All Things Considered

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Catch up on events of the day with this drive-time mix of news, reviews, and offbeat features.

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Around the Nation
4:31 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

As Infrastructure Crumbles, Trillions Of Gallons Of Water Lost

A water maintenance crew works on leaky infrastructure in Skokie, a Chicago suburb. The area loses almost 22 billion gallons of water a year because of ailing infrastructure.
David Schaper NPR

Originally published on Wed October 29, 2014 5:13 pm

Imagine Manhattan under almost 300 feet of water. Not water from a hurricane or a tsunami, but purified drinking water — 2.1 trillion gallons of it.

That's the amount of water that researchers estimate is lost each year in this country because of aging and leaky pipes, broken water mains and faulty meters.

Fixing that infrastructure won't be cheap, which is something every water consumer is likely to discover.

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Around the Nation
4:23 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

After The Waves, Staten Island Homeowner Takes Sandy Buyout

Stephen Drimalas stands outside his former home in Staten Island's Ocean Breeze neighborhood. He rebuilt his home after Superstorm Sandy but recently decided to sell it to the state of New York.
Jennifer Hsu WNYC

Two years after Superstorm Sandy struck the Northeast, hundreds of Staten Islanders are deciding whether to sell their shorefront homes to New York state, which wants to knock them down and let the empty land act as a buffer to the ocean.

Stephen Drimalas was one Staten Islander faced with this tough decision. He lived in a bungalow not far from the beach in the working-class neighborhood of Ocean Breeze. He barely escaped Sandy's floodwaters with his life.

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Movie Interviews
4:16 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

At 83, Filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard Makes The Leap To 3-D

Jean-Luc Godard's dog, Roxy, is prominently featured in Goodbye to Language, wandering through the countryside, conversing with the lake and the river.
Kino Lorber Inc.

Back in the 1960s Jean-Luc Godard made his name in the French New Wave by breaking cinematic rules. Some 40 years later, he's still doing things his own way. Now, at age 83, he's taking on 3-D in a new film called Goodbye to Language, which shared the Jury Prize at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival.

There are elements of Goodbye to Language you might find in any Hollywood movie — people arguing, a shootout — and even a dog, the director's own. (Roxy wanders the countryside conversing with the lake and the river that want to tell him what humans never hear.)

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Economy
3:29 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

Janet Yellen Brings A Different Leadership Style To The Fed

Originally published on Wed October 29, 2014 4:16 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Goats and Soda
3:24 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

No Ebola, S'il Vous Plait, We're French: The Ivory Coast Mindset

Mumadou Traore says the Ivory Coast's French bureaucracy is a "blessing" when it comes to Ebola.
Gregory Warner NPR

Originally published on Wed October 29, 2014 4:16 pm

There are all kinds of theories why Ebola hasn't arrived in Ivory Coast, despite the fact that it shares a long and very porous border with two Ebola-afflicted countries, Liberia and Guinea.

Some Ivory Coastians credit a beefed-up border patrol. The religious citizens in this Catholic country thank God. But Mumadou Traore, who works as a field coordinator for CARE International, has a third theory. He credits the legendarily infuriating Ivorian bureacracy.

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Space
3:24 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

18 Student Science Experiments Lost In Rocket Explosion

Originally published on Wed October 29, 2014 4:16 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

National Security
4:30 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

Security Beefed Up At Federal Buildings Across U.S.

Originally published on Tue October 28, 2014 6:27 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Parallels
3:34 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

With A Soft Approach On Gangs, Nicaragua Eschews Violence

A statue of Jesus Christ called "Cristo Rey" is prominently located near the entrance of the Dimitrov neighborhood, which used to be so violent, people joked the Christ was being held up at gunpoint.
Juan Carlos for NPR

Originally published on Tue October 28, 2014 5:59 pm

As the sun sinks just below the horizon, Jorge Sandoval strolls across a dusty street.

He's a small man in his 50s, who runs volunteer patrols. The neighborhood is poor. The houses are cobbled together out of leftover wood and pieces of metal.

Two years ago, Sandoval says, these streets used to be desolate and controlled by gangs.

"They would shoot at each other at all hours," Sandoval says. "Suddenly you'd find someone injured, someone innocent, because they just didn't care."

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History
3:22 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

Jonas Salk's Polio Vaccine Trials Would Be Hard To Repeat Today

Originally published on Tue October 28, 2014 4:30 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Law
3:22 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

Former Band Member On Trial In Florida A&M Hazing Death

Originally published on Tue October 28, 2014 4:30 pm

Three years after Florida A&M student Robert Champion died after a beating on a bus, a member of the university's marching band is on trial for manslaughter. Prosecutors say it was hazing. The defense says it was a tradition more akin to an athletic accomplishment — and one Champion joined in willingly.

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The Salt
4:03 pm
Mon October 27, 2014

Soda-Makers Try To Take Fizz Out Of Bay Area Tax Campaigns

Proponents of the taxes say that if the measures pass, the money would be directed, in San Francisco, toward childhood nutrition and recreation and, in Berkeley, into the city's general fund.
Joel Saget AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 28, 2014 9:16 am

Again and again in the U.S., anti-soda crusaders looking to fight obesity have been stymied wherever they've tried to impose new laws on soda sales.

In New York, ex-Mayor Michael Bloomberg's plan to limit soda size was tossed out by the state's highest court. Proposed taxes in the Northern California cities of El Monte and Richmond were voted down. And the Washington, D.C., City Council failed to pass an excise tax on soda.

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All Tech Considered
4:03 pm
Mon October 27, 2014

I've Got The Ingredients. What Should I Cook? Ask IBM's Watson

Chef Watson generates recipes for the user based on the ingredients the person has on hand, what type of food he would like to cook and a person's dietary restrictions.
Courtesy of IBM

Originally published on Tue October 28, 2014 11:31 am

IBM's Watson computer has amused and surprised humans by winning at Jeopardy! Now, one of the world's smartest machines is taking on chefs.

Well, not exactly. Watson is being used by chefs to come up with new and exciting recipes in a feat that could turn out to be useful for people with dietary restrictions and for managing food shortages.

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Shots - Health News
3:15 pm
Mon October 27, 2014

Is 'Leaning In' The Only Formula For Women's Success In Science?

Caltech biochemical engineer Frances Arnold was awarded a National Medal of Technology and Innovation by President Obama in 2013.
Jason Reed Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed October 29, 2014 6:45 am

Don't wait to be invited or encouraged to make a career in science, engineering or technology, Frances Arnold advises the young women she teaches at the California Institute of Technology. If you're a scientist, she says, you should know how to solve a problem.

"Bemoaning your fate is not going to solve the problem," she says. "One has to move forward."

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Health
3:15 pm
Mon October 27, 2014

A History Of Quarantine, From The Black Death To Typhoid Mary

Originally published on Mon October 27, 2014 4:25 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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All Tech Considered
3:15 pm
Mon October 27, 2014

What's More Embarrassing Than That Old Screen Name? Sharing It

We asked you to send in your embarrassing instant messenger handles from days gone by. Thanks for sharing, Blondsoccerplyr, AgentGiggleChunk and absofsteel3616!
iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon October 27, 2014 6:51 pm

This story is part of the New Boom series on millennials in America.

Before Google Chat, before Facebook Messenger, there was AOL Instant Messenger. AIM still exists today, but it was hugely popular in the late 1990s. And for many young adults who grew up using AIM, those old screen names are a blast from the past they'd just as well forget.

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Music
5:04 pm
Sun October 26, 2014

Did Led Zeppelin Plagiarize 'Stairway'? A Pa. Judge Will Decide

This week, a judge in Pennsylvania moved forward with a lawsuit against the members of Led Zeppelin and their music publishers. The band is accused of plagiarism.
Dario Cantatore AP

Originally published on Mon October 27, 2014 8:29 am

Everyone who knows rock 'n' roll knows the opening riff to Led Zeppelin's 1971 hit "Stairway to Heaven." Play it side-by-side with the 1968 song "Taurus" by the band Spirit, and they sound almost the same.

The songs were released more than four decades ago, but just this week, a judge in Pennsylvania allowed a lawsuit about the issue to move forward.

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Around the Nation
4:07 pm
Sun October 26, 2014

As Downtown LA Grows, So Does Urgency To Fix Skid Row

Los Angeles' Skid Row contains one of the largest concentrations of homeless people in the United States.
Robyn Beck AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 27, 2014 8:03 am

In Los Angeles, more than a thousand people sleep on the street in cardboard boxes and tents — just a mile away from City Hall.

This is Skid Row, and compared to the affluent downtown areas that practically surround it, the area is like a different planet. Fifty blocks of sidewalk are jammed with people who live on the street, with all of their worldly possessions crammed into shopping carts and crates.

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This Week's Must Read
3:48 pm
Sun October 26, 2014

After The Blackwater Convictions, A Book On Iraq's Nightmarish Reality

The family of Ibrahim Abid, who was killed when guards employed by security company Blackwater opened fire at Baghdad's Nisour Square in 2007, visits his grave on Dec. 9, 2008.
Hadi Mizban AP

Originally published on Mon October 27, 2014 6:58 am

Back in 2007, a shooting in Iraq caught the attention of many in the U.S.

Four security guards working for the company Blackwater shot and killed at least 14 Iraqi civilians in a traffic circle in Baghdad. Last week all four were pronounced guilty by a federal jury.

For our series, This Week's Must Read, author and Air Force veteran Brian Castner reflects on this news by turning to literature.

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Research News
3:48 pm
Sun October 26, 2014

From Brain To Computer: Helping 'Locked-In' Patient Get His Thoughts Out

Patients with certain kinds of brain damage can wind up with locked-in syndrome: they may be able to think just fine, but are unable to communicate their thoughts to others. A recently published case study shows that a non-invasive brain-computer interface can help.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon October 27, 2014 8:08 am

In 2009, a man named Barry Beck suffered a series of strokes, which caused extensive damage to his right occipital lobe and to the brain stem. The geologist and author of several books was left completely unable to communicate, in a state known as locked-in syndrome.

The condition was famously described by Jean-Dominique Bauby in his memoir The Diving Bell And The Butterfly, which he dictated by blinking.

But thanks to a team of researchers and some technological advances, Beck had another option.

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Digital Life
3:48 pm
Sun October 26, 2014

Mac Sales Continue To Soar For Apple, But Who's Buying?

Originally published on Sun October 26, 2014 4:31 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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