There are some 7,000 spoken languages in the world, and linguists project that as many as half may disappear by the end of the century. That works out to one language going extinct about every two weeks. Now, digital technology is coming to the rescue of some of those ancient tongues.
Members of the Native American Siletz tribe in Oregon say their native language, also called "Siletz," "is as old as time itself." But today, you can count the number of fluent speakers on one hand. Siletz Tribal Council Vice Chairman Bud Lane is one of them.
A patient waits for a room to open up in the emergency room of Houston's Ben Taub General Hospital on July 27, 2009. Nationwide, Texas has the highest rate of uninsured residents.
Credit Carrie Feibel for NPR
Melinda Maarouf, 55, works part time at a small Texas private school that doesn't provide her with health insurance.
Credit Martha Bebinger for NPR
Handyman Peter Brook, 51, pulls weeds outside his church in Boston. Before 2006, Brook says, he couldn't afford health care.
The U.S. spent $2.6 trillion on health care in 2010 — more than the entire economy of France or Britain. But the amount spent and how it's used varies from state to state.
And no two states are more different than Texas and Massachusetts. At 25 percent, Texas has the highest rate of uninsured people in the nation. Massachusetts, where a 2006 law made coverage mandatory, has the lowest rate — fewer than 2 percent of people are uninsured.
Jennifer Castle is a Canadian folk singer with a gift for turning simple things into resonating music.
Jennifer Castle has been described more than once as one of Canadian folk's best kept secrets for her otherworldly and captivating style. She's collaborated with a diverse range of contemporaries — The Constantines, Doug Paisley and Ryan Driver, to name a few. Her three minimalist and delicate full-length albums incorporate her many inspirations — nature, space, planets and the simple things in life.
A detail from what is thought to be one of only three existing manuscripts containing Einstein's most famous formula about the relationship between energy, mass and the speed of light — in his handwriting.
Meat substitutes like seitan made from wheat gluten are becoming more palatable.
When Michael Weber gave up animal products in 2003, the packaged food industry didn't have much to sell him.
"That early vegan food was either really hippy-ish or really processed," Weber tells The Salt. "It wasn't that high quality."
Nowadays, a stroll through a grocery store might just lead you to a freezer or cooler jammed with dozens of flavors of veggie burgers, meatless buffalo wings, dairy-free cheese and ice cream, and maple bacon tempeh.
Children exposed to meth may have more problems with anxiety and depression.
Children who are exposed to methamphetamine before birth can have behavior problems as young as age 3, a new study finds. But those problems are manageable, the researchers say, especially if the children and their parents get help early on.
"These kids are not cracked and broken," says Linda LaGasse, an associate professor of pediatrics and Brown University Medical School, and lead author of the study. "But they do have problems that are worthy of note."
From its start in the late '90s, Zieti faced tough odds. Arranging gigs in Abidjan, Ivory Coast was a high-risk, do-it-yourself affair for the band. And that was before the country underwent a military coup, a rigged election and a brush with civil war. Zemelewa was recorded by 15 musicians in four studios on two continents. For all that, you can sense the band's solidarity, as if merely making this record was an act of resistance.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in Springfield, Ill., today.
This week the action in the race for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination is in Illinois, which holds its primary Tuesday.
In advance of that contest, Public Policy Polling is out with a new survey that it says shows "Mitt Romney is headed for a blowout victory." It has the former Massachusetts governor ahead of former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum 45 percent to 30 percent (with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Rep. Ron Paul trailing far behind).
Iran has been denied access to the worldwide messaging system used to arrange money transfers, a move that is expected to affect Iran's oil exports and economy. The South Pars gas field in Assalouyeh, Iran, is shown here in 2010.
Iran has faced international sanctions for more than three decades, which have hurt, but never crippled its economy.
Now, a new move by a relatively obscure financial institution in Europe could make it much more difficult for Iran to do basic things crucial to its economy, such as selling oil and obtaining hard currency.
As of Saturday, many Iranian banks, including the Central Bank, have been refused access to a worldwide financial messaging system that's used to arrange transfers of money.
Peyton Manning, who may soon trade that Colts blue for Broncos red.
Peyton Manning, one of the two or three best quarterbacks in recent years and one of the greatest ever, is close to signing a contract to play for the NFL's Denver Broncos, according to multiple reports.
Russians continue to take to the streets to air their grievances against the government of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. But now, after Putin's election this month to a six-year term as president, the crowds number only in the hundreds — not the tens of thousands that turned out before the vote.
In the words of writer Boris Akunin, a popular speaker at the earlier rallies: "The civic movement has entered a new phase. The first phase, romantic and euphoric, is over."
Now is the time, Akunin says, for power to develop from the bottom up.
While most of the country has been enjoying spring-like temperatures for weeks now, parts of Arizona got a pretty significant visit from a waning winter: CNN reports that "the city of Flagstaff is still digging out of 10 to 14 inches of snow from the weekend, which prompted school closings in the city for Monday. The city of Prescott received 8 to 12 inches."
Dick Teresi wanted to write about how science determines the point between life and death. After a decade of research, Teresi says he still doesn't know what death is, but that the breadth of his ignorance has been widely expanded. Teresi's findings have been published in his new book, The Undead: Organ Harvesting, the Ice-Water Test, Beating Heart Cadavers — How Medicine Is Blurring the Line Between Life and Death.
Last month, Tell Me More used audio of storyteller Mike Daisey, who had been featured in a public radio story on the show This American Life. Last Friday, This American Life host Ira Glass retracted the story, saying it "contained numerous fabrications." Host Michel Martin notes the use of part of the retracted story on Tell Me More.
A New Jersey jury found 19-year-old Rutgers University student Dharun Ravi guilty of a hate crime for using his webcam to spy on his roommate Tyler Clementi. Clementi was having an intimate encounter with another man in their dorm room and a few days later he committed suicide. Host Michel Martin discusses the case with law professor Jessica Henry.
Russian Businessman Alexei Kozlov had spent two years in jail after being convicted of fraud. He was released in September after the Supreme Court overturned the verdict but was retried and sentenced to five years in prison on Mach 15. His case has been embraced by anti-Kremlin protesters.
Credit Ivan Sekretarev / AP
Kozlov's wife, Olga Romanova (shown here during his trial March 15), is a Russian journalist and opposition activist.
A high-profile court case in Moscow has again put the spotlight on Russia's judiciary — an issue that opposition protesters often cite as one reason they've taken to the streets.
The Presnenski District Court handed down a five-year prison sentence last Thursday to prominent businessman Alexei Kozlov on charges of fraud and money laundering. The case has attracted wide attention as it has worked its way through Russia's court system for four years. Kozlov was accused of wrongdoing by his former business partner, Vladimir Slutzker, a wealthy ex-member of the Russian Senate.