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NPR's Backseat Book Club
3:31 pm
Wed December 19, 2012

In 'Red Pyramid,' Kid Heroes Take On Ancient Egypt

Originally published on Wed December 19, 2012 4:43 pm

If there was a recipe for the best-selling writer Rick Riordan, it would go something like this — start with a love of storytelling, fold in more than a decade of teaching middle school English, combine that with two sons of his own who don't quite share their dad's love of literature, and marinate all of that with a deep passion for mythology.

Riordan has sold tens of millions of kids' books. He hit pay dirt with the Percy Jackson series — it's about an everyday kid who has superhero powers because he's the secret son of Poseidon, the Greek god of the sea.

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World
3:29 pm
Wed December 19, 2012

In Pakistan, Tax Evaders Are Everywhere — Government Included

An investigative report found that less than a third of Pakistani lawmakers filed tax returns for 2011. The report said Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari, photographed in Paris in December, did not file a return, though his spokesman says he did.
Kenzo Tribouillard AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 19, 2012 7:32 pm

Tax evasion is a chronic problem in Pakistan — only about 2 percent of the population is registered in the tax system, and the government collects just 9 percent of the country's wealth in taxes, one of the lowest rates in the world.

But now a new investigative report is making headlines. It says that just a third of the country's 446 federal lawmakers bothered to file income tax returns last year.

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World Cafe
2:23 pm
Wed December 19, 2012

Sea Wolf On World Cafe

Sea Wolf.
Courtesy of the artist

Alex Brown Church began performing under the name Sea Wolf in 2003, after writing a handful of songs that didn't fit the rock band he played with at the time. Although Church has roped in a supporting cast of musicians to perform his songs, Sea Wolf is still very much his baby.

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Music Reviews
12:57 pm
Wed December 19, 2012

Tunes To 'Work Hard, Play Hard, Pray Hard' To

Music by guitarist Fields Ward appears in the new collection Work Hard, Play Hard, Pray Hard: Hard Time, Good Time & End Time Music, 1923-1936.
Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division

Originally published on Wed December 19, 2012 8:32 pm

The first thing to note about the collection of old-timey music Work Hard, Play Hard, Pray Hard is that it resulted from a record-discovery event that happens less and less often, and soon will likely never happen again. The music was recorded between 1923 and 1936. Most of the sides on the set are taken from 78s collected by the late Don Wahle of Louisville, Ky., and rescued from Dumpster destruction in 2010 by compiler Nathan Salsburg. Nineteen of the songs have never been reissued. Piles of moldy vinyl left behind by the deceased were once commonplace. No longer.

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Media
11:27 am
Wed December 19, 2012

What The Media Got Wrong In The Newtown Story

Originally published on Wed December 19, 2012 12:03 pm

In the hours following the Newtown, Conn. shooting, several initial media reports provided false information. For example, the gunman's brother was originally identified as the shooter. NPR's media correspondent David Folkenflik explains how and why the media falsely reported key details.

Politics
11:27 am
Wed December 19, 2012

The Politics Of Gun Control On Capitol Hill

Originally published on Wed December 19, 2012 12:03 pm

The tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. prompted new conversations about gun regulation in America. President Barack Obama has vowed to take "meaningful action," but the current political landscape poses challenges for the administration and members of Congress who want stricter gun legislation.

Digital Life
11:27 am
Wed December 19, 2012

How The Internet Is Revolutionizing The Adoption Process

Originally published on Wed December 19, 2012 12:03 pm

Many pregnant women and potential adoptive parents are bypassing traditional adoption agencies and connecting online. This trend raises a number of ethical concerns about the regulation of the online process and interactions between birth mothers and hopeful adopters.

Economy
10:58 am
Wed December 19, 2012

Why Not Go Over The Fiscal Cliff?

The White House is promising to veto a new tax proposal from House Speaker John Boehner. But who's bluffing and what's believable when it comes to fiscal negotiations? And what happens if talks break down? For Tell Me More's 'Why Not?' series, host Michel Martin takes a look at what might be on the other side of the fiscal cliff.

NPR Story
10:41 am
Wed December 19, 2012

What Do Polio And Gun Violence Have In Common?

Charles Krupa ASSOCIATED PRESS

Originally published on Wed December 19, 2012 3:22 pm

In thinking about the last week's tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, I keep coming upon the word epidemic. While the death of one child is too many, the death of nearly two dozen in one place, of hundreds in the span of a year — especially by violence, is intolerable. Or at least it should be.

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NPR Story
10:41 am
Wed December 19, 2012

Newtown: How Much Media Coverage Is Too Much?

Originally published on Wed December 19, 2012 10:58 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, when rap pioneer Run from the group Run-DMC decided to get active in church, he had no idea how far it would go. We'll talk with him about his transition from rapping to preaching. That's later in the program.

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