Denis Dutton has a provocative theory on beauty — that art, music and other beautiful things, far from being simply "in the eye of the beholder," are a core part of human nature with deep evolutionary origins.
Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 2:14 pm
Beauty surrounds us, draws us in, gives joy and creates conflict. In this hour, TED speakers conjure up beauty both ancient and modern, and suggest reasons why humans are hardwired to crave and respond to beauty.
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A somber week, with people wasting no time putting the Boston tragedy in political terms. President Obama unleashes on Congress after a background check amendment to the gun bill goes down in the Senate. At least the latest exploits of Mark Sanford and Anthony Weiner keep NPR's Ken Rudin and Ron Elving amused in the latest episode of the It's All Politics podcast.
Originally published on Mon April 22, 2013 8:35 am
This isn't finished. But it will be. Two residential towers, dense with trees, will have their official opening later this year in downtown Milan, Italy, near the Porta Garibaldi railroad station. (The image is not a photograph, but an architect's rendering. The towers are built and the trees are going in right now.) I love this. I think these towers are gorgeous. Milan is a very polluted town; these trees will cleanse the air, pumping out oxygen and greening the cityscape.
Steve Inskeep speaks with NPR's Scott Horsley, who has the White House perspective on news of the Boston Marathon bombings manhunt. NPR has confirmed that the two suspects were from Chechnya. For insights on that region, Morning Edition talks with Matt Rojansky, deputy director of the Russia and Eurasia program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
Okay, we are continuing to follow the events in Boston this morning. Police there say one of the suspected Boston Marathon bombers has been killed and the other is on the run in the Boston suburb of Watertown. For the moment, let's turn to another major story here in Washington. A bipartisan bill revamping the nation's immigration laws goes to the Senate judiciary committee today.
It was formerly rolled out yesterday by the group of Senators known as the Gang of Eight and critics have weighed in. Here's NPR's David Welna.
NPR's business news starts with the tale of two companies.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
Google and Microsoft quarterly earnings reports are in and it appears their slugfest continues with Google's earnings up 23 percent and Microsoft up 18 percent. That is even as sales of desktop computers decline.
GREENE: As NPR's Sonari Glinton reports, the future for both companies is on the small screen.
All right. Today's last word in business is be careful what you ask for.
The small Indian city of Motihari is not known for much.
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So when locals discovered a few years ago that the writer George Orwell was born there, they saw a tourism opportunity. Britain's Telegraph newspaper reports locals put up a sign outside the birthplace of the author of "1984," "Animal Farm" and other books, and they asked the state government to turn that modest home into a museum.
An international dream team of flu experts assembled in China today.
Underscoring the urgency that public health agencies feel about the emergence of a new kind of bird flu, the team is headed by Dr. Keiji Fukuda, the World Health Organization's top influenza scientist.
Before he left Geneva, Fukuda explained the wide-open nature of the investigation in an interview with NPR.
And let's turn now, briefly, to West, Texas, the scene of this week's fertilizer plant explosion. Many questions remain unanswered there. In fact, it's still hard to estimate how many people were killed. We do know that regulators had a few concerns with this plant in the past, though it's not clear if anybody questioned the plant's location near homes and a school.
And amid all these questions, the people of West are picking up and taking stock. Here's NPR's Wade Goodwyn.
Hopefully, the disappointment/frustration of that April Fool's ScuttleButton has subsided and now you're ready for the real stuff.
ScuttleButton, of course, is that once-a-week waste of time exercise in which each Monday or Tuesday I put up a vertical display of buttons on this site. Your job is to simply take one word (or concept) per button, add 'em up, and, hopefully, you will arrive at a famous name or a familiar expression. (And seriously, by familiar, I mean it's something that more than one person on Earth would recognize.)