When Pope John XXIII announced the creation of the Second Vatican Council (also known as Vatican II) in January 1959, it shocked the world. There hadn't been an ecumenical council — an assembly of Roman Catholic religious leaders meant to settle doctrinal issues — in nearly 100 years.
"Many people maintained that with the definition of papal infallibility in 1870, councils were no longer needed. So it was a big surprise," Georgetown University professor Rev. John W. O'Malley says.
It's been a tumultuous time for American orchestras. Labor disputes have shut down the Minnesota Orchestra and Indianapolis Symphony, and strikes and lockouts have affected orchestras in Chicago, Atlanta and Louisville in the past year.
Though it's been around for three decades, 3-D printing has finally started to take off for manufacturing and even for regular consumers. It's being used for making airplane parts on demand and letting kids make their own toys. One designer is pushing the limits of 3-D printing by using it to make an acoustic guitar.
Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 5:38 am
Measurement has long been a cornerstone of quality improvement, whether it's on the factory floor or the hospital ward.
And making the quality scores of doctors and hospitals publicly available is central to the idea that health care can become a service that patients shop for intelligently. The results can also ratchet up professional peer pressure for improvement.
But does public reporting lead doctors and hospitals to game the system by withholding care from the sickest patients?
Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 5:17 pm
Mitt Romney may have seized the advantage in terms of poll numbers and momentum, but there's one area where President Obama enjoys the upper hand.
In the end, it's the only area that counts: the Electoral College. Over the past 20 years, Republicans have had a much lower ceiling when it comes to electoral support, while Democrats have had a significantly higher floor.
Two very different views from two different witnesses today as the House House Oversight and Government Reform Committee opened its probe into the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, in which ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were killed.
Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 11:56 am
No one has a crystal ball, but Nate Silver has perfected the art of prediction. In 2008, he accurately predicted the presidential winner of 49 of the 50 states, and the winners of all 35 Senate races. Before he focused on elections, Silver developed a sophisticated system for analyzing baseball players' potential and became a skilled poker player — which is how he made his living for a while.
Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 1:10 pm
Look at this map, and notice that deep, deep in the Republican South, there's a thin blue band stretching from the Carolinas through Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi. These are the counties that went for Obama in the last election. A blue crescent in a sea of red.
Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 1:21 pm
Doctors use liquid nitrogen — a substance registering a wickedly cold 321 degrees below zero Fahrenheit — to freeze warts so they dry up and fall off. Yes, folks, this stuff kills tissue. So imagine what it might do to your stomach if you drink some.
"Politics is the art of choosing between the disastrous and the unpalatable," economist John Kenneth Galbraith once said. In the aftermath of the Arab Spring, dictators have been toppled and new leaders have begun to emerge. Islamists, once marginalized, have been voted into power. Which leadership scenario is better?
The argument for dictators is that a number have been reliable allies for the United States. But under their rule, dictators use repressive means to squash opposition and stay in power.
Next up on this special broadcast of our Twitter education forum, we'll remind you that we've already had conversations with policymakers, teachers and parents. So now we want to give the final words to those who I think we all agree, have the most at stake, the students. And we'd love to hear from the millions of students American students who are part of America's public education system. But we can't, so we're hearing from two.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Today we want to bring you into one of the most important conversations we are having in this country. It's about our schools. Welcome to our Twitter Education Forum. Today we are broadcasting from member station WLRN in Miami, but the conversation has actually already started.
For the past month on Twitter, using the hashtag npredchat, we've already been hearing from our radio audience and from our digital audience.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, we will speak with a former education official who has had a change of heart about some of the school reforms she once championed. Diane Ravitch will be with us in just a few minutes.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. We are continuing TELL ME MORE's first Twitter Education Forum. Join in on Twitter at hash tag NPREdChat. Coming up, we'll hear the voices of people you could argue have the most invested in America's schools, the students, but first, we turn to online education. If you or your child have ever been stumped by homework, then you probably already know about the Kahn Academy.
Now we turn to the former Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings. She served under President George W. Bush. She's now the founder and leader of Margaret Spellings and Company. That's a consulting firm in the Washington D.C. area. Madam Secretary, welcome to you. Thank you so much for joining us.
MARGARET SPELLINGS: Glad to be here, Michel. I'm sorry I'm not seeing you face to face. Hurry back.
Our next guest spent years allied with key conservatives on education reform. Diane Ravitch is the former assistant secretary of education under George H.W. Bush. During her time in that administration and afterwards, she advocated standardized testing and expanding school choice through charter schools. Those would later become key elements of No Child Left Behind under President George W. Bush, but she eventually became a critic of these approaches.
The United States Anti-Doping Agency has made public all the evidence it has against cyclist Lance Armstrong. This is the culmination of a battle that has raged for years: The USADA has said its evidence proves beyond doubt that the now-dethroned seven-time Tour de France winner doped, and Armstrong has always maintained his innocence.
Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 9:36 am
Alex Karras, who was a star defensive lineman for the Detroit Lions in the 1960s and went on to gain other fame for his acting in Hollywood's Blazing Saddles and TV's Webster, has died, according to multiple reports.
Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 11:11 am
Joe Donnelly is counting on the auto industry bailout to help him out.
Donnelly, a third-term Democratic representative, is running for U.S. Senate in Indiana, which remains heavily dependent on the auto and RV industry. His opponent, GOP state Treasurer Richard Mourdock, not only opposed the bailout of Chrysler, but sued to block it.
Iris DeMent possesses one of the great voices in contemporary popular music: powerfully, ringingly clear, capable of both heartbreaking fragility and blow-your-ears-back power. Had she been making country albums in the '70s and '80s and had more commercial ambition, she'd probably now be considered right up there with Loretta Lynn and Tammy Wynette.