Early synthesizers were supposed to imitate or re-create other existing sounds, but as anyone can tell you, they mostly sounded like synthesizers. That distinctive whine and wheeze captivated all manner of pop artists, from prog-rockers to classical composers to soul musicians. However, back then, synthesizers were so expensive and bulky, you needed a major-label budget and an entire studio wall to install them.
Abel Maldonado, a former California state senator and current congressional candidate, pushed for the change to the top-two primary system. He says he thinks the system will lead to "more open-minded and more reasonable" officials.
When voters go to the polls in California's primary on Tuesday, instead of only being able to vote for candidates in their own party, they will be able to vote for anyone they please.
Tuesday will be the first statewide test of California's new open primary system, where the top two candidates move on to the general election, regardless of party. Backers hope this system will favor moderates.
In California, there aren't very many purple areas. The state has strongly Democratic regions and strongly Republican regions — and the Democrats dominate.
Voters in Wisconsin will decide Tuesday whether or not to recall Republican Gov. Scott Walker. It's been one of the most expensive statewide races in American history, and the stakes in that election could have national implications, for unions, for deficit hawks, for businesses, even for President Obama's re-election.
The vote over whether to recall Walker is so important, it's drawn millions in outside money and some of the biggest political stars in the country. Now millions of dollars are flowing in, too.
The mother's milk of many political campaigns is the survey — a snapshot of how likely voters feel about particular subjects. But a recent study suggests that only 9 percent of people asked to take part in surveys actually do, calling into question any survey's findings. Slate reporter Will Oremus offers his insight.
It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz.
In two days, voters in Wisconsin will decide whether or not to recall their governor, Republican Scott Walker. It's been one of the most expensive statewide races in American history. And the stakes in that election could have national implications for unions, for deficit hawks, for businesses, even for President Obama's re-election. We'll tell you why in a moment in our cover story today, but first to some news out of Syria.
This Tuesday, a congressional race in California's rural Central Valley will come down to a fight for second place. As Sasha Khokha of member station KQED reports now, the race pits a farm worker-turned-astronaut against the son of a disgraced congressman.
Protesters hold Egyptian flags during the demonstration in Tahrir Square.
Credit Fredrik Persson / AP
Egyptians gather at Tahrir Square in Cairo to call for a new revolution Saturday. A court sentenced ousted President Hosni Mubarak and his interior minister to life in prison, but acquitted six security chiefs in the deaths of protesters last year.
Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was sentenced to life in prison Saturday for his role in killing protesters during the revolution that ousted him from power.
A hushed courtroom listened as the head judge read the verdict: guilty of accessory to murder and attempted murder. Mubarak lay motionless on a hospital gurney inside a courtroom cage, his only noticeable emotion being the slight quivering of his lips.
Marina Keegan had just graduated from Yale University with a degree in English and was headed off to a job at The New Yorker. On May 26, she died in a car crash near her family's summer home in Massachusetts.
Among the more than 12 million Americans out of work, almost half have been out of work for more than six months. In its latest issue, Bloomberg Businessweek magazine profiles 12 people among these long-term unemployed who have managed to get back into the workforce. Host Guy Raz talks with Josh Green, senior national correspondent with Bloomberg Businessweek.
When the economy entered its downward spiral in 2008, most everything related to housing hit the skids, including the lawn and garden industry. But one sector escaped the pinch — food gardening. In fact, sales spiked 20 percent and stayed there. While many households started growing food to be more budget-conscious, some are deciding vegetables and fruits can be beautiful, too. Blake Farmer
With violence escalating and journalists barred from the country, it's becoming harder to know how far and fast Syria is slipping into chaos. Host Guy Raz speaks with Paul Wood, world affairs correspondent for the BBC and one of few western journalists to have visited in the country in recent weeks. Then Raz speaks with Marwa Daoudy, visiting professor at Princeton from Oxford University, and Shadi Hamid, director of research at the Brookings Doha Center, about the stakes of Western intervention to halt the violence.
Screen grabs of four separate ads from four different political groups critical of President Obama's handling of Solyndra, the failed solar-panel maker. Clockwise from top left, the ads are from: Americans for Prosperity, MittRomney.com, American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS.
Among the biggest advertisers in the presidential campaign is a group that says it doesn't do political advertising: Crossroads GPS.
Crossroads GPS — which stands for Grassroots Policy Strategies — was co-founded by Republican strategist Karl Rove. It and others like it enable wealthy donors to finance attack ads while avoiding the public identification they would face if they gave to more overtly political committees.
A fan of the St. Louis Cardinals buys a beer from a vendor prior to Game 3 of the World Series against the Detroit Tigers at Busch Stadium in 2006. At 56 cents an ounce, St. Louis is second only to Boston for the priciest ballpark brew in the country.
Credit Patrick Semansky / AP
Sunlight shines through Brandon Butler's beer as he takes a sip during the first baseball game of a doubleheader between the Orioles and the Texas Rangers in Baltimore on May 10.
Change has been the story of the season for the Miami Marlins, formerly the Florida Marlins. With a new coach, a new name, new team colors and a new stadium the baseball team set a franchise record for winning games in May.
But one tradition isn't changing anytime soon: beer. Ordering a beer at a baseball game is as American as apple pie. So is forking over a small fortune for that beer.
According to an analysis by TheStreet.com, the most expensive beer of any baseball stadium is sold at the new Marlins Park, where baseball fans pay $8 for a Bud Light draft.
From the day a grand jury indicted former Sen. John Edwards on six felony charges nearly one year ago, the case drew jeers from election lawyers and government watchdogs.
"It was an incredibly aggressive prosecution because it was based on a novel theory of the law," says Melanie Sloan, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. "There was literally no precedent. No case had ever been like this."
In 2003, in a song called "Earthbound," singer Rodney Crowell name-checked a writer he admires a lot: Mary Karr, who has written searing memoirs, including the best-seller The Liars' Club, as well as several books of poetry.
Supporters of Mubarak in Cairo chant slogans and carry his portrait as they demonstrate in February during his trial, outside the police academy.
Credit Mohammed Abed / AFP/Getty Images
An Egyptian man paints the national flag on the arm of a friend as they stand in front of graffiti showing the morphed faces of ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak (right) and military ruler Hussein Tantawi, defeated presidential candidate Amr Moussa (second from left), and current candidate Ahmed Shafiq (left) near Cairo's central Tahrir Square last month.
An Egyptian court plans to announce the verdict Saturday in the trial of former President Hosni Mubarak, and regardless of which way the decision goes, it could prompt a public outpouring of emotion at a sensitive moment for the country.
Mubarak is charged with corruption and complicity in the deaths of hundreds of protesters during the revolution last year that ousted him.
If convicted, he could face the death penalty. But some are predicting he'll be acquitted, and that could set off another round of protests and possibly violence.
A jury found former Democratic Sen. John Edwards not guilty on one count of campaign finance fraud and was deadlocked on five other counts. The Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, D.C., filed an amicus brief in the Edwards corruption case, asking that it be thrown out. Melanie Sloan, executive director of the group, offers her insight.
Mitt Romney shakes hands as he walks into the House Chambers during inaugural ceremonies at the State House in Boston in 2003. the Obama campaign sought to focus attention on Romney's tenure as Massachusetts governor.
Credit Jessica Rinaldi / Reuters /Landov
David Axelrod, the Obama campaign's senior strategist (center), stops to shake a demonstrator's hand as he leaves a news conference at the Massachusetts State House in Boston on Thursday.
In Texas recently there was a grand opening for what is now the largest refinery in the U.S. Shell and Saudi Arabia's national oil company, Saudi Aramco, have more than doubled the capacity of their Port Arthur refinery.
The refinery business has been going through a tough period in recent years. Americans are buying less gasoline and other petroleum products — about 10 percent less than in 2005, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney picked up two big endorsements this week from GOP foreign policy luminaries: former Secretaries of State Condoleezza Rice and George Shultz.
At this point in the presidential race, endorsements are pretty routine. But these particular endorsements are important, since Romney has encountered some skepticism from foreign policy experts in his party.
Some Republicans expected the long, bloody wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to alter their party's traditional interventionist view. Those Republicans are disappointed in Romney.
What is it about Brandi Carlile's voice that gets right inside you? The power? Her range? It may be the way she can crack open a note, as she does in her best-known song, "The Story," which was prominently featured on Grey's Anatomy.
This month, NPR's Backseat Book Club hits the high seas for an adventurous novel called Heart of a Samurai by Margi Preus. The book begins in 1841, and is based on the sprawling true-life tale of Manjiro, whose destiny was almost determined before birth as a son in a long line of fishermen. But a storm blew his life on a new course, and he became one of the first Japanese to set foot in America.