Remembrances
1:03 pm
Sun October 14, 2012

Arlen Specter, Senator Who Gave No Quarter, Dies

Specter campaigns with President George W. Bush in 2004 at the Harrisburg International Airport in Pennsylvania. Specter spent most of his political career as a moderate Republican. He supported Bush, but later criticized the then-president's warrantless wiretapping program, saying it overstepped civil liberties.
Luke Frazza AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 9:16 am

Former Sen. Arlen Specter, one of the most influential senators of the last half-century, died Sunday from complications of non-Hodgkins lymphoma. He was 82.

The five-term senator, a moderate Republican-turned-Democrat, was a key member of the Judiciary Committee and a major player in the confirmation proceedings of 14 Supreme Court nominees. But he was consistently a thorn for leaders of both political parties and their presidents.

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The Two-Way
12:15 pm
Sun October 14, 2012

Sen. Arlen Specter Dies at 82

Arlen Specter, the five-term senator from Pennsylvania, died from complications of non-Hodgkins lymphoma, said his son, Shanin. He was 82 years old.
Matt Rourke AP

Originally published on Sun October 14, 2012 1:47 pm

Arlen Specter, the outspoken senator who started off Republican, switched to Democrat and stayed moderate throughout, has died, the AP reports.

The former five-term senator from Pennsylvania announced that he was once again battling cancer in August. He died at his home in Philadelphia on Sunday, according to his son, Shanin, from complications of non-Hodgkins lymphoma.

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The Two-Way
11:14 am
Sun October 14, 2012

Syrian Forces Using Cluster Bombs, Rights Group Says

Syrians deliver an injured civilian to a hospital in the northern city of Aleppo on Saturday, following shelling by government forces.
Tauseef Mustafa AFP/Getty Images

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Krulwich Wonders...
7:33 am
Sun October 14, 2012

Weekend Special: When Cities, People and Highways Glow Like Stars

Justin Wilkinson NASA via TheChive

In this video, we are flying over the Earth, looking down and seeing what astronauts see when it's nighttime, when lightning storms flash like June bugs, when cities look like galaxies, when you can see where people are. It's quietly astonishing.

This montage of space footage was assembled and narrated by NASA scientist Justin Wilkinson. There's another one, which takes us around the Earth in daytime.

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Poetry
5:45 am
Sun October 14, 2012

'A Thousand Mornings' With Poet Mary Oliver

Mary Oliver has won a Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award.
Rachel Giese Brown

Originally published on Sun October 14, 2012 1:14 pm

Mary Oliver is a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet whose body of work is largely filled with imagery of the natural world — cats, opossums crossing the street, sunflowers and black oaks in the sunshine. Her most recent collection is entitled A Thousand Mornings.

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Theater
5:45 am
Sun October 14, 2012

'Beat Generation,' Kerouac's Lost Play, Hits Stage

The cast rehearses a scene from Jack Kerouac's only play, The Beat Generation.
Courtesy of the Merrimack Repertory Theater

Originally published on Sat October 20, 2012 2:55 pm

Jack Kerouac shot to fame after his jazz- and drug-infused book, On the Road, hit stores in 1957. During that hot period the autobiographical novelist also wrote his only play, The Beat Generation.

The play was never produced and all but forgotten. The lost work, however, was rediscovered in 2004 and is now set to premiere in the writer's hometown of Lowell, Mass.

Charles Towers, artistic director at the Merrimack Repertory Theater, remembers exactly what he thought after Kerouac's lost play was uncovered.

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Strange News
5:45 am
Sun October 14, 2012

For Middle-Earth, One Family Tree To Rule Them All

Originally published on Sun October 14, 2012 1:14 pm

Later this year, director Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey will reintroduce moviegoers to Middle-Earth, the fictional setting for J.R.R. Tolkien's epic tales.

The high adventure and climactic battles of Tolkien's world were last seen on the big screen in 2003, in The Return of the King. The final scene featured a climactic battle between the men of the West — as well as elves, dwarves and hobbits — against the forces of evil.

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Science
5:45 am
Sun October 14, 2012

A Human-Powered Helicopter: Straight Up Difficult

Kyle Glusenkamp pilots Gamera, a human-powered helicopter.
Maggie Starbard NPR

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 9:00 am

"I grew up wanting to fly," says Graham Bowen-Davies. "I guess I just settled for being an engineer."

He's standing on an indoor track in southern Maryland, watching a giant helicopter take flight. At the end of each of its four spindly arms — arms he helped design and build — a giant rotor churns the air. In the cockpit sits the engine: a 0.7-horsepower, 135-pound graduate student named Kyle Gluesenkamp.

Gluesenkamp is pedaling like crazy to keep the rotors spinning and the craft aloft.

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World
5:45 am
Sun October 14, 2012

Russia To Go It Alone On Nuke Disarmament

Originally published on Sun October 14, 2012 1:14 pm

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Well, this past week, the Russian government announced that it is dropping out of the program.

NPR's Mike Shuster has more on the consequences.

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