Murray, we're just hearing that film critic Roger Ebert has died. The Chicago Sun Times, Ebert's paper, tweeted the news a few moments ago. Ebert, of course, an icon of film criticism, a one-time filmmaker himself, best known perhaps for his days on TV with fellow critic Gene Siskel. Their thumbs up or thumbs down rating system now a de facto review method of critics and filmgoers alike.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Some of you are sitting in traffic right now, muttering darkly about how it's possible to hit every single red light. Los Angeles, a city that suffers more congestion than most, tried to unclog traffic for years by synchronizing its lights. Earlier this year, it became the first major city to tie all its traffic lights to a computerized system that uses motion sensors and cameras to monitor flows of traffic. They report modest improvements, but do drivers notice any change?
Scientists say they have found a way to get a glimpse of people's dreams.
"Our results show that we can predict what a person's seeing during dreams," says Yukiyasu Kamitani, a researcher at the ATR Computational Neuroscience Laboratories in Kyoto, Japan.
Philosophers, poets and psychologists have long shared a fascination with dreams. But Jack Gallant, a neuroscientist at the University of California, Berkeley says solving the mystery of our dreams is one tough problem.
Today's Latin Roots co-host, Josh Norek, was given a hefty task: Define the broad swath of Argentine rock with just a few bands. But Norek, co-host of The Latin Alternative, is up to the occasion precisely because he spent time in Buenos Aires as a student during a vibrant period for music.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. U.S. officials acknowledge that nearly a quarter of the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay are on hunger strike. Defense lawyers say the strike includes nearly all the detainees. The International Committee of the Red Cross believes the cause can be traced to uncertainty.
Like a lot of new movies, "Oz: The Great and Powerful" skips down some familiar pathways. Twenty years before Dorothy, Toto and friends followed the yellow brick road and a couple of witches consider the arrival of one Oscar Diggs who fancies himself a wizard.
(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL")
MILA KUNIS: (as Theodora) I simply want peace. That's all I ever wanted and the wizard can do that. He's a good man.
RACHEL WEISZ: (as Evanora) What do you know about goodness? Deep down you are wicked.
If you've applied for a mortgage recently, you know how hard it can be. The bank demands all kinds of obscure documents and wants proof of almost every asset you own. But an innovative mortgage program halfway around the world will evaluate your application without any extra documentation — and if you're approved, it will give you a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage. There's just one catch: The mortgages are only for low-income people in Cambodia. The program is a throwback to the days when bankers got to know their customers — and trusted them.