Research News
10:01 pm
Sun December 25, 2011

The Wisdom Of Trees (Leonardo Da Vinci Knew It)

Leonardo DaVinci noted that when trees branch, smaller branches have a precise, mathematical relationship to the branch they sprang from.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon January 9, 2012 11:15 am

Hurricanes topple plenty of trees, but when you think about it, the more amazing thing is that many trees can stand up to these 100-mile-per-hour winds.

Now a French scientist has come up with an explanation for the resilience of trees. And astonishingly, the answer was first described by Leonardo da Vinci 500 years ago.

Leonardo noticed that when trees branch, smaller branches have a precise, mathematical relationship to the branch from which they sprang. Many people have verified Leonardo's rule, as it's known, but no one had a good explanation for it.

Read more
It Was A Good Year For...
10:01 pm
Sun December 25, 2011

Now Hovering Above Us All: 'The Cloud'

The cloud became a common term in 2011. Here, a screengrab from the Dropbox website shows how the cloud-based data storage service shares the same information on multiple devices.
NPR

The digital cloud became a household word in 2011.You can now store and share things via the Internet in ways you never could before. But what does the cloud look like, and where can we find it?

The section of the cloud we visited has a lot of concrete and security.

Behind a ballistics-grade door, data center owner David Sabey ushers us into a spotless Seattle-area facility the size of nine football fields. It's crammed full of racks upon racks of powerful servers, sophisticated computers that serve up information. There are lots of blinking lights and wires everywhere.

Read more
Music Interviews
2:13 pm
Sun December 25, 2011

A Jazz Pianist's Cinematic 'Fantasy'

Harold O'Neal's new album is Marvelous Fantasy.
Luke Kaven Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun December 25, 2011 3:06 pm

Harold O'Neal is a jazz pianist with an unusual resume. Born in Tanzania and raised in Kansas City, Miss., O'Neal is also a hip-hop dancer, martial artist and actor. He's just released a new album with an unusual back story of its own: Marvelous Fantasy is a largely improvised collection of solo piano pieces, an homage to the music of silent films.

Read more
Around the Nation
2:12 pm
Sun December 25, 2011

Bronx Family's Christmas Display Is 'So Bad, It's Good'

Onlookers gather in front of the Garabedian family home in the Bronx in this 2004 photo. The Garabedians have decorated their home for nearly four decades with lights and hundreds of animated figurines.
Mario Tama Getty Images

A few strings of lights and an inflatable Santa are enough for some people when it comes to holiday decorations. But not for the Garabedian family of the Bronx, whose over-the-top Christmas displays have been a traffic-snarling must-see for nearly four decades. And "traditional" is definitely not the right word for this holiday attraction.

The first giveaway might be the music the Garabedians play through speakers outside their home. Instead of a Christmas carol, you're more likely to hear a hit single from a singer like Engelbert Humperdinck.

Read more
Author Interviews
2:11 pm
Sun December 25, 2011

Bill Cosby Enlists Santa's Staff For A Silent Night

Originally published on Sun December 25, 2011 3:06 pm

Ah, the joys of a houseful of family on Christmas — the tensions, the simmering resentments, the screaming children.

Bill Cosby's three grandchildren visit him every year for the holiday. But the comedian tells weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz that he's not a traditional sort of grandfather, who "believes they came from heaven above."

Read more
Around the Nation
2:08 pm
Sun December 25, 2011

For One Ala. Farmer, Workers Are Still Scarce

Earlier this year, Alabama passed a tough immigration law that prompted thousands of migrant workers to flee the state.

Shortly after, NPR spoke with Jamie Boatwright, a fourth-generation tomato farmer in Steele, Ala. When the law was passed, about 20 of Boatwright's farmhands — all of them from Mexico — left and his business was devastated.

Read more
It Was A Good Year For...
12:16 pm
Sun December 25, 2011

Instagram's Winning Recipe: Images And Social Media

Two iPhone screengrabs shows Instagram's filter mode, left, and a shared photo on the app, right.
iTunes

Originally published on Sat February 25, 2012 3:30 pm

There are a lot of photo apps out there for the iPhone. With most of them, you take a picture, put a filter on it and maybe add some lens blur. But many of them don't have a built-in way for you to share the photo.

"When we combined those two key ingredients, we came up with something that became Instagram," says Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom, who is also one if its founders.

Read more
News
6:00 am
Sun December 25, 2011

Young And Undocumented: Immigration In Ariz.

Increased deportations in the U.S. have led to more broken families among immigrants. Reporter John Faherty recently profiled three undocumented high school students living together without their families in a trailer in Phoenix, Ariz. Host Audie Cornish speaks with Faherty about his reporting on how Arizona's immigration law has impacted immigrant children.

Iraq
6:00 am
Sun December 25, 2011

Fears Renewed In Iraq With Wave Of Violence

After delivering mass, Monsignor Pius Kasha poses with security officials who are guarding the Syriac Catholic church in the Mansour neighborhood in Baghdad.
Sean Carberry NPR

Originally published on Sun December 25, 2011 7:44 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish. Christian Iraqis in Baghdad celebrated Christmas mass today with prayer and music.

(SOUNDBITE OF CONGREGATION SINGING)

CORNISH: This, one week after the last U.S. forces left Iraq for good - a withdrawal that has been followed by a week of bloodshed and political chaos. NPR's Sean Carberry joins us from Baghdad to talk about the latest. Good morning, Sean.

SEAN CARBERRY, BYLINE: Thanks, Audie.

Read more
Around the Nation
6:00 am
Sun December 25, 2011

The 'People's Caucus' To Protest Iowa Voting

Occupy Wall Street-style protesters in Des Moines, Iowa, are making plans to camp out at the headquarters of presidential candidates and disrupt campaign events leading up to the Iowa caucuses. They say they're dissatisfied with the response of candidates from both parties to their concerns, so they're organizing their own caucus-style event two days after Christmas.

Pages