Here's an astonishing fact: Half of America's mushrooms are grown in one tiny corner of southeastern Pennsylvania, near the town of Kennett Square.
But why? It's not as though this place has some special advantage of climate or soil, the kind of thing that led to strawberry fields in Watsonville, Calif., or peach orchards in Georgia. Mushrooms can grow indoors. They could come from anywhere.
Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 2:52 pm
Kentucky may be the site for tonight's debate between the vice presidential candidates, but the monster swing state of Ohio remains the focus of White House dreams for President Obama and Mitt Romney.
Both the incumbent and his challenger have been in and out of the state with increasing frequency; GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan plans a trip to the Buckeye State on Friday, after his tangle with Vice President Joe Biden.
Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 4:39 pm
Scientists have discovered a world much fancier than our homely, little Earth.
New research that will published in the journal Astrophysical Journal Letters details a planet that is eight times heavier than Earth and with twice its radius. But instead of being covered in water and granite, it is encrusted in graphite and diamond.
Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 2:00 pm
A 15-year-old Pakistani schoolgirl remains in critical condition after being shot in the head for defying the Taliban and championing the right of girls to go to school. Malala Yousafzai rose to prominence during the recent war in Pakistan's Swat Valley by writing a blog under a pen name. NPR's Philip Reeves reported on that war — and twice met Malala's father. Reeves sent this account of the tough world in which Malala spent her childhood.
If you don't think of patents as a particularly exciting or interesting field, consider a point Charles Duhigg makes in his recent New York Times article, "The Patent, Used as a Sword": According to an analysis done at Stanford: "In the smartphone industry alone ... as much as $20 billion was spent on patent litigation and patent purchases in the last two years — an amount equal to eight Mars rover missions."
When a stranger can gain access to someone's entire genetic code by picking up a used coffee cup, it presents a whole new thicket of concerns about privacy and security.
Actually, we're already there, though we're still in the early stages of what's shaping up, after all the years of hype, as a genuine revolution. Just take a look at Rob Stein's recent series on the $1,000 genome to see how far we've come and where we're headed.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, we'll hear from a doctor who's worked with the poorest of the poor in San Francisco, opened up insights into health care for everybody. We'll hear from the author of "God's Hotel" in a few minutes.
Tensions are heating up between Syria and Turkey, as rebels and regime troops continue to battle it out. Host Michel Martin discusses whether the conflict can spill over with Abderrahim Foukara of Al Jazeera International and Radwan Ziadeh of the Syrian National Council, a coalition of exiles opposing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 11:51 am
It may be the undercard to the main event, but partisans on both sides are talking some trash ahead of the vice presidential debate tonight in Danville, Ky.
The pressure is particularly intense on Vice President Joe Biden, following his boss' lackluster performance in last week's presidential debate, which moved GOP nominee Mitt Romney into a national polling lead.
Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 10:07 am
When Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Rep Paul Ryan face off during their only debate, tens of millions of Americans will tune in to hear them defend their running mates' records.
And that audience Thursday night also will hear lots of budget-related buzzwords, with meanings that may not be entirely clear. Those words are shorthand for policies that could have huge impacts on taxpayers and the annual $1 trillion budget deficit.
Brushing up on terms of the debate can help voters better understand what's really being said on the stage at Centre College in Kentucky.
The news coming out of Pakistan today in the case of Malala is not good: The 15-year-old girl shot by the Taliban has been airlifted to the "country's top military hospital for specialist treatment," Pakistan's Dawn reports.
Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 8:06 am
The rift between Syria and Turkey deepened, after Turkish warplanes forced a Moscow-to-Damascus bound passenger airplane to land on Wednesday.
Not only that but it also opened fresh conflict with Russia. The New York Times reports that today Moscow demanded answers for it called "air piracy" and Turkey said it had found illegal materials on board.
Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 8:49 am
OK, Grease lyrics aside, when it comes to gastronomy, certain foods just belong together: red wine and red meat, sushi and ginger, tea and biscuits, beer and pretzels. But, ever wonder why your favorite cabernet goes so well with a nice filet mignon? What makes two flavors jibe?
Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 7:37 am
Tonight, Vice President Joe Biden and Rep. Paul Ryan are set for a one-on-one, 90-minute debate in Danville, Ky. It's the one and only VP candidate debate of the campaign and after what has been conclusively deemed a bad performance by President Obama during the first presidential debate, all eyes are on Biden.
Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 5:53 am
Mo Yan, the Chinese author, was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature this morning.
Mo Yan, the Nobel committee wrote, uses his "hallucinatory realism" to merge "folk tales, history and the contemporary."
"Through a mixture of fantasy and reality, historical and social perspectives, Mo Yan has created a world reminiscent in its complexity of those in the writings of William Faulkner and Gabriel García Márquez, at the same time finding a departure point in old Chinese literature and in oral tradition," the committee explained in its citation.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Starting a pirate radio station and declaring your own nation, it's the sort of thing people did in the '60s. In 1967, Roy Bates made himself prince of Sealand, an old British fort on a platform off the coast of England. Never mind it was the size of a McMansion. Prince Roy ruled Sealand for four decades. In that time he fought off others who claimed it, even confronting the Royal Navy. Roy Bates died this week at 91, not from boredom. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Presidential polls are starting to shift to show the race between President Obama and GOP rival Mitt Romney tightening even further, and in some cases, Romney is ahead for the first time. Steve Inskeep talks to David Axelrod, Obama's senior campaign adviser, about the shifts in the race, and the president's strategy with less than a month to go before the election.
Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 5:22 am
Mo Yan was one of three writers favored to win. He is perhaps best known in the West as the author of Red Sorghum, which was made into a film. He is only the second Chinese writer to win the Nobel — the other is poet Gao Xingjian, who won in 2000.
There are business effects to some of the more than 170 statewide ballot measures to be decided in next month's elections. In California, voters will determine if labels should be required on genetically-modified food. People in Arkansas will vote whether to increase taxes for highways and bridges. And one measure in Michigan is capturing attention - whether the state constitution should be amended to change how utilities get their electricity.
Wal-Mart is thriving despite the shaky economy, protests from union supporters and allegations of bribery at its Mexican unit. The company's stock price hit an all-time high Wednesday, and holiday layaway sales are off to a sizzling start. It's also introducing a low-cost, pre-paid debit card.