12:39pm

Wed September 5, 2012
Economy

Journalist Evaluates Obama, Romney Economic Plans

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 2:39 pm

David Leonhardt, the Washington bureau chief of The New York Times, won a Pulitzer Prize last year for his columns about the economy.
Earl Wilson The New York Times

On Monday, Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan told a campaign rally audience in North Carolina that "the president can say a lot of things, but he can't tell you you are better off." Later that day in Detroit, Vice President Joe Biden responded "America is better off today than they left us."

New York Times Washington bureau chief David Leonhardt argues that both Ryan and Biden are right: It's partly semantics.

Read more

12:37pm

Wed September 5, 2012
Book Reviews

Was Zadie Smith's Novel 'NW' Worth The Wait?

British author Zadie Smith in 2005.
Sergio Dionisio AP

Zadie Smith wrote her last novel On Beauty seven years ago — a long time in the anxious world of publishing. Her new novel NW was released in the U.S. on Monday. Critic Maureen Corrigan asks: Was it worth the wait?

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

12:12pm

Wed September 5, 2012
It's All Politics

The Democrats' Most Interesting Man: Bill Clinton In A Word Or Five

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 3:13 pm

New Mexico delegates Priscilla Chavez (left) and Carla Arellanes.
Becky Lettenberger NPR

Ever see one of those Dos Equis beer ads featuring the "Most Interesting Man in the World," the dapper fellow of a certain age who fascinates all who meet him?

The Democrats' version of that guy will be the featured speaker Wednesday at their convention in Charlotte.

Yes, we are talking about former two-term President Bill Clinton, whose life of accomplishment, scandal, statesmanship and occasional political pettiness (just ask the man he'll be vouching for tonight) are the stuff of legend and lore.

Read more

12:06pm

Wed September 5, 2012
Arts & Culture

Today's Local Music: The Stairwell Sisters

The Stairwell Sisters play rollicking old style music. The two founding members used to practice their harmonies in the stairwell of their workplace in San Francisco. That was twelve years later. Now, The Stairwell Sisters band bring their mix of traditional songs and new compositions to audiences throughout the Bay Area.

Read more
Tags: 

11:31am

Wed September 5, 2012
The Two-Way

Asia's Richest Woman Slammed After Musing About Workers Paid $2 A Day

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 1:12 pm

Australian mining magnate Gina Rinehart.
Tony Ashby AFP/Getty Images

11:19am

Wed September 5, 2012
Dispatches from Kolkata

The Difficulty of Living Alone in India

More people are living solo around the world these days. You can call it a splintering of society. Or you can say it’s because we have better Internet connections. Sweden has the most number of singletions. But the countries where single person households are growing the fastest are Brazil, China and India.

10:26am

Wed September 5, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Scientists Unveil 'Google Maps' For Human Genome

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 2:56 pm

Scientists unveiled the results of a massive international project Wednesday that they say debunks the notion that most of our genetic code is made up of so-called junk DNA.

The ENCODE project, which involved hundreds of researchers in dozens of labs, also produced what some scientists are saying is like Google Maps for the human genome.

Read more

10:13am

Wed September 5, 2012
The Two-Way

The Toothbrush: It's In The Space Station's Toolbox. How About Yours?

The toothbrush/space tool.
NASA.gov

When we heard that astronauts aboard the International Space Station took a spare toothbrush along on a spacewalk today and used it to help clean debris from around some bolts they needed to secure in order to install a power unit, it got us thinking.

Just how versatile are old toothbrushs? We know we've used them to:

-- Clean bike gears.

-- Get grime out of our hubcaps.

-- Get at the crust around a car battery's terminals.

-- Polish jewelry.

Read more

9:57am

Wed September 5, 2012
The Two-Way

Racer Alex Zanardi Wins Gold Medal At London Paralympics

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 4:33 pm

Alex Zanardi celebrates winning the gold medal in the men's individual H4 time trial cycling final at the London 2012 Paralympic Games at Brands Hatch circuit, in Kent, southern England. Zanardi's legs were amputated after a racecar crash in 2001.
Leon Neal AFP/Getty Images

Alex Zanardi, who was a star racecar driver when he lost his legs in a 2001 crash, has won a gold medal in the London Paralympics. The Italian, 45, beat Germany's Nobert Mosandl by more than 27 seconds to win the men's handcycle time trial. The race took place at Brands Hatch, a track that Zanardi has previously tackled behind the wheel of high-powered racecars.

"Last time I was here I was going about five times faster but I still love this circuit," he said this week.

Read more

9:41am

Wed September 5, 2012
Asia

Vanishing Vultures A Grave Matter For India's Parsis

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 4:42 pm

This image shows a Parsi Tower of Silence, circa 1955, near Mumbai, India. The bodies of the dead are left here to be disposed of by vultures.
Alice Schalek Hulton Archive/Getty Images

For any religion, keeping up traditions in the modern world can be a challenge. The Parsi community in India, however, faces a unique obstacle.

Parsis, who came to India from Persia (Iran) a thousand years ago with their Zoroastrian faith, have gone to great lengths to maintain their unique funeral rituals. But they've had to make a few adjustments to keep up with the times and to not upset the neighbors.

Parsi funerals begin in a way familiar to many faiths: prayers are chanted and mourners pay last respects.

Read more

Pages