Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 1:33 pm
The Yellow Brick Road is a well-traveled one; generations of young readers have followed L. Frank Baum's path to the magical Land of Oz. This spring, as members of NPR's Backseat Book Club embarked on their own journeys to the Emerald City, we asked you to share your Oz memories and photos with us. Here's a sampling of what we received.
When Fiona Maazel published her first novel, Last Last Chance, in 2008, her frenetic imagination and sharply etched characters earned her a spot on the National Book Foundation's 5 Under 35 authors list. Her 29-year-old narrator, Lucy, was heading into her seventh stretch in rehab; Maazel filtered her addiction, grief, self-involvement and fear through a scrim of dark humor.
There's a comic overlay to her second, even more frenzied and inventive novel, Woke Up Lonely. But the tilt toward pathos is stronger.
Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 10:23 am
North Korea's next provocative move — the test firing of a medium-range ballistic missile — could happen at any moment, according to South Korean officials.
Bloomberg Businessweek reports that "the possibility of a ballistic missile launch is 'very high' and 'may materialize anytime from now,' South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung Se told lawmakers in Seoul today."
Television is going to the dogs. The satellite company DIRECTV recently introduced DOGTV to its line up. The channel, just for canines, will cost humans 5.99 a month. The programs feature soothing music and animations. DOGTV's CEO says this helps ease the loneliness and boredom that pets feel when they're left at home all day.
Hey, what do you think?
(SOUNDBITE OF A DOG BARKING)
GREENE: What's that, boy? You'd rather have a dog station on the radio?
The federal government each year gives needy college students billions of dollars they don't have to pay back — $34.5 billion to be exact. More than 9 million students rely on the Pell Grant program. But a new study says much of the money is going to people who never graduate.
Sandy Baum, an expert on student financial aid, has been leading a group in a study of the 48-year-old Pell Grant program. Their report, commissioned by the nonprofit College Board, confirms what many have known for years about grant recipients.
We'll begin NPR's business news with a $3.6 billion payback.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
GREENE: Starting this week, the nation's largest banks begin sending out checks to borrowers forced into home foreclosure during the robo-signing scandal. Over four million people will receive payments - ranging from $300 to $125,000 - as part of settlements made with the federal government.
Now, here in Washington they are calling it the All-In for Citizenship rally. Tens of thousands of demonstrators are expected today on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol. It's to be the biggest event yet in the push to revamp the nation's immigration laws. And congressional negotiators say they are close to unveiling a comprehensive immigration bill. NPR's David Welna tells us how close.
That's the goal of an investment firm in Helsinki. That's the term for a video game controlled by brainwaves. The Wall Street Journal reports the agency is bringing together neuroscientists and game developers.
One of the oldest billboards in American advertising is getting an update. The Goodyear blimp has been used for company promotions since 1925. A new model is being assembled in Akron, Ohio, by a crew from Goodyear and the German company Zeppelin.