In the summer of 1993, when many people in the Midwest were searching for higher ground, Isabel Wilkerson packed her bags and headed for the Mississippi River. She was there to cover the floods for TheNew York Times and would go on to win a Pulitzer Prize for her reporting.
In one piece, she described the river as a "rowdy uncle who gives freely in good times and breaks the furniture in bad and pretends not to notice after the damage has been done."
Eighteen years later, that rowdy uncle is misbehaving again.
Marvel Comics hero Thor smashed his way to the top spot at the box office this past week, but author Ben Thompson says you don't need to go to the multiplex to appreciate the Norse god of thunder.
The original Norse myths provide plenty of excitement on their own, Thompson says. "There's one time, these giants were pissing off the gods, so he disguises himself as a goddess, and goes to some, like, giant feast that they're having," he gushes. "And then, he throws off his costume and just wastes the entire dining hall with a hammer."
Chef Barton Seaver wants people to know that fish are not just for eating; they're valuable to the ecosystem as well.
In his new cookbook, For Cod and Country: Simple. Delicious. Sustainable., Seaver highlights the importance of sustainable seafood to the long-term viability of our environment and our diets.
On a trip to the Maine Avenue Fish Market in Washington, D.C., — the oldest, continuously operating fish market in the United States — Seaver offers Weekend Edition Sunday Host Liane Hansen some tips for picking out the best seafood.
If you passed Raphael Saadiq on the street, you might wonder whether you'd stepped back in time. He wears tightly fitted suits, skinny black ties and thick, black-framed glasses. He makes music that almost seems like it's from another era, so it's no surprise that he's increasingly seen as the standard-bearer of old-school American R&B.
President Obama switched gears on the issue of domestic oil drilling Saturday, announcing that he will extend leases for oil companies to drill in Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico. James Fallows, national correspondent for The Atlantic, joins host Guy Raz to discuss this and the week's other top stories.
The Army Corps of Engineers began opening Louisiana's Morganza spillway on Saturday in an attempt to spare New Orleans and Baton Rouge from massive flooding. That move will send almost a third of the water in the Mississippi River spilling out into massive swaths of Cajun country in the next few days. Host Guy Raz gets the latest from NPR's Greg Allen, who's at the spillway.
A South Florida imam and two of his sons have been charged with providing roughly $50,000 to the Pakistani Taliban, which the State Department has designated as a terrorist organization. Three others have been charged in Pakistan.
The U.S. Attorney's office in Miami said Hafiz Muhammed Sher Ali Khan and sons Irfan Khan and Izhar Khan were arrested Saturday morning. A four-count indictment accuses the men of sending money to the Pakistani Taliban to buy guns.
According to a recent study, noise pollution could be costing lives. A World Health Organization report finds western Europeans lose years to death or disability from excessive sound. Though European countries have taken steps to turn the volume down, the U.S. backed off the effort decades ago.
Across an estimated population of 340 million people, at least one million years of healthy living are lost each year due to noise pollution in Western Europe, WHO researcher Rok Ho Kim says.
When Kent Nagano, the music director of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, put together his Spring for Music program, he went back to basics, posing these essential questions: "Why is a symphony relevant today? Or is it relevant in the 21st century?"
Nagano also wonders what exactly would be the role of classical music in the future. Is it only for an elite, educated, sophisticated audience? Or is it something that's equally meaningful to the general population?