Originally published on Fri December 20, 2013 8:54 am
We start with a man called Mike and a cat called Ella. Two creatures.
Nothing odd about them, except that Mike has a beard and Ella is a touch chunky. Otherwise, they could be any cat & guy. Except ...
When you think about it, no one is ordinary. You could put a totally bland cat-and-guy couple in front of a hundred people, ask them to look, and each one would see a very different pair, different in a thousand subtle ways, because everybody looks at everything with different eyes.
On Dec. 21, 100 years ago, a paper in New York published the first crossword. It quickly became known as a game for the intelligent — even helping Britain recruit code-breakers during WWII. But there isn't much evidence that this brainy game can help stave off dementia.
The patriarch of the Duck Dynasty family has been suspended indefinitely from the hit reality TV show on A&E because of his remarks about homosexuality. He made the comments to GQ magazine. The show has spawned a multi-million-dollar industry of related products and books.
United Methodist church officials have defrocked Rev. Frank Schaefer, who presided over his son's gay wedding. Though the wedding was in 2007, it wasn't until this year that Schaefer's congregation in Lebanon, Pa., learned of it.
Two members of the Russian activist band Pussy Riot and billionaire Mikhail Khordorkovsky are expected to be released from prison by Russian President Vladimir Putin. David Greene talks to reporter Masha Gessen about whether this move signals a liberalizing trend, or is simply a calculation ahead of the 2014 Olympics.
Morning Edition wishes news anchors Jean Cochran and Paul Brown well. A number of our coworkers took the chance to accept voluntary buyouts as NPR changes. Leaving the Morning Edition staff are: Anne Hawke, Jim Wildman and Steve Munro.
U.S. Ambassador to the Unitied Nations Samantha Power (right) listens to Lucy Mandazuto at a community hospital in Bangui, Central African Republic, on Thursday. Mandazuto was wounded in sectarian violence.
You don't have to venture far to see the misery caused by the latest crisis in the Central African Republic.
On the edge of the airport in the capital Bangui, tens of thousands of people are sleeping out in the open with no basic services. It's here that Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, meets Martine Kutungai with her husband, a pastor, and their eight children.
Kutungai says she's terrified to go home because of the Seleka — Muslim rebels who toppled the government in March.
The Daily Show's Jon Stewart recently ranted against Chicago-style deep-dish pizza.
"Let me explain something. Deep-dish pizza is not only not better than New York pizza — it's not pizza," said Stewart, calling it "tomato soup in a bread bowl. ... I don't know whether to eat it, or throw a coin in it and make a wish."
Some upset Chicagoans made their own wishes — which can't be repeated here.
Yelitza Castro, an undocumented immigrant who works as a housekeeper in Charlotte, N.C., cooks dinners for homeless men and women every other Saturday night. It's a tradition that started after she and her children spotted a man standing in the rain on a cold day with a sign asking for help.
Yelitza gave the man $5, she recalls, but her children wanted to take him out to dinner. She turned around to go back, but he was already gone.
"And we were thinking we have to do something," she says.