William Styron was one of the flamboyant literary figures of the 20th Century. He was a Southerner whose novel Lie Down in Darkness received immense acclaim when he was just 26 years old. He would go on to write the Confessions of Nat Turner, for which he received the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1968.
But for the last 27 years of his life, Styron did not write a novel. He battled depression, and wrote a seminal work about it, Darkness Visible, in 1990.
The mortar and pestle can be found in kitchens around the world, including Thailand. In the United States, chef Tanasapamon Rohman uses the tool to grind up chili paste and pulverize rice at her Thai restaurant.
Chefs these days stock all sorts of high-tech tools, from liquid nitrogen to $500 blenders. But in kitchens throughout the world, there's one piece of technology that's been the same since the Stone Age: the mortar and pestle.
Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, speaks during a news conference in the Capitol on Nov. 9. Boehner has said Republican House leaders and Obama "can find the common ground" on immigration policy.
Voters in Spain's northern region of Catalonia go to the polls Sunday in a parliamentary election that is shaping up as an unofficial referendum on secession. The current Catalan president has pledged to pursue a move toward independence if re-elected.
The region, which holds 8 million people, is the country's industrial engine. Catalans are resentful that their taxes are being siphoned off for poorer regions. The prospect of secession is opposed both by the Madrid government and the European Union.
Congolese flee the eastern town of Sake, just west of Goma, on Friday. Fighting between rebel and government forces in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo has displaced at least 100,000 people.
Credit Jerome Delay / AP
Tariq Riebl, Oxfam humanitarian coordinator in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo, meets refugees at the Don Bosco Catholic School, where thousands of displaced persons are setting up camp.
The rebel movement in the Democratic Republic of Congo has set off another humanitarian crisis. Tens of thousands of displaced villagers who fled the fighting are on the march with their belongings, and someone has to take care of them.
Into this sea of need wades Tariq Riebl, a tall 34-year-old German with a shaved head. He is the humanitarian program coordinator for the international charity Oxfam in the rebel-held city of Goma.
"Basically, what we're going to do, we have two teams," Riebl says.
Cairo's Tahrir Square was nearly empty as the sun rose Saturday. A few demonstrators camped out overnight after mass protests on Friday condemned controversial decrees by Egypt's President Mohammed Morsi.
Earlier this week, Morsi gave himself unchecked powers until a constitution is written and passed by a popular referendum — in about two months. He also decreed that neither the body writing the constitution nor the upper house of Parliament could be dissolved by the courts.
Originally published on Sat November 24, 2012 4:26 pm
JACKI LYDEN, HOST:
I'm joined now by Professor Samer Shehata, professor of Middle East politics at Georgetown University. Welcome to you.
SAMER SHEHATA: Thank you.
LYDEN: So Mohammed Morsi was widely praised for his role in negotiating the cease-fire between Israel and Hamas this last week. And now he appears to be playing the same role on the international stage as his predecessor, Hosni Mubarak, and I mean by that, being an autocrat at home while being an international statesman.
The Department of Homeland Security is examining its policy on deadly force along the U.S.-Mexico border. In less than two years, U.S. Border Patrol agents have killed 18 Mexican citizens there — including eight people who were throwing rocks.
What do you do if you're an aspiring drummer and someone steals your drum set? Well, if you're Piney Gir, you become a singer — because, as she figured it, they can't steal your voice.
Gir grew up in a fundamentalist Pentecostal household in Kansas, attending church four or five times a week. She got the solos in the choir and grew to love performing. The singer, whose real name is Angela Penhaligon, eventually found her way to London and the world of indie art-rock.
Originally published on Sat November 24, 2012 12:48 pm
Paloma Faith has been described as smart, vivacious, red-streaked and a singular talent. Before breaking into the music business, Faith worked as a magician's assistant and a dancer. She debuted as a solo artist in the UK in 2009 with the album Do You Want the Truth or Something Beautiful? Her latest album is no less provocatively titled — it's called Fall to Grace.
John Gagliardi is hanging up his clipboard. He announced his retirement this week, as the winningest coach in the history of college football. Over the course of 64 seasons - that's also a record; most of them at the St. John's University in Collegeville, Minnesota - Coach Gagliardi has racked up 489 wins, 138 losses and 11 ties. He's now 86 years old. Coach Gagliardi joins us from his home. Thanks very much for being with us.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Much of our political oxygen is taken up with fiscal cliff negotiation and speculation in the United States as people try to figure out whether we will indeed go hurtling over into recession or inch back from the edge of the cliff. Since all our economies are linked in a global network these days, we thought we'd get the view of all of this from elsewhere.
In American retail history, this may be the year that Black Friday shaded into Thursday night. Toys "R" Us, Wal-Mart, several other retailers opened on Thursday night, Thanksgiving night, and on Friday, many other online retailers offered flash sales - special deals lasting just a couple of hours. Patty Edwards is the chief investment officer for Trutina Financial, a financial services firm in Washington state. She joins us from member station KUOW in Seattle. Thanks so much for being with us.
Vietnamese author Kim Thuy's new novel unfolds in the way a flower casts off petals: one small scene after another. Ru is an autobiographical novel in which memories are shuffled back and forth to tell the story of a 10-year-old born in Saigon during the 1968 Tet Offensive.
France's former first lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, auctioneer Francois de Ricqles and former soccer coach Guy Roux preside over the 152nd Hospices de Beaune wine auction Sunday in Beaune, France. The charity auction raised an all-time high of $7.5 million, which goes to area hospitals.
Credit Tardivon Jean-Christophe / Maxppp /Landov
Guests attend a wine tasting in the cellar of Hotel Dieu before the wine auction.
For the last century and a half, the wine season in France's grape-growing region of Burgundy has revolved around one major commercial event. On the third Sunday in November, hundreds of barrels of the recent harvest are sold to the highest bidder in a charity wine auction. The historic event, which took place this year on Nov. 18, has evolved into an A-list rendezvous for the power players in the international wine industry.
Jesse Jackson Jr. has a famous name and fabulous contacts, and had what looked like boundless prospects when he was first on the national stage at the Democratic National Convention in 1988.
John F. Kennedy Jr. and Caroline Kennedy had appeared to talk about the legacy of their late father, the president. But a few nights later, Jackson took the podium to present his father, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, and said, "My name is Jesse Louis Jackson Jr., and I also proudly carry a great American name."
Jammed between Gray Thursday, Black Friday and Cyber Monday is yet another day devoted to shopping: Small Business Saturday.
Wallets are expected to open yet again on Saturday — this time for mom-and-pop stores. Main Street in Littleton, Colo., is filled with them. The street is lined with small bars and restaurants along with other businesses, including a spice store and a men's clothing boutique.
Dave Drake owns Colorado Frame and Savvy Stuff, the "savvy stuff" being women's accessories, purses, scarves and decorations.
To escape fighting, thousands of civilians flee the town of Sake in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo on Thursday. Rebels captured Sake and made other advances in the area this week. Eastern Congo and the larger region have been the scene of frequent fighting over the past two decades.
Credit Phil Moore / AFP/Getty Images
Congo rebels from the group known as M23 run toward the town of Sake in the eastern part of the country on Thursday. The rebels captured the town as part of their gains this week.
It's a scene that's become wearily repetitive in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo: An uprising drives out poorly trained government troops, creating havoc and sending large numbers of refugees fleeing for their lives.
This time the rebel group is M23, or March 23. Their revolt began this spring, and earlier this week they took Goma, an important town on the country's eastern border, just across Lake Kivu from Rwanda. The rebels then proceeded to take the next town over, Sake.
Originally published on Fri November 23, 2012 5:34 pm
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish. Thousands of protesters flooded into the streets of Egypt today, some in support of the Islamist President Mohamed Morsi, others condemning what they called a power grab by the president that puts Egypt on the path to one-man rule. It is, in short, a nation visibly divided today. NPR's Leila Fadel reports from Cairo.
William Beal, standing at center, started a long-term study on seed germination in 1879. He buried 20 bottles with seeds in them for later researchers to unearth and plant.
Credit Michigan State University
Richard Lenski examines the growth of bacteria on a plate on Jan. 12. He began an evolution experiment in 1988 with 12 identical flasks of bacteria to see if the populations would change over time in the same way.
Credit G.L. Kohuth / Michigan State University
Bottles like this 90-year-old one were filled with seeds and sand, then buried by William Beal. Researchers periodically unearth a bottle and plant the seeds to see if they grow.
Originally published on Sun November 25, 2012 8:06 am
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
The cease-fire between Israel and Hamas is only two days old, and already both sides claim it's been violated. At issue are the circumstances surrounding the killing today of a Palestinian by the Israeli military. NPR's Philip Reeves reports from Gaza City.
It is now the day after and unless your Thanksgiving dishes were completely consumed by family and friends - maybe even licked clean - you've likely got some leftovers in the fridge and possibly a little holiday hangover when it comes to eating the exact same meal again. Katie Workman got us through a pre T-day crunch earlier this week. She's the author of the "Mom 100" cookbook and the creator of the "Mom 100" blog. We're going to ask her for some ideas on what do to with the leftovers. Hey there, Katie.