Featuring Patti Smith's former New York punk-era colleague Tom Verlaine on solo guitar, "April Fool" is one of the prettiest songs on Smith's new album, Banga. Verlaine sends out long, thin, delicate tendrils of sound as Smith's voice suffuses the melody with full-throated urgency. Although Smith has said, with typical art-democratic directness, that "almost everybody in the world can sing," a few songs on Banga make you aware of what a good voice she has.
The public really doesn't know much about what food stamp recipients are buying, and how much companies are profiting.
Anthony Smukall's shopping list might look similar to that of many American's: Milk, eggs, whole grain bread, apples, assorted berries. But Smukall buys these products with his monthly SNAP allotment – money he receives from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly known as food stamps).
The state of Oregon's Supreme Court ruled today that "20,000 pages of so-called perversion files compiled by the Boy Scouts on suspected child abusers over a period of 20 years" must be opened to the public, The Associated Press reports.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is seen on a screen as a broker arrives at the stock exchange in Madrid on Thursday.
After Moody's became the second ratings agency to downgrade Spain's sovereign debt, the country's borrowing costs skyrocketed to record highs.
"The interest rate — or yield — on the country's benchmark 10-year bonds rose to a record 6.96 percent in early trading Thursday, its highest level since Spain joined the euro in 1999 and close to the level which many analysts believe is unsustainable in the long term," the AP reports.
Miami's Republican Mayor Tomas Regalado moves against his party and his governor. He tells host Michel Martin that Florida's controversial voter eligibility program, that is intended to purge non-citizens from its rosters, isn't necessary.
It's the end of the school year, and teachers and students are enjoying some downtime. But some kids won't be going back to school next fall because about a million students drop out every year. Host Michel Martin discusses the dropout crisis with teachers from three cities with high dropout rates: Las Vegas, St. Louis and Washington, D.C.
Data from the Twins Early Development Study shows areas in the U.K. where the effect of environmental factors, shown in pink, trumps the influence of genes, shown in blue, and vice versa.
The researchers discovered that London was a hotspot for environmental influences on classroom behavior (left map, in red). A similar pattern is seen for income inequality (right map).
Scientists don't debate the old nature vs. nurture question much these days. The consensus is that there is no winner: Both your genes and your environment shape your development and your health. What's still up in the air is how they combine to put you at risk for diseases or social problems. And that matters for people trying to solve them.
An Egyptian protester chants slogans as he holds a ripped poster of presidential candidate Ahmed Shafiq outside the Supreme Constitutional Court in Cairo today.
Credit Marwan Naamani / AFP/Getty Images
Egyptian military police stood guard outside the Constitutional Court in Cairo earlier today.
Rulings by Egypt's highest court to dissolve the country's parliament and keep a former aide to Hosni Mubarak on the presidential runoff ballot have thrown that country's already shaky democracy into chaos.
Much is still unclear about what was happening.
NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson tells our Newscast Desk that:
Head to the bookstore or pick up your Nook or Kindle or iPad, and prepare, if you will, to make some decisions about your summer reading life. My suggestions this year tend to be fine new fiction, the kind that not only flows on the page but also makes a sort of music in your mind. So, wordmusic it is! Strike up the orchestra! It's going to be a big summer for big broad American literary voices, voices that leap from the page and linger with you, echo through your summer and perhaps even beyond.
A couple of weeks after this latest chop, I experimented with a Billie Holiday look.
Credit Mito Habe-Evans / NPR
This photo from July 2011 shows the loveliness that was my chemically straightened hair before I decided to go natural again.
I cut most of my hair off eight weeks ago. And yes, I meant to do it. I love my new kinky curliness and now, as I walk down the street, I feel like I see natural hair — twists, coils, dreadlocks, afros — everywhere.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. They say to understand a man, walk a mile in his shoes. Research from the University of Kansas suggests you don't even need to do that. The new study found judgments based on simply looking at someone's shoes, were right 90 percent of the time.
Shoes can reveal age, income, emotional state and political preference. Liberals really do wear shabby shoes and extroverts, flashy ones. Oddly, those in uncomfortable shoes tended to be calm.