Here is a question that social scientists have been pondering for years: How much of your success in life is tied to your parents, and how much do you control?
The academic term used for this is "social mobility." And a striking new finding from economic historian Gregory Clark of the University of California, Davis claims your success in life may actually be determined by ancestors who lived hundreds of years ago. That means improving opportunities across generations might be a lot harder than anyone imagined.
The Somali-born rapper and singer-songwriter K'Naan can sure pack a lot into a 3-1/2-minute pop song: clever wit, heartfelt angst, a hook you can't shake — and, in the new track "Hurt Me Tomorrow," honky-tonk piano. That's the sort of quirk that helped win K'Naan his earliest fans. All sorts of eccentricities survive on Country, God or the Girl, his most expansive and elaborately produced work to date. Mostly, though, the new album soars with pairings of sharp, confessional rap and catchy vocal hooks.
The Budapest String Quartet has always been my standard-bearer for chamber music. I grew up listening to their recordings, and especially admired not only their gorgeous sound, but also the uncanny interaction among all four players, even when there were changes in personnel. They had a way of playing as if they were speaking to each other, expressing deep and sometimes complicated feelings.
As the presidential candidates make their cases to the nation, health care is taking up a lot of talking points. But one subject that's less likely to be debated forthrightly is end-of-life care.
A big driver of U.S. health care expenditure is what's spent in the last year of life. Those who argue in favor of rationing that care say the country cannot afford to provide unlimited health care — either the government or insurance companies have to ration end-of-life care as a policy response.
You might think that Bridget Lancaster and Jack Bishop — two of the culinary talents behind the public television shows America's Test Kitchen and Cook's Country — would have their cooking techniques pretty much figured out. Think again.
For the new Cook's illustrated book The Science of Good Cooking, Bishop and Lancaster tested principles they assumed were true — and as Bishop tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross, "Things that we thought were actually accurate turned out to be, perhaps, more complex."
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, we've been talking a lot about the national debt this election year, but did you know that Americans, as a group, owe more than a trillion dollars in student loan debt? In a few minutes, we'll speak with a former college professor, who says faculty advisors need to be doing more to help students think that through. That's in just a few minutes.
Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 12:46 pm
It was Bill Clinton who made the town hall-style debate famous, and looking back to his performance in the first such fall faceoff in 1992, it's easy to see why.
Clinton commanded the stage and used the format — in which voters, not journalists, ask the questions — to "feel the pain" of the audience. Now, President Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney get a shot at the same format.
However, it's the president who comes at it from a distinct disadvantage, says Chris Arterton, a professor of political management at George Washington University.
The Tea Party may have took the 2010 midterm elections by storm, but many analysts are now asking if the party's influence has cooled off. Host Michel Martin looks at the Tea Party's prospects for this election with NPR's Senior Washington Editor Ron Elving and Shelby Blakely, journalist coordinator for the Tea Party Patriots.
Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 10:45 am
Cuba announced another set of significant reforms today. This time, President Raúl Castro announced the country is lifting exit visa requirements for most of its citizens.
Beginning January 14, Cuban citizens, with the exception of some professionals like doctors, will no longer need to apply for permission to leave and they won't need a letter of invitation from someone living abroad.
Adolescent brains have gotten a bad rap, according to neuroscientists.
It's true that teenage brains can be impulsive, scientists reported at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in New Orleans. But adolescent brains are also vulnerable, dynamic and highly responsive to positive feedback, they say.
Gary McKinnon, who the U.S. government says perpetrated the biggest military computer hack of all time, will not be extradited to the U.S. from Britain, CNN reports.
The network adds:
"Home Secretary Theresa May said McKinnon's Asperger syndrome and depressive illness meant 'there is such a high risk of him ending his own life that a decision to extradite would be incompatible with his human rights.'
Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 7:41 am
Vikram Pandit, the chief executive officer of Citigroup, has stepped down, the company's board announced today.
"The Board also announced it has unanimously elected Michael Corbat CEO and a director of the Board," Citigroup said in a statement. "Mr. Corbat previously served as Citigroup's CEO of Europe, Middle East and Africa."
After a zinger of a vice presidential debate last week, the bosses have a lot to live up to tonight. Just in case you haven't been paying attention: President Obama and former Gov. Mitt Romney face off in the second of three presidential debates.
It starts at 9 p.m. at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y. The town-hall style debate will be moderated by CNN's Candy Crowley.
After what has been universally called a strong Romney victory during round 1, the spotlight is on Obama.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has taken the brunt of the responsibility for the attacks on the American consulate in Benghazi, in which ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were killed.
Yesterday, a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit brought by Christopher Johnson and Nathaniel Claybrooks, two black men who had auditioned for The Bachelor, who claimed that the show discriminates against people of color both in choosing the primary bachelor/ette and in choosing the people he or she will have to choose from.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Nearly 700 years after he ruled the Mali Empire, King Mansa Musa has been awarded the title of richest person in history. Personal fortune: $400 billion. That's according to a new inflation-adjusted list compiled by Celebrity Net Worth. West Africa's salt and gold were the source of Musa's great wealth, which he used to build magnificent mosques. More modern names on the list: The Rothchilds and John D. Rockefeller. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.
In the baseball playoffs tonight, the Detroit Tigers have a chance to put the reeling New York Yankees on the brink of elimination. Meanwhile, the San Francisco Giants have slowed the St. Louis Cardinals who'd been playing with the kind of magic touch that carried them to last year's World Series title. Last night in San Francisco, the Giants beat St. Louis 7-1 to even their National League Championship Series at one game each. NPR's sports correspondent Tom Goldman joins us to talk more baseball.
Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 8:45 am
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
And four major manufacturers say they will start offering financial support for the training of military veterans. The corporations are taking part in a program called Get Skills to Work Coalition. It has said its initial goal at training 15,000 vets.
NPR's Yuki Noguchi reports.
YUKI NOGUCHI, BYLINE: Unemployment among veterans has been falling, as it has for everyone else. The jobless rate among vets serving after 2001 now stands at 9.7 percent, but that's still about 2 percentage points higher than the general population.
Bank of America will release quarterly earnings tomorrow and once again, foreclosures will be part of the equation. The Charlotte-based bank's role in the 2008 housing crash has landed it on a fair number of lists of most hated institutions in America.
But, as Julie Rose of member station WFAE in Charlotte discovered, some of those most involved in cleaning up the aftermath of the foreclosure crisis are beginning to soften toward the bank.
In Turkey's southern Hatay province, it is harvest time — the second harvest since the uprising began in neighboring Syria.
In the village of Hacipasa, Turkey, located right along the Syrian border, children play alongside tents on the edge of the farm fields. The tents belong not to Syrian refugees, but to Turkish farmworkers helping to bring in the cotton, tomatoes, peppers and pomegranates waiting to be harvested.