NPR News

When the automobile first emerged at the end of the 19th century, there were two types of cars on the road: gasoline-powered cars and electric cars. And at first, it was unclear which type would attract more drivers.

"Electric cars had some early advantages," says science writer Seth Fletcher. "Gas cars were loud and dirty and nasty, and they had to be started with a hand-crank, which could sometimes backfire and break your arm. And electric cars were clean and quiet and civilized and they worked well in the city."

Premed students have long had a reputation, sometimes deserved, for cutthroat competition in the quest for top grades and test scores. Now, there are high tech ways to get an edge that nobody could have dreamed up even a few years ago.

Two men in British Columbia face criminal charges for an elaborate scheme that allegedly used a pinhole camera, wireless transmitter and a group of unwitting students to cheat on the MCAT, the standardized test that's used by most medical schools in making admissions decisions.

Countries Aim To Return From Disaster, Disruption

Jun 1, 2011

Image is everything — at least when it comes to tourism.

A country might boast the best beaches or amazing antiquities, but if potential visitors have reason to worry about their safety, they won't come. That's the problem now confronting several countries that generally rely heavily on tourism.

"You may have the greatest attractions, but any bad news will put them on the back burner," says Jafar Jafari, a tourism expert affiliated with universities in Spain, Portugal and Wisconsin.

The shareholders of coal mine giants Massey Energy and Alpha Natural Resources overwhelmingly approved a merger this morning, despite challenges from some large institutional investors and an ongoing controversy about Massey executives moving into the management structure of the merged company.

Saying that the Fair Sentencing Act that narrowed the disparity between penalties for crack and power cocaine offenses has been "a historic step forward," Attorney Gen. Eric Holder pushed today for retroactively applying the lighter crack penalties to some offenders now serving time.

If you fly a lot you've had this happen.

Seconds after the jet's in the air, the @#$%^&* in front of you reclines his seat, crunching your knees and raising some questions:

-- 1. Do you recline your seat as well and spread the pain to the person behind you?

-- 2. Do you grin and bear it like the stoic person you think you are?

-- 3. Do you ask the offender to give you a break and put the seat up at least a little?

While the government of Bahrain today officially lifted the state of emergency that it declared in March when the "Arab spring" spread there and protests erupted, NPR's Kelly McEvers reports that activists say they've been warned against doing anything that authorities don't like.

Weekly Standard: Put Workers Ahead Of Wall Street

Jun 1, 2011

David Smick is founder and editor of the International Economy magazine and author of The World Is Curved: Hidden Dangers to the Global Economy.

From his start with the band Bluesology in 1961, multi-award winner Elton John (born Reginald Kenneth Dwight) has time and time again proven himself to be one of the most iconic singer-songwriters of our day. Rising to international fame by the 1970's with the hit "Your Song," Elton has since released an overwhelming number of studio albums, many of which have climbed their way to the top of the charts.

Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke, Lenny White On JazzSet

May 26, 2011

The 52nd Monterey Jazz Festival in the fall of 2009 helped kick off the return of Return to Forever, the stellar fusion band from the 1970s — now a trio with Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke and Lenny White on piano, bass and drums, respectively.

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