For an academic contest pitting young spellers against the dictionary, the Scripps National Spelling Bee has taken on the intensity of the fiercest athletic events. Feeling the warmth of television lights — not to mention nerves and distractions — all while sports commentators are analyzing your "style" and approach is something only a select club of young word-nerdy Americans gets to experience. How does that early experience affect these mostly middle-school-aged kids later in life?
Part of a competition in Northeast India, Pu Zozam ate five chili peppers, then collapsed. Food scientists call the Bhut Jolokia he ate one of the world's hottest peppers. Writer Mary Roach talks about her experience traveling to the state of Nagaland to try the pepper for herself.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm John Donvan in Washington. Neal Conan is away. A small hole in the ground, that's all it looked like the other day in the photo of the Christian Science Monitor, published in its coverage of a tornado that ripped through Moore, Oklahoma, a small hole in the ground surrounded on all sides by the wreckage of totally flattened homes, right up to the very edge of that hole in the ground, which oddly is rectangular in shape in the photo and has a door attached to it, flung open.
As children, we are allowed to be confused, lost, and full of wonder. As adults in the age of Google, we are expected to project confidence, knowledge and understanding. Ta-Nehisi Coates, senior editor for The Atlantic, talks about how learning a foreign language reignited his imagination.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm John Donvan in Washington. Neal Conan is away. I was heading out to do an errand a while back and I decided to drive, and as I approached my car, which was parked in the street, I walked up from behind and, drat, I spot the rear taillight has been smashed, somebody obviously trying to park behind me had bumped into it and cracked it open.
Ivan and Alyosha started out as the duo of Tim Wilson and Ryan Carbary, with the band's name coming from characters in the Russian novel The Brothers Karamazov. The two met in 2007 and immediately attracted strong national praise for their first EP, The Verse, The Chorus.
The New York City band Vampire Weekend has carved out a sense of immaculate melancholy for our era as surely as Steely Dan once did for Upstate New York in the '70s. Characterized most immediately by the earnest, concise, sometimes surprisingly expansive vocals of Ezra Koenig, Vampire Weekend makes atmospheric music.
For many children, summer break is filled with activities like math classes and language lessons. That's leading some parents to wonder what ever happened to a laid-back summer of playing outside and riding bikes? Host Michel Martin speaks with a roundtable of moms about 'minimalist parenting.'
I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. Today, we're going to spend some time on some important stories coming from overseas. In a few minutes, we'll hear what one young woman's charges of rap reveal about how Pakistan's system of justice works - or doesn't - when it comes to sexual violence.