as a weekly practice I listen to npr and do a little sketch on one of the stories. take a look, you can click on the illustration to make it bigger!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

ono sues over lennon video, documentary song.

Yoko Ono is going to court over John Lennon's legacy. Her lawyers face off Thursday in Boston against the lawyers for Ray Thomas of World Wide Video, which has almost 10 hours of videotapes of Lennon smoking pot and plotting to slip LSD to Richard Nixon. At the same time, she is suing the makers of the documentary Expelled for using part of the song "Imagine" in their film about intelligent design.

-excerpt from NPR

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

one family, two views on how to run iowa farm.

It's a good time to be a farmer in Iowa. Corn prices, at $5.91 per bushel as of Monday, are soaring in part because of growing demand for ethanol, a corn-based fuel that the federal government supported when it passed the energy bill late last year. And with help from chemicals and biotechnology, Iowa farmers produce 150 bushels of corn per acre, nearly double the yield in 1970, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Craig and Lavon disagree over how they should manage their farm and their land. The biggest clash is whether to sell genetically-modified vegetables and use pesticides and herbicides to ensure greater yield. "I tell people, our kids kind of grew up on a 'schizophrenic farm,' where dad farms one way [and I farm another]," Lavon Griffieon says. "I rail against genetically modified plants, while he plants genetically modified corn."

-excerpt from NPR

Monday, April 28, 2008

afghan president escapes assassination attempt.

Karzai has survived several assassination attempts: in 2002 a guard opened fire on his vehicle in the southern city of Kandahar. In 2004, two rockets were fired at his chopper but missed.

Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai escaped unhurt Sunday from an assassination attempt for which the Taliban took responsibility. Three people were killed in the attack, which occurred at an official celebration in the nation's capital.

-excerpt from NPR

Friday, April 25, 2008

sea piracy on the rise off somalia's coast.

Pirates off the coast of Somalia, and in other places around the world, cost the shipping industry billions of dollars each year.

Renee Montagne talks with Andrew Lehr about how these groups function. Lehr is an expert on sea piracy and terrorism who lectures at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.

-excerpt from NPR

Thursday, April 24, 2008

doctors get a crash course in healthful cooking.

A dinner of salmon and arugula might sound like an appealing meal, but for many people, what winds up on the table is more along the lines of frozen pizzas or taquitos.

Chefs at the Culinary Institute of America would like to help Americans learn to eat better — and they're starting with a key group of diners. Through a collaboration with Harvard University's medical school, the chefs and at least one med student are training doctors to cook.

-excerpt from NPR

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

throwback baseball leagues catch on.

As baseball season gets started, some players are rediscovering the joy of the sport by looking back — way back. Their hats have short brims. Their team initials are stitched on a rectangle of fabric buttoned to their long-sleeved collared shirts. And the strangest thing of all is this: No one in the field is wearing a glove.

"Vintage is without a glove. Only sissies wear a mitt," says Mickey Tangel, a retired teacher.

- excerpt from NPR

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

al-qaida no. 2 says 9/11 theory propagated by iran.

Al-Qaida's media arm, Al-Sahab, announced in December that al-Zawahri would take questions from the public posted on Islamic militant Web sites and would respond "as soon as possible." Queries were submitted on the main Islamist Web site until the cutoff date of Jan. 16.

Osama bin Laden's chief deputy on Tuesday denied a theory that Israel carried out the Sept. 11 attacks and blamed Iran and Shiite Hezbollah for spreading the idea to discredit the Sunni al-Qaida's strike against the U.S.

The comments in a recording posted on an Islamic Web site reflected the increasing criticism by al-Qaida's No. 2 leader Ayman al-Zawahri against Iran. Al-Zawahri has accused Iran in recent messages of seeking to extend its power in the Middle East, particularly in Iraq and through its Hezbollah allies in Lebanon.

The authenticity of the two-hour audio recording could not be independently confirmed. But the voice sounded like past audiotapes from the terror leader, and the posting where it was found bore the logo of Al-Sahab, al-Qaida's official media arm.

It was the second of two messages answering questions that were posted to Islamic militant Web sites earlier this year.

- excerpt from The Associated Press

Monday, April 21, 2008

pennsylvania last chance for clinton to make case.

Sen. Hillary Clinton is expected to win Tuesday's Democratic primary in Pennsylvania. Many see it as her last chance to make the argument that she should be the party's nominee. But will her margin of victory be large enough to prove momentum is with her?

-excerpt from NPR

Thursday, April 17, 2008

broncos and boudin: the angola prison rodeo.

It was our story King's Candy: A Prison Kitchen Vision that led us to the Louisiana State Penitentiary and the Angola Prison Rodeo. That Hidden Kitchen story aired in November 2005, a few months after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita hit. The Gulf Coast was reeling.

Alongside the rodeo, some 43 inmate organizations had set up food concessions, started doing some down-home cooking and sold their Southern delights to the hungry, hopped-up public.

The Lifers Organization had the snow cone booth. The Toastmasters made crawfish etouffee and boudin balls. The Latin American Cultural Brotherhood did shrimp po-boys. And the Angola Men of Integrity sold funnel cakes.

-excerpt from NPR

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

nurses fight for more money and help.

Nurses at several area hospitals have been working without contracts since December and labor negotiations have been slow. The nurses don’t just want more money, they want hospitals to hire more nurses to reduce the workload. Hospitals say that staff levels are adequate and that even if they wanted to hire more nurses, they don’t have the money and there are not enough available nurses for hire.

- excerpt from WNYC

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

pope's softer approach surprises many theologians.

When Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger became Pope Benedict XVI in 2005, liberal Catholics wept in dread and conservatives wept in joy. He had been known as "God's Rottweiler" because of his quarter-century heading the Vatican office that oversaw doctrinal purity among theologians. But many people have been pleasantly surprised by his papacy so far.

-excerpt from NPR

Monday, April 14, 2008

too many boys: demographic crisis looms in china.

It has been three decades since China's one-child policy was introduced as a temporary measure to slow the country's population growth. But there's rising opposition to the policy amid criticism that it's creating another demographic crisis.

-excerpt from NPR

Friday, April 11, 2008

airlines scramble as grounded planes cause chaos.

American Airlines has canceled thousands of flights this week for safety checks on its passenger planes. The FAA says the jetliners hadn't been properly inspected, and several other U.S. carriers have had to cancel flights as well. To get through the logistical chaos, the airlines are shuffling passengers, empty planes, mechanics, inspectors — and a lot of paperwork.

-excerpt from NPR

Thursday, April 10, 2008

racetracks place survival odds on casinos.

A new television commercial for Empire City Gaming/Yonkers Raceway has begun airing in the New York region, and it's promoting the newest trend in gambling: "racinos." A combination of a casino and horse or dog track, racinos may sound like an odd hybrid of a term, but they have helped bring back racetracks from what has been a decades-long decline.

-excerpt from NPR

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

petraeus' iraq update continues in house.

The top military commander in Iraq has recommended a temporary freeze on U.S. troop reductions in Iraq after July. Gen. David Petraeus made the comments to senators Tuesday on Capitol Hill. Today, Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker return to brief members of the House.

-excerpt fro NPR

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

study links lack of sleep to weight gain in babies.

A new study found that infants and toddlers who slept less than 12 hours a day were more than twice as likely to be overweight by age 3, further evidence that how much we sleep affects how much we weigh.

-excerpt from NPR

Friday, April 4, 2008

small airlines face financial turbulence.

ATA Airlines shut down operations and filed for bankruptcy protection Thursday. The move comes less than two weeks after Aloha Airlines filed for Chapter 11. David Field, U.S. editor of Airline Business Magazine, discusses small carriers' woes, including soaring fuel costs.

-excerpt from NPR

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

rising fuel prices drive truckers off the road.

Diesel fuel is selling for an average of $4 per gallon nationwide, about 20 percent more than the cost of a gallon of gasoline. On Tuesday, truck drivers across the nation parked their rigs to protest high fuel prices.

"If a trucker's not rolling down a highway, he's not making money," Daniel said. "He's got a truck note due. He's got insurance that's due. He's got to send money home to momma so she can pay the house note and buy clothes for the kids and all this. And he will take a load that actually causes him to lose a little bit of money."

- excerpt from NPR

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

congestion pricing plan approved by city council in tight vote.

One of its closest votes ever, the City Council voted last night to support a revised version of Mayor Bloomberg's congestion pricing plan. That plan aims to cut traffic and pollution by compelling more commuters onto mass transit. The money collected by charging drivers who enter certain parts of Manhattan would go toward mass-transit improvements.

-excerpt from wnyc