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Author Interviews
2:47 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

'Blue Plate Special': A Generous Helping Of Life

Author Kate Christensen weaves her love of food and cooking into a new memoir.
Michael Sharkey Doubleday

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 3:56 pm

When novelist Kate Christensen was just a toddler, she witnessed her father beating her mother. It was a scene that would haunt Christensen for decades.

And so it's with a description of that morning that she chooses to begin her memoir Blue Plate Special: An Autobiography of My Appetites. The book that unfolds is an examination of the reverberations of her father's violence in her life, and a meditation on how her love of food helped her cope.

As a child, she tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies, she refused to identify with her mother in the scenario.

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The Salt
2:45 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

'Eating On The Wild Side:' A Field Guide To Nutritious Food

The cover of Eating on the Wild Side.
Little Brown and Company

Originally published on Tue July 16, 2013 10:17 am

We like to think that if we eat our recommended daily allowance of fruits and vegetables, we're doing right by our bodies. Think again, says health writer Jo Robinson.

In her new book, Eating on the Wild Side, Robinson argues that our prehistoric ancestors picked and gathered wild plants that were in many ways far more healthful than the stuff we buy today at farmers' markets.

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Business
2:32 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

Smithfield Says Pork Won't Change, But Some Aren't Buying It

A Smithfield ham at a grocery store in Richardson, Texas, in 2011. Some senators expressed qualms Wednesday about the intentions of Shuanghui International Holdings, which is buying Smithfield Foods.
LM Otero AP

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 10:08 am

Americans will get the same ham slabs and bacon slices they have enjoyed for generations, even after Smithfield Foods becomes a Chinese subsidiary, Smithfield CEO Larry Pope told Congress on Wednesday.

"It will be the same old Smithfield, only better," Pope said at a Senate Agriculture Committee hearing.

But several senators weren't buying the bacon-will-be-unbroken story once Hong Kong-based Shuanghui International Holdings owns Smithfield.

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Parallels
2:15 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

That Blows: Cricket's Trumpet-Playing Superfan Silenced

Former England cricketer Geoffrey Boycott listens to Barmy Army trumpeter Billy Cooper during the second test between New Zealand and England at Basin Reserve on March 15 in Wellington, New Zealand. Cooper's trumpet will be silent at Trent Bridge, in Nottingham, England, because the ground doesn't allow musical instruments.
Gareth Copley Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 4:42 pm

The English national character is an eternal mystery. But from time to time we get a glimpse of some of its components. The story of Billy The Trumpet is one such occasion.

Billy is the embodiment of English eccentricity. He belongs to a boisterous ragtag band of sports fans called the Barmy Army. They're considered "barmy" for very good reason: These people follow England's national cricket team everywhere.

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The Two-Way
2:11 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

Illinois Is 50th State To Legalize Carrying Concealed Weapons

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 2:23 pm

Illinois became the last state in the U.S. to legalize carrying concealed weapons after state lawmakers overrode a veto by Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn.

Tuesday's votes — 41-17 in the Senate and 77-31 in the House — came just before a federal appeals court deadline to pass a form of concealed-carry.

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NPR Story
1:50 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

Displacement Can Last A Lifetime For Many Refugees

A Syrian refugee boy, right, sits outside his tent next to his family at a temporary refugee camp in the eastern Lebanese town of Marj near the border with Syria, Lebanon, Monday, May 20, 2013. (Hussein Malla/AP)

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 10:05 am

According to a recent report by the United Nations, more than 45 million people worldwide were forced to flee their homes in 2012 — the highest number of refugees in nearly two decades.

People leave their homes for many reasons, including war and violence, environmental disaster and persecution. More than half of the refugees worldwide came from five countries, according to the UN: Afghanistan, Somalia, Iraq, Sudan and Syria.

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The Two-Way
1:46 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

DogTV, The Channel For Stay-At-Home Pups, Is Going National

Bleu, a French bulldog who lives in San Diego, watches DogTV during the network's initial months online and on cable outlets in Southern California, in April 2012.
Gregory Bull AP

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 2:40 pm

Tell your best friend:

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NPR Story
1:46 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

A Jedi Knight In Queen Elizabeth's Court

Cover art from "William Shakespeare's Star Wars." (Quirk Books)

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 12:50 pm

What if William Shakespeare had written Star Wars? Well now we know!

Ian Doescher, author of “William Shakespeare’s Star Wars: Verily, A New Hope” pulls back curtain on the eternal question: what does a wookie sound like in Elizabethan English?

Book Excerpt: ‘William Shakespeare’s Star Wars’

By: Ian Doescher

BIGGS: Make haste, O Luke. Methinks they do approach

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NPR Story
1:46 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

Spain's Population Declines Amid Economic Crisis

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 11:50 am

The economic crisis in Spain, where the unemployment rate is a record 27 percent, is forcing people to leave the country to look for work.

The BBC’s Tom Burridge reports the birthrate in Spain is also falling, because couples believe they can’t afford to have children under the economic circumstances.

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Shots - Health News
1:43 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

When Choirs Sing, Many Hearts Beat As One

Members of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir raise their voices in unison — and perhaps unify their heart rates, too.
George Frey Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 8:33 am

We open our hymnals to Hymn 379, and we begin to sing. "God is Love, let heav'n adore him / God is Love, let earth rejoice ..."

Lifting voices together in praise can be a transcendent experience, unifying a congregation in a way that is somehow both fervent and soothing. But is there actually a physical basis for those feelings?

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