Rene Lopez and Devin Burrell blast dirt off the polyurethane coating the iconic white roof of the Superdome in New Orleans. The job will cost about $130,000 and take roughly a month, partly because the roofers must move slowly. "You have to constantly be aware of where you're at," says project manager Tom Keller. "If something stupid happens, it's not going to end up pretty."
Credit Keith O'Brien for NPR
Keller helped rebuild the damaged roof of the Superdome after Hurricane Katrina. "It's not just a roof," he says. "This is the Superdome. It's probably the most infamous roof, and now famous roof, in the whole world."
Credit Keith O'Brien for NPR
The Louisiana Superdome plays an iconic role in the skyline--and heart--of New Orleans.
Credit David J. Phillip / AP
As the roofers get to the top, they literally straddle the void, swinging their bodies from the ladder to the roof over a small but frightening gap.
Most people have their route to work memorized; they can do it with their eyes closed. Heading into the office is some combination of elevators — stairs if you're more ambitious — and hallways. Easy.
Tom Keller's route is a bit more complicated.
"Step here, and there's a bad railing right here with a step," Keller cautions, threading his way up along a series of dimly lit, narrow catwalks suspended above the football field inside the New Orleans Superdome.
The stadium is home to the New Orleans Saints and will host this year's Super Bowl.
Police officers detain Kirill Filimonov, one of the supporters of Radio Liberty in Moscow during a recent protest. The service will stop AM radio broadcasts and will become an Internet operation. It can also be heard on short wave radio.
Radio Liberty was founded in the 1950s to broadcast American views into the former Soviet Union when the Cold War was at its peak. Radio Liberty transmitted on short wave, and the Soviet government did all it could to jam the broadcasts.
But after the fall of the Soviet Union, Russian President Boris Yeltsin granted the service permission to open a Moscow bureau and broadcast within the country on AM radio.
An Indian child receives the oral polio vaccine. Twice a year, an army of 2 million volunteers fans out across India to administer the vaccine. India has not reported a single case of polio in more than a year-and-a-half.
Credit Julie McCarthy / NPR
Dr. Kiran Kathuria (left) and veteran volunteer Santosh Sharma (front right) make the rounds with a team of vaccinators in Nehru Nagar, a middle-class area of Delhi. India's nationwide polio eradication program, begun in 1995, was modeled after Delhi's.
All this week, we've been examining the world's last remaining pockets of polio, a disease for which there is no cure. India marked a milestone when the World Health Organization struck it from the list of polio-endemic countries in February after no new cases were reported for more than a year. From Delhi, NPR's Julie McCarthy reports on how, despite poverty and poor sanitation, the world's second-most populous country is eradicating the disease.
Treatment for Alzheimer's probably needs to begin years or even decades before symptoms of the disease start to appear, scientists reported at this week's Society for Neuroscience meeting in New Orleans.
"By the time an Alzheimer's patient is diagnosed even with mild or moderate Alzheimer's there is very, very extensive neuron death," said John Morrison of Mount Sinai Medical School in New York. "And the neurons that die are precisely those neurons that allow you to navigate the world and make sense of the world."