Before you sink into your couch, before you flip through channels tonight when you get home, take a minute to think about the guy who made being a couch potato possible:
Back in 1955, Eugene J. Polley invented the "Flash-Matic," or the world's first wireless TV remote control. Back then, you held it like a gun and it acted like a flashlight using visible light to trigger photo cells on the TV to change channels.
Polley, whose engineering career with Zenith spanned 47 years, died on Sunday. He was 96.
Turnout in Tuesday's primary election appears to be low in most places around Kentucky. Secretary of State Allison Lundergan Grimes had predicted a statewide turnout of 10 percent to 12 percent. She'd seen nothing by mid-afternoon to indicate that was going to be way off. "It's been a very light election," Grimes said. "The interest appears to be moderate to minimal." However, Grimes noted that polls don't close until 6 p.m. local time. She urged people to vote after work. On the plus side, she said, people aren't having to wait in long lines to vote.
There was a "security issue" aboard a US Airways flight from Paris to Charlotte, N.C., earlier today, and the plane was diverted to Maine's Bangor International Airport, where it landed around noon ET.
An online auction of a vial said to contain blood drawn from President Reagan on the day he was shot in 1981 is "a craven act and we will use every legal means to stop its sale or purchase," says a spokesman for the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation.
Whenever I think about Christopher Tilghman's writing — and I have many times since his atmospheric novel, Mason's Retreat, came out more than 15 years ago — I think of critic John Leonard. John, among many other distinctions, was my predecessor as book critic for Fresh Air and, every once in a while before his death in 2008, we'd have occasion to talk or exchange e-mails about books. I remember John sending me a note in 1996, in which he mentioned Mason's Retreat and said of Tilghman, "He's the real deal."
In 1935, George Gershwin brought the script for his folk opera Porgy and Bess to the opera's original cast, which was entirely made up of African-American actors. "[In the original], every other word was N-word this, N-word that," says actor David Alan Grier. "[And] there's a very famous story: Al Jolson really wanted to play Porgy, in blackface."
On Monday, Dharun Ravi was sentenced to a 30-day jail term for using a webcam to spy on his roommate Tyler Clementi. Clementi was having an intimate encounter with another man in their dorm room, and a few days later, he committed suicide. Host Michel Martin discusses the sentence with Paul Butler, a law professor and former federal prosecutor.