Rex Goodnight went to Afghanistan last year to volunteer on construction projects, but came back frustrated.
Goodnight, chief of engineering with the Kansas City district of the Army Corps, saw a lot of planning but not much actual constructing. When something was being built, it was usually made out of clay and straw.
The grisly discovery of a dead body stuffed in a 35-gallon drum full of asphalt and dumped at a landfill next to North Carolina's Charlotte Motor Speedway kicks off Kathy Reichs' new novel, Flash and Bones.
Reichs, a forensic anthropologist, is the author of the books that inspired the Fox TV series Bones. Her latest sends her heroine, medical examiner Temperance Brennan, on a journey through the underbelly of Charlotte's NASCAR racing scene.
This week, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke slammed political gamesmanship and one Republican on the congressional supercommittee suggested that tax breaks on everyday Americans could be allowed to lapse. Host Laura Sullivan speaks with James Fallows of The Atlantic about these stories and others.
One of Moammar Gadhafi's last major strongholds in Tripoli has fallen to rebel forces. Among the survivors of the ferocious street fighting are prisoners from the Abu Salim prison, some of whom have been jailed for more than two decades.
Vera Farmiga isn't one to shy away from a challenge. Her new film, Higher Ground, goes to risky territory. Farmiga stars as Corinne Walker, an evangelical woman struggling to deal with the faith that has let her down. And she takes on a second role, as a first-time director.
Imelda May is an Irish singer whose music straddles the line between rockabilly and blues. That's an intriguing mix, though not the most natural fit for mainstream radio. May says that when she began her recording career, the advice she received was less than encouraging.
Hurricane Irene has spent the day churning toward the United States. While the eye of the storm is far offshore, rain bands from the tropical system are already lashing the Carolinas. NPR's Greg Allen speaks with Melissa Block with the latest from Virginia.
Call it spin, score settling or setting the record straight: Former Vice President Dick Cheney's new memoir of his extraordinary political career is out next week. Robert Siegel talks with Charlie Savage of the New York Times, who got an early copy of the book, entitled "In My Time."
The difficulty Libyan rebels are having moving their leaders to Tripoli from their temporary capital in Benghazi pales in comparison to the daunting task they face trying to set up a new, post-Gadhafi government. Continued fighting in Tripoli and elsewhere in Libya are hampering efforts to set up an interim government in the next two weeks as planned. There's in-fighting between key leaders whose unity is cracking now that Moammar Gadhafi is gone. Libyans also have to build from scratch many institutions that are key to creating any meaningful democracy.
Yes, it was Albert Einstein who unified space and time together into a single, coherent whole. As a physicist I can say that was a pretty impressive feat, but as parent — slogging across interstate whatever on the last weekend of the summer — I have to ask: What's the big deal?
Anyone stuck in vacation traffic with kids in tow can tell you that Space and Time have always been unified but not in the wiggly, abstract sense my buddy Al Einstein was talking about.
Audio Only: James Vincent McMorrow's Tiny Desk Concert
Irish singer-songwriter James Vincent McMorrow has one of the most arresting voices of any young singer you're likely to hear this year: He's got the heartbreaking falsetto of a Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) and the raspy soul of a Ray LaMontagne, in a way that sounds both fragile and grand.
Originally published on Mon August 29, 2011 6:38 pm
In 1995, when I was a sophomore in high school, an older, popular boy came out of the closet. He was taunted daily until he dropped out. I never saw him again.
Months later, a decidedly unpopular, more flamboyant boy was beaten in the schoolyard. I remember escorting him to the nurse's office. I remember the look of disgust on the nurse's face; I don't know whether this disgust was directed at the act of savagery, or at the bleeding boy himself, and his arm around my shoulder. I also remember thinking that soon it would be my turn, and sure enough it was.