Black smoke just poured from the chimney above the Vatican. That means, as was expected, the cardinals did not choose a pope on the first vote of their conclave to name a successor to the now-retired Pope Benedict XVI. As the cardinals' ballots are burned, NPR's Sylvia Poggioli says, chemicals are added to a fire in a second stove to turn the smoke black if there's no pope elected and white if there is.
Ben Katchor's syndicated comic strips vary in subject — his Julius Knipl: Real Estate Photographer, for example, explores the surreal underside of our urban environment by documenting the inner lives of the spaces and storefronts we walk past every day, while The Cardboard Valise reads like a Fodor's guide to a country that exists only in Franz Kafka's dream journal.
Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. Arizona State never had much luck with sports mascots. When it was a normal, or a teacher's school, they were the Normals. Later they became the Arizona State Sun Devils. This mascot is Sparky the Sun Devil in a red costume with horns and a pitchfork. Now Disney has helped update Sparky, but some students find his big eyes and bulging muscles creepy. Students may vote on Sparky's future after the campus paper warned he'll scare kids. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
There's "The Six Million Dollar Man" and now there is the $6,000 alligator. He's called Mr. Stubbs because his tail was bitten off years ago. Mr. Stubbs was taken in by the Phoenix Herpetological Society, where, The Arizona Republic reports, an orthopedic care specialist realized a silicone tail could be designed for him. Mr. Stubbs now sports a $6,000 prosthetic, making him half gator, half rubber.
It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.