Arts & Life

Arts & Life
3:39 am
Thu October 25, 2012

Watching TV Online Often Exposes Slow Bandwidth

In much of America, the availability of online video is often frustrated by slow broadband speeds. In this 2011 photo, Valerie Houde waits for a dial-up Internet connection in East Burke, Vt.
Andy Duback AP

Originally published on Thu October 25, 2012 10:20 am

There are more ways than ever to watch TV programs on the Internet, from Netflix and Amazon to Hulu. But many viewers discover that watching TV on the Web can be frustrating. Their favorite show might suddenly stop, stutter and be replaced by a note that reads "buffering." The problem is lack of bandwidth: The data that is the video just can't squeeze through the wires and onto the screen.

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Arts & Life
3:38 am
Thu October 25, 2012

Poachers Decimate Tanzania's Elephant Herds

Tanzania has been identified as the leading exporter of illegal ivory in recent years. An estimated 10,000 elephants are being slaughtered in the country annually. Here, elephants walk in the Serengeti National Reserve in northern Tanzania in 2010.
Tony Karumba AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 25, 2012 10:17 am

"The word 'ivory' rang in the air, was whispered, was sighed. You would think they were praying to it." — Joseph Conrad in Heart of Darkness

Conrad wrote more than a century ago, when there were no laws against shooting elephants. If anything, today's restrictions on the ivory trade have only increased its value.

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Arts & Life
3:37 am
Thu October 25, 2012

From Ship To Sherlock: Doyle's 'Arctic' Diary

On Thursday, July 29, 1880, Doyle wrote, "Came across a most extraordinary natural snow house, about 12 feet high, shaped like a beehive with a door and a fine room inside in which I sat. Traveled a considerable distance, and would have gone to the Pole, but my matches ran short and I couldn't get a smoke."
Courtesy of University of Chicago Press

Originally published on Thu October 25, 2012 6:05 am

On June 15, 1880, Arthur Conan Doyle wrote a vivid sentence in his diary. It read, "The only difference in the weather is that the fog is thicker and the wind more utterly odious and depraved."

Knowing that he was the creator of Sherlock Holmes, you might think Doyle is referring to the thick London fog drifting outside the windows of 221B Baker Street. But this sentence was written years before the first Holmes novel and it describes a considerably harsher environment — the thick fog and depraved wind of the Arctic, where Doyle traveled when he was 20.

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Arts & Life
7:55 am
Wed October 24, 2012

Several Alabama Cities Plan Veterans Day Events

Several Alabama cities are planning parades, memorial services and other events for Veterans Day weekend.


The state tourism agency says Birmingham will stage its 65th annual commemoration with a big parade downtown on Monday, Nov. 12. It is one of the largest Veterans Day observances in the country. Mobile, Montgomery and Huntsville will also have parades that day. Mobile will have a patriotic concert that night at the USS Alabama Battleship Park.

Sweetness And Light
9:03 pm
Tue October 23, 2012

Brooklyn Finally Nets A Team Of Its Own

C.J. Watson of the Brooklyn Nets dribbles upcourt in a preseason game against the Philadelphia 76ers. The New York City borough finally has a pro sports team to call its own, says Frank Deford.
Bruce Bennett Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 6:30 am

It's largely forgotten now — but there was a time when the mere mention of Brooklyn would produce a cascade of laughs. It was like saying "woman driver" — surefire guffaws. Everybody from Brooklyn was supposed to be a character.

Every platoon in every war movie had one wise guy from Brooklyn in it. Brooklyn natives spoke funny. They said, most famously, "youse guys." At a time when African-Americans, Asian-Americans and Hispanics barely existed — visibly — in movies or on radio or television, Brooklyn was the all-purpose stand-in for our great American ethnic diversity.

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All Tech Considered
5:36 pm
Tue October 23, 2012

Hands On With The New iPad Mini: Lighter, Costlier Than Rivals

The new iPad Mini is displayed after its unveiling at an Apple event in San Jose, Calif., on Tuesday.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 10:29 am

  • Hear Laura Sydell's Story On Morning Edition

Apple has unveiled a smaller, cheaper version of its popular iPad tablet. NPR's Laura Sydell attended the event Tuesday in San Jose, Calif., and got a hands-on look at the new iPad mini. Below are her first impressions.

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The Two-Way
2:04 pm
Tue October 23, 2012

Court Lays Bare Strip Club's Argument That Lap Dances Are Art

In New York State, she's not an artist.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

No, the Nite Moves strip club in Latham, N.Y., can't claim that lap dances, pole performances and other moves in its ladies' repertoire are "art" and therefore exempt from sales taxes, New York State's highest court ruled today in a 4-3 decision.

According to The Associated Press:

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The Two-Way
1:06 pm
Tue October 23, 2012

Photo Of Dying WWII Veteran Casting Last Vote Inspires Thousands

Oct. 17: Frank Tanabe, center, casts his vote with help from his daughter Barbara Tanabe, left, and his wife Setsuko Tanabe.
Irene Tanabe AP

Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 10:12 am

See if you agree with most of the nearly 600,000 people who have seen this photo and think it should inspire others to vote this year.

As The Associated Press writes, it shows 93-year-old World War II veteran Frank Tanabe casting what's almost surely to be his last vote — from a hospice bed in Hawaii. He has liver cancer.

This message was posted with the photo:

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Asia
12:57 pm
Tue October 23, 2012

Cambodia Vs. Sotheby's In A Battle Over Antiquities

The United States and Cambodia are locked in a legal battle with the auction house Sotheby's over this 1,000-year-old statue of the Hindu warrior Duryodhana that may have been looted from the Cambodian temple complex at Koh Ker.
Courtesy of the U.S. Attorney's Office

Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 3:18 am

The governments of Cambodia and the United States are locked in a legal battle with the auction house Sotheby's over a thousand-year-old statue. The two governments say the statue was looted from a temple of the ancient Khmer empire. Sotheby's says this can't be proved, and a court in New York will decide on the matter soon.

The case could affect how collectors and museums acquire artifacts, and how governments recover lost national treasures.

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Animals
12:53 pm
Tue October 23, 2012

Baby Beluga, Swim So Wild And Sing For Me

This image, from an archival video, shows the white whale NOC swimming around and under researchers' boats.
Current Biology

Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 3:18 am

Whales are among the great communicators of the animal world. They produce all sorts of sounds: squeaks, whistles and even epic arias worthy of an opera house.

And one whale in particular has apparently done something that's never been documented before: He imitated human speech.

The beluga, or white whale, is smallish as whales go and very cute, if you're into marine mammals. Belugas are called the "canaries of the sea" because they're very vocal.

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The Two-Way
11:57 am
Tue October 23, 2012

Armstrong Deletes Tour Titles From Twitter, But Not Other Websites

Lance Armstrong at a LIVESTRONG Challenge Ride on Sunday in Austin, Texas.
Tom Pennington Getty Images

One day after having his seven Tour de France titles officially taken away and getting banned for life from competitive cycling, Lance Armstrong's getting some media attention for removing a reference to those victories from his Twitter bio.

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Deceptive Cadence
9:03 am
Tue October 23, 2012

'Nixon In China': An American Opera Inches Toward Classic At 25

The original production of John Adams' Nixon in China (at Houston Grand Opera) celebrates the 25-year mark.
Jim Caldwell Houston Grand Opera

Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 4:00 pm

Twenty-five years ago today, Houston Grand Opera mounted the world premiere of Nixon in China, the first opera by a young composer named John Adams. Two days later, The New York Times described it as a "coy and insubstantial work" and "hardly a strong candidate for the standard repertory."

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The Two-Way
7:51 am
Tue October 23, 2012

BBC Chief Faces Parliament Over Child Sex Abuse Scandal

BBC Director General George Entwistle leaves Portcullis House in Parliament after giving evidence to a select committee on Tuesday.
Peter Macdiarmid Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 8:38 am

The vaunted British Broadcasting Corporation is in the midst of a child sexual abuse scandal that has cast a shadow over the broadcaster's reputation.

The New York Times reports that George Entwistle, the head of the BBC, sat before a Parliamentary panel. In fact it was the same panel that took the lead in the investigation of the phone hacking scandal that brought Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. to its knees.

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The Two-Way
7:16 am
Tue October 23, 2012

With 9-0 Win, Giants Advance, Will Face Tigers In World Series

Angel Pagan (No. 16) of the San Francisco Giants celebrates after the Giants' 9-0 victory against the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 7 of the National League Championship Series in San Francisco.
Christian Petersen Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 1:33 pm

The San Francisco Giants have completed another improbable journey to the World Series. Last night, they blew out the defending champions St. Louis Cardinals 9-0. They did so in Game 7, clawing their way back from 3-1 series deficit.

That means that they became only the third team in major league history to climb back that far in a National League Championship Series. The Braves did it in 1996 and the Marlins did it in 2003.

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