Pages

Science
6:45 am
Sun October 14, 2012

A Human-Powered Helicopter: Straight Up Difficult

Kyle Glusenkamp pilots Gamera, a human-powered helicopter.
Maggie Starbard NPR

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 10:00 am

"I grew up wanting to fly," says Graham Bowen-Davies. "I guess I just settled for being an engineer."

He's standing on an indoor track in southern Maryland, watching a giant helicopter take flight. At the end of each of its four spindly arms — arms he helped design and build — a giant rotor churns the air. In the cockpit sits the engine: a 0.7-horsepower, 135-pound graduate student named Kyle Gluesenkamp.

Gluesenkamp is pedaling like crazy to keep the rotors spinning and the craft aloft.

Read more
The Two-Way
5:41 pm
Sat October 13, 2012

Space Shuttle Endeavour's Final Journey Adds A Day

Space shuttle Endeavour travels through Los Angeles on Saturday.
Jeff Gritchen AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun October 14, 2012 10:22 am

Update 10/14/12 10:08 a.m. ET: The Excitement Has Passed, But Not The Shuttle

The crowds that cheered the shuttle on Saturday changed their tune after a night of hassles that left the Endeavour still blocking L.A. traffic and threatening trees early Sunday morning.

Read more
Around the Nation
5:40 pm
Sat October 13, 2012

Detroit Snob? Of Course I Am.

Some Detroiters think their city has gotten a bad rap.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 3:22 pm

In the past few years, the news from Detroit has been fairly bleak so it's no surprise comedians like Stephen Colbert have taken shots at the downtrodden city.

"Maybe someone could attempt the unthinkable: walk through downtown Detroit."

But many positive changes are taking place. Desiree Cooper, who started a company called Detroit Snob, says residents have a lot to be snobby about.

Read more
Sports
5:40 pm
Sat October 13, 2012

A Shifting Playing Field: Coming Out As A Gay Athlete

Boxer Orlando Cruz hits a speed bag at a public gym in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on Oct. 4. He said publicly that he is gay earlier this month.
Dennis M. Rivera Pichardo AP

Originally published on Sun October 14, 2012 11:07 am

These days, we're more likely to see professional athletes on products than protest lines. But it wasn't always this way. In the 1960s, sports stars were often as famous for what they believed as for their home runs.

Back then, many athletes spoke out about civil rights. Muhammad Ali was stripped of his heavyweight title and threatened with imprisonment for refusing to fight in Vietnam, on the grounds of racial discrimination.

Read more
U.S.
5:01 pm
Sat October 13, 2012

Family Fights For Honor Of 'Rogue' Vietnam General

Gen. John D. Lavelle was accused of authorizing illegal bombing raids in North Vietnam. Stripped of two stars, he was forced into retirement in 1972.
AP

Originally published on Sun October 14, 2012 12:42 pm

Gen. John D. Lavelle commanded the Seventh Air Force during the Vietnam War. He served five steps down the chain of command from President Nixon. In his oral history — recorded by an Air Force history officer in 1978 — he explained how, six years earlier, his life changed forever.

It started with a meeting with a Thai general, Dawee Chullasapya, who had charged Lavelle with overseeing an operation to destroy anti-aircraft guns in North Vietnam. It was a mission necessary to keep Thailand in the war.

Read more
Solve This
6:17 am
Sat October 13, 2012

With Varied Approach, Candidates Push School Choice

Despite some backlash from their political parties, both President Obama and Mitt Romney have made school choice a cornerstone of their efforts for education reform.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat October 13, 2012 12:41 pm

The right to choose the school you want your child to attend has been the subject of court battles and bitter political debates. Still, both President Obama and GOP challenger Mitt Romney have made school choice a cornerstone of their efforts to reform public education.

Romney says he wants to give every student trapped in a failing school the chance to attend a better school. He supports private-school vouchers in states where they're allowed, but his main focus is on creating more public-school choices.

Read more
Europe
6:17 am
Sat October 13, 2012

Cyprus' Divided Capital A Last Vestige Of War

At the Ledra Palace checkpoint in Nicosia, Cypriots must show a passport to cross the border between the Turkish North and the Greek South.
Petros Karadjias AP

Originally published on Sat October 13, 2012 7:32 pm

There is one corner of the European Union where a kind of war still rages.

Nicosia, on the Mediterranean island nation of Cyprus, is the last divided capital city in Europe. In 1974, Turkey invaded Cyprus, taking over the northern part of the island — including half of the capital.

History teacher Maria Chrysanthou says she's blunt with students who ask her if the two sides of Cyprus — one Greek-speaking and Christian, the other Turkish-speaking and Muslim — will ever be united.

Read more
From Our Listeners
6:17 am
Sat October 13, 2012

The Antidote To Your Burning Health Care Questions

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat October 13, 2012 3:14 pm

As we approach the presidential election in November, Weekend Edition is seeking your questions about issues and candidates in a new segment called Reporter Hotline. This week, we answer inquiries about health care.

Read more
Europe
6:17 am
Sat October 13, 2012

Spanish Crisis Revives Calls For Catalan Secession

Supporters of independence for Catalonia gather in Barcelona on the Spanish region's national day, on Sept. 11.
Josep Lago AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat October 13, 2012 10:17 pm

On a recent day in Barcelona, the capital of northeast Spain's Catalonia region, José Maria Borras and his lifelong friend Antonio Canosa sip coffee in the same square where they went to grade school.

The two retirees — both in their mid-60s — grew up under Spain's military dictator Francisco Franco, who prohibited the Catalan language, festivals and any talk of independence.

"It's been a long struggle for freedom," Borras says. "Back in those years, if you were in this very schoolyard speaking Catalan you'd be punished."

Read more
Parallel Lives
6:17 am
Sat October 13, 2012

Hawaii Prep School Gave Obama Window To Success

Barack Obama in a 1975 photo from the Punahou School yearbook. He and his eighth-grade homeroom classmates pose with a slide projector as part of the yearbook's theme of "Nostalgia."
Punahau School 1974-1975 Yearbook

Originally published on Sat October 13, 2012 10:15 am

From now until Nov. 6, President Obama and GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney will emphasize their differences. But the two men's lives actually coincide in a striking number of ways. In this installment of NPR's "Parallel Lives" series, a look at Obama's time at a Hawaii institution called Punahou.

Punahou School was founded by missionaries in 1841 — the campus is just up the hill from Waikiki, and it's built around a historic spring.

Read more

Pages