Time for our home video feature, where NPR movie critic Bob Mondello suggests something for those who like to pop their own popcorn and pop in a video. For this Halloween week, Bob suggests sending a shiver up your spine with some classics from: Alfred Hitchcock: The Essentials Collection.
Originally published on Wed October 26, 2011 2:34 pm
In the latest twist to Mexico's drug wars, a new group has vowed to launch a paramilitary offensive against a leading drug cartel in Veracruz, a city that has become a flash point in the violence.
Over the past month, more than 100 bodies have been strewn around the city, which is one of Mexico's largest and oldest ports. The violence prompted Mexican President Felipe Calderon to declare that Veracruz has been "left in the hands of the Zetas," one of the most brutal criminal organizations in the country.
Science is an expensive endeavor. Labs in the U.S. can easily spend millions of dollars each year on equipment, chemicals and supplies alone. But for scientists in the developing world, these costs are often prohibitive. That's where a clever idea has made all the difference.
In a Harvard Medical School corridor on a rainy Saturday afternoon, a handful of graduate students are emptying boxes of scientific equipment into the hallway to take inventory: microcentrifuge tubes, radiation counters, micropipetters, Erlenmeyer flasks.
The deficit-cutting Supercommittee met Wednesday morning in its first public meeting in more than a month. The group is charged with finding at least $1.2 trillion in budget reductions by Nov. 23. If it fails, automatic, across-the-board cuts follow — a consequence that no one in the Capitol wants.
On a small crest deep in South Dakota's Black Hills, a dozen children jumped on sleds and floated across the snow. They are wards of the state, and this is their home: the western campus of the Children's Home Society.
There are rolling hills, a babbling brook — even a new school.
Children's Home Director Bill Colson says it's a place to help children who can't make it in regular foster homes.
In a hurry-up world, the garden keeps its own time. Old-fashioned plants like raspberries, asparagus and rhubarb ask us to slow down and wait for the sweet reward they offer. Commentator Julie Zickefoose revels in the waiting.
I have a friend who lives up in the mountains of North Carolina who loves to give me wonderful plants. Usually Connie gives me native prairie plants, and I plop them in the meadow, and it's no big deal. But this year she gave me raspberries. Not just any raspberries. Golden raspberries.
Five officers in the New York Police Department have been arrested on charges of smuggling guns, cigarettes and slot machines they thought were stolen. Three retired NYPD officers and a New Jersey corrections officer are also charged.
Melissa Block talks to Robert Moore of the University of West Georgia's physics department about a surprising display of the northern lights Monday night that went as far south as Mississippi, Arkansas and Georgia itself.
Throughout the presidential campaign, we'll bring you moments from the candidates. Monday night, Jon Huntsman showed off his often mentioned, but seldom demonstrated, knowledge of the Mandarin language on the Colbert Report.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.
MICHELE NORRIS, HOST:
And I'm Michele Norris. The company that administers the SAT says it catches hundreds of people a year trying to impersonate test-takers. Officials from the Educational Testing Service spoke at a New York state Senate hearing today, where lawmakers are investigating an alleged SAT cheating ring.
Nearly 70 years ago, the Marines became the last branch of the American military to accept blacks into their ranks. The first to serve at the segregated Marine base at Montford Point in North Carolina are relatively little known, compared to their fellow trail blazers in the Army's Buffalo Soldiers and the Air Force's Tuskegee Airmen — until now. Congress voted Tuesday to recognize the Montford Point Marines with the Congressional Gold Medal. Historian Melton McLaurin joins Michele Norris to discuss the black servicemen of the Montford Point Marines.
Music-based games like Rock Band and Guitar Hero, which let you play along to popular songs with fake instruments, once ruled the video game industry. They raked in billions of dollars in sales in 2008, when their popularity was at its peak. But such games have since lost their luster, and sales for both have plummeted. Now the French video game publisher and development company Ubisoft is hoping to revive interest in the video game genre by adding a new twist — the ability to use a real guitar.
Norton Juster is the author of The Phantom Tollbooth.
"There was once a boy named Milo who didn't know what to do with himself — not just sometimes but always. When he was in school he longed to be out, and when he was out he longed to be in ... Nothing really interested him — least of all the things that should have."
It was, of course, the doldrums — his own special version of them.
Some immigrant families say Alabama's tough new immigration law is forcing them to split up, at least temporarily.
Every fall, migrant workers follow the tomato harvest south from Alabama to the Redlands Christian Migrant Association campus in Mulberry, Fla. It's an oasis of shady oak trees amid acres and acres of tomato fields.
But this year, women and children are showing up several weeks ahead of their husbands, who have stayed behind in Alabama to finish the tomato harvest. Other families who aren't migrant workers are showing up for the first time.
In a music world commercially dominated by pop singers, rappers and country artists, Coldplay is one of the rare modern superstar acts that actually is a rock band. But for a group as patently inoffensive as Coldplay, it's earned an impressive number of "haters." Many rock fans dismiss its music as milquetoast, and even The New York Times once called Coldplay "the most insufferable band of the decade." Me?
I found The Twin, by Gerbrand Bakker, sitting on a coffee table at a writers' colony in 2009. It carried praise from J.M. Coetzee for its "restrained tenderness and laconic humor," which seemed ample justification for using it to avoid my own writing.
I finished it, weeping, a day later, and have been puzzling over its powerful hold on me ever since. I've recommended it again and again, and while I can't say it's entirely undiscovered — it won the 2010 IMPAC Dublin Award — no one I know ever seems to have heard of it.
Martin Lindstrom got into the advertising business early on.
"I started up my own ad agency when I was 12 years old," he tells Guy Raz, host of weekend on All Things Considered. "I was a huge fan of Lego, so I built up my own Legoland in the backyard of my mom and dad's garden."
No one showed up on the first day, but Lindstrom persuaded a local ad agency to sponsor him. On the third day, he had 131 visitors.
The only problem? "Visitor number 130 and visitor 131 were the lawyers from Lego suing me."
Tunisians voted Sunday in their country's first free elections — the culmination of a popular uprising that ousted President Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali and touched off the wave of Arab Spring uprisings. Washington Post reporter Leila Fadel offers her insight from the Tunisian capital, Tunis.
Barry Duncan has an obsession that follows him everywhere he goes. "I see street signs, restaurant menus, objects while I'm walking along, and I'm just reversing them all the time," he tells Guy Raz, host of weekends on All Things Considered.
Duncan is a master palindromist. He creates phrases, sentences, even passages that read the same forward and backward. He's been at it since 1981, when he was working at a bookstore in Philadelphia and stumbled onto a book of wordplay.
Jane's Addiction defined the Los Angeles rock scene of the late 1980s, and by the beginning of the next decade, the band had become famous worldwide. But almost as soon as they'd gained the world's attention, Jane's Addiction split up.
Modest reunions have taken place since then. This month, three of the four original members are back with a new album, The Great Escape Artist. Weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz, who grew up listening to Jane's Addiction, spoke to the group's leader, Perry Farrell.
GUY RAZ, host: It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz.
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RAZ: All right. We're getting closer to finding the winning story in round seven of Three-Minute Fiction. That's our writing contest where we ask you to create an original short story that can be read in about three minutes.