State and National News


13.7: Cosmos And Culture
2:49 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

When Humans Mourn: The Mozart Requiem And A Matter Of Scale

A visitor walks through the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, also known as the Holocaust Memorial, in Berlin, Germany.
Sean Gallup Getty Images

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.

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A Blog Supreme
2:49 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

Piano Vs. Piano, And Why Style Matters

Jaki Byard (left) and Tommy Flanagan.
Tom Copi Resonance Records

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.

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The Picture Show
2:47 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

Chicano Males Stare Down Stereotypes

Courtesy of Harry Gamboa, Jr.

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 8:43 am

When Harry Gamboa Jr. saw Chicanos in the mainstream media, he didn't see himself, or the people he knew. And he wanted to change that.

Growing up during the 1960s Chicano movement, the Los Angeles-based artist resented how Chicanos were often portrayed, he says. His photo series Chicano Male Unbonded was his response.

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The Salt
2:37 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

Why Caffeine In Coffee Is A Miracle Drug For The Tired

Many believe that humanity's caffeine addiction has wrought a lot of good.

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 2:46 pm

NPR's Coffee Week is winding down, but we'd be remiss if we didn't give some space to caffeine, the most widely used stimulant drug in the world.

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Shots - Health News
2:33 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

Freaky Friday: Autonomous Tissue Grabbers Are On Their Way

A miniature ninja throwing star or a surgical device? The microgripper, shown here coming out of a catheter tube, is activated by body heat. The sharp appendages fold up when the device warms up.
Evin Gultepe, Gracias Lab, Johns Hopkins University.

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 9:54 am

When we first heard about researchers using tiny freely floating tools to grab tissue samples deep inside the body, we were scared.

But our fears quickly turned to fascination.

Johns Hopkins engineers are testing out what they call "untethered microgrippers" as a better way to investigate hard-to-reach places. They have launched hundreds of these things, which look like miniature ninja throwing stars, inside the body of animal to retrieve tiny pieces of tissue for biopsies.

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The Two-Way
2:24 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

Top Stories: Boston Bombing Latest; Bush Library Dedication

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 8:01 am

Good morning, here are our early stories:

-- Boston Bombing Investigation: Thursday's Developments.

-- 5 Presidents Set To Help Dedicate George W. Bush's Library.

And here are more early headlines:

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First Reads
2:21 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

Exclusive First Read: 'A Constellation Of Vital Phenomena'

AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 12:13 pm

  • Listen to the Excerpt

Until last week, when the suspects in the Boston Marathon bombings were revealed to be Chechen, you might not have spent much time thinking about Chechnya. It's far away. It might not even be the country you're picturing as you read this.

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Book Reviews
2:20 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

'Woman Upstairs': Friendly On The Outside, Furious On The Inside

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 6:03 am

Claire Messud's cosmopolitan sensibilities infuse her fiction with a refreshing cultural fluidity. Her first novel, When the World Was Steady (1995), followed two midlife sisters in search of new beginnings, one in Bali and the other on the Isle of Skye. In her second novel, The Last Life (1999), a teenager reacting to a family crisis pondered her father's origins in Algeria and southern France, and her mother's New England roots.

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2:19 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

Azuquita Pa'l Cafe: What Coffee Songs Mean To Latin America

A worker collects coffee beans at a farm in Cuatro Esquinas, on the outskirts of Diriamba.
Hector Retamal AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 11:09 am

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Author Interviews
2:11 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

First Western War In Afghanistan Was An 'Imperial Disaster'


Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 1:46 am

The year is 1839, and two great empires — Great Britain and Russia — are treating the world map like a chessboard, trying to outmaneuver one another for territory. For no reason other than geography, Afghanistan gets caught in the middle.

Today, as the U.S. ends its war in Afghanistan, historian William Dalrymple recounts the first time a Western power fought in that country. In Return of a King, Dalrymple details Great Britain's attempt to control Afghanistan by putting an ousted king back on the throne — a plan that went famously wrong.

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