It's not easy for John Hawkes to watch clips of himself in his new movie, The Sessions. He plays a man named Mark O'Brien, based on a real writer and poet, who spends most of his time in an iron lung as a result of childhood polio; that meant the role was hard on Hawkes' body. As he tells Melissa Block on All Things Considered, "It was a physically painful role to play." Not only did it require him to act primarily from a horizontal position, but it called for him to create the illusion of a curved spine.
Each week, All Things Considered and Lenore Skenazy, author of the book and blog Free-Range Kids, have brought you "Another Thing," an on-air puzzle to test your cleverness skills. The contest wraps up this week with one final installment of listener responses.
Last week's challenge: A Norwegian study found that couples who split chores equally are more likely to divorce. Come up with the name of a country song about a chore-splitting couple.
Population censuses aren't normally something to get excited over. But for Bosnia, a nation that hasn't counted its own people in over two decades and has its eye on becoming part of the European Union, even a pilot census is of great importance. No formal national count has taken place since before the breakup of Yugoslavia, and the subsequent ethnic conflict that shocked the world.
Today, Bosnia began a two-week test census, targeting around 15,000 people, in order to gauge how prepared it is for an official, nation-wide census in the spring of 2013.
Sixty years ago, polio was one of the most feared diseases in the U.S.
As the weather warmed up each year, panic over polio intensified. Late summer was dubbed "polio season." Public swimming pools were shut down. Movie theaters urged patrons not to sit too close together to avoid spreading the disease. Insurance companies started selling polio insurance for newborns.
The fear was well grounded. By the 1950s, polio had become one of the most serious communicable diseases among children in the United States.
The nation's poverty rate is as high as it's been in almost two decades. Last year, 1 in 6 Americans was poor — more than 46 million people, including 16 million children.
But on the campaign trail, the issue of poverty has received surprisingly little attention.
When he first ran for president, Barack Obama went to a low-income neighborhood in Washington, D.C., and spoke passionately about hunger and poverty. He repeated Bobby Kennedy's question in 1967: "How can a country like this allow it?"
Romney adviser Dan Senor talking with NPR's Steve Inskeep
A President Mitt Romney would make the "military option" a credible threat in the effort to keep Iran from developing nuclear weapons by repeatedly saying that it "remains on the table, that it is real" and by making sure that senior officials don't imply otherwise, a top foreign policy adviser to the 2012 Republican presidential nominee tells Morning Edition.
Every member of Dirty Three has a highly respectable career outside of the band: Violinist Warren Ellis works closely with Nick Cave, drummer Jim White is a sought-after collaborator with an instantly recognizable sound, and guitarist Mick Turner has released a string of gorgeous instrumental solo albums when he's not working as a visual artis
Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 1:49 pm
Giving the human papillomavirus vaccine to teenage girls doesn't increase the likelihood that they will be sexually active, according to a new study.
That may help put parents at ease; the notion of vaccinating 11- and 12-year-old girls for a sexually transmitted virus has made some uncomfortable, and is one reason why only a little more than half of teenage girls have had the vaccine.