National/International

NPR's Robert Siegel speaks to a group of 25-year-old voters as part of a radio series exploring the generational differences between how 25, 45 and 65-year-olds think about politics. Having stood witness to the Bill Clinton-Monica Lewinsky scandal, the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, two wars, and an economic crash from a very young age, this group of 25-year-olds has seen a country going through hard times for most of their lives. Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

Does the size of space — those zillions of stars and zillions of miles of nothing between them — freak you out?

Well, if it does, guess what?

You're not alone.

I give a lot of public talks about the universe. Really. It's in my job description:

  • Astronomer. Check.
  • Study stuff in space. Check.
  • Give talks about universe. Check.

And every time I give a public astronomy presentation, whether it's about black holes or the Big Bang or the Hubble Space Telescope, someone always raises the same issue.

A coalition of Asian American groups filed a federal complaint asking for an investigation into Yale, Brown and Dartmouth for alleged racially discriminatory practices in college admissions processes.

For more on the story visit WGBH's On Campus blog Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

NPR's Robert Siegel speaks to a group of 45-year-old voters who experienced a swell of patriotism and American exceptionalism in their youth. But patriotic fervor dwindled, as scandals and the emergence of 24/7 news coverage changed the game of politics. Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

What made Mozart great? Or Bobby Fischer? Or Serena Williams?

The answer sits somewhere on the scales of human achievement. On one side: natural talent. On the other: hard work. Many would argue that success hangs in some delicate balance between them. But not Anders Ericsson.

Tom Licence has a Ph.D., and he's a garbage man.

When you think of archaeology, you might think of Roman ruins, ancient Egypt or Indiana Jones. But Licence works in the field of "garbology." While some may dig deep down to get to the good stuff — ancient tombs, residences, bones — Licence looks at the top layers, which, where he lives in England, are filled with Victorian-era garbage.

The presidential candidates have their plans to deal with energy issues, but none of them are asking Americans to use less.

Maybe that’s because they remember what happened to President Jimmy Carter when he called for conservation during the energy crisis in the 1970s.

Here & Now‘s Robin Young speaks with Meg Jacobs of Princeton University about her new book on the energy crisis and how history may be shaping presidential candidates’ respective approaches to energy concerns.

For the first time in a decade, the U.S. death rate is up across the entire population. Researchers at the National Center for Health Statistics say the increase was driven in part by more people dying from drug overdoses.

One Seattle woman could have been among that statistic. She was homeless and addicted to heroin. Today, she’s no longer using, but helps those who are. From Here & Now contributor KUOW in Seattle, Ruby de Luna reports.

Concussions have become part of the daily news. But how much have these brain injuries become part of daily life?

To find out, we asked people across the country about concussions in the latest NPR-Truven Health Analytics Health Poll.

The poll, conducted during the first half of March, found that nearly a quarter of people — 23 percent of those surveyed — said they had suffered a concussion at some point in their lives. Among those who said they'd had a concussion, more than three-quarters had sought medical treatment.

Will this summer be hotter than average?

How much rain can we expect?

A key step to answering questions about the weather is to consult the historic record. But what if there were no record? That's the predicament that Rwanda faces. The civil war and genocide that devastated that country in 1994 also destroyed Rwanda's system for tracking weather. The result was that for a roughly 15-year stretch, Rwanda has almost no record of what its weather was like.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

Bumblebees' Little Hairs Can Sense Flowers' Electric Fields

May 31, 2016

Flowers generate weak electric fields, and a new study shows that bumblebees can actually sense those electric fields using the tiny hairs on their fuzzy little bodies.

"The bumblebees can feel that hair bend and use that feeling to tell the difference between flowers," says Gregory Sutton, a Royal Society University Research Fellow at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

On Wednesday, Princeton University Press will re-issue the Kerner Report. The controversial 1968 document assembled by the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders offered a window into the roots of racism and inequality in the United States. The report provided a detailed account of the origins of a series of riots in American inner-cities in the mid-sixties and concluded that America was “moving towards two societies, one black, one white; separate and unequal.”

The French Open is underway at the Roland Garros Stadium in Paris. And among several American women still in the running, the big talk is about Shelby Rogers of Charleston, South Carolina. The 23-year-old tennis star, who is ranked at number 108 among women players, is now on her way to the quarterfinals after four straight upsets. Here & Now’s Robin Young speaks with James Beck, tennis columnist for The Post and Courier in Charleston, South Carolina about hometown tennis star Rogers.

Guest

The Philadelphia Police Department is hiring. And they’re desperate. Staffing levels in the country’s fourth-largest police department has hit a 22-year-low. In response, the department recently loosened hiring requirements in hopes of filling the gap. Recruits no longer have to earn 60 college credits as a requirement of hiring.

As Bobby Allyn of Here & Now Contributor WHYY reports, the move has its critics, but supporters say it will open the door to many qualified recruits.

Reporter

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

Donald Trump has broken rule after rule on his way to becoming the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.

Now, Trump may be ready to break another.

High-tech data operations have become a mainstay of presidential campaigns over the past two decades.

But Trump recently told an interviewer that he sees data as "overrated."

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

What One District's Data Mining Did For Chronic Absence

May 30, 2016

Mel Atkins has spent most of his life with Grand Rapids Public Schools in Michigan. He graduated from Ottawa Hills High, where he played baseball. But his real love was bowling. He says he's bowled 22 perfect games.

He's been a teacher and principal in the city's public schools. And now he works for the district, overseeing just about everything related to students.

One more thing you need to know about him: Mel Atkins is a number-cruncher.

Three years ago, the superintendent came to him with a question: Does Grand Rapids have an issue with chronic absenteeism?

'Top Gear' Returns With New Hosts On BBC America

May 30, 2016

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

Bernie Sanders meets with voters in California today, as that state and five other states prepare to vote next week.

Bill and Hillary Clinton marched in the Memorial Day parade in Chappaqua, New York where they live. The investigation of Hillary Clinton’s emails dominated conversation on the Sunday morning talk shows.

Donald Trump continued to draw crowds, and consternation, from some Republicans. Yesterday he told people gathered on the National Mall that “illegals are taken care of better than our veterans.”

In the 1930s, a Japanese-American teacher in Hawaii came up with an ambitious plan: take kids who had just learned to swim in a re-purposed sugar cane ditch and train them to compete on an international level.

Julie Checkoway tells the story in “The Three Year Swim Club: The Untold Story of Maui’s Sugar Ditch Kids and Their Quest for Olympic Glory.” Here & Now revisits Meghna Chakrabarti’s conversation with the author from last October.

The Future Of Driverless Cars Is Now

May 30, 2016

Just about 34 million people hit the road over the Memorial Day weekend—the most since 2005 and the second-highest total on record. But in the not too distant future we all may be flying to our holiday destinations—in our cars.

The country’s oldest urban national park, Rock Creek Park, spans 1,800 acres in the middle of Washington, D.C. The park not only includes hiking trails but also has historic buildings, a golf course, amphitheater and planetarium. Anthony Linforth, a ranger at Rock Creek Park, tells Here & Now’s Meghna Chakrabarti what makes the park special.

Guest

At the end of 2013, snowy owls started invading the United States in a way scientists had never seen. The influx came due to a huge uptick in lemmings, an owl delicacy, and provided scientists the chance to track and record swaths of new data on the animal.

NPR’s Adam Cole has studied one snowy owl, known as Baltimore, and followed the route the bird took when it migrated back north.

Libertarian Party Nominates Former Gov. Gary Johnson

May 30, 2016

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

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