The U.S. military and law enforcement agencies have seen increased public scrutiny on the domestic use of the robotically piloted planes known as drones. Working on the sidelines of this debate, the U.S. Geological Survey has been trying to find a second life for retired military drones in the areas of environmental and wildlife management. Instead of watching the battlefield, these drones are watching birds.
At a time when so many major American news organizations are cutting back, foreign news agencies are beefing up their presence abroad and in the U.S. One of the biggest new players arrives from China and, more likely than not, can be found on a television set near you.
CCTV, or China Central Television, is owned by the Chinese government. With more than 40 channels in China and an offshoot in the U.S., the broadcaster has been highly profitable for the country's ruling Communist Party, which is liking profits a lot these days.
The Broadway musical <em>Matilda</em> put NPR's Bob Mondello in mind of two other big-budget tuners with plucky kids at the center of the action — and got him thinking about what these shows say about their eras.
Credit Joan Marcus
Anthony Warlow as Oliver Warbucks and Lilla Crawford as Annie in the recent Broadway revival of <em>Annie</em>. The show is almost a version of <em>Oliver!</em> in drag, Mondello said in his first-ever commentary for <em>All Things Considered.</em>
Broadway's newest family-friendly musical, Matilda, based on the Roald Dahl novel about a precocious child who proves smarter than all the adults in her life, opened earlier this month to some of the best reviews of the year.
While it's a brand-new show, seeing it jogged my memory — jogged it all the way back to my very first commentary for All Things Considered exactly29 years ago.
Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 5:38 pm
Early Tuesday morning, the Brown University crew team discovered a body floating in the water off India Point Park in Providence, R.I.
Today the body was identified as that of Sunil Tripathi, a missing Brown University student who for a few hours was erroneously identified on social media sites as one of the suspects in the Boston Marathon bombings.
Rocky Balboa's sprint up the stairs of the Philadelphia Art Museum in Rocky is a scene that would have once been impossible to film. Camera innovator Garrett Brown made it possible when he invented the Steadicam, a body-mounted camera that stabilizes handheld shots.
Brown has received three Academy Awards for his technical inventions and holds 50 patents for cinematography devices. The college dropout-turned-inventor will be inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in May.
Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 10:35 am
My husband and I recently attended a production of the Mozart Requiem at James Madison University's gorgeous Forbes Center for the Performing Arts. The stage was full. Conducted by Dr. Jo-Anne van der Vat-Chromy, sung by the JMU Chorale (in which our daughter is a soprano), with music by the JMU Chamber Orchestra, the work was masterful and moving.
Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 9:15 am
Comparisons have always helped me appreciate jazz. An artist plays a tune fast; another does it as a ballad. A trumpeter finishes his solo, and a saxophonist takes that closing phrase and morphs it in a different direction. A musician revisits a composition years later with a new arrangement and ensemble. Aligned side by side, you get a good sense of why jazz is a music of individual style, and of gradual accretion, and of friendly "Oh, yeah, watch this" motivation.