What would happen if two of the biggest names of the Renaissance — Niccolo Machiavelli and Leonardo da Vinci — teamed up as a crime-fighting duo? That's the idea behind Michael Ennis' new historical thriller, The Malice of Fortune. The mystery novel pairs the ruthless political philosopher and the genius inventor and artist together as an unlikely detective team on the trail of a serial killer.
The music starts up, masking the blare of the generator needed to power the stereo. The dancers begin, and almost like a relay, they take turns showing their moves. Their bodies shake and contort to the beat. Their eyes are fixed in a stare with a fierce look of anger as they lose themselves in the music.
Anthropologists believe early humans evolved in Africa and then moved out from there in successive waves. However, what drove their migrations has been a matter of conjecture.
One new explanation is climate change.
Anthropologist Anders Erikkson of Cambridge University in England says the first few hardy humans who left Africa might've gone earlier but couldn't. Northeastern Africa — the only route to Asia and beyond — was literally a no man's land.
Since 2008, the North Carolina band Holy Ghost Tent Revival has been crafting a sound rooted in its members' Southern upbringing. Along the way, it's made the transition from playing acoustic bluegrass and folk to becoming a soul-rock horn band that recalls '60s and '70s classic-rock influences such as The Band and The Flying Burrito Brothers, contemporary indie-rock acts like Dr. Dog, and New Orleans brass-band jazz.
An apple a day might keep the doctor away, but what do you do when there are no apples? It's a question western Michigan's apple growers are dealing with this season after strange weather earlier in the year decimated the state's apple cultivation.
Michigan is the third-largest apple producer in the U.S. after New York and Washington, but the state's apples will soon be in short supply. Now in the middle of harvest season, growers are picking only 10 percent to 15 percent of their normal crop.
Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 5:45 am
Canada's leaders have ended their country's longstanding resistance to asbestos being called a dangerous material under United Nations guidelines, a decision that reflects a shift in the leadership of Quebec province, home of Canada's asbestos industry.
Quebec's incoming premier, Pauline Marois, promised late in her campaign that she would shut down the region's asbestos mines for good. She says that she will use money that would have gone to restart the mines to diversify the local economy.
As Dan Karpenchuk reports for NPR's Newscast unit:
American Idol has always been a show with two audiences: the real one and the imagined one. The real one has a median viewer age of about 50, while the imagined one has a median age of about 15. You don't see the real audience frantically waving signs during the live show, but the imagined one. Idol enjoys presenting itself as a phenomenon for excitement-hungry teenagers, but in fact, it's just as much a phenomenon for their parents.
Several colleges and universities have adopted a common read program, in which first year students read the same book during the summer, then discuss it when they get to campus.
NPR'S Neal Conan talks with Brooke Gladstone, co-host of On The Media, about her book, The Influencing Machine, a graphic novel that tries to decipher the rapidly changing media business and the ways people interact with it.