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Latin America
3:52 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

Policymakers Planning For A Venezuela After Chavez

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 6:02 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Hugo Chavez has dominated Venezuela for so long that it's hard to imagine what the country would be like without him in charge. Opposition leaders are hoping for a new, more democratic system. But powerful factions in Venezuela want things to stay just as they are. Because the country is a key player in the region, NPR's Tom Gjelten says the U.S. is now making its own plans for life after Chavez.

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Politics
3:51 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

Potential Geithner Departure Could Complicate Debt Ceiling Battle

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 6:02 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

President Obama may be going into the next big budget fight without his long-time treasury secretary. Timothy Geithner had been planning to leave before the start of the president's second term, but that would mean he is departing with the debt ceiling still looming and the Treasury scrambling to keep up with the government's bills.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

NPR's Scott Horsley joins us now. And, Scott, Secretary Geithner has made no secret of his plans to leave the government, but it sounds like his departure could be complicated.

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Religion
3:37 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

Amid Instability In Egypt, Coptic Christians Flee To U.S.

Egyptian Coptic Christians celebrate Christmas Nativity Liturgy, the start of Christmas, at the Coptic Orthodox Church of St. George in Brooklyn last January.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 4:38 pm

Coptic Christians will celebrate Christmas on Monday, and many will do so outside their native Egypt. Since the revolution there, their future in the country has looked uncertain, and many are resettling in the United States.

Their population in the U.S. may have grown by nearly 30 percent, according to rough estimates. One church that has felt its membership swell with new arrivals from Egypt is in the Queens borough of New York. St. Mary and St. Antonios Coptic Orthodox Church boasts more than 1,000 families, says the Rev. Michael Sorial.

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World Cafe
2:29 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

Cody ChesnuTT On World Cafe

Cody ChesnuTT.
John Ferguson Courtesy of the artist

Cody ChesnuTT's debut album, 2002's The Headphone Masterpiece, was the result of two years spent recording alone in his bedroom. The double-length record is at once both sprawling and intimate; it encompasses a wide array of genres, but ChesnuTT sings and plays nearly every part.

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The Salt
1:53 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

FDA Releases Rules To Strengthen Safety Of Food Supply

Farmworkers like these in California picking produce may soon be required by the FDA to take more precautions against spreading foodborne illness.
Heather Craig iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon April 7, 2014 2:10 pm

UPDATED: 4:50 p.m. Looking for a little weekend reading? The Food and Drug Administration has just the thing. On Friday, the agency released two proposed rules designed to boost the safety of the nation's food supply, encompassing hundreds of pages.

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Planet Money
1:09 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

3-D Printing Is (Kind Of) A Big Deal

The printed cup.
via Shapeways

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 9:15 pm

The first key to thinking about 3-D printers is this: Do not think printer. Think magic box that creates any object you can imagine.

In the box, razor-thin layers of powdered material (acrylic, nylon, silver, whatever) pile one on top of the other, and then, voila — you've got a shoe, or a cup, or a ring, or an iPhone case.

It's miraculous to see. Press a button, make anything you want. But just how important is 3-D printing? Unlike earlier big-deal technologies (like, say, the tractor) 3-D printing won't really replace what came before.

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Asia
12:39 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

South Korea Prepares The Young For A Rapidly Aging Population

South Korean men play games at a downtown park in Seoul on Nov. 1. Recent data suggest that South Korea is now the fastest-aging country on Earth.
Kim Jae-Hwan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 12:43 pm

At a clean and sunny community center in Seoul, the South Korean capital, senior citizens make clay models of their own faces in an arts class. Some of the faces are vivid and lifelike. Others are expressionless and indistinct. The project is intended to help the seniors remember what they look like.

This is the Gangseo District Center for Dementia. Since 2006, Seoul has opened a dementia center in each of the city's 25 urban districts.

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Science
12:33 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

Negative Temperatures That Are Hotter Than The Sun

Scientists have cooled potassium gas to one billionth of a degree below absolute zero. But in the quantum world, that's actually hotter than the Sun. It's hotter, even, than infinity degrees Kelvin. Vladan Vuletić, a quantum physicist at MIT, talks about this 'Bizarro World' temperature.

The Salt
11:55 am
Fri January 4, 2013

Don't Waste That Christmas Tree: Turn It Into Spruce Beer

You can keep the Christmas smell going all year long. Or, at least until you finish your spruce beer.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 11:40 am

The holidays are finally wrapping up. So after you repack the twinkly lights, and the tinsel goes into the trash, what should you do with that once beautiful spruce standing in your living room? Why not drink it?

Well, not exactly as is. The needles, shoots, light-green tips and inner bark of the popular conifer have been used for centuries to brew forest-scented tea, soft drinks and beer. And it seems that fresh evergreen flavor may be making a comeback.

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Book Reviews
11:04 am
Fri January 4, 2013

'A Grain Of Truth' About Memory And Modern Poland

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 11:26 am

My mother is Polish, which meant that during the holidays when I was a kid, we broke out the polka records and kielbasa for special occasion meals from Thanksgiving to New Year's Day. Certainly, nostalgia for those belch-y festivities of yore led me to A Grain of Truth by Zygmunt Miloszewski, a Polish mystery novel that unexpectedly turns out to be as hard-boiled as the skin around a circlet of that ubiquitous holiday kielbasa.

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