WALE: (Singing) Ain't been a black hero since Robert Townsend, so, Meteor Man, I hope you found something profound enough to expand on before the sound (unintelligible).
LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:
That's Washington, D.C.-based rapper Wale with a song from his latest album "The Gifted." The 28-year-old is riding high in the Billboard charts. taking the number one spot from Kanye West's "Yeezus." But we think Wale's album is interesting for reasons other than just its success - namely this:
Filmmaker and artist Miranda July is blasting emails copied from the outboxes of some well-known names on intimate topics to anyone who signs up.
The project is called We Think Alone, and includes messages sent from a range of notable people (who agreed to participate in advance, of course). Those names include the NBA's all-time leading scorer Kareem Abdul Jabar, fashion-designing siblings Kate and Laura Mulleavy of Rodarte, and a Canadian-American theoretical physicist.
When novelist Mario Alberto Zambrano was a little boy, his imagination was piqued by a colorful deck of cards. Loteria is a Mexican game that's a lot like bingo, if bingo was full of vivid imagery. Instead of announcing numbers, the dealer turns over illustrated cards while calling out a riddle that corresponds with the picture — a spider, a rooster, a mermaid, a bottle.
Zambrano tells NPR's Linda Wertheimer that he used to wonder if those pictures were significant.
Defense manufacturers worldwide are facing tough times ahead, as tight budgets force Western governments to cut spending. But while the West is cutting back, developing countries around the world are spending more on defense — a lot more.
Last fall, defense contractors warned of massive layoffs if the U.S. government enacted the automatic budget cuts known as sequestration. Now, sequestration is in effect, but job losses are limited, in part because many Pentagon contracts were already in place and will keep assembly lines rolling for much of this year.