Back in the 17th century, right around the time when the ideas of great thinkers like Descartes and Newton and Hobbes began to shape the world, a Jesuit priest named Athanasius Kircher also tried to make his mark.
Kircher was something of a jack-of-all-trades. He wrote more than 30 books; he was a philosopher, an inventor, a historian, a scientist. Back in his day, everyone knew about him. But it didn't help his reputation that many of his theories and inventions just couldn't hold water.
There's a public middle school in Brooklyn, N.Y., called Intermediate School 318, or I.S. 318. Like others in the area, it's a Title I school, which means it has a poverty level that's more than 65 percent. But unlike other schools, it's got the highest-ranked junior-high chess team in the nation. In fact, Brooklyn IS 3-18 has won more than 30 national chess titles.
I.S. 318 is the subject of a new documentary called Brooklyn Castle. The film has picked up audience awards at the SXSW and Hot Docs film festivals.
Originally published on Sun November 25, 2012 8:45 am
The Israeli bombardment of Gaza continued Sunday — with one missile strike flattening a two-story building in Gaza City, killing at least 11 people, including women and children; another hit a media building and injured six journalists. Israel says its actions have been prompted by a barrage of rockets fired from the Gaza Strip, targeting Israeli cities. Meanwhile, diplomatic negotiations are under way, but Israel is continuing preparations for a ground invasion.
Originally published on Sun November 18, 2012 7:03 am
College football bowl season is just around the corner, and with it comes the seemingly perennial controversy around the bowl game selection process. Rachel Martin and NPR's Mike Pesca discuss the vagaries of the Bowl Championship Series ranking system, and why you can't just blame it on computers.
Tesla workers cheer on the first Tesla Model S cars sold during a rally at the Tesla factory in Fremont, Calif., in June.
Credit Paul Sakuma / AP
A Tesla Model S drives outside the Tesla factory in Fremont, Calif., on June 22. The electric car was recently named Automobile of the Year by <em>Automobile</em> <em>Magazine</em> and Car of the Year by <em>Motor Trend</em>.