Originally published on Wed October 3, 2012 4:19 pm
Responding to calls that the Republican presidential ticket provide more detail about some of its policy proposals, vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan says TV isn't always the right medium for such specifics.
"I don't have the time," Paul Ryan told Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday this week, when asked about his proposed revenue neutral tax cut. "It would take me too long to go through all the math."
If there is one thing that the mobile-computing era has made clear, it's that kids love touch screens. Because those touch screens — smartphones, iPads, Kindles and the like — are an inevitable added distraction to the classroom, schools across the country are struggling to deal with the growing prevalence of the technology.
But a growing number of schools are embracing these hand-held, Internet-ready devices by creating policies that put them to use in the classroom.
Guitarist Ernest Ranglin is an elder statesman of Jamaican music. A self-styled composer and improviser, he has traveled and collaborated widely during his 80 years. In California last year, he teamed up with three much younger musicians from South Africa, the U.S. and Israel. The four musicians bonded and quickly recorded an album, named for the San Francisco street where they rehearsed: Avila.
Love songs are like the meat and potatoes of most rock and pop music, but sometimes you need something different. For the band Delta Rae from Durham, N.C., inspiration for new material comes from stuff like graveyards and being stuck in the wrong job.
Delta Rae is a six-piece band that includes three siblings: Ian, Eric and Brittany Holljes. Their music is like a kind of modern folklore.
Originally published on Sun October 21, 2012 7:41 pm
Economic sanctions have a reputation for being the international equivalent of a slap on the wrist. But in Iran, there's evidence that they are working, and that the country's flamboyant President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad might pay the price.
In the past year, Iran's currency has shed 80 percent of its value against the dollar, dropping by 25 percent in just the past week. That's caused a scramble for the few U.S. dollars available in the black market as people seek a safe haven against the free-falling rial.
Low Cut Connie is one of an increasingly rare breed: a party band, a bar band, a band with a sense of rock 'n' roll history that isn't weighed down by nostalgia or the foolish feeling that music was better way back when. Positive fellows, for the most part, even when they're in their cups, these guys "say yes," as the title of one song goes, to a life in music. Oh, and they're also trying to get women to say yes to their craven come-ons.
If you saw Stephen Tobolowsky on the street, you might think you know him from somewhere. The character actor has appeared in over 100 films and TV shows, with recurring roles in Heroes, Deadwood, Glee and now The Mindy Project.
In his memoir, The Dangerous Animals Club, Toboloswky charts the highs and lows of life as a character actor. Some of his roles have been so small, he says, his characters didn't even have names — as, for example, with his turn as "Buttcrack Plumber."
Originally published on Wed October 3, 2012 12:19 pm
For a short period, yesterday, the hunt was on in Pinellas County, Florida for a lady photographed riding a manatee.
The sheriff's department called a deadly serious press conference in which they asked the help of the public in identifying the perpetrator. The lady was wearing a white cap, red shorts and a black bikini top. Witnesses in the area, the sheriff said in a statement, took photographs and contacted police.
I have a quibble with the title of David Skinner's new book, The Story of Ain't. In fact, that pariah contraction plays only a supporting role in the story. The book is really an account of one of the oddest episodes in American cultural history, the brouhaha over the appearance of Merriam-Webster's Third International Dictionary in 1961.
Originally published on Sun October 7, 2012 3:09 pm
What we learn about dinosaurs keeps surprising us. Today in the journal ZooKeys we get a peek into an odd, new kind of dinosaur that was lighter than a house cat and just as small but had a terrifying set of teeth and a short, birdlike beak.
The fossil used to re-create the creature was actually discovered in southern Africa in the 1960s, but it is described for the first time today by Paul Sereno, paleontologist and professor at the University of Chicago.
Originally published on Wed October 3, 2012 4:07 pm
It's harvest time in the heartland, but not just for apples and squash. In small, back-lot ponds on farms across the Midwest, a different crop has been growing all summer. They're substantial, slightly sweet and a revelation to the land-locked palate, not to mention worth top dollar. Yep, it's shrimp season in Ohio.
But don't ask for any Midwestern shrimp at your local fishmonger. There aren't enough yet to make it to the store.
T.J. Holmes has spent more than a decade in journalism, but now he's turning his sights to late night with a new show called Don't Sleep! The show began broadcasting on BET this week. Holmes sits down with host Michel Martin to discuss his career and hope to bring a fresh perspective to late night talk.
A Pennsylvania judge Tuesday blocked the state from moving forward with changes to its voter ID law until after the presidential election. This news comes just days after some suspicious voter registration activity in states like Florida, North Carolina and Nevada. Host Michel Martin discusses voter issues across the country with two reporters.
Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 2:43 pm
You are 200 miles directly above the Martian surface — looking down. This image was taken by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter on Jan. 27, 2010. (The color was added later.) What do we see? Well, sand, mostly. As you scroll down, there's a ridge crossing through the image, then a plain, then dunes, but keep looking. You will notice, when you get to the dunes, there are little black flecks dotting the ridges, mostly on the sunny side, like sunbathing spiders sitting in rows. Can you see them?
Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 7:53 am
A sunny day at the beach has plusses and minuses for your health.
A little bit of sun can help your body produce vitamin D, but the sun's ultraviolet radiation raises your risk for skin cancer. And, it turns out, UV radiation poses another threat — it physically weakens your skin.
It's rare that a batter receives a standing ovation for a three-pitch strikeout. But that's exactly what happened last night in Miami.
Adam Greenberg came to the plate in a big-league uniform seven years after his only major-league at bat. As Mark told us last week, Greenberg was a Chicago Cub in 2005 making his major league debut against the Marlins.
Originally published on Wed October 3, 2012 9:11 am
An effort to share counter-terrorism intelligence across federal and local law enforcement has turned out to be a useless and expensive exercise that also put Americans' civil liberties at risk, a newly-released Senate subcommittee report (pdf) finds.
The scathing nature of the report is perhaps best summed up by the testimony of Harold "Skip" Vandover, who headed the reporting branch of the Department of Homeland Security.