I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. We are heading into inauguration weekend and in a moment we will hear about some of the great and not-so-great moments of inaugurations past.
Along with the public ceremonies that are a part of the presidential inauguration, many people, including the president, will also be honoring the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. this weekend, and on Monday, when his birthday is observed as a national holiday.
We are hoping your best dress is ready and your tux is pressed because President Barack Obama will be sworn in for a second term on Monday. But even if you don't plan to attend any of the events, you can dress up and watch at home.
And here to get us ready is Kenneth C. Davis. He is the author of the best-selling "'Don't Know Much About" series of books. His latest is "Don't Know Much About the American Presidents." And he's with us now.
This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Flora Lichtman. Up next: the man who wrote the book - well, the books, rather - on data visualization. He was doing infographics before everybody was doing infographics. Back in the '80s, data scientist Edward Tufte remortgaged his house so he could start a company and self-publish his first book, "The Visual Display of Quantitative Information." Sound like a snoozer? Well, that book, along with his others on the same topic, have sold more than a million-and-a-half copies.
In the Broadway play The Other Place actress Laurie Metcalf ("Jackie" on the TV show "Roseanne") plays a scientist suffering from the dementia she studies. Playwright Sharr White discusses the play and the challenge of presenting complicated science on a theater stage.
This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Flora Lichtman, filling in for Ira Flatow today. Solar wind, geothermal - now there's a new renewable energy source to add to that list. It's free, completely reliable and totally unlimited: the force of gravity. Two British designers have invented a lamp that runs on gravity alone. Their GravityLight - yes, that's its name, aptly named - uses, you guessed it, the pull of gravity on a weight to generate up to 30 minutes of light.
I was weaned on horror movies and love them inordinately, but the genre has gone to the dogs — and to the muscle-bound werewolves, hormonal vampires, flesh-eating zombies, machete-wielding psychos, etc. It's also depressing how most modern horror pictures have unhappy nihilist endings in which everyone dies and the demons pop back up, unvanquished — partly because studios think happy endings are too soft, but mostly because they need their monsters for so-called franchises.
And now it's time for Faith Matters. That's the part of the program where we talk about matters of faith and spirituality, and as you just heard, the Barber Shop guys were talking about the very strange story involving Notre Dame football star Manti Te'o. He's in the news because the story of his girlfriend's tragic death and the girlfriend herself turned out to be a hoax.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, ahead of Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday and inauguration date both being observed on Monday, we will hear about some of the less well known speeches made by the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.. And some of the less well known bits of history around presidential inaugurations. That will all be later in the program.
The individuals who participated in the first Inquisition 800 years ago kept detailed records of their activities. Vast archival collections at the Vatican, in France and in Spain contain accounts of torture victims' cries, descriptions of funeral pyres and even meticulous financial records about the price of torture equipment.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. An amateur prospector in Australia thought he'd stumbled on a car hood. It turned out to be a giant gold nugget shaped like a goldfish. The owner of the local gold shop told the Herald newspaper that if the anonymous prospector was silly enough to melt it down it would be worth nearly $300,000.
Unlikely, since its size and shape make it so rare. The gold will be worth far more to a museum or collector. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.