When writer David Rakoff died Thursday at the age 47, he was barely the age he said he was always "meant" to be. In his 2010 memoir, Half Empty, he wrote, "Everyone has an internal age, a time in life when one is, if not one's best, then at very least one's most authentic self. I always felt that my internal clock was calibrated somewhere between 47 and 53 years old."
Rakoff died in New York City after a long struggle with cancer — an ordeal that he wrote about with sobering honesty and biting wit.
Researchers at the University of Georgia, working with the National Geographic Society, are revealing the hidden lives of cats. Small video cameras on the necks of dozens of domestic cats show surprising hunting habits, and cats cheating on their owners. Melissa Block talks with wildlife ecologist Kerrie Anne Loyd.
Kinesio tape has caught the eye of many an Olympic viewer the last two weeks — covering the muscles of volleyball players, javelin throwers, even swimmers. It was invented decades ago by a Japanese chiropractor. Athletes say it eases muscle strain and allows healing, but research has yet to prove the effectiveness of the tape. Melissa Block talks with Amy Powell, a sports medicine doctor at the University of Utah about the tape.
Now to London and some of today's Olympic results. Several American athletes picked up gold. At least one U.S. team that was expected to get gold did not and another team set a world record. NPR's Mike Pesca is in London with the details. And, Mike, let's start with track and field and the women's 4x100 relay, a sport where women - the U.S. women tend to dominate in that event. How about today?
MIKE PESCA, BYLINE: More than dominate, world record.
Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 4:08 pm
Rarely has cheating been such an issue at the Olympics until this year. From badminton to women's soccer to the South African swimmer who admitted cheating, athletes and their coaches are talking openly about gaming the system. And all of it, ironically, is playing out against the constant background music from Chariots of Fire, that iconic nod to gentlemanly, rule-observing sport.
Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 4:18 pm
The Bahamas men's team has won the 4x400m relay, edging past a surprisingly quick U.S. team to take the gold medal. It was the first gold medal for any male athlete from the Bahamas. The quartet ran a time of 2:56.72, setting a national record. The U.S. set a season best of 2:57.05 to take silver.
Trinidad and Tobago took the bronze medal, just ahead of Great Britain.
The Bahamas led the race after the first lap, with the U.S. running in second. And the two teams' runners stayed ahead of the pack, extending their lead to make it a two-team race.
Sheik Ahmad Assir speaks to supporters at a tent encampment set up in protest against Hezbollah in Sidon, Lebanon. He accuses the Islamist militant group of using resistance against Israel as a smokescreen for another aim: advancing Iranian regional hegemony.
Credit Mohamad al-Baba / NPR
Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, seen here delivering a speech via video in Beirut in June, has dismissed Assir's calls for disarmament.
Originally published on Sun August 12, 2012 8:45 am
On a recent day, baffled motorists honked their horns and veered around the blocked entrance to a major street in Sidon. Now Lebanon's third-largest city, Sidon was once a flourishing Phoenician city-state on the Mediterranean.
The street was closed off by Sunni cleric Sheik Ahmad Assir, who erected a small tent encampment in protest against the country's most powerful military and political force, the militant Islamist group Hezbollah.
The Royal Spanish Academy — the official arbiter of the Spanish language — recently announced that it will add the word "Espanglish" to the 2014 edition of its dictionary. This is a big deal for the traditionally conservative academy, and it's a big deal for supporters who feel that mix of Spanish and English has officially been ignored for more than a century.
With the Olympics drawing to a close, NBC is looking especially golden. They have had two weeks of great ratings — including record highs. What better time than on the eve of the network's new fall season to rack up two weeks of record audiences? But what might seem a slam dunk for the network is anything but.