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The Picture Show
8:43 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

Tell Us: In Times Of Tragedy, What Do You Want To See?

Originally published on Tue April 16, 2013 5:00 pm

Monday was awful. We can only imagine the horror experienced by victims and witnesses in Boston.

Or, actually, maybe that's not entirely true. To a degree, we can imagine it. Because, although we didn't feel the shake of the earth or boom of the explosions, we did see it happening — almost in real time. We saw it whether we wanted to, or not.

It raises lots of questions — none of them really new — both for media organizations and for every human on the Internet.

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
8:43 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

There's Trouble Brewing At The Birth Of The Universe

as observed by Planck. The CMB is a snapshot of the oldest light in our Universe, imprinted on the sky when the Universe was just 380,000 years old." href="/post/theres-trouble-brewing-birth-universe" class="noexit lightbox">
Cosmic microwave background radiation (CMB) as observed by Planck. The CMB is a snapshot of the oldest light in our Universe, imprinted on the sky when the Universe was just 380,000 years old.
Planck Collaboration ESA

Originally published on Tue April 16, 2013 5:59 pm

Scientists can't just agree to disagree. It's not because we are stubborn or ornery (OK, maybe we are). It's because the whole point of science is to establish "public knowledge" — an understanding of the cosmos on which we can all agree. That is why there is trouble brewing at the beginning of the Universe.

There is a number, the Hubble Constant, that's fundamental to the study of the cosmos. The problem is, different folks are finding different values for that number and no one yet knows what that means.

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Movie Reviews
8:06 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

'For My Health': The Latter Days Of Levon Helm

Though he began his career as a drummer for The Band, Levon Helm kept working long after the group's dissolution. The documentary Ain't in It for My Health captures his final years as a working musician.
Kino Lorber

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 9:57 am

Rock 'n' roll is filled with "one lives it, the other writes about it" pairings, from Mick Jagger drawing on the observed excesses of Keith Richards on down the line. But such arrangements only work when both parties feel like they benefit.

When The Band came into its own as a self-contained group in the late 1960s — after stints backing Ronnie Hawkins and Bob Dylan — its songs drew inspiration from a mythic vision of the American South that was itself inspired by The Band's only Southern member, drummer Levon Helm of Turkey Scratch, Ark.

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It's All Politics
7:30 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

Obama's 'Terrorism' Description Follows Cautious First Words

President Obama leaves the White House briefing room Tuesday after making a statement about the bombings at the Boston Marathon.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

On Monday, CNN's Wolf Blitzer and some others made a point of highlighting President Obama's failure to use the words "terror" or "terrorism" in his first remarks following the Boston Marathon bombings.

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The Two-Way
7:22 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

Maine Court Sets $25,000 Bail For 'North Pond Hermit'

Christopher Knight, 47, has been charged with stealing food and other items from a camp in Rome, Maine. Knight's years of living in isolation earned him the nickname of the North Pond Hermit.
Kennebec County Sheriff's Office AP

Christopher Knight, whose 27 years of living in near-total isolation in Maine's wilderness made him an object of fascination after he was arrested for stealing food and supplies, appeared by video for a court hearing Tuesday, when a Kennebec County judge set his bail at $25,000 cash.

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The Two-Way
6:34 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

Reports: Envelope Sent To Senator's Office Tests Positive For Ricin Poison

U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS).
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 7:45 am

Quoting "congressional and law enforcement sources," CNN is reporting that an envelope sent to a senator's office has tested positive for the poison ricin.

"After the envelope tested positive in a first routine test, it was retested two more times, each time coming up positive, the law enforcement source said," CNN reports. "The package was then sent to a Maryland lab for further testing."

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The Salt
6:21 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

Stunting From Malnutrition Affects 1 In 4 Kids Worldwide

Renande Raphael, aged 16 months, is measured to check whether she is growing normally. She's part of a trial in Haiti to see if an extra daily snack of enriched peanut butter prevents stunting and malnutrition.
Alex E. Proimos via flickr

Originally published on Tue April 16, 2013 7:22 pm

Babies and toddlers in the poorest parts of the world are getting better fed.

What's the proof? Stunting in kids – a sign of poor nutrition early in life — has dropped by a third in the past two decades, UNICEF reported Monday. But there's a long way to go. Globally, a quarter of kids under the age of 5 were stunted in 2011. That's roughly 165 million children worldwide, with nearly 75 percent of them living in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, the report says.

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It's All Politics
5:46 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

How Congress Quietly Overhauled Its Insider-Trading Law

Vice President Biden and members of Congress watch as President Obama signs the STOCK Act on April 4, 2012. A year later, Congress moved to undo large portions of the law without fanfare.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

The legislative process on Capitol Hill is often slow and grinding. There are committee hearings, filibuster threats and hours of floor debate. But sometimes, when Congress really wants to get something done, it can move blindingly fast.

That's what happened when Congress moved to undo large parts of a popular law known as the STOCK Act last week.

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Around the Nation
5:46 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

Changes Help San Diego Homeless, But Long Road Remains Ahead

Wanda Rayborn, 63, was homeless for nine years and was living under a tree in downtown San Diego two years ago. She now lives in a newly renovated efficiency apartment — part of an initiative to help get homeless people off the streets.
Pam Fessler NPR

Originally published on Tue April 23, 2013 3:05 pm

Two years ago, we reported on an ambitious campaign to end homelessness in downtown San Diego, a city with one of the largest homeless populations in the nation. The effort involved an unprecedented coalition of business leaders, community groups and government agencies.

At the time, some advocates for the homeless — after years of seeing other, failed efforts to get people off city streets — were skeptical that the campaign would amount to much.

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Around the Nation
5:46 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

50 Years Later, King's Birmingham 'Letter' Still Resonates

Martin Luther King Jr., with the Rev. Ralph Abernathy (center) and the Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, defied an injunction against protesting on Good Friday in 1963. They were arrested and held in solitary confinement in the Birmingham jail where King wrote his famous "Letter From Birmingham Jail."
Courtesy of Birmingham Public Library Archives

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 1:12 am

It's been five decades since Martin Luther King Jr., began writing his famous "Letter From Birmingham Jail," a response to eight white Alabama clergymen who criticized King and worried the civil rights campaign would cause violence. They called King an "extremist" and told blacks they should be patient.

But the time for waiting was over. Birmingham was the perfect place to take a stand.

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