On the subway, in doctor's waiting rooms and during college lectures, millions of Japanese can be found glued to their smartphones. But they're not texting or making phone calls — they're playing video games.
In the U.S., video games are usually played on computers and consoles, like the PlayStation or Wii, but in Japan, gaming has migrated to smartphones.
With an ice coffee in one hand and an iPhone in the other, grad student Yoshiro Hinoki is fixated on slaying tiny cartoon monsters.
Republican Rep. Todd Akin's decision to stay in the U.S. Senate race in Missouri is likely to leave him with support from the state's evangelical community, but not much more, says a political scientist at the University of Missouri, St. Louis.
As cases of West Nile virus continue to increase, authorities warned today that this could turn out to be the worst outbreak since the virus first showed up in the United States in 1999.
The New York Times reports that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is still unsure about "where and how far" the disease will spread, but so far there have been 1,118 cases and 41 deaths reported.
The food world is buzzing today about the latest news on just how often we waste perfectly good food. And we admit, the statistics are pretty depressing.
About 40 percent of food in the United States today goes uneaten. The average American consumer wastes 10 times as much food as someone in Southeast Asia — up 50 percent from Americans in the 1970s. Yet, 1 in 6 Americans doesn't have enough to eat, says the U.S. Department of Agriculture. And food waste costs us about $165 billion a year and sucks up 25 percent of our freshwater supply.
The Federal Reserve could take more steps to boost the struggling U.S. economy. That's according to minutes released Wednesday of the Federal Open Market Committee's July 31-Aug. 1 meeting.
"Many members judged that additional monetary accommodation would likely be warranted fairly soon unless incoming information pointed to a substantial and sustainable strengthening in the pace of the economic recovery," the minutes said. [PDF]
The question of whether to circumcise a newborn son is no question at all for most observant Jews. In Europe, the practice has come under fire. This summer, a German regional court ruled that circumcision is physical abuse, and a Swiss hospital temporarily banned the procedure. The debate has infuriated Jewish community leaders there.
In Israel, even the most secular Jews overwhelmingly have their sons circumcised. But the debate in Europe has drawn attention to a still small but growing number of Israeli Jews who are forgoing the procedure.
As far as portraits from the Civil War go, this one is quite famous. It shows a confederate soldier looking a bit disheveled and very serious while holding an 1855 Springfield single-shot pistol carbine.
Ten years ago, a piece of ice the size of Rhode Island disintegrated and melted in the waters off Antarctica. Two other massive ice shelves along the Antarctic Peninsula had suffered similar fates a few years before. The events became poster children for the effects of global warming. But a new study finds that the story isn't quite so simple.
There's no question that unusually warm air triggered the final demise of these huge chunks of ice. But a lingering question is whether these events can be attributed to human-induced global warming.
Cuba has hot weather, hot music, hot politics and hot Cubans. So why is the food so bland?
Tourists who have visited the island, particularly Cuba's state-run restaurants, know that Cuban chefs are deeply fond of frying their ingredients, but the range of seasonings tends to span from salt to garlic, with not much else in between.
Enter the Spice Man. He is Cedric Fernando, co-proprietor of the first and only Indian restaurant in Cuba, called Bollywood. And he's definitely turning up the heat in the kitchen.
Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 2:39 pm
Picking Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan as his running mate has helped GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney in the Badger State, but just a little, a new poll suggests.
Obama leads Romney among likely voters in Wisconsin, 49 percent to 46 percent, according to a Marquette Law School poll released Wednesday afternoon. The poll was conducted Aug. 16 through 19, following Ryan's selection as Romney's running mate on Aug. 11.
On the last Friday of each month, my 72-year-old mother, Cashion Callaway, makes a sit-down soup dinner for her community in Silver City.
Young people are invited to come early to help with food preparation and meal set up, which they have done enthusiastically for 5 years now. She takes this opportunity to teach them about cooking and nutrition. Through her example, the kids also learn about commitment and service.
It's a typical day at a Head Start center near downtown New Haven, Conn., and restless 3- and 4-year-olds squirm and bounce on a colorful shaggy rug vying for their teacher's attention. Down the hallway several women make their way to a parenting class, stopping to marvel at a 4-month-old baby.
What you don't see, says the center's Keith Young, is men, fathers.
During a hearing in front of a military appeals court, a panel of judges considered arguments on whether Fort Hood shooting suspect Maj. Nidal Hassan should be forcibly shaved.
Hassan's murder trial has been put on hold while the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces decides on what to do about Hasan's beard. Hasan is charged with killing 13 people and wounding more than two dozen others in a shooting spree in November of 2009 at the Fort Hood Army post.
It didn't go far, but the NASA rover Curiosity has taken its first test drive on Mars.
"This is how I roll," NASA writes (speaking for Curiosity) with a photo it has released showing the rover's first tracks. "Forward 3 meters, 90 [degree] turn, then back. Electric slide, anyone?"
"We have a fully functioning mobility system," NASA engineer Matt Heverly just told reporters. He said Curiosity ended up moving about 4 1/2 meters during today's test. It also did a full revolution going forward, backed up and did another revolution.
This weekend, a court in Moscow sentenced three women from a previously obscure punk band guilty of hooliganism. They got two years in prison and made Pussy Riot an international sensation. In the Washington Post today, columnist Anne Applebaum writes that for all the attention paid to the case, Madonna's was by far the most damaging, not because she's a serious political figure, but because she isn't.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Parts of the country have suffered from record heat and drought for several years in a row now, and this summer, it's been just brutal. In past programs, we talked with farmers about their crops. Today, we focus on difficult choices facing ranchers and dairy farmers.
Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 12:28 pm
Each year, some 2,000 heart transplants are performed in the U.S., and the number of people on the waiting list is even larger. Between finding the perfect donor to worrying about insurance, the wait can be grueling, but heart transplant social workers are here to help.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. A congressman skinny dips in holy water and still can't buy a headline because another congressman redefines rape and biology, defies his own party and stands up Piers Morgan. It's Wednesday and time for a...
Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 7:00 am
In Colorado and Iowa, two states considered up for grabs in the presidential race, a battle over alternative energy policy is playing a growing role in the debate between President Obama and Mitt Romney.
Both states have important wind-energy sectors, and Obama's campaign is rolling out new radio ads this week highlighting the president's support for — and Romney's opposition to — extending a tax credit on wind-energy production.
AT&T is on the defensive today, saying that its decision to limit the use of Apple's video-call app Facetime does not violate the FCC's net neutrality rules.
Ever since Apple introduced the application, AT&T has limited its use to Wi-fi. In other words, customers who were using the AT&T network could not make video calls using the built-in app. Last week, AT&T changed that policy, saying it would allow customers on its new "shared data plans" to use the app but that did not apply to those who are on unlimited or tiered plans.
More Latino students are enrolling in college now than ever before, according to a report by the Pew Hispanic Center. But Latinos still lag behind other groups in preparing for and completing college. Guest host Viviana Hurtado discusses the report's findings with Richard Fry of the Pew Hispanic Center and the College Board's Jim Montoya.