Dawn Burke had always thought of rats as filthy animals, she says, until her neighbor introduced her to his "soft and cuddly" pet rats. Years later, she stopped by a pet shop on a whim — and ended up coming home with a rat of her own.
From there, says Dawn's husband, Don Burke, "it grew very quickly from one rat to 72." Before long, the couple had opened a rat sanctuary in their home in Boise, Idaho.
The government shutdown grinds on with no immediate relief in sight.
President Obama says he's willing to talk with Republican lawmakers about adjustments to the health care law and other issues, but only after they re-open the government and lift the threat of a federal default.
"I'm happy to negotiate with you on anything. I don't think any one party has a monopoly on wisdom. But you don't negotiate by putting a gun to the other person's head," Obama says.
Experts in negotiation say the president's stance may be justified, but it's also risky.
Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 11:49 am
A big survey by the Pew Center is out today on Jewish life in America, and it shows a stark shift away from religious belief and toward cultural identification.
Nine in 10 American Jews born before World War II identify themselves as Jewish by religion, but nearly a third of Jewish millennials — that is, people born after 1980 — identify as having no religion at all.
Originally published on Thu October 3, 2013 1:02 pm
We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and amid the flyers urging us to replace our nonexistent maid service is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives — and, this week, a pair of queries about the importance of loving the right music.
Jennifer Yousfi writes via Facebook: "I have horrible taste in music. How do I fix this?"
Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 9:41 am
If you're suffering withdrawal symptoms from the National Zoo's "pandacams" — sadly deemed "nonessential" and therefore shut down, along with much of the rest of the government — we have the perfect antidote:
One group of insurers opening for business today under the Affordable Care Act is out to change all of health care: health care cooperatives.
The co-ops are private non-profits offering insurance to individuals and small employers through the new health care exchanges. They emerged as a compromise, after Congress rejected a government-run insurance. They’re meant to compete with larger, commercial insurance companies.