Last year's GOP takeover of the U.S. House and statehouses across the country has dramatically changed the shape of the nation's abortion debate. It has also given a boost to an even more far-reaching effort: the push to legally redefine when life itself begins.
The question being raised in legal terms is: When does someone become a person?
The Power of Music, a new book by Elena Mannes, tackles nearly every question you can muster up about the relationship between music and the brain. Why are some of us more musical than others? How does the brain react to music? Can music make us smarter?
For me, one of most interest questions that the book explores, is whether animals have an understanding of music.
This book made me a believer that animals, at least some of them, have got talent.
Massive protests have broken out in Chile over the environment — specifically over some dams that are set to be built in Patagonia, one of the world's most iconic wilderness areas. Most citizens disapprove of the HidroAysen project, which scientists and conservationists say will forever change this region.
Yet largely because of a booming copper mining industry, Chile is hungry for energy and the government is pushing ahead with the dams.
Language Advisory: This is a live concert recording, and may not contain language suitable for all audiences.
Black Joe Lewis and his backing band The Honeybears might sound sweet on paper, but there's nothing sugary about the Austin septet. Lewis and his band play lovelorn blues-rock with a blazing horn section that's as much James Brown as it is New York Dolls.
There's a song on My Morning Jacket's sixth studio album, Circuital, that will probably make aging rockers smile. It's called "Outta My System," and in it, songwriter Jim James sings with great Buddha warmth about aging out of the Friday-night indulgences of youth.
"By the end of this year," Defense Secretary Robert Gates says, the Taliban should be to the point where it's willing to take part in formal talks aimed at bringing peace to Afghanistan.
But, he said during a conversation set to air on today's All Things Considered, the Taliban must "put down their weapons ... abandon [any ties] to al-Qaida" and agree to live "under the Afghan constitution."
"Rep. Anthony Weiner [D-NY] said Wednesday that he can't say 'with certitude' whether or not a lewd below-the-belt photo depicted his body, but he insisted that he did not tweet the picture to a 21-year old college student in Seattle, Wash."
It wasn't long ago that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had the solid backing of Iran's establishment. Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei stood firmly by him during 2009's disputed election that led to the country's most significant unrest since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
But during the past months, Ahmadinejad has been losing support. Today, that became readily apparent when Iran's parliament voted 165-1 in favor of taking the president to court over what they say was an illegal takeover of Iran's Oil Ministry.
Medicare pays more to doctors and hospitals in expensive parts of the country. But a prestigious panel says Medicare's methods of evaluating regional costs are disturbingly imprecise and need to be overhauled.
I think I'm starting to figure this place out. It's a village — a village on an island. Everyone's connected. They may love each other, they may hate each other, but they're all related. ... It's all connected somehow. And I'm this close to seeing how it all hooks up. --Nelson Hidalgo
The New Orleans of Treme has often felt like a small town, where many characters wear multiple hats, and six degrees of separation feel more like one or two. But this season, that quality has been heightened ever so slightly.