As part of NPR's coverage of this year's presidential election, All Things Considered asked three science reporters to weigh in on the race. The result is a three-part series on the science of leadership. In Part 2, Jon Hamilton examined leadership in the animal kingdom.
Charming or cold. Flexible or rigid. Paranoid or impulsive or calculating.
Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 10:07 am
"I'm not crazy," the figure says, standing alone in a dark room, as if trying to convince himself.
"I'm not crazy?" almost a question this time.
"I'm not crazy. I'm not crazy. I'm not crazy!" he yells, finally making up his mind.
And, of course, he sounds crazy.
Meet Beeshu, an avatar of the embattled president of Syria, Bashar Assad, rendered in papier-mache and mounted on someone's finger. He's the star of the show Top Goon and the inspiration for its title.
Originally published on Mon November 5, 2012 10:11 am
From now until Election Day, the U.S. might as well consist of just eight or so states, not 50.
Those are the battleground states where President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney, their running mates and spouses will be spending much of their time in what remains of the 2012 race for the White House.
It's all about amassing the 270 electoral votes required to be elected president. NPR's analysis of the race at this point suggests the eight states that are most in play are Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin.
Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 11:13 pm
It's possible that the presidential debates will be remembered mainly for trivia — Big Bird, binders and bayonets.
But Mitt Romney and President Obama did discuss issues of paramount importance, including taxes, entitlements and the role the U.S. should play in the Middle East.
Those issues — and above all else, the economy — dominated discussion throughout the debate season. That meant other important topics such as immigration were barely mentioned, while others never came up at all.
Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 6:11 pm
Update at 6 p.m. ET:
Our original headline on this post was "U.S. Pledges Exceed Pakistan's Spending On Its Own Flood Relief." As we reported, the Christian Science Monitor has looked into the details of a Congressional Research Service report and concluded that U.S. aid to Pakistan for flood relief exceeded that country's own spending.
But Ben Edwards, a spokesman at the U.S. Agency for International Development, tells us in an email that:
The governments of Cambodia and the United States are locked in a legal battle with the auction house Sotheby's over a thousand-year-old statue. The two governments say the statue was looted from a temple of the ancient Khmer empire. Sotheby's says this can't be proved, and a court in New York will decide on the matter soon.
The case could affect how collectors and museums acquire artifacts, and how governments recover lost national treasures.
No, the Nite Moves strip club in Latham, N.Y., can't claim that lap dances, pole performances and other moves in its ladies' repertoire are "art" and therefore exempt from sales taxes, New York State's highest court ruled today in a 4-3 decision.
Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 10:00 am
Austerity measures continue in Greece as the country sinks deeper into a recession. Incomes have dropped nearly 50 percent in some cases, but food prices are at record highs. The Greek newspaper Ekathimerini recently reported that the country has some of the most expensive food and the costliest dairy products in the entire European Union.
Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 3:26 pm
Alt-J (stylized as ∆) may be the most successful new British band of 2012 — a favorite to win the Mercury Music Prize in November and a Top 20 chart phenomenon in the U.K. The group, which chose its name from the mathematical symbol for change, made a splash with its debut album, An Awesome Wave, which came out in September. The record mixes upbeat indie rock and brooding synths with vocals that sound like no one else's in music today.