If you don't think of patents as a particularly exciting or interesting field, consider a point Charles Duhigg makes in his recent New York Times article, "The Patent, Used as a Sword": According to an analysis done at Stanford: "In the smartphone industry alone ... as much as $20 billion was spent on patent litigation and patent purchases in the last two years — an amount equal to eight Mars rover missions."
A.M. Homes is a writer I'll pretty much follow anywhere because she's indeed so smart, it's scary; yet she's not without heart. It's been a while since her last book, the 2007 memoir The Mistress's Daughter, which is certainly the sharpest and most emotionally complex account of growing up adopted that I've ever read.
Emma Thompson isn't just an Oscar-winning actress; she's also an Oscar-winning writer. Thompson authored the 1995 film adaptation of Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility, and now she's taken on another period project — reviving the classic children's book character Peter Rabbit.
Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 11:35 am
When a stranger can gain access to someone's entire genetic code by picking up a used coffee cup, it presents a whole new thicket of concerns about privacy and security.
Actually, we're already there, though we're still in the early stages of what's shaping up, after all the years of hype, as a genuine revolution. Just take a look at Rob Stein's recent series on the $1,000 genome to see how far we've come and where we're headed.
Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 10:38 am
Students pay much more for a college education in the U.S. than they do in most other countries. But they also get a bigger return on their investment.
Here's a graphical breakdown comparing the cost and the payoff for a college education.
A few notes:
The data come from a recently published OECD report looking at educational data around the world. The cost of education includes tuition fees and living costs paid by the student, as well as earnings that students forgo by not working while they're in school.
Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 12:38 pm
(In this third and final part of a series, pianist Jonathan Biss explores the idea of musical longing in Robert Schumann's music. Click the audio link above to hear Biss play Schumann and discuss the composer with Performance Todayhost Fred Child.)
Chinese writer Mo Yan is the winner of the 2012 Nobel Prize in literature. Mo Yan is a pen name that means "don't speak" — a name he adopted because his parents, who raised him during the Cultural Revolution, warned him to hold his tongue.
Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 10:42 am
Chinese writer Mo Yan won the Nobel Prize in literature on Thursday. The Swedish Academy, which selects the winners of the award, praised Mo's "hallucinatory realism," saying it "merges folk tales, history and the contemporary." The award is a cause of pride for a government that disowned the only previous Chinese winner of the award, an exiled critic.
Peter Englund, the academy's permanent secretary, said the academy contacted Mo, 57, before the announcement. "He said he was overjoyed and scared," Englund said.
Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 10:40 am
Unsuspecting motorists got either a shiver or a laugh yesterday morning in Portland, Maine as they drove by a construction site whose warning sign had been hacked: instead of the typical caution, they were told 'Warning Zombies Ahead!'
Portland authorities are not amused.
"These (signs) are deployed and used as a safety precaution. They're not a toy," Portland spokeswoman Nicole Clegg told the Portland Press Herald. She says the prank is a crime.
Neo-Nazis and their sympathizers march on Feb. 13 to commemorate the World War II firebombing of Dresden, Germany, by Allied planes. Concerns about far-right extremism have grown in Germany after the discovery last year of an extreme far-right cell believed to have carried out a decade-long crime spree, including the murder of 10 people, mainly Turkish shopkeepers, bank robberies and bombs.
Credit John MacDougall / AFP/Getty Images
Members of the German far-right party NPD (National Democratic Party) wave the party's flags during a demonstration in Berlin on April 13. The party, which glorifies the Third Reich, has won two seats in parliament and in various municipalities.
Credit Martin Schutt / AFP/Getty Images
A man lights candles during a Nov. 28 commemoration vigil in the eastern German town of Erfurt for the victims of murders allegedly committed by a right-wing extremist group with ties to the NPD.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, we'll hear from a doctor who's worked with the poorest of the poor in San Francisco, opened up insights into health care for everybody. We'll hear from the author of "God's Hotel" in a few minutes.
Tensions are heating up between Syria and Turkey, as rebels and regime troops continue to battle it out. Host Michel Martin discusses whether the conflict can spill over with Abderrahim Foukara of Al Jazeera International and Radwan Ziadeh of the Syrian National Council, a coalition of exiles opposing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 12:51 pm
It may be the undercard to the main event, but partisans on both sides are talking some trash ahead of the vice presidential debate tonight in Danville, Ky.
The pressure is particularly intense on Vice President Joe Biden, following his boss' lackluster performance in last week's presidential debate, which moved GOP nominee Mitt Romney into a national polling lead.