At the end of July, when NPR's Robert Siegel set off on the longest vacation since his honeymoon 39 years ago, he packed a few books, including the new book The Art of Procrastination by John Perry, emeritus professor of philosophy at Stanford.
After two weeks in Delaware, two weeks in Iberia and a week of work in Tampa, Fla., Siegel finally finished it Wednesday night. He says his timing is fitting: The book is 92 small, double-spaced pages.
It expands on a short confessional essay Perry wrote in 1996 called "Structured Procrastination."
Football icon Art Modell has died. Modell was hero to Baltimore Ravens fans because as owner of that NFL team he brought them a Superbowl. But it's a different story in Cleveland, where Browns fans vilify him for moving the team to Baltimore after a dispute with Cleveland political leaders.
I recently listened to the first single from the new Cat Power album with some fellow fans, and the room was deeply divided. Some thought the song was fabulous, but others were startled and upset — which I could understand, sort of. Chan Marshall's songs generally speak to pain and trauma with a hushed and intimate musical vocabulary. But this song, "Ruin," was different — not just a rock 'n' roll song, but one you might even want to dance to.
Originally published on Thu September 6, 2012 2:59 pm
Foreign policy and defense matters are normally a source of vulnerability for Democrats, but they're getting a fair amount of attention from speakers down in Charlotte.
"There are more mentions of Osama bin Laden than unemployment in the Democratic national platform," says Micah Zenko, a fellow with the Council on Foreign Relations. "You play to what your strengths are."
Originally published on Thu September 6, 2012 11:57 am
President Obama sounded a bit subdued when he called into a conference call for supporters shut-out of his acceptance speech today.
"My main message is we can't let a little thunder and lightening stop us," he said. "We're gonna have to roll with it."
Yesterday, the campaign announced that because of the threat of thunderstorms, they were moving Obama's acceptance speech from the Bank of America Stadium, which holds more than 65,000 people to the Time Warner Cable Arena, a much smaller venue.
Originally published on Thu September 6, 2012 2:09 pm
In another sign of Democrats' growing embrace of gay-rights issues, an Iowa man who gained national attention for his story of growing up with lesbian mothers was to address the party's national convention Thursday.
Zach Wahls became a bit of an Internet star last year after testifying against a proposed same-sex marriage ban before members of the Iowa House of Representatives. A video of his statement went viral online, garnering millions of views.
Some details are emerging from Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward's new book about the 2011 battle between President Obama and congressional Republicans over the budget, taxes and deficit reduction.
Almost 28 percent of the detainees transferred out of the U.S.-run detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, have either returned to terrorism or are suspected of having done so, the Director of National Intelligence says in a new report.
Originally published on Thu September 6, 2012 12:15 pm
President Obama won't be giving the speech he might wish to give tonight.
All presidents accepting their party's renomination seek to shift from a message of hope and change to one of progress and accomplishment. Although Obama will certainly talk up the highlights of his term, he won't want to sound triumphant — not with a jobs report due tomorrow that's expected to show a 43rd straight month of U.S. unemployment above 8 percent.
I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. Coming up, for the first time, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a Mormon, is leading the Republican presidential ticket. In recent years, Mormons have often been identified with conservative politics, but not all agree. We'll meet a group of Mormon Democrats in a few minutes.
But first, it was another big night for the comeback kid.
(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)
BILL CLINTON: We are here to nominate a president, and I've got one in mind.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Just ahead, it's early fall and, as we've been talking about, the presidential campaigns are now in full swing and it's also the beginning of school, so we decided to give you a crash course on education policy and who stands for what. That's in a minute.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, fall is here and that means a new round of television shows are starting up. We've invited television critic Eric Deggans to tell us what's different this season, especially during daytime. That's in just a minute.
Though Brazil's Amazon has been the focus of environmental groups for decades, the deforestation rate there has fallen dramatically in recent years as clear-cutting of Amazonian jungle in eight other countries has started to rise.
As a result, the 40 percent of Amazonia located in a moon-shaped arc of countries from Bolivia to Colombia to French Guiana faces a more serious threat than the jungle in Brazil. The culprits range from ranching to soybean farming, logging to infrastructure development projects.
Originally published on Thu September 6, 2012 9:17 am
Party platforms are like contracts: No one bothers to read them until something bad happens.
We all know that parties to any agreement should study the fine print in advance, and surely that applies to the national political parties. The delegates really ought to spend some of their time in the host city studying the document they are voting to adopt.
But hey, it's a convention. It's a party. Who wants to sit in their hotel room and read?
OK, over in Europe there's been a lot debate on what to do about the troubled currency. And today the European Central Bank announced a new plan to bolster the euro at a meeting in Frankfurt. Bank president Mario Draghi is under immense pressure to prevent the collapse of Europe's monetary union. The bank did not lower interest rates, as some investors hoped, but did unveil steps to ease the eurozone's debt crisis. NPR's Jim Zarroli is in Germany, following the events, and he joins us now. Good morning.
Scottish doctors report treating five children for injuries after swallowing liquid detergent capsules during the last year and a half.
The kids, all younger than 2, showed up in the emergency room with similar symptoms: drooling and stridor (breathing marked by a whistling sound caused by a narrowed airway). Most were treated with steroids and the placement of tubes to help the kids breath.
Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 2:11 pm
Reducing greenhouse gases and saving the polar bears tend to dominate discussions on climate change. But to the booming world population, one climate change issue may be even more pressing – hunger.
A new report by a leading international relief agency warns that climate change will increase the risk of large spikes in global food prices in the future, and lead to more hungry people in the world. That's because extreme weather like droughts, floods and heat waves are predicted to become much more frequent as the planet heats up.
Thursday was supposed to mark the end of medical marijuana dispensaries in Los Angeles, after the city council approved a ban on them this summer. But patients and advocates have managed to halt the ban, and some dispensary operators are suing the city.
For years, Los Angeles has been a mecca for medical marijuana dispensaries. Anyone with a doctor's recommendation could stop in at chic storefronts offering cannabis-laced desserts or at the more underground clinics, labeled only with a green cross. Hundreds, maybe 1,000 of these pot shops popped up around L.A.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. President Vladimir Putin even wants Russia's birds to get behind him. Yesterday, he flew a motorized glider aimed at leading a flock of Siberian cranes raised in captivity to their winter nesting grounds. To appear to be one of them, Putin donned a white jumpsuit and helmet, though he drew the line at a beak. A Russians news agency reported only one bird followed Putin on his first flight, but he picked up a few more supporters later on. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.