Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 12:11 pm
A rare astronomical event will take place Tuesday evening: The planet Venus will pass between Earth and the sun, appearing as a small black dot moving across the sun's bright disk. It's known as the transit of Venus, and it won't happen again for more than 100 years.
Next week, North Dakota voters will decide whether to add an amendment to the state's constitution that supporters say will guarantee religious freedom. But the ballot measure has prompted debate over precisely what it safeguards; opponents argue that it's a solution in search of a problem and worry about its consequences.
It's not just our politicians who are divided. According to a new report (pdf) from the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, Americans' values and "basic beliefs are more polarized along partisan lines than at any point in the past 25 years."
With many conservatives already suspecting that he is a conservative of convenience, Mitt Romney apparently hasn't done himself any favors in their eyes with the man he chose to lead his presidential transition.
Politico broke the story Sunday that Romney has chosen Michael Leavitt to oversee the creation of an executive branch in waiting.
For much of the past decade, music video games like Rock Band and Guitar Hero have let millions of aspiring rockers live out their dreams of stardom, waving fake instruments and mimicking their favorite music icons. Jamin Warren, founder of killscreendaily.com, says iPhones and iPads have inspired game designers to re-imagine the music game.
Chances are, you're a liar. Maybe not a big liar — but a liar nonetheless. That's the finding of Dan Ariely, a professor of psychology and behavioral economics at Duke University. He's run experiments with some 30,000 people and found that very few people lie a lot, but almost everyone lies a little.
The sun is setting, gay pride flags wave next to the water, same-sex couples kiss and cuddle on the beach. This is Tel Aviv — which the government of Israel is now pushing as one of the most gay-friendly cities in the world — and gay tourism is booming.
"It's a place you have to go, good parties, nice people, beautiful people and just different from all the other tourist destinations you can go to," says Jorg Grosskopf, a German tourist who, together with his partner, Peter, is on his seventh vacation in Israel.
Oscar-nominated actor Glenn Close is known for her roles in movies like Fatal Attraction and Air Force One and now the hit TV show Damages. But she's also playing a more prominent role raising awareness about mental illness.
She was inspired by her sister Jessie Close, who lives with bipolar disorder, as well as her nephew Calen Pick, who has schizo-affective disorder.
Syrian rebels said they are no longer holding their fire. Reuters reports that the rebels are walking away from the United-Nations-backed truce with the regime of Bashar Assad.
"We have decided to end our commitment to this (ceasefire)," Free Syrian Army spokesman Major Sami al-Kurdi told Reuters. "We have resumed our attacks but we are doing defensive attacks which means we are only attacking checkpoints in the cities."
For generations, owning a home has been a key part of the lifestyle most Americans aspire to. But when the mortgage crisis exploded in 2007, it brought down the U.S. housing market — and the entire economy along with it.
The ensuing recession was an assault on the American dream of homeownership itself. The tidal wave of foreclosures, the crash in home prices and tighter lending standards have left some Americans unable or simply too nervous to buy a house.
Early synthesizers were supposed to imitate or re-create other existing sounds, but as anyone can tell you, they mostly sounded like synthesizers. That distinctive whine and wheeze captivated all manner of pop artists, from prog-rockers to classical composers to soul musicians. However, back then, synthesizers were so expensive and bulky, you needed a major-label budget and an entire studio wall to install them.
When voters go to the polls in California's primary on Tuesday, instead of only being able to vote for candidates in their own party, they will be able to vote for anyone they please.
Tuesday will be the first statewide test of California's new open primary system, where the top two candidates move on to the general election, regardless of party. Backers hope this system will favor moderates.
In California, there aren't very many purple areas. The state has strongly Democratic regions and strongly Republican regions — and the Democrats dominate.
How do you get people interested in the difference something as simple as a toilet can make for health?
If you're the head of the World Toilet Organization (yes, there is one), or the author of a page-turner about sanitation, or you're part of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, you talk toilets up. A lot.
And, it turns out, if you're in Seattle, which considers itself the home for new ideas on global health, talking about poop and toilets will pack an 842-seat theater on a Friday night.
In a case involving then-Vice President Dick Cheney's Secret Service detail, the Supreme Court ruled Monday that agents accused of a politically motivated arrest are immune from suit. But the court's unanimous ruling did little more than resolve this particular case.
The decision stems from an incident in 2006 in the Colorado resort town of Beaver Creek, where Cheney was shaking hands at a shopping mall. Steven Howards got in line and when his turn came, he told the vice president that the Bush administration's Iraq policies were "disgusting."
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. The massacre in Hula late last month may have marked a turning point in Syria, but there appears to be no clear idea of what to do after Syria's ambassadors have been ordered home to Damascus.
After nine days of deliberations, a jury in North Carolina found John Edwards not guilty on one count of campaign finance fraud, and a federal judge declared a mistrial after they failed to reach a verdict on five more. Afterwards, the former presidential candidate said he'd committed no crimes but admitted to what he called awful wrongs for which he could only blame himself. Observers think it's highly unlikely the Justice Department will seek a retrial.
A report by Northeastern University's Center for Labor Market Studies finds that less than 30 percent of U.S. teens had jobs in the summers of 2010 and 2011. Though the employment outlook is bleak, there are some strategies for navigating the summer job market.
As part of the World Cycle Racing, Mike Hall, 31, rode into the Greenwich royal observatory today 92 days after he left. The Guardian explains that to come full circle, he travelled 24,900 miles and biked 18,000 of them through "20 countries and four continents to raise money for the Newborn Vietnam charity."
Using tanks and armored vehicles a militia has surrounded the Tripoli international airport in Libya. Commercial flights have been cancelled and some of them were diverted to the city's military airport.
Last week, The New York Times reported that Stuxnet, the computer worm that infected computers around the world in 2010, was developed by the United States in conjunction with Israel to destroy Iran's nuclear centrifuges.
"It appears to be the first time the United States has repeatedly used cyberweapons to cripple another country's infrastructure, achieving, with computer code, what until then could be accomplished only by bombing a country or sending in agents to plant explosives," wrote David Sanger, the paper's chief Washington correspondent.