What are you afraid of? The TED Radio Hour is asking that question this week. Guy Raz spoke to retired astronaut Chris Hadfield, who commanded the International Space Station, about the scariest day of his life.
GUY RAZ, BYLINE: Can you describe the day of a launch? Like, what happens on that day?
CHRIS HADFIELD: It's like a - that feeling in a roller coaster, I think, where you get into that little chunka, chunka, chunka chain thing that drags you up the hill to make the ride begin.
We went to a ballgame this week. Cubs versus Yankees at Chicago's Wrigley Field, which is observing, no, celebrating its 100th anniversary. Now the Taj Mahal and the Great Pyramids are wonders of the world and older by a few centuries, but you can't get a Chicago dog with celery salt and hot peppers there.
And the far right is poised to do well in Hungary's EU election tomorrow. Candidates blame the EU for many of that country's problems. NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson reports from Budapest.
SORAYA SARHADDI NELSON, BYLINE: To many Hungarians, a half-finished World War II monument next to a popular fountain in downtown Budapest highlights the extremist tenor of politics in this former East Bloc country.
Now, with pleasure to note, it's time for sports. Conference championships in hockey and basketball, both defending champions seem to be making their move. So to the strains of B.J. Leiderman's theme music of which he writes all of ours, we're joined now by Howard Bryant of espn.com and ESPN The Magazine from the studios of New England Public Radio. Thanks for being with us, Howard.
HOWARD BRYANT: Boy, that's a lot of energy, Scott. You must be a Blackhawks fan.
The mining town of Soma in Western Turkey is reeling after Tuesday's mine explosion. At least 300 people have died there. The government's now winding down the recovery operation, but many townspeople fear more miners remain underground and believe officials are covering up the real number of the dead. The mine has been shut and survivors are asking how they can support their families with no jobs. NPR's Leila Fadel sat down with one of the miners and sent this report.
This week, Malik Bendejelloul, who won the 2013 Oscar for his film "Searching for Sugar Man," was found dead in Stockholm. The cause of death is unknown, though his brother told the Guardian newspaper that Malik Bendejelloul took his own life after a struggle with depression.
Aaron Gwyn has written a novel about modern man at war on horses. He calls it a mideastern. "Wynne's War" is the story of a U.S. Army Ranger from Okla., Elijah Russell, whose stellar horsemanship gets him assigned to train Green Berets for a special mission in Afghanistan, a horseback raid on the Taliban in treacherous mountain territory.
There was a near-miss in the skies above Tallahassee recently. According to a Federal Aviation Administration official, an American Airlines regional jet nearly collided with a "small, remotely piloted aircraft" — a drone — cruising 2,300-feet above sea level.
Exactly who was flying the unmanned aircraft remains unknown, but drones are becoming increasingly common in U.S. skies. This week in North Dakota, the FAA began allowing tests of drones for agricultural purposes.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Neurosurgery is a stressful occupation. So is being a neurosurgical patient. With their superior eyes and hand skills, some neurosurgeons are turning to making art, and several are getting exposure at art exhibits throughout the country - including at this year's annual meeting of neurosurgeons. From member station KQED in San Francisco, April Dembosky sent us this audio postcard.
And, by the way, BG Lederman didn't write a single one of those songs. But he does write our theme music, including this one that says it's time for sports.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
SIMON: Post season - sorry, basketball. Forget about it, hockey. For theatrics, we're watching football's off season. The spectacle that is the NFL draft enters its third day today and America wants to know, can it be as good as the Kevin Costner film? NPR's Tom Goldman joins us - any Kevin Costner film. Thanks for being with us, Tom.
Hollywood starlets will mingle with politicians and even humble reporters in Washington on Saturday night. That can only mean one thing: the annual White House Correspondents' Dinner. The black-tie event has evolved into a glitzy celebrity roast, but it began as a simple chance for journalists to break bread with the presidents they cover.
This year, the White House Correspondents' Association is celebrating its 100th anniversary, and it plans to posthumously honor the first African-American reporter to cover a presidential news conference.
Basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar says he believes the entire LA Clippers corporate organization is better off now that owner Donald Sterling has lost his standing with the NBA.
Sterling was banned for life from the NBA last week for racist remarks made on a recording released by TMZ Sports. Abdul-Jabbar says the punishment announced by NBA commissioner Adam Silver is wise and just, and has given the team confidence.
The favorite for Saturday's Kentucky Derby is a flashy red horse with a big white blaze down his face. California Chrome is of humble origin, and he'll be taking on expensive horses with Kentucky bluegrass connections, but he also comes with a lot of quirks that have folks rooting for him.
At age 77, trainer Art Sherman has finally hit the jackpot.
The world is in a terrible fix. Drones are zipping. Threats are flying. Secrets are leaking. The president of the United States is in the crosshairs of crisis. Only one person can help - Chloe O'Brian. Oh, and her friend, Jack Bauer. But not everyone's happy.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Kids in America can dream of becoming an opera singer and performing around the world. The odds are long, but talent, hard work, the right breaks - all of that could make it happen. But what if you grew up in Sri Lanka, off the coast of India?
Ukraine's interim government is facing major obstacles: a separatist uprising in the east of the country, an economy in tatters and a presidential election next month.
But the leadership is also facing a longer-term challenge, one that will shape the future of the country: the creation of a new constitution.
The task will be complicated by pressure from Russia, which has already made clear what kind of constitution it thinks Ukraine should have. Russia's foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, laid out Russia's position in an interview last month.
Just a few words can hold a world of meaning. John Paul Stevens, the retired Supreme Court justice, has written a short new book in which he proposes a few words here and there that would create some sweeping changes.
The book, Six Amendments: How and Why We Should Change the Constitution, details the half-dozen ways Stevens thinks the Constitution could be improved, changes that he says are worth the trouble of the arduous amendment process.
The remains of a western Kentucky man who disappeared during World War II have found their way home after almost 70 years. The body of William Carneal was discovered last year in Japan, along with his dog tags and his high school ring. He was buried yesterday in his hometown of Paducah.
Whitney Jones at member station WKMS has our story.
The debate on approving new drugs to treat pain can sometimes get as polarized as abortion or drunk gun control as the number of people who become addicted or who have died from overdoses of legal painkillers increases. Several states are now trying to ban Zo-hydro, the newest FDA-approved painkiller. If you're a patient from who suffers from chronic pain and live in a state with regulatory barriers, it can be nearly impossible to get a doctor to prescribe anything for long-term relief.
Saba Khan is a high school sophomore whose life is turned upside down in a flash - a mysterious fire that destroys her family's apartment on the North Side of Chicago. The Khans are Americans of Pakistani descent. Were they victims of a hate crime? Saba's high school rallies behind her family.
Health officials in Columbus, Ohio, are calling the city's mumps outbreak the biggest since the development of the mumps vaccine in the 1940s.
Columbus generally gets an average of one case of mumps a year, but since February, there have been 244 cases reported in an outbreak that began on the Ohio State University campus. Most had already been vaccinated.
Jonathan Henderson of New Orleans-based Gulf Restoration Network is flying Louisiana's coast looking for oil. As usual, he's found some.
"I just noticed something out of the corner of my eye that looks like a sheen that had some form to it," he says. "We're going to go take a closer look and see if there's a rainbow sheen."
It's a target-rich environment for Henderson, because more than 54,000 wells were planted in and off this coast — part of the 300,000 wells in the state. They're connected by thousands of miles of pipelines, all vulnerable to leaks.