NBC says its coverage of the Winter Olympics drew more than 100 million viewers over the last weekend of the Games. That indicates lots of interest, which will fill more than 1,500 hours of coverage across all of NBC's platforms - broadcast network, cable channels and online. With all this coverage and so many ways to watch, we turn to NPR television critic now, Eric Deggans for some tips. Good morning.
ERIC DEGGANS, BYLINE: Good morning.
MONTAGNE: How are fans getting their Olympics coverage these days - for the most part?
Let's say you're skiing in the backcountry, looking for some powder — but instead, you trigger an avalanche.
If you have an avalanche air bag pack strapped to your back, you just yank the cord. That deploys the air bag, which keeps you close to the surface and easier to dig out, says Andy Wenberg with Backcountry Access, one of several companies making the devices. When deployed, his company's version of the air bag comes out like wings.
"The whole idea when you deploy that thing in an avalanche is you're avoiding burial death," he says.
Wednesday, the American women's hockey team meets its arch rival Canada on the ice in Sochi at the Winter Olympics. It's an early round game, but when it comes to these two teams, which are expected to meet in the gold medal game, there's no such thing as a low-stakes match.
On Monday, Norwegian Ole Einar Bjoerndalen came a ski-length away from winning a 13th Olympic medal and becoming the most decorated athlete ever at the Winter Games.
The biathlon pursuit Olympic event — cross-country skiing with rifle shooting — is a pretty devious race. The fastest man goes first, and then everyone else in the race tries to catch him before the finish line. And in Monday's competition, Bjoerndalen went first.
Much of the attention on the slopestyle events in Sochi has been focused on snowboarders like Shaun White. But Devin Logan and her other American teammates twist and soar down mountains, too — on skis.
I first met Logan at an Olympic qualifier event in Colorado back in December. We were hanging out at the base of the halfpipe watching the competition. She's 20. She smiles a lot. We bonded over Instagram and 2 Chainz. I told her I'd look for her in Sochi — but she didn't know then if she'd even make the U.S. team.
The Obama administration is, again, delaying implementation of a part of the Affordable Care Act that requires employers to provide health insurance to their workers (or, potentially, face penalties). But this time it's not the entire "employer mandate" that's being delayed (as it was in 2013) — just part of it.
Could a machine at least write a love poem, a poem moving enough to stir the human heart? Well, not yet. But here's a step in that direction.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
NATHAN MATHIAS: (Reading) When I in dreams behold thy fairest shade whose shade in dreams doth wake the sleeping morn, the daytime shadow of my love betrayed lends hideous night to dreaming's faded form.
A coldly scientific decision to put down a giraffe at the Copenhagen Zoo has outraged animal lovers around the world. Yesterday, the zoo killed a young male giraffe named Marius, conducted a public autopsy and fed the carcass to the lions. The animal wasn't stricken by illness or injury. The intent was to prevent inbreeding. The animal's death caused an uproar on social media and among animal rights activists who say that there were ways to save its life.
The Deep South is preparing for another blast of wintry weather. Snow, ice and freezing rain are expected in parts of Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia, over the next day. In Alaska, people are watching with envy. That's because the state is enduring the opposite: record high temperatures and very little snow. Organizers of the Iditarod Sled Dog Race are considering moving the starting line from Anchorage, hundreds of miles north to Fairbanks. And the weather has also made life difficult for the state's avid skiers.
There is a fake John Kerry wandering around Jerusalem these days. He stars in several satirical videos criticizing the U.S. effort to negotiate a peace agreement between Israeli and Palestinian leaders. The State Department suggests it is just the latest sign that Kerry has put real pressure on Israel to move toward a peace deal. NPR's Emily Harris reports.