It's nearly time to extinguish The Torch, and end NPR's little marathon of Olympic coverage. Before we do, we must note that the games have now become the most-watched television event in U.S. history, with a total of 219.4 viewers over 17 days of coverage.
Those high ratings push the London Games past Beijing 2008, which held the previous record of 215 million viewers. The number seems to include only NBC's TV audience, not mobile or online.
When the Waldo Canyon Fire roared over the hill behind the Mountain Shadows neighborhood in Colorado Springs, Colo., in June, nearly350 homes were destroyed. The blaze reduced this affluent neighborhood at the foot of the mountains to rubble.
C.J. Moore's home on Mirror Lake Court was among the casualties. The inferno was so hot, her stone driveway exploded. Only a few blackened trees sway eerily in the wind where her home used to stand.
They've been called the first "Social Games" β and the London Summer Olympics have delivered on that promise, making social stars out of athletes like gymnast Gabby Douglas, who saw her Facebook fanbase grow by nearly 4,000 percent during the games.
Gymnasts Marcel Nguyen and Jordyn Wieber were also among the big winners on Facebook, according to a research firm that tracked athletes' fan numbers during the games.
Helen Gurley Brown, the longtime editor of Cosmopolitan magazine, died Monday in New York at age 90.
If Cosmo was her biggest legacy, it was her 1962 best-seller, Sex and the Single Girl, that launched her to fame. She was 40, with a high-paying job in advertising and a recent marriage to Hollywood producer David Brown.
But she was writing for the single girls, not her privileged peers, says Jennifer Scanlon, author of a Brown biography called Bad Girls Go Everywhere.
Boston's Debo Band takes inspiration from a golden era of popular music in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in the late '60s and early '70s. During a brief period of cultural freedom in Ethiopia, funk and soul music fused spectacularly with local traditions. Debo Band's debut album both honors and updates the sound of "swinging Addis."
Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 9:08 am
Lately, parents, teachers and policymakers have been experimenting with all kinds of different ways to keep unhealthy food out of schools. Some schools are limiting bake sales, as we reported earlier this year, while others are preparing lunches from scratch.
We were in London, searching for Hidden Kitchen stories, when we came upon an Eel Pie & Mash shop. It was full of old white marble tables, tile walls, pots of stewed and jellied eels, and piles of pies. These shops are now a dying breed, along with the eels they serve. Our search for the source of these vanishing eels led us to southwest London β to Eel Pie Island, a tiny slice of land with a flamboyant history that stretches from Henry the VIII to the Rolling Stones.
D.W. Gibson is the author of Not Working: People Talk About Losing a Job and Finding Their Way in Today's Changing Economy.
The bright white Heritage Park library opened up a mile from my house when I was 13, and the first thing I checked out was Roald Dahl's story collection Someone Like You. I should have known what I was in for because of that giant eyeball on the cover; but somehow I saw it as more of a temptation than a warning.
Originally published on Mon August 13, 2012 5:40 pm
At least three people are dead after a shooting incident near the Texas A&M campus in College Station, Texas.
During a televised press conference, Assistant Chief Scott McCollum said a police officer and a civilian were killed during the shooting. McCollum said the alleged gunman was also shot, but he is now in custody.
Originally published on Mon August 13, 2012 3:53 pm
The longtime and legendary editor of Cosmopolitan Magazine Helen Gurley Brown died today. The Hearst Corporation, which published Cosmopolitan, announced her death in a press release, according to the Albany Times-Union.
She was 90.
NPR's Selena Simmons-Duffin filed this remembrance for our Newscast unit:
"Brown made her name by writing frankly about women and sex when that was truly a rare thing.
The London 2012 Olympics were billed as the Social Games, with Twitter, Facebook and other services making it an immersive experience. But it might be remembered as "The Crying Games," for the swelling of emotions many Britons experienced. We run down some of the Olympics' winners and losers:
Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 12:38 pm
When chef Trina Spillman β trained at Le Cordon Bleu β discovered that more than one-third of the children in Broward County didn't know where their next meal was coming from, she was shocked. So she took action.
Through her Need to Feed Gardening Initiative, Trina has planted community gardens, opened a community cafe and donated fresh produce to local food pantries. She holds Summer Hat Luncheons.
When it comes to connecting with the Egyptian public, the country's new president, Mohammed Morsi, seems to have looked at what his predecessor did, and then plotted a course that is diametrically opposed.
During three decades of rule, the former president, Hosni Mubarak, would sometimes go months without making a public statement. When he did appear, it was almost always a formal presentation that seemed to emphasize the gulf between the leader and the ruled.
We spend roughly a third of our lives asleep, but know very little about what happens once we shut our eyes and drift off.
David Randall has had trouble sleeping for most of his life. One particularly bad night inspired him to learn everything he could about the process.
"I woke up in the middle of the night with the scary and strange realization that I was on my back in the middle of the hallway with a searing pain in my knee," he tells NPR's Lynn Neary. "I ... quickly put together that I had been sleepwalking, and I ran myself into the wall."
Before incoming freshmen actually step onto campus, many get their first assignment: a "common read." Colleges and universities assign the same book for freshmen to read over the summer to facilitate discussions once they get to school.
Sonia Nazario's book Enrique's Journey is on dozens of required reading lists this year. It tells the story of a Honduran boy who embarks on a perilous search to find his mother in the United States. Enrique's mother left to find work in the United States when he was 5, and he sets out to track her down as a teenager.
Originally published on Mon August 13, 2012 3:57 pm
Mental health professionals are faced with difficult decisions about when to warn about potential threats to public safety. State laws vary: Some require mental health workers to report a perceived threat, others ease confidentiality requirements, and some states have no established duty to warn.
And now, the Opinion Page. And Republicans and Democrats can agree on one thing about Mitt Romney's pick of Paul Ryan as his running mate. His selection reshapes the race for president. That may be all they agree on. We'll read from our range of opinions in a few minutes, and we want to hear from Republicans today. Does Paul Ryan help or hurt the GOP ticket? Give us a call: 800-989-8255. The email address is email@example.com. And we start with NPR's senior Washington editor Ron Elving. He's here with us in Studio 3A.
House Republicans have gone through with their promise: The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has filed a lawsuit against Attorney General Eric Holder, claiming that he is under contempt for failing to turn over documents related to the failed gun-walking operation Fast and Furious.
When Peter Heller sat down to work on his first novel, all he knew was that he wanted to have the experience of writing without knowing the ending. As an expedition kayaker, Heller was already the author of many works of travel and outdoor-adventure writing. With his debut novel, The Dog Stars, Heller returned to fiction β his first love. But as the novel took a post-apocalyptic turn, he found himself relying on his real-life scrapes and survival skills.
The bombing that began the July 22, 2011, attacks in Oslo could have been prevented and the massacre that followed on an island outside the city could have been stopped much sooner than it was, according to a report released today by an independent commission.