, Mexico.
Dario Lopez-Mills AP

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 1:11 pm

Has the price of your margarita cocktail shot up? Guacamole more expensive? Blame it on limes.

About 98 percent of limes consumed in the U.S. come from Mexico. But our neighbors to the south are feeling seriously squeezed by a shortage of the beloved citrus fruit.

Read more
The Salt
2:21 am
Wed March 26, 2014

What A Long, Strange Trip: Salmon Are Trucking To The Pacific Ocean

Pacific Or Bust: Fingerling Chinook salmon are dumped into a holding pen as they are transferred from a truck into the Sacramento River Tuesday in Rio Vista, Calif. From here, they'll be towed downstream for a bit, then make their own way out to the Pacific Ocean.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

In California, severe drought has imperiled millions of juvenile salmon who now face waters too dry to let them make their usual spawning trip to the ocean. So state and federal officials have embarked on a drastic plan to save them – by letting them hitch a ride on tanker trucks.

Over the next two and a half months, some 30 million Chinook salmon will be trucked from five hatcheries in the state's Central Valley to waters where they can make their way to the ocean.

Read more
Politics
2:15 am
Wed March 26, 2014

Say Goodbye To The Taxpayer-Funded Political Convention

Ever since the Watergate era, taxpayers have been able to check a box on their federal tax returns and designate a little bit of their tax payment to help finance the presidential campaigns and wean politicians away from big donors.

The public financing program has had its ups and downs. But now President Obama is prepared to sign legislation that, for the first time, takes taxpayer money out of the fund.

First of all, let's pause to reflect on some of the great moments of American political conventions brought to you by presidential matching funds.

Read more
Culture
10:54 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

A Tuneful Conversation With A Sometimes-Distant God

New Gods is Scottish songwriter Dan Willson's second album as Withered Hand.
Laura Lewis Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 6:28 pm

The wry and tuneful Withered Hand is Dan Willson, a graphic artist from Edinburgh who drifted away from the Jehovah's Witnesses as a teenager — but not, you get the feeling, with a satisfied mind. His moniker is a scriptural reference, and he named his 2009 debut Good News, one way Christians refer to the New Testament. (More to the point, its key track is called "Religious Songs.")

Read more
Science and Environment
10:54 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

Bringing A 'Million Orchids' To Florida's Trees

The dollar orchid (Prosthechea boothiana) is among the native species soon to be planted in South Florida trees.
Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 6:28 pm

Researchers at a South Florida botanic garden want to return the state's orchids to their former glory.

When railroads first came to Florida in the late 1800s, the plants were among the first resources exploited. Millions of orchids were plucked and sent north as potted plants. Now, after more than a century of logging and harvesting, it's rare to find them growing in the wild here.

But if researchers at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden succeed with their Million Orchid Project, the flowers will soon bloom amid the hustle and bustle of city life.

Read more
Parallels
10:53 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

In A Divided Donetsk, Russians And Ukrainians Vie For Support

Activists rally for a united Ukraine in Donetsk on March 5. They were attacked by pro-Russia supporters, but Russian media reported that pro-Russian demonstrators were attacked by soccer hooligans.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 7:51 pm

Two rallies took place recently on Lenin Square in Donetsk, in eastern Ukraine.

At the first, a pro-Ukranian rally on March 5, thousands marched with Ukranian flags, shouting, "Down With Putin! Donetsk is Ukraine!" They were attacked by pro-Russia supporters.

A football fan club called the Ultras defended the demonstrators, but the next day, Russian media reported that a pro-Russian demonstration was attacked by soccer hooligans.

Read more
Education
10:52 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

Does The Fight For A Cursive Comeback Miss The Point?

Loops And Swirls: You might have the best cursive handwriting in the land, but your kids probably don't. Does learning to write in cursive help kids' brains grow?
Richard Goerg iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri May 16, 2014 10:16 am

When was the last time you wrote in cursive? Was it a thank-you note for that birthday sweater? Perhaps a check to the baby sitter? The fact is, you may know how to loop and swirl with the best of them, but do your kids or your neighbor's kids know as well?

Read more
The Two-Way
10:51 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

BP Says Oil Spill In Lake Michigan Has Been Contained

Crews clean up an oil spill along Lake Michigan from the BP Whiting refinery in Whiting, Ind., on Tuesday.
E. Jason Wambsgans MCT /Landov

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 7:23 pm

A BP refinery spilled an unknown amount of oil into Lake Michigan on Monday.

NPR member station WBEZ reports that the leak has been stopped and it is contained. The station reports:

"BP just completed a $4 billion modernization to the 100-year-old Whiting Refinery, the largest inland refinery in the United States.

Read more
The Two-Way
6:40 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

Facebook Will Acquire Virtual Reality Company For $2 Billion

The Oculus Rift virtual reality goggles make for an immersive experience.
Nan Palmero Flickr

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 7:27 pm

Facebook announced a pretty big purchase on Tuesday: The social media giant said it was acquiring Oculus VR, a company that makes virtual reality goggles, for $2 billion.

The deal includes $400 million in cash and 23.1 million shares of Facebook, which the company values at $1.6 billion.

Read more

Pages