Russia has been facing troubling demographics ever since the Soviet breakup two decades ago. The population has contracted by several million people over this period. The birth rate is low. Life expectancy for men is still less than 65 years.
And there is also a sense that many educated, talented people are leaving the country.
To take one example, the world of science lit up in July, when a billionaire Internet investor named Yuri Milner announced nine prizes for some of the world's most innovative thinkers in physics.
Well, the Southeastern Conference season has begun. I have it on good authority that other college football teams around the country will also be playing games this fall.
I don't know when exactly the SEC took over America. I know this is hard to believe, but the epicenter of college football used to be in the Midwest. I'm so old, I can remember when Notre Dame actually mattered, and the real tough players were supposed to come from Western Pennsylvania and Ohio.
Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 8:51 pm
On Tuesday, NPR's Frank James hosted a live chat during the Democratic convention. He was joined by Neal Carruth, NPR's elections editor; political science professors Sarah Treul of the University of North Carolina and Melody Crowder-Meyer of Sewanee: The University of the South; and Jake Silverstein, editor of Texas Monthly.
Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 5:55 am
By Liz Halloran
There were a lot of preliminaries, but it was Michelle Obama's show Tuesday night at the Democratic National Convention, and she used it masterfully — carrying a rapt crowd along with a narrative of family, hard work, and truth-telling.
Largely wrung of politics, the first lady's speech plotted parallels in her life and that of her husband, President Obama. She pointedly tracked their humble beginnings and strivings in an unspoken but clear contrast to the privileged upbringing of GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
We've also compiled five things that struck us about the night:
'Mom In Chief' Takes A Stand: There is no question that the first night of the convention belonged to first lady Michelle Obama, who delivered a sweeping, personal and dramatic endorsement of her husband, President Obama.
The Democratic National Convention is underway in Charlotte, North Carolina, and current and former Bay Area political stars are taking the stage. Speaking at the convention are House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi, Congresswomen Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom, and California Attorney General- Kamala Harris.
The Bay Area is home to some of the smartest people on the planet. So, it makes sense that our brainy nature would demand the occasional brainy entertainment. That's where Brian Malow, the science comedian, comes in. Malow spoke with Roman Mars, host of the radio design show 99 Percent Invisible. His latest CD is called Rational Comedy for an Irrational Planet.
There's one issue that both the Democratic and Republican parties are dealing with in this upcoming election: the economy. In San Francisco, the unemployment rate surpassed 7.5% in July – just short of the national average. But across the bay in Oakland, unemployment has reached a startling 14.5%. KALW's Hear Here community storytelling team recently met one Oakland resident who lost her job, but found a new way to feed herself.
When you're low on cash, there are a couple of ways to shop for clothes, shoes, or anything else you may need. You can probably find some good deals online at Freecycle or Craigslist or maybe you'll sift through the goods at your favorite second hand store.
Here, in San Francisco, you can go to the monthly Really Really Free Market. It's a swap meet but without the price tags. As part of our series on Sharing Economy, KALW's Steven Short takes us there, in this piece from our archives.
Here in California, the wildfire is an emblem of catastrophic carelessness. A single cigarette butt, dropped in moronic innocence, can easily set off something like the fires we've seen this summer in Lake, Shasta, Tehama, San Diego, Mendocino and Riverside Counties; Joshua Tree, Plumas National Forest, Yosemite, etc.