Every October, countless people crowd into haunted houses, hayrides, and other haunted attractions. Here in the Commonwealth, Talon Falls Scream-park is one of the Weather Channel’s Top Ten Hallow-screams for 20-11. Tens of thousands of patrons travel to far western Kentucky willing to pay and wait in line to be scared.
It's been map-drawing time all across the country, as cities and states create new districts for state lawmakers, members of Congress and city council members based on 2010 Census numbers.
In Chicago, where African-Americans left in droves during the past decade and the Latino population rose, leaders are redrawing the boundaries of the city's 50 wards. What's at stake is representation and political clout.
<p>Brian Williams will set the course for<em></em> the new NBC newsmagazine <em>Rock Center. </em>The network is positioning it as a serious news program — and expecting a ratings struggle, at least at first. </p>
Credit Justin Stephens / NBC Universal
At 10 p.m. on Monday, NBC anchor Brian Williams will do something that hasn't been done in nearly 20 years: launch a new network TV newsmagazine.
Hosted live from NBC's Rockefeller Center headquarters — thus the name, Rock Center — it's an ambitious attempt to showcase both Williams' serious news skills and his signature dry wit. And if it's going to succeed, he and NBC may have to reinvent the newsmagazine for a new age.
On television, most criminal cases are tried before a jury. But in reality, more than 90 percent of all criminal cases in the United States never get to trial; they are resolved with a plea bargain. For the state, these bargains save money and resources, and they often include agreements that the defendant will help prosecutors make other cases. But plea bargains have also been criticized as a boon for real criminals who have information to bargain with, while little guys, with nothing to trade, can get mauled by the system.
<p>Theodore Hardeen (right) poses with brother Harry Houdini around 1901. Although Hardeen was the less-famous brother, he was also a magician and escape artist who continued to perform Houdini's routines after his death.</p>
Credit Courtesy of John Cox / wildabouthoudini.com
You'd think if you were a relative of someone as famous as Harry Houdini, you'd know it. But George Hardeen, 59, didn't find out he was Houdini's great-nephew until he was a teenager.
His grandfather was Houdini's brother, Theo Hardeen, also an escape artist. At one point, the brothers performed together. Houdini and his wife, Bess, had no children, and when he died — on Halloween, 85 years ago — he willed all of his props to Theo.
If you're among the two-thirds of Americans who are overweight, chances are you've had people tell you to just ease up on the eating and use a little self-control. It does, of course, boil down to "calories in, calories out."
The U.N. estimates that the world's population will pass the 7 billion mark on Monday.
Much of that growth has happened in Asia — in India and China. Those two countries have been among the world's most populous for centuries. But a demographic shift is taking place as the countries have modernized and lowered their fertility rates. Now, the biggest growth is taking place in sub-Saharan Africa.
NPR's Frank Langfitt has spent the past year reporting in two countries where the populations and the problems could not be more different: South Sudan and China.
The best way to travel in South Sudan is by plane. That's because, in a nation nearly the size of Texas, there are hardly any paved roads.
Earlier this year, I flew to Akobo County, near the Ethiopian border. On the hour-plus flight, I saw cattle herders and acacia trees, but mostly empty landscape. There was little sign of the 21st century — or the 20th.
Originally published on Mon October 31, 2011 8:44 pm
<p>A truck driver cleans his windshield at a filling station in Milford, Conn. The long hours, weeks away from home and mediocre pay contribute to the trucking industry's shortage of an estimated 125,000 drivers.</p>
Tough as it is to find work these days, tens of thousands of jobs paying middle-class wages are going unfilled.
Open truck-driving jobs require little more than a high school diploma and a month or so of training. But not everybody wants to be a long-haul truck driver, and many who do find they just can't hack it.
A class-action lawsuit has been filed in Miami by Florida residents being charged out-of-state tuition rates to attend state colleges and universities. The students are American citizens — children who were born in the U.S. to illegal immigrants — and they say Florida's regulations violate their constitutional rights.
Wendy Ruiz, a 19-year-old sophomore at Miami Dade College with a 3.7 grade point average, has a plan. She expects to graduate later this year with a two-year associate's degree in Biology.