As Director of Vertical Initiatives (and Mischief) at NPR, Matt Thompson works with teams across the company to guide the development of topic-focused verticals covering race, ethnicity and culture; education; and global health and development.

Outside his work at NPR, Thompson teaches media and technology management as an adjunct professor at American University. He serves as the vice-chairman of the board of the Center for Public Integrity, an investigative journalism nonprofit. He's also the co-founder of an organization called Spark Camp, which convenes diverse groups of leaders from a variety of industries.

The Two-Way
3:02 pm
Tue April 9, 2013

Spring Storm Brings Snow To Colo., High Winds To Wyo., Dust Storm In Ariz.

A woman crosses the street as steam rises from a manhole cover in Denver's financial district on Tuesday.
Ed Andrieski AP

Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 3:31 pm

We almost feel guilty writing this post, because here in Washington, we're finally seeing some spring (the cherry blossoms have reached full bloom!): But in the Plains, a spring storm is bringing snow to Colorado and Wyoming and whipped up enough winds to cover parts of Arizona in dust.

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Music Reviews
3:01 pm
Tue April 9, 2013

Brad Paisley Ventures Out Of Country's 'Wheelhouse'

Brad Paisley's new album is titled Wheelhouse.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 6:34 pm

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Music
2:52 pm
Tue April 9, 2013

Music of Yesteryears, April 3

A nostalgic hour of music of the big bands and combos.  

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Shots - Health News
2:49 pm
Tue April 9, 2013

How A Spring Birthday Could Pose A Risk For Multiple Sclerosis

Spring has brought the stork and a baby who just might have a higher risk for multiple sclerosis later in life.
Anna Bryukhanova iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 9:42 am

There's lots of science trying to connect a baby's birth date to health later in life. It's usually about serious diseases that have no clear cause, like schizoprenia, autism and multiple sclerosis.

And it's almost all junk science, the medical equivalent of astrology. That's because though studies have shown a correlation between season of birth and disease for MS and other disorders, they've never been able to show how seasonal differences in people's bodies or the environment could cause disease.

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Code Switch
2:42 pm
Tue April 9, 2013

Brad Paisley's 'Accidental Racist' Sparks At Least One Dialogue

LL Cool J (left) and Brad Paisley backstage during the 48th Annual Academy Of Country Music Awards Sunday in Las Vegas.
Jerod Harris/ACMA2013 Getty Images for ACM

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 7:18 am

"It can't be a coincidence that 'Accidental Racist' came out the same day Code Switch launched," @Melanism tweeted at us on Monday.

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The Two-Way
2:32 pm
Tue April 9, 2013

Pacific Commander: U.S. Can Intercept North Korean Missiles

The launch of North Korea's Unha-3 rocket in December in a photo released by the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 2:46 pm

The commander of the U.S. Pacific Command said Tuesday that American forces currently have the ability to intercept a North Korean ballistic missile.

Adm. Samuel Locklear, speaking before the Senate Armed Services Committee, was asked by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., if the U.S. had the ability to intercept a North Korean missile launched "within the next several days."

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World Cafe's Sense Of Place: Nashville
2:31 pm
Tue April 9, 2013

Gillian Welch And David Rawlings On World Cafe

David Rawlings and Gillian Welch.
Mark Seliger Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 2:16 pm

For World Cafe's Sense of Place: Nashville edition, we knew we wanted to talk with Gillian Welch and David Rawlings to get their take on changes in the city over the last couple of decades. The country-folk singer-songwriters moved to Nashville in 1993 and have worked there ever since, recording at historic studios like RCA Studio B before buying the legendary Woodland Studios.

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Middle East
2:22 pm
Tue April 9, 2013

'It's Not Normal': Syrian War Transforms Lives

Razan Shalab Al-Sham, in bright blue, works for the Syrian Emergency Task Force. She helped provide uniforms for the new civil police force of Khirbet al-Joz in northern Syria.
Deborah Amos NPR

Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 7:59 pm

In November, Razan Shalab Al-Sham, the daughter of a wealthy Syrian family, led the way to the Syrian farming village of Khirbet al-Joz to deliver an unusual kind of aid: police uniforms. A cold winter rain turned the frontier forest between southern Turkey and Syria into a muddy march up a mountain ridge along a smugglers' trail. She climbed the mountain to make the delivery herself.

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The Record
2:16 pm
Tue April 9, 2013

Brad Paisley's 'Accidental Racist' And The History Of White Southern Musical Identity

Brad Paisley onstage at the 48th Annual Academy Of Country Music Awards Sunday in Las Vegas.
Jerod Harris/ACMA2013 Getty Images for ACM

Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 3:24 pm

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