Two documentaries, Blackfish and The Act of Killing, are making waves around the world. The first riles you up; the second blows your mind.
"Blackfish" is the Inuits' name for the orca, a creature that they say is worthy of veneration but that you don't want to mess with — the chief example in Gabriela Cowperthwaite's Blackfish being Tilikum, responsible for two, possibly three human deaths.
The movie is Tilikum's story — along with the story of other orcas kept in captivity in theme parks like SeaWorld.
Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 11:36 am
More than a century after the invention of powered flight, birds are still teaching us something about how to fly airplanes, with the Air Force studying the V-shaped formation of airborne geese as a way to save fuel.
The technical term is "vortex surfing" and it's already well-known — NASCAR drivers and Tour de France cyclists use it to "draft" off competitors.
Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 10:25 am
So much fascinating tech and culture news, so little time. But we certainly think you should see the journalism that's catching our curiosity each week, so each Friday we'll round up the week that was — the work that appeared in this blog, and from our fellow technology writers and observers at other organizations.
And now it's time for "BackTalk." That's where we hear from you. Editor Ammad Omar is back with us. What do you have for us this week, Ammad?
AMMAD OMAR, BYLINE: Hi, Michel, we got a lot of e-mails this week about the George Zimmerman verdict. A ton of listener responses, as you can imagine, and a lot of people were really angry this week. Some people were mad at the jury, some people were mad at the media for the way we covered the case.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Our coverage of the George Zimmerman trial verdict drew many strong reactions. Coming up, we will hear some of them. We'll dig into listener e-mail and comments in BackTalk. But first, it's time for Faith Matters. That's where we talk about matters of faith and spirituality in times of crisis, whether personal or involving the country. Many people in this country turn to faith for comfort or understanding.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Later we'll head into the barbershop as we do just about every Friday. We'll hear from the guys on why financial planning advice from McDonald's to its employees fell flat and other news of the week, that's later. But first, we turn to Detroit. The city declared bankruptcy yesterday, making it the largest municipal bankruptcy in this country's history. It all comes after decades of decline from the city's bloom years as the center of the nation's auto industry.
Photographer Kirk Crippens says you can't. But that hasn't stopped him from trying. Since 2009, he has been documenting the city of Stockton, Calif., which last year became the largest city in American history to file for bankruptcy — until Detroit filed yesterday. Before bankruptcy, Stockton was the epicenter of the foreclosure crisis. But before that, Crippens says, it "was an all-American city — Boomtown, USA — housing going up everywhere."
Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 12:21 pm
Rian Johnson, who wrote and directed films including Looper and Brick, not to mention directing a few episodes of Breaking Bad, tweeted early this morning: "To me the great hope is one day some little fat girl in Ohio is going to make a summer movie where skyscrapers don't fall over like dominoes."
With each season of AMC's Breaking Bad, Dean Norris' character, DEA agent Hank Schrader, has evolved from a knuckleheaded jock into a complex, sympathetic and even heroic counterpoint to the show's anti-hero, high-school chemistry teacher turned meth cook Walter White. And to further complicate matters, Schrader and White (played by Bryan Cranston) are brothers-in-law.
Thomas Edison famously said that genius is 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration — words that could well apply to a new machine promoted by UNICEF that turns human sweat into drinking water.
The Sweat Machine extracts moisture from worn clothes by spinning and heating them, then filters the resulting liquid so that only pure water remains. It was built by Swedish engineer and TV personality Andreas Hammar, and uses a technology developed by Sweden's Royal Institute of Technology and the water purification company HVR.