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In the Wilmington neighborhood of Los Angeles, residential streets dead end at oil refineries. Diesel trucks crawl through, carrying containers from nearby ports. Longtime resident Magali Sanchez Hall says the pollution from all that has taken a toll, right on the street where she lives.

"The people that live here, the mother died of cancer," she says, pointing to a modest one-story home. "The people that live here, three people died of cancer."

Among the rolling hills of ancient Africa, sometime around 8000 B.C., a dusty traveler was making gastronomic history, quite by accident.

Thirsty from a long, hot journey, the weary herdsman reached for the sheepskin bag of milk knotted to the back of his pack animal. But as he tilted his head to pour the warm liquid into his mouth, he was astonished to find that the sheep's milk had curdled. The rough terrain and constant joggling of the milk had transformed it into butter --- and bewilderingly, it tasted heavenly.

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Spirit Of Inquiry.

About Michael Steven's TED Talk

When Michael Stevens is confronted with a quirky question, he responsibly searches for the answer and posts it to YouTube — inviting millions of people to follow his journey of discovery.

About Michael Stevens

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Spirit Of Inquiry.

About Naomi Oreskes' TED Talk

In school, we're taught we should trust science because the scientific method leads to measurable results and hard facts. But Naomi Oreskes says the process of inquiry doesn't end there.

About Naomi Oreskes

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Spirit Of Inquiry.

About Kevin Jones' TED Talk

Sometimes, doctors just don't have the answers. Surgeon Kevin Jones says having the humility to acknowledge this leads to better medicine.

About Kevin Jones

Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Spirit Of Inquiry.

About Liz Coleman's TED Talk

Former Bennington College President Liz Coleman believes higher education is overly-specialized & complacent. She says we need to encourage students to ask bigger questions & take more risks.

About Liz Coleman

Part 5 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Spirit Of Inquiry.

About Eric Haseltine's TED Talk

Trained as a neuroscientist, Eric Haseltine is always asking questions. He's identified four concepts that lead to scientific breakthrough. One of them: acknowledging we're not the center of the universe.

About Eric Haseltine

At the rear of the Terrazas Branch of the Austin Public Library on E. Cesar Chavez Street, roughly 10 people gather in a meeting room. It looks like any classroom. There’s a white board at the back, unflattering lighting above, and rows of chairs stacked to the side.

Initially, Clint Perry wanted to make a vending machine for bumblebees. He wanted to understand how they solve problems.

Perry, a cognitive biologist at Queen Mary University of London, is interested in testing the limits of animal intelligence.

"I want to know: How does the brain do stuff? How does it make decisions? How does it keep memory?" says Perry. And how big does a brain need to be in order to do all of those things?

A Kansas man is charged with murder in a shooting that left one man dead and two others wounded. Two of the victims are originally from India; their assailant was reportedly heard yelling "get out of my country" just before opening fire.

The FBI is jointly investigating the triple shooting with local authorities, an FBI representative tells NPR. The agency is working to determine whether the victims' civil rights were violated as part of the crime.

Chris Christie Will Soon Need A Job

Feb 24, 2017

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Good morning. I'm David Greene.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "FOOTLOOSE")

KENNY LOGGINS: (Singing) Got to, got to cut loose, footloose, kick off...

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Syrian peace talks got started again in Geneva this week. One Syrian woman hopes to get an issue on the agenda - the fate of hundreds of thousands of people detained. It is a very personal issue for her, as NPR's Alison Meuse reports.

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Brazilians like to call their Carnival the world's greatest spectacle. The multi-day festival officially begins today, but the street parties got going much earlier. And you can count on NPR's Philip Reeves, our new Brazil correspondent, not to miss them.

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