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3:47 pm
Wed April 18, 2012

Jargon To Jabberwocky: 3 Books On Writing's Art

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu April 19, 2012 6:49 am

I'm an English professor, and I spent the first 15 years of my career trying to write like one. You might be surprised by what that's like. We don't emulate the fiction writers we most admire. We too rarely practice what we preach to our composition students — namely that good writing is simple and direct. In fact, we're notorious for maze-y sentences and ugly jargon. The point seems less to attract readers with clear prose than to smack them over the head with a sign that says, "Aren't I smart?"

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Africa
3:46 pm
Wed April 18, 2012

Tourists Make Historic Visit To War-Ravaged Liberia

The 150 passengers aboard the National Geographic Explorer cruise ship arrive in Monrovia, the Liberian capital, on April 16. It's reportedly the largest group of tourists to visit the country since the 1970s.
Tamasin Ford for NPR

Originally published on Thu April 19, 2012 8:26 am

Liberia has been better known for conflict than tourism the past couple of decades.

But this week, a group of 150 tourists, many of them Americans, arrived for a brief stay in the small nation on Africa's West Coast. When their cruise liner docked in the capital of Monrovia, they became the largest group of tourists to visit the country in many years, probably since the 1970s.

Dock workers in Monrovia usually unload cargo ships full of secondhand clothes or rice — not a cruise ship full of American tourists.

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It's All Politics
3:43 pm
Wed April 18, 2012

Most Small Businesses Don't Quite Fit The Political Picture

Angela Caragan's A Cupcake Co. offers gourmet cupcakes for special events. Like more than 20 million other small-business owners in the U.S., she has no employees.
Courtesy of Angela Caragan

Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 4:28 pm

The House is scheduled to vote Thursday on a GOP measure to cut taxes on small businesses.

Now, the mental image most of us have of a small business is probably something like this: a handful of employees, a shop, maybe a restaurant or a little tech firm.

It turns out the reality of the nation's 28 million small businesses is, in many cases, quite different.

House Republicans say their tax cut would help millions of small businesses.

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The Two-Way
3:39 pm
Wed April 18, 2012

Vatican Says U.S. Nun Association Doesn't Adhere To Church Teachings

The Vatican has ordered a crackdown of an American organization representing most nuns in the United States. The Vatican ordered an investigation of the group in 2008 and today it said it was appointing an American archbishop to oversee a reform of the group.

The AP reports:

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Energy
3:04 pm
Wed April 18, 2012

New Rules To Curb Pollution From Oil, Gas Drilling

Oil and natural gas drillers use equipment like this to separate the liquid, gas and sand that come out of wells at the beginning of hydraulic fracturing operations.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 5:34 pm

The Environmental Protection Agency announced new rules Wednesday to control the problem of air pollution coming from wells being drilled by the booming oil and natural gas drilling industry.

Currently, waste products from the drilling operations, which include a mix of chemicals, sand and water, can be pumped into open enclosures or pits, where toxic substances can make their way into the air. The new rules will require this fluid to be captured by 2015, and flared — or burned off — in the meantime.

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NPR Story
2:41 pm
Wed April 18, 2012

Panetta Condemns Latest U.S. Troop Photo Scandal

Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 3:54 pm

Newly-published photos show U.S. troops in Afghanistan posing with the dead bodies of insurgents. The incident, first reported by The Los Angeles Times, occurred in 2010. It's the latest setback for the military's counterinsurgency strategy, which depends on winning the hearts and minds of the Afghan people.

Remembrances
2:36 pm
Wed April 18, 2012

Dick Clark, 'Bandstand' Host, Dead at 82

Pop culture icon Dick Clark died Wednesday at age 82. He started his career as a college disc jockey and went on to shape the way America viewed music, TV game shows and New Year's Eve. Here, he hosts American Bandstand in 1958.
ABC Photo Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 12:59 pm

Dick Clark, affectionately known as the "world's oldest teenager," has died. He was 82, and had suffered a heart attack while in a Santa Monica hospital for an outpatient procedure.

Richard Wagstaff Clark became a national icon with American Bandstand in the 1950s, hosting the show for more than 30 years. Clark also hosted the annual New Year's Eve special for ABC for decades. He weathered scandals, hosted game shows and renewed his Bandstand fame with a new generation by producing the nostalgic TV drama American Dreams.

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The Two-Way
2:16 pm
Wed April 18, 2012

Dick Clark, Legendary Producer, Has Died

Dick Clark.
Danny Moloshok AP

Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 7:24 pm

Dick Clark, the legendary television producer who became a national icon with American Bandstand in 1950s, has died. He was 82.

Clark, known as the the "world's oldest teenager," produced American Bandstand for over 30 years.

"The original American Bandstand was one of network TV's longest-running series as part of ABC's daytime lineup from 1957 to 1987. Over the years, it introduced stars ranging from Buddy Holly to Michael Jackson to Madonna," the AP writes.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:13 pm
Wed April 18, 2012

What We Can Learn From Warren Buffett's Prostate Cancer

Billionaire Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, will be treated for prostate cancer starting in July.
Shuji Kajiyama AP

Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 2:25 pm

Benjamin Davies, a urologic cancer specialist, doesn't mince words.

On Twitter today, the good doctor said he would fire on the spot any medical resident who biopsied the prostate of an 81-year-old man.

And that would include Warren Buffett, the 81-year-old CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, who disclosed Tuesday that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer.

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Theater
2:12 pm
Wed April 18, 2012

London Smash 'Two Guvnors' Comes To Broadway

Adapted from The Servant of Two Masters, the new comedy One Man, Two Guvnors follows the "always famished and easily confused" Francis Henshall (James Corden, left), who must combat his own befuddlement while keeping both of his employers — a local gangster and criminal-in-hiding Stanley Stubbers (Oliver Chris) — from meeting.
Tristram Kenton

Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 3:54 pm

If you weren't a college theater major, you can be forgiven for not knowing much about commedia dell'arte, the 500-year-old theatrical tradition that Carlo Goldoni used for his comedy The Servant of Two Masters in 1743. Contemporary playwright Richard Bean has adapted that play into the decidedly British laugh riot One Man, Two Guvnors -- and he says all you really need to know about commedia is ... well, it's funny.

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The Two-Way
1:13 pm
Wed April 18, 2012

Organizations Can't Be Sued For Torture, High Court Rules

Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 1:15 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled unanimously that organizations cannot be sued for the torture under the Torture Victim Protection Act.

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The Two-Way
12:43 pm
Wed April 18, 2012

Escort Offers New Details Of Secret Service Scandal

Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 2:25 pm

The New York Times just posted what it says are the first public comments from the Colombian woman whose argument with a U.S. Secret Service agent last week revealed the so-called summit scandal.

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The Two-Way
12:23 pm
Wed April 18, 2012

Pat Summitt Steps Down As Tennessee's Basketball Coach

This file photo shows Tennessee women's basketball head coach Pat Summitt talking with reporters during the Southeastern Conference basketball media day, in Hoover, Ala.
Dave Martin AP

Pat Summitt, college basketball's winningest coach, has stepped down as coach of the University of Tennessee women's basketball team.

In a press release, the university said she will now hold the title of head coach emeritus and Associate Head Coach Holly Warlick will take her place.

In that release Summitt said:

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The Two-Way
12:09 pm
Wed April 18, 2012

In Colorado, Frozen Cows Are A Conundrum In Conundrum

The Conundrum Creek Cabin where the cows met their unfortunate end. Photo taken on April 6.
Brian Porter AP

Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 4:45 pm

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The Two-Way
11:57 am
Wed April 18, 2012

Poll: Most Americans Link Climate Change To Unusual Weather Events

In this Aug 3, 2011 file photo, Texas State Park police officer Thomas Bigham walks across the cracked lake bed of O.C. Fisher Lake, in San Angelo, Texas.
Tony Gutierrez AP

Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 12:25 pm

Most Americans believe that global warming has played a role in a series of unusual weather events during the past year.

A poll released today by the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication found that 72 percent of Americas believe global warming played a role in the very warm winter the United States just experienced.

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The Two-Way
9:56 am
Wed April 18, 2012

Drinking On The Job: Is 2012 The New 1966?

Actor Jon Hamm in a scene from AMC's Mad Men. The show is set in the 1960s — but today, many companies provide their employees with ready access to alcohol.
Ron Jaffe/AMC AP

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The Salt
9:52 am
Wed April 18, 2012

Plan To Slaughter Horses For Human Consumption Is Met With Distaste

No, that's not beef — it's horse meat, at a butcher shop in France. Horse remains a popular food in many countries, but often makes Americans squeamish.
Christophe Simon AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 11:25 am

When the ban on slaughtering horses for human consumption was lifted in the U.S. last November, it was only a matter of time before someone applied to start the practice up again.

That person is Rick De Los Santos, a New Mexico rancher and owner of Valley Meat Co. If the USDA approves his application to have a former beef slaughterhouse inspected, it would allow the first slaughter of horses in the U.S. since 2007.

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The Two-Way
9:45 am
Wed April 18, 2012

Retired Couple Bought Winning Mega Millions Ticket In Illinois

Merle and Patricia Butler (at right) accepting their ceremonial check earlier today.
Illinois Lottery

The winning ticket in Illinois from last month's record $656 Mega Millions lottery has been turned in by a retired couple from the little town of Red Bud, Ill.

"Merle Butler, 65, and his wife Patricia, 62, accepted the giant check Wednesday morning," as Chicago's WLS-TV reports.

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National Security
9:42 am
Wed April 18, 2012

Where's the Line Between Profiling, Policing?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, we'll check in with Boston Globe film critic Wesley Morris, one of our regular contributors. He just won a Pulitzer Prize and we hope he's still taking our calls to tell us about the new films coming out this summer. That's in just a few minutes.

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Science
9:42 am
Wed April 18, 2012

What Can We Learn From Video Games?

The White House is making what some would call an unconventional investment. It's studying the benefits of video games on those who play them. White House senior policy analyst Constance Steinkuehler is at the head of that research and she discusses the initiative with host Michel Martin.

The Two-Way
9:22 am
Wed April 18, 2012

Take That, Kids: Jamie Moyer Is Oldest Pitcher To Win An MLB Game

Jamie Moyer of the Colorado Rockies after his record-setting win Tuesday night in Denver.
Doug Pensinger Getty Images

He's not as old as some bloggers (sigh!), but the Colorado Rockies' Jamie Moyer is now the holder of an impressive age-related record.

Tuesday night, at the age of 49 years, 150 days, he became the oldest pitcher to ever win a Major League Baseball game.

Playing in Denver, the Rockies beat the San Diego Padres 5-3. "Moyer worked seven innings, allowing no earned runs on six hits," The Denver Post reports.

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The Salt
8:43 am
Wed April 18, 2012

13th-Century Food Fights Helped Fuel The Magna Carta

Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 1:06 pm

Imagine it's England, 1209, and you're a wealthy baron. You arrive home from London one day to discover that King John's minions have once again raided your stores of grain. It's the king's right, of course — he has a large household and armies to feed — and there's a promise of compensation.

But all too often that payment arrives late, if at all. And there was that incident last year where the bailiff was caught selling the seized goods instead of handing them over to the king's men.

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The Two-Way
8:32 am
Wed April 18, 2012

Swedish Official Calls 'Racist Cake' A Piece Of Provocative Art

The cake, with artist Makode Aj Linde "performing" as the screaming head.
Facebook.com

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Around the Nation
8:31 am
Wed April 18, 2012

Stories Put Spotlight On NYPD Surveillance Program

Muslim community members and supporters march near 1 Police Plaza to protest the New York Police Department surveillance operations of Muslim communities, Friday, Nov. 18, 2011, in New York.
Bebeto Matthews AP

Originally published on Fri April 20, 2012 6:33 am

Since last August, the Associated Press' investigative reporting team has published more than a dozen stories from an ongoing investigation into the New York City police department's secret spying program that monitored daily life in Muslim communities.

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The Two-Way
6:33 am
Wed April 18, 2012

Ted Nugent Stands Firm, Secret Service To Look Into His Words About Obama

Ted Nugent, during his appearance at the NRA convention over the weekend in St. Louis.
NRA Videos

For telling National Rifle Association members over the weekend that "I will either be dead or in jail by this time next year" if President Obama is re-elected, rocker Ted Nugent has now attracted the attention of the Secret Service.

"We are aware of the incident, and we are conducting appropriate follow-up," Secret Service spokesman Brian Leary says.

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The Two-Way
5:52 am
Wed April 18, 2012

Pentagon Condemns Actions Of Soldiers Posing With Suicide Bombers' Remains

Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 12:21 pm

Photos obtained by the Los Angeles Times that appear to show U.S. Army paratroopers posing with the remains of suicide bombers in Afghanistan "undermine the daily sacrifices of thousands of ISAF troops who continue to serve honorably in Afghanistan," the top U.S.

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Election 2012
5:01 am
Wed April 18, 2012

Obama And Romney Seek The Elusive 'Floating Voter'

Voters in Jaffrey, N.H., participate in the Jan. 10 New Hampshire primary. As the 2012 presidential race progresses, the outcome could rest on how the campaigns of President Obama and Mitt Romney reach still-undecided voters.
Matthew Cavanaugh Getty Images

With Mitt Romney all but formally installed as the Republican presidential nominee, the 2012 general election campaign is just getting under way.

Most voters, though, have already made up their minds.

The first Gallup daily tracking poll of the campaign, released Monday, showed that 90 percent of Republicans support Romney, while 90 percent of Democrats favor President Obama.

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Around the Nation
4:15 am
Wed April 18, 2012

Jamie Moyer Makes Major League Baseball History

Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 5:50 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep with congratulations to Jamie Moyer. At age 49, the pitcher won a game in the major leagues. Many of today's baseball players were not even born when Moyer's career started. He never threw the ball very hard, but won with patience and control. This year, he made the Colorado Rockies and pitched seven innings last night against San Diego for a five - three win. Some pitchers throw a 95 mile an hour fastball. Moyer's was 78. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.

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