The Salt
2:02 am
Tue May 13, 2014

Turnspit Dogs: The Rise And Fall Of The Vernepator Cur

A turnspit dog at work in a wooden cooking wheel in an inn at Newcastle, Carmarthen, Wales, in 1869.
Ann Ronan Pictures/Print Collector/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 23, 2014 5:45 pm

In an old hunting lodge on the grounds of an ancient Norman castle in Abergavenny, Wales, a small, extinct dog peers out of a handmade wooden display case.

"Whiskey is the last surviving specimen of a turnspit dog, albeit stuffed," says Sally Davis, longtime custodian at the Abergavenny Museum.

The Canis vertigus, or turnspit, was an essential part of every large kitchen in Britain in the 16th century. The small cooking canine was bred to run in a wheel that turned a roasting spit in cavernous kitchen fireplaces.

Read more
Politics
1:38 am
Tue May 13, 2014

Election-Year Politics Dooms Energy Bill, Averts Pipeline Vote

Pipefitters work on construction of the Keystone XL pipeline's southern portion outside Tulsa, Okla., in January.
PR Newswire

Originally published on Tue May 13, 2014 11:23 am

As expected, an energy efficiency bill failed in the Senate on Monday, which makes a separate Senate vote on the Keystone XL oil pipeline unlikely before the November election.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid had made a Keystone vote contingent upon passage of the energy efficiency bill, and letting one doom the other may have temporarily gotten him out of a bind.

Read more
NPR & Veterans
12:13 am
Tue May 13, 2014

San Antonio Iraq War Veteran Surprises NPR's David Greene

Victor Martinez (left) and David Greene.
Credit Nathan Cone / TPR

**Editor's Note: Victor Martinez has since admitted that his story is a fabrication: He did not serve in Iraq and there were no CDs sent to him. Click here for the full retraction and explanation.

Many of us start our day listening to "Morning Edition," and we depend on getting the world’s news from Steve Inskeep, Renee Montagne, and David Greene.

Read more
It's All Politics
5:19 pm
Mon May 12, 2014

Keith Crisco, Congressional Opponent Of Clay Aiken, Dies

Keith Crisco, a North Carolina textile entrepreneur who went up against former American Idol singer Clay Aiken in a Democratic primary, died in an accident at home on Monday.
Uncredited AP

Originally published on Tue May 13, 2014 9:13 am

A week after apparently losing his nomination bid for Congress, Keith Crisco has died.

Despite extensive experience in business and government, Crisco is fated to be best known as the person who finished behind former American Idol star Clay Aiken in a Democratic primary in North Carolina last Tuesday.

Read more
Around the Nation
5:03 pm
Mon May 12, 2014

Tale Of Two Billboards: An Ozark Town's Struggle To Unseat Hate

Several white supremacist groups have roots near Harrison, Ark. Residents believe a yellow billboard in town is a reaction to a local effort to make the town more inclusive.
Frank Morris KCUR

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 6:58 pm

Second in a two-part report.

The Ozark region, covering most of southern Missouri and northern Arkansas, has long been a haven for white supremacists. The area is home to the neo-Nazi accused of killing three people at Jewish centers near Kansas City, Kan., in April.

The region continues to grapple with a culture that has historically turned a blind eye to bigotry. That fight is particularly concentrated in Harrison, Ark.

Read more
NPR Story
4:49 pm
Mon May 12, 2014

Austrian Drag Queen Wins Eurovision Song Contest

Conchita Wurst, representing Austria, poses with the trophy after winning the Eurovision Song Contest 2014 Grand Final in Copenhagen, Denmark, on May 11, 2014. (Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/Getty Images)

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 1:58 pm

Austrian bearded drag queen Conchita Wurst has won the 59th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest with a James Bond-inspired power ballad.

The song, “Rise Like a Phoenix,” helped Wurst secure Austria’s second victory in the competition Saturday. The country also won in 1966.

The winner was picked by juries and television viewers across Europe.

[Youtube]

Read more
The Two-Way
4:19 pm
Mon May 12, 2014

Melting Of Antarctic Ice Sheet Might Be Unstoppable

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 5:31 pm

Scientists have long worried about climate change-induced melting of the huge West Antarctic Ice Sheet. Now they say that not only is the disintegration of the ice already underway, but that it's likely unstoppable.

That means that in the coming centuries, global sea levels will rise by anywhere from 4 to 12 feet. As NPR's Nell Greenfieldboyce reports, that's a larger increase than the United Nations expert panel noted last year. But it would occur over a longer time frame — centuries instead of decades.

Read more
The Two-Way
4:09 pm
Mon May 12, 2014

Re-Enactment Of Satanic Mass Planned At Harvard Causes Uproar

Harvard University's main campus in Cambridge, Mass.
Darren McCollester Getty Images

Harvard University Extension School's Cultural Studies Club has ignited a maelstrom of criticism over its plans to reenact a black mass on Monday.

The university and the Catholic Church have condemned it, but the club says the Satanic mass is simply for educational purposes.

The AP reports:

Read more
Shots - Health News
4:02 pm
Mon May 12, 2014

Overused Medical Services Cost Medicare Billions Of Dollars

Medical overtreatment is the inverse of former Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart's definition of pornography: While waste is easy to define in principle, it can be hard to know it when you see it.

A treatment that is appropriate for one patient can also be unnecessary or even counterproductive for another, depending on the patient's condition. This has been a major obstacle for studies seeking to pinpoint overused services, which by the most expansive estimates may account for as much as a third of the nation's health spending.

Read more
KPAC Blog
3:56 pm
Mon May 12, 2014

Following This Week's Performances, Choral Society Hits The Road For Euopean Shows

Credit San Antonio Choral Society / San Antonio Choral Society

The San Antonio Choral Society has a pair of performances this week.  I spoke to Jennifer Seighman, who is the group’s artistic director.

“We have two concerts this week. The first one is Tuesday at 7:30 at the Oblate School of Theology and then we’ll give a second performance on Sunday at 3 p.m. at Travis Park United Methodist Church,” Seighman said.

She said the selections they’ll be singing are specifically to highlight the human voice.

Read more

Pages