The Two-Way
5:40 pm
Tue October 4, 2011

Oktoberfest Tallies 7.5 Million Liters Of Beer; Lost And Found Office Is Busy

Revelers clink their beer mugs inside a beer tent on the last day of Oktoberfest in Munich. The festival drew some 6.9 million visitors this year.

Johannes Simon Getty Images

In the past 17 days, people visiting Munich's Oktoberfest drank a record 7.5 million liters of beer — around 1.98 million U.S. gallons. That figure is made more striking if one notes that the festival, which ended Monday, hosted some 6.9 million visitors this year — or 200,000 people short of a record turnout.

Despite that number, there was less violence this year, with the police being called about 100 times fewer than they were in 2010. And Reuters says that only 58 conflicts involved people knocking one another over the head with steins — a drop of 4 from last year.

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Around the Nation
5:37 pm
Tue October 4, 2011

Mississippi's Jobs Program: A New National Model?

Brian Vandevender says a tough economic market prevented him from getting a good job until the state brought back the program it calls STEPS 2 last month. He just got a position working for a company that makes auto parts and supplies and hopes it will turn into a full-time job when STEPS ends in December.

Kathy Lohr NPR

As President Obama sells his jobs initiative across the country, people in Mississippi point to a program they say is already creating jobs. Mississippi has attracted attention because economists like the way the state got employers to share the cost of hiring workers.

Under the Subsidized Transitional Employment Program and Services, or STEPS for short, the state pays part of the cost of workers' salaries in the hopes that the subsidy will lead to full-time jobs.

Some analysts say this could be a national model, but it comes with a price tag.

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Shots - Health Blog
5:09 pm
Tue October 4, 2011

Hormonal Contraceptives May Raise HIV Risk For Men And Women

Hormone shots that are a popular form of birth control in Africa may increase the risk of HIV infection for women who use them and the men who are their sexual partners.

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Economy
4:51 pm
Tue October 4, 2011

Obama, Banks Trade Fire In Debit-Card Debate

A man walks up to an ATM machine outside a Bank of America branch in Los Angeles on Sept. 12. Bank of America has said it will charge customers a $5 monthly fee to use its debit card — a plan that has set off grumbling from consumer advocates at the highest levels.

Jae C. Hong AP

President Obama has waded into the controversy over bank card fees, suggesting that Bank of America is mistreating its customers with a plan to start charging a $5 monthly fee for the use of its debit card.

In an interview Monday with ABC, the president seemed to suggest the fee could become a target for the federal government's new financial watchdog agency.

"This is exactly why we need this Consumer [Financial] Protection Bureau that we set up, that is ready to go," he said.

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Bob Mondello, who jokes that he was a jinx at the beginning of his critical career, "hired to write for every small paper in Washington, D.C., just as it was about to fold," saw that jink broken in 1984, when he came to NPR.

For more than a quarter-century, Mondello has reviewed movies and covered the arts for NPR News, seeing at least 250 films and 100 plays annually, then sharing critiques and commentaries about the most intriguing on NPR's award-winning newsmagazine All Things Considered. In 2005, he conceived and co-produced NPR's eight-part series "American Stages," exploring the history, reach, and accomplishments of the regional theater movement.

The Two-Way
4:24 pm
Tue October 4, 2011

Bicycles, China's Former Love, Get A Second Look

For years, it was common to see images of Chinese people riding bikes in massive packs, coursing along the streets of Beijing or other sprawling metropolises. Then, as the nation's economy took off, bicycles came to be seen as part of the country's past — and cars as a sign of its future.

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Monkey See
4:12 pm
Tue October 4, 2011

DVD Picks: 'The Honeymooners'

MPI Home Video

Originally published on Tue October 4, 2011 6:52 pm

Time for our movie critic Bob Mondello to suggest something for home-viewing. Today, he's exploring a 15-disk collection of classic TV comedy that nobody's seen for a while: The Honeymooners: The Lost Episodes.

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WEMU Sweet Sixteen For The Week Of January 9 to January 15, 2012

These are the sixteen most played recordings on WEMU!

Opinion
3:52 pm
Tue October 4, 2011

Drafting My Fantasy Picks & Tackling Nobel Trends

The statue of Alfred Nobel resides at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm. The 2011 Nobel Prize for Medicine, awarded by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, opened a week of Nobel honors.

Jonathan Nackstrand AFP/Getty Images

Commentator Dennis O'Toole is a writer and improv performer from Chicago.

Today, Saul Perlmutter, Brian Schmidt and Adam G. Riess won the Nobel Prize in Physics for discovering that expansion in the universe is speeding up. That's great news for me, since I had Riess and Perlmutter in my fantasy league.

Honestly, I could have gotten Schmidt too, but I drafted Nathan Seiberg, mainly because he's worked with both supersymmetric gauge theories and with discrete light-cone quantization. That was a hedge.

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Conflict In Libya
3:43 pm
Tue October 4, 2011

Post Revolution, Libyan Women Seek Expanded Roles

In Tripoli, Libya, women celebrate the revolution against Moammar Gadhafi's regime and call for a strengthening of women's rights, Sept. 2. After playing large but largely unsung roles during the uprising, women are now seeking a greater political role.

Alexandre Meneghini AP

One recent day in Tripoli, hundreds of people strolled through a charity fundraiser organized by the women in Libya's capital city.

Ladies sold baked goods and handicrafts in rows of stalls. For the kids, there was a moon bounce and face painting. There was even a rock band that could use some practice.

It was a lot like charity bazaars in towns across the U.S., with a couple of notable exceptions: most of the women wore headscarves and among the more popular items for sale were hand-knitted versions of the Libyan flag.

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