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?"
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.