These are tense times for scientists and engineers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena. Late Sunday night Pacific Time, they'll learn if nearly a decade of hard work will result in a priceless scientific laboratory landing safely on Mars or if the rover known as Curiosity will turn into a useless pile of junk. Everything depends on what happens during the seven minutes of terror, the time it takes the probe to go from the top of the Martian atmosphere to the planet's surface.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Susan Stamberg in for Scott Simon. Congress wrapped up its summer session this week and members headed back to their home district. But with public approval ratings of Congress wallowing in the teens and constant headlines about gridlock, a lot of people might be wondering what exactly did the Congress accomplish anyway? For some answers about congressional actions and what is still unfinished, we are joined by NPR's David Welna. Hiya, David.
A homeowner in the town of Varney, Ontario found herself in what you might call a sticky situation not long ago when she discovered honey dripping from her kitchen ceiling. Turns out, there were some 80,000 bees nesting between floors. Loretta Yates called a pest control company to help her out. They told her they couldn't really take care of it, so they called in an expert. Dave Schuit is the beekeeper and co-owner of Saugeen Country Honey. He's on the line with us. Now, Mr. Schuit, tell us about this distress call that you got.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Susan Stamberg. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is on a seven-country trip through Africa, talking about strengthening democracies, building economic growth. Yesterday, she dropped in South Sudan - that's the world's newest country - to encourage the infant nation. But she warned of so many challenges ahead. NPR's John Burnett was in South Sudan when the secretary was, and he joins us now on the line from Nairobi. Hi, John.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Susan Stamberg in for Scott Simon. In an encouraging sign for the U.S. economy, the Labor Department told us yesterday that the country gained 163,000 jobs in July. That was better than expected but not all signs are pointing up. In a separate government survey, the unemployment rate increased slightly to 8.3 percent. NPR's Chris Arnold is at a gathering of economists in northern Maine. He sent this report.
You find out so much about a country, you know, when it's hosting the Olympics. It's almost as if the games lay bare a nation's soul. NPR's Philip Reeves says that is what's happening in Britain. He's finding the experience unnerving, as he explains, in this letter from the Olympics.
Credit Chris Smith / Columbus Area Visitors Center
Architect Eliel Saarinen's First Christian Church (1942) helped launch a design revolution in Columbus, Ind. Nearly 30 years later, as part of that same movement, sculptor Henry Moore created the 20-foot-tall Large Arch as a piece of art that could be walked through and around.
Credit Chris Smith / Columbus Area Visitors Center
Architect Eliel Saarinen's First Christian Church (1942) helped launch a design revolution in Columbus, Ind. Nearly 30 years later, as part of that same movement, sculptor Henry Moore created the 20-foot-tall Large Arch as a public art work that could be walked through and around.
Credit Indianapolis Museum / Columbus Area Visitors Center
Inside, the sunken "conversation pit" allows for plenty of seating without visual clutter. Architect and designer Alexander Girard worked with Will Miller's mother, Xenia Miller, on the house's interior decoration, which includes a selection of textiles that changes seasonally and a 50-foot-long storage wall.
Credit Rhonda Bolner / Columbus Area Visitors Center
Eero Saarinen also designed the North Christian Church, which was completed in 1964, three years after Saarinen's death. Along with the First Christian Church and the Miller house, North Christian is one of Columbus' six national historic landmarks.
This summer, NPR's Destination Art series is going off the beaten path to visit small to midsize North American cities that have cultivated lively arts scenes. We want to hear from you! Where's your favorite art hot spot? What makes it unique? Tell us about it.
Across from the First Christian Church, I.M. Pei's Cleo Rogers Memorial Library boasts a waffled concrete ceiling that, with help from an elaborate intake system, uses heat from the ceiling lights to warm the building in winter months.
Part of Zaharakos restoration involved replacing its '50s-era storefront with a 19th-century design that better matched its interior. The result can feel anachronistic, considering the town's more contemporary claims to fame.
Columbus, Ind., looks like any other small town, with its small shops and restaurants. But what sets this town apart is its architecture.
The Modernist buildings — mostly geometric and made of glass and steel — are not immediately visible, interspersed as they are with old, 19th-century, gingerbread-like structures; but more than 60 public buildings in Columbus have been built by a veritable who's who of modern masters — I.M. Pei, Eero and Eliel Saarinen, Cesar Pelli, Richard Meier, Harry Weese, Robert Venturi and James Polshek, to name a few.
Originally published on Sat August 4, 2012 7:50 am
Sprinter Oscar Pistorius, the double-amputee who has for years sought to race in the Olympic Games, finally got his wish Saturday, when he lined up to run in a preliminary heat in the men's 400 meters in London's Olympic Stadium.
"On the blocks, I didn't know if I should cry or be happy," a breathless Pistorius told a BBC reporter after the race. "And then I was like, no — you've got a job to do. It was just really a mix of emotions. I didn't know what form I was going to be in today. I had a good race tactic, and I stuck to it."
Originally published on Sun August 5, 2012 10:07 am
This month we are collecting your stories about the good things Americans are doing to make their community a better place. Some of your contributions will become blog posts and the project will end with a story that weaves together submissions to make a story of Americans by Americans for Americans.