Remember reading, as a child, and feeling the fine mesh of words catch you up so completely that you became enjoyably muddled about which was the real world and which the world of the book? For me, it was as though I gulped down the language of the story and grew fat with its cadences — they rang in my ears, colored my vision and pulsed in my throat.
As I got older, I lost some of that easy susceptibility. What had once been a permeable membrane between fiction and life solidified.
Israeli scientist Daniel Schectman was awarded the 2011 Nobel Prize for chemistry for his discovery of quasicrystals, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced Wednesday.
The discovery, made in 1982, changed the way chemists look at solid matter.
"Contrary to the previous belief that atoms were packed inside crystals in symmetrical patterns, Shechtman showed that the atoms in a crystal could be packed in a pattern that could not be repeated," the academy said.
The U.N. Security Council has failed to agree on what to do about Syria's brutal crackdown on anti-government protesters. Tuesday night, Russia and China vetoed a resolution condemning Syria, even after the text was watered down and stripped of any threats of sanctions.
The Agriculture Department plans to limit potato consumption among schoolchildren to two servings a week. But politicians and farmers in potato-growing states such as Maine say the spud is being unfairly targeted. As it turns out, schoolchildren have strong opinions about potatoes too. Josie Huang of Maine Public Radio reports.
The Department of Education says that as distance learning has grown so has fraud. An inspector general's report found that scam artists are taking advantage of the popularity of online education to steal federal education money.
National Basketball Association players and owners are not any closer to settling their labor dispute. With the season scheduled to begin on November 1st, there's a real chance regular season games could be lost. After yesterday's talks ended without much success, league commissioner David Stern officially cancelled the remainder of the preseason. Joining us for more on this dispute is NPR's Mike Pesca.
NPR's business news starts with lawsuits against a big New York bank.
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MONTAGNE: The Bank of New York Mellon is facing two more government lawsuits involving its currency trading business. The suits were filed yesterday by the Manhattan U.S. attorney and New York attorney general. The lawsuits accuse the bank of promising clients, including public pension funds, the best exchange rate, then giving them the worst rate and pocketing the difference.
LYNN NEARY, host: Our last word in business today is...
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UNIDENTIFIED GROUP: (Singing) The Simpsons.
NEARY: The animated comedy "The Simpsons" is in its 23rd season, and there may not be a 24th. The actors who voice the parts of Homer, Bart and other key characters are fighting with 20th Century Fox over pay. Fox says it may end the hit comedy if an agreement can't be reached. The actors reportedly make about $8 million a season. Fox wants them to take a 45 percent pay cut.