The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has for the first time implicated a connection between "fracking" and contamination of ground water. The controversial method of natural gas and oil extraction consists of injecting high-pressure water and chemicals into the ground in order to more easily access the oil and gas. Robert Siegel speaks with NPR's Elizabeth Shogren about the report.
For much of the Cold War, George F. Kennan was America's best-known diplomat and a leading Soviet scholar. His reputation was based in large part on the 1947 essay he wrote on containment, the Cold War policy that said the U.S. should neither forcefully confront nor meekly appease the Soviets.
Rather, the U.S. should seek to contain Soviet expansion, power and influence in the belief that the communist system would eventually collapse on its own. The U.S. largely adhered to Kennan's road map until the Soviet Union crumbled in 1991.
Alan Heathcock is the author of the collection Volt.
Last week, my wife suggested we have a dance floor installed in our family room. She was smiling ear-to-ear, wiping sweat from her eyes. Behind her, our three kids took turns showing off their moves as Michael Jackson's P.Y.T. blared over the speakers.
The hip-hop band The Roots might currently be the hardest-working band in show business. Five nights a week, it's the house band on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and is constantly collaborating with other artists. And this week, the band issued its 10th studio album.
Time now for a home-viewing recommendation from our film critic, Bob Mondello. With a new movie version of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy opening this week, Bob's suggesting the TV original.
At some point in my youth, I must have known the nursery rhyme "Tinker, tailor/ soldier, sailor/ rich man, poor man/beggar man, thief," but since 1979, the instant someone says "Tinker Tailor," the next two words that occur to me are "Alec Guinness."
Larry Levan, who made the highlight of a new collection of DJ mixes recorded at London superclub Ministry of Sound. Levan's work at New York club Paradise Garage was the inspiration for the London club.
The audio link above is a radio story for All Things Considered about the late Larry Levan, the producer and DJ whose residency at New York's Paradise Garage between 1977 and 1987 remains the most storied in clubland.
In the past two weeks, Russia's president has once again slammed the U.S. for its missile defense plans in Europe. President Dmitry Medvedev told his nation Russia would aim its missiles at U.S. missile interceptors when they are deployed in Europe. He also said Russia might even pull out of the new START agreement, which limits both sides' strategic nuclear warhead deployments. We've heard these complaints and threats before from Moscow. Nevertheless, the tone of the Medvedev's remarks was quite sharp.
Soul music lost one of its great voices last week. Singer Howard Tate died Friday after a battle with cancer at the age of 72. Tate had made his name with a string of classic records including "Get It While You Can," before sliding into obscurity and addiction. But Tate got sober, found religion and he enjoyed a successful encore career over the past decade.
Tate's first turn at the music business came in 1966, when the single "Ain't Nobody Home" hit the R&B charts.
Pakistani students protest the cross-border NATO air strike on Pakistani troops, in a march at the U.S. consulate in Karachi, Dec. 2. Pakistan said it could not attend the Bonn conference on Afghanistan unless its security was ensured.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Lynn Neary.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
And I'm Robert Siegel.
Thousands of protestors took to the streets tonight in Moscow. They accused the party of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin of stealing votes in Russia's parliamentary elections. The party United Russia won 50 percent of the vote. That's significantly less than it has in the past and less than the party was expected to win this time around. Still, independent monitors and the protestors say the vote was rigged.
As a boy in a tiny village in Mexico, I loved climbing up to the roof of my family's small home so I could study the stars and dream of becoming an astronaut. Then I discovered Kaliman, a comic-book hero who could unravel any mystery with his powers of telepathy, philosophy andscientific ability. He was fond of saying, "He who masters the mind, masters everything."
At 32, neo-soul singer and multi-instrumentalist Mayer Hawthorne isn't quite old enough to remember the classic days of Motown, but the Michigan native says he did absorb some of the music's aesthetic growing up, thanks to his father.
Pauline Kael, long-time New Yorker film critic, was famous for her scathing, but honest movie reviews. She took digs at many popular films like The Sound of Music and Star Wars with no inhibitions. Yet her enthusiasm for films like Bonnie and Clyde gave some movies a new lease on life.
My 5-year-old nephew, Ezra, sits between his mother and grandmother on a porch-swing covered in old quilts. An expansive view of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Madison County, N.C., spreads out before them.
The porch used to be a really important part of mountain music. Ezra's mother, Melanie, sings one of the old ballads, just like her ancestors used to do 200 years ago.
The hope is that if Ezra hears the ballads, he'll start to learn them, just as he's learned the names of the trees on his farm, says his grandmother Sheila Kay Adams.
A woman of some importance: Sabine Spielrein, one of Karl Jung's celebrated patients, later became a psychiatrist herself — and, as screenwriter Christopher Hampton tells NPR's Rachel Martin, an influence on both Jung and Sigmund Freud. Keira Knightley plays Spielrein in the new film A Dangerous Method.
Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud are known as the fathers of psychoanalysis, but they focused on different things. Freud on the sexual underpinnings of — well, almost everything — and Jung for his mystical bent and dream theories.
For years, the two were close friends and collaborators but they had a falling out that ultimately ended their relationship. And turns out, there was a woman involved. Her name was Sabina Spielren.
The stories of all three are woven together in a new film called <em>A Dangerous Method.</em>
Founded in Los Angeles in 1960s, The Doors (left to right: drummer John Densmore, keyboard player Ray Mansarek, vocalist Jim Morrison and guitarist Robby Krieger) took their name from Aldous Huxley's 1954 book, The Doors of Perception.
Chuck Berry's 1973 Eldorado now belongs to the collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. The museum, now under construction, is set to open its doors in 2015.
Credit Bill Griffiths / Smithsonian
The hood ornament on Chuck Berry's 1973 Eldorado is the factory original — "amazing," Smithsonian fleet manager Bill Griffiths says.
Credit Timothy Hiatt / Getty Images
Chuck Berry performs at the Congress Theater on Jan. 1 in Chicago.
When rock 'n' roll legend Chuck Berry navigated his music career, he didn't rely on agents or record labels; he drove himself to his own business meetings and concerts in his fleet of Cadillacs.
Now Berry has donated one of those cars, a candy-apple red 1973 Eldorado, to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, set to open its doors in 2015. NPR's Rachel Martin went with curator Kevin Strait to watch Smithsonian fleet manager Bill Griffiths restore the car in Suitland, Md.
Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're out to get you.
That could be the motto this week for abortion rights groups that immediately sprang into battle mode when it was discovered that Siri, Apple's new artificially intelligent personal assistant, wasn't so, well, intelligent when it came to abortion.
It turns out, however, that it was all much ado about not so much.
Seventeen years ago, Mary J. Blige shook up the world of R&B when she released the record My Life. It ushered in a new sound: soul music over hip-hop beats. Instantly, Blige became known as the queen of hip-hop soul.
My Life was about pain — about Blige's rough childhood, abusive relationship and battles with addiction and depression. Seventeen years on, she's revisited that album. Her new record is called My Life II ... The Journey Continues. She says it's about strength.
Erin Morgenstern is the author of The Night Circus.
Yesterday I was told I had approximately 20 hours to write an essay: 450 words about National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo. I'm quite partial to the event. Still, I thought about declining the essay, given the time constraint.
But then I decided, in the spirit of NaNoWriMo, that it was rather silly to say "oh, I can't write 450 words in less than a day" So here we go:
AIDS activists haven't always been happy with Barack Obama. But many of them were on this Worlds AIDS Day.
The president used the occasion to pledge a 50 percent increase in the number of HIV-infected people getting treatment through the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR — from around 4 million now to 6 million by the end of 2013.
The American electorate is getting more diverse, more educated and younger. These demographic trends seem to suggest that voters could, in theory at least, be more Obama-friendly in 2012, especially in some key states. But it's not clear whether these shifts can outweigh the dragging economy and the president's dismal approval ratings.