Originally published on Sun October 21, 2012 8:41 pm
Economic sanctions have a reputation for being the international equivalent of a slap on the wrist. But in Iran, there's evidence that they are working, and that the country's flamboyant President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad might pay the price.
In the past year, Iran's currency has shed 80 percent of its value against the dollar, dropping by 25 percent in just the past week. That's caused a scramble for the few U.S. dollars available in the black market as people seek a safe haven against the free-falling rial.
Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 11:38 am
David Wax Museum fuses traditional Mexican and American folk music into what the band calls "Mexo-Americana" — a style that's lively and unique. David Wax and Suz Slezak, the band's core members, met in Boston in 2007. After spending summers working with Quakers in rural Mexico, Wax spent a graduate fellowship year studying the local music of Mexico.
Low Cut Connie is one of an increasingly rare breed: a party band, a bar band, a band with a sense of rock 'n' roll history that isn't weighed down by nostalgia or the foolish feeling that music was better way back when. Positive fellows, for the most part, even when they're in their cups, these guys "say yes," as the title of one song goes, to a life in music. Oh, and they're also trying to get women to say yes to their craven come-ons.
If you saw Stephen Tobolowsky on the street, you might think you know him from somewhere. The character actor has appeared in over 100 films and TV shows, with recurring roles in Heroes, Deadwood, Glee and now The Mindy Project.
In his memoir, The Dangerous Animals Club, Toboloswky charts the highs and lows of life as a character actor. Some of his roles have been so small, he says, his characters didn't even have names — as, for example, with his turn as "Buttcrack Plumber."
Over the last few years, singer-songwriter Mary Chapin Carpenter's life has been drastically transformed. In 2007, she suffered a life-threatening pulmonary embolism, her marriage ended soon after and, in the fall of 2011, her father died.
After those experiences, she tells NPR's Neal Conan, grief became a companion — but also a guide, a presence that dictated her outlook on life. The Grammy-winning artist channeled those emotions into her latest album, Ashes and Roses.
Originally published on Wed October 3, 2012 1:19 pm
For a short period, yesterday, the hunt was on in Pinellas County, Florida for a lady photographed riding a manatee.
The sheriff's department called a deadly serious press conference in which they asked the help of the public in identifying the perpetrator. The lady was wearing a white cap, red shorts and a black bikini top. Witnesses in the area, the sheriff said in a statement, took photographs and contacted police.
I have a quibble with the title of David Skinner's new book, The Story of Ain't. In fact, that pariah contraction plays only a supporting role in the story. The book is really an account of one of the oddest episodes in American cultural history, the brouhaha over the appearance of Merriam-Webster's Third International Dictionary in 1961.
Originally published on Sun October 7, 2012 4:09 pm
What we learn about dinosaurs keeps surprising us. Today in the journal ZooKeys we get a peek into an odd, new kind of dinosaur that was lighter than a house cat and just as small but had a terrifying set of teeth and a short, birdlike beak.
The fossil used to re-create the creature was actually discovered in southern Africa in the 1960s, but it is described for the first time today by Paul Sereno, paleontologist and professor at the University of Chicago.