University of Wisconsin professor Sue Fondrie won the Bulwer-Lytton Contest, which asks people to come up with terrible first lines to imaginary novels. Foudrie's winning entry works in dead sparrows and forgotten memories. The contest honors British writer Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, who opened his novel with the immortal words: "It was a dark and stormy night."
A South African man suffered an asthma attack, was reported dead by his family and delivered to the morgue. Twenty-one hours later, morgue employees heard a noise from the refrigerator where they kept the bodies.
“Okay, here’s our ash pond!” Steve Turner exclaims. He’s the general manager at Louisville Gas & Electric’s Cane Run Power Station, and he is giving Kathy Little and her husband Tony a tour of the plant. “You can see bottom ash, but it’s down at the water level, so it stays wetted.” Cane Run is one of the two coal-fired power plants within the Louisville city limits, and both store byproducts, like coal ash, on site. LG&E has invited three nearby families to the plant to discuss the results of recent dust sampling. The Little family, as well as the Walkers and the Cunninghams, were invited because samples taken off their homes showed high concentrations of coal ash. LG&E is doing damage control.
Iran says a scientist killed in Tehran over the weekend was not connected with the country's nuclear program, but the daylight killing and recent announcements by Tehran of nuclear advances have renewed scrutiny of the country's nuclear effort.
Iranian media said 35-year-old Darioush Rezai-Nejad was a promising graduate student. Officials speculated that his assailants — gunmen on motorbikes — may have confused him with a nuclear scientist with a similar name.
Of the million or so kids who drop out of school every year, nearly half are girls. They drop out for the same reasons boys do: they skip school, fall behind academically and they're bored. But the single biggest reason girls drop out is because they get pregnant.
Not a day goes by that Lauren Ortega doesn't regret quitting high school. When she turned 15, she got pregnant with her son.
Lake Tahoe's South Shore as seen from a ski resort's gondola.
Credit Brandon Rittiman for NPR
Lake Tahoe sits right on the state line between California and Nevada, and the two states work together to protect the lake's ecosystem. The partnership has helped to stall the reduction in the remarkable clarity of the lake's deep blue waters.
But now Nevada wants out of the partnership if it doesn't get some concessions from California.
Death Valley Ranger Charlie Callagan has been working with GPS companies to update the road maps in the area, to prevent travelers from winding up on closed and abandoned roads.
Credit Krissy Clark
In remote places like California's Death Valley, over-reliance on GPS navigation systems can be a matter of life and death.
Each summer in Death Valley, a quarter-million tourists pry themselves from air-conditioned cars and venture into 120-degree heat to snap pictures of glittering salt flats. They come from all over the world, but many have the same traveling companion suction-cupped to their dashboard: a GPS.
The deadly collision involving two bullet trains in China last weekend is only one of many problems in the country's high-speed rail network. It's also plagued by corruption, undermining safety standards. A proud technological achievement has become an embarrassment.
Espen Barth Eide, the deputy foreign minister to Norway's government, talks with Mary Louise Kelly about last Friday's attacks by right-wing extremist Anders Behring Breivik that left 76 people dead. Eide's son survived the gunman's attack at a youth camp on an island outside Oslo.