Nicholson Baker has become a sort of poet of the particular and the peculiar. His books are filled with people who focus minutely on what captivates them – in other words, obsessives. A positive way of looking at obsession is as passion taken to an extreme. The danger, of course, is that the object of one person's intense fascination — such as the broken shoelaces in his unforgettable first novel, The Mezzanine, or the disquisitions on Debussy, dance music, and drones in his latest, Traveling Sprinkler — may spell another's total snore.
This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
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And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning. Let's talk next with the United Nations official who oversaw the U.N.'s report on the use of poison gas in Syria. This report does not specify who used those chemical weapons, but the United States and others say evidence in that report backs their claim that the Assad regime was behind the attack.
Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 9:33 am
Matson Inc., the shipping company that spilled 233,000 gallons of molasses into Honolulu Harbor earlier this month, has pledged to pay all the costs stemming from the disaster that has devastated marine life there.
I approached this review with a little bit of dread. How do you write about the iconic novelist Thomas Pynchon, whose books are strange and difficult things, and whose die-hard readers gather online to wax poetic, and use words like Pynchonian, Pynchonalia and Pynchonesque? They are just so into him, and often so articulate about their love. If you read the thoughtful and detailed writing by Pynchon devotees, they make a very persuasive case.
-- Investigators now do not think there was a second shooter, D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier said late Monday evening. Throughout Monday, authorities had run down witness reports and other evidence indicating there might have been additional gunmen.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne with an update on a Hawaiian woman with a very long name - Janice Lokelani Keihanaikukauakahihuliheekahaunaele. She goes by Loke, but Honolulu's KHOM2 reported on her complaint that her name was cut off on ID cards, which led to issues with travel and cops.
Now, Hawaii will expand its limit on the length of names on IDs so Loke won't need to use her maiden name - Worth.
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The head of a Rhode Island school was named Providence Principal of the Year, but that was only the start of the accolades. Police say an employee, Christopher Michael Sheehan, gave his boss a present to celebrate - a half ounce of marijuana. Mr. Sheehan was arrested. Just to be clear, since it can apparently be easy to forget, Rhode Island is not one of the states that has legalized pot, and especially not in a school zone.
Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 9:57 am
Throughout the Syrian war, President Obama has insisted that President Bashar Assad must go. But now, the U.S. may want, or even need, Assad to remain in power for a while longer so he can oversee the dismantling of his chemical weapons stockpile.
"For the sake of the Syrian people, the time has come for President Assad to step aside," Obama said back on Aug. 18, 2011, in his first explicit call for Assad's ouster, something the U.S. president went on to repeat on multiple occasions.