Palestine might not seem like a breeding ground for race car drivers. After all, the area is dotted with checkpoints and roadblocks, hundreds of obstacles that can cramp a driver's ability to explore a car's limits.
But that hasn't stopped a group of Palestinian women from driving very fast, winning races and making a name for themselves along the way.
We wouldn't want to say that $7,922,500 isn't an awful lot to pay for one set of four books.
But we do have to point out that it's not a record.
Thursday, we previewed the Christie's New York auction of a rare set of John James Audubon's Birds of America. As we reported, there was talk that it might fetch more than the record $11.5 million paid for another full set of the books in 2010.
A judge in New Zealand today ordered that Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom (a.k.a. Kim Schmitz) and three others remain in custody at least until a bail hearing on Monday as the legal process of possibly extraditing them to the U.S. to face copyright infringement and conspiracy charges got underway.
The International Maritime Organization has decreed that by 2015, all large deep sea ships will be required to carry the latest in electronic navigation equipment. But does state-of-the-art navigation technology prevent shipwrecks like last week's off the Italian coast? University of Southern Mississippi hydrographer Max van Norden talks about the technology.
Science historian Howard Markel discusses the origins of the word moon and some of the lore surrounding it, including a 1638 book by the English bishop Francis Godwin entitled The Man in the Moone, which recounts a science fiction-style voyage to the moon.
The National Center for Science Education has long defended educators' right to teach evolution in public schools. Now climate science too is under attack. NCSE executive director Eugenie Scott talks about how teachers and parents can fight the push to get climate change denial into the classroom.
Scientists have confirmed that rocks collected recently in the Moroccan desert came from the Red Planet. University of Alberta meteorite expert Chris Herd, who has acquired one of the chunks, talks about how scientists analyze space rocks, and whether organic compounds might be found inside.
Surgeons in Sweden replaced an American patient's cancerous windpipe with a scaffold built from nanofibers and seeded with the patient's stem cells. Lead surgeon Dr. Paolo Macchiarini discusses the procedure and the benefits of tissue-engineered synthetic organs.
Up next, mindfulness. Ever find yourself going through day stuck in autopilot mode, waking up at 7:15, wolfing down your usual hot cereal, really, without really tasting it, while you read the paper, your emails, your Facebook feed.
Search and rescue operations at the wreck of the Costa Concordia have resumed, after being halted for a third time, due to choppy waters and the partially submerged vessel's tendency to shift on the rocks near Italy's coast.
The websites of Israel's El Al airline and the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange were knocked offline Monday, just hours after a Saudi Arabian hacker threatened to act against them. Israeli hackers responded by crashing the Saudi stock exchange. Here, a man walks past an El Al office in Tel Aviv on Monday.
An online battle is raging between Israelis and Arabs, with each side unveiling credit card and other personal information of thousands of private citizens, as well as temporarily disabling high-profile websites, like the Tel Aviv and Saudi Arabian stock exchanges.
So far, the recent Web assaults seem to be the work of bored young people venting frustration. But others worry that these actions could easily escalate into a much larger online fight.
In 1978, the farmers in a small Chinese village called Xiaogang gathered in a mud hut to sign a secret contract. They thought it might get them executed. Instead, it wound up transforming China's economy in ways that are still reverberating today.
The contract was so risky — and such a big deal — because it was created at the height of communism in China. Everyone worked on the village's collective farm; there was no personal property.
"Back then, even one straw belonged to the group," says Yen Jingchang, who was a farmer in Xiaogang in 1978. "No one owned anything."
"Etta James, whose assertive, earthy voice lit up such hits as The Wallflower, Something's Got a Hold on Me, and the wedding favorite At Last, has died, according to her longtime friend and manager, Lupe De Leon. She was 73 and had been diagnosed with leukemia in 2010."
A plan for how to redraw Texas' congressional and state legislative districts that was put together by a three-judge federal court in San Antonio was rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court this morning because, the justices ruled, the lower court should not have disregarded the Texas state legislature's wishes and should not have stepped into that legislature's shoes.
Originally published on Fri January 20, 2012 12:58 pm
It's no longer just Whole Foods shoppers seeking out certified, sustainable seafood.
Increasingly, those of us who shop the big-box retailers including Costco, Target and Walmart are finding a blue label on seafood packages. The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) label signifies that the seafood comes from a fishery that's met a rigorous set of standards aimed at promoting responsible, sustainable catches.
The individuals who participated in the first Inquisition 800 years ago kept detailed records of their activities. Vast archival collections at the Vatican, in France and in Spain contain accounts of torture victims' cries, descriptions of funeral pyres and even meticulous financial records about the price of torture equipment.
"[There are] expense accounts [for things] like how much did the rope cost to tie the hands of the person you burnt at the stake," says writer Cullen Murphy. "The people who were doing interrogations were meticulous."
The past two years have been good for pecans — so good, in fact, that there's been a spike in pecan theft from California to Georgia. And it's not people swiping a few nuts from a tree in someone else's backyard, but theft in amounts that could land someone in jail.
Greg Daviet's century-old family farm has harvested pecans in Las Cruces, New Mexico, since 1965. This year, Daviet tells weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz, an increase in demand from Europe, the Middle East and India has led to a price hike, with China as the top importer.
Saying that "recent events" have raised questions, but that "there is no reason that the legitimate issues raised by many about this bill cannot be resolved," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has announced that there won't be a vote in his chamber next Tuesday on the Protect IP Act (PIPA).
That's the Senate's version of controversial legislation that supporters say would cut down on Internet piracy — but that opponents say would amount to censorship.