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It's All Politics
4:01 am
Sat October 12, 2013

Would The U.S. Be Better Off With A Parliament?

A view of the German Bundestag, or federal Parliament, in Berlin.
Michael Sohn AP

Originally published on Sat October 12, 2013 1:31 pm

There are many reasons for the gridlock in Washington. Some are recent developments, as the U.S. becomes more politically polarized. Others are structural, built into the American political system.

Regardless, the extreme paralysis that has recently become the norm in D.C. almost never happens in Western European democracies.

"You're asking: Do other democracies have this problem? And the answer is: Not many," says Jane Mansbridge, a professor at the Harvard Kennedy School.

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The Salt
1:54 am
Sat October 12, 2013

Feminist Hulk Smash Shutdown, Rescue Women On Food Aid!

Courtesy Jessica Lawson

Originally published on Sun October 13, 2013 7:09 pm

The government shutdown is frustrating enough for furloughed workers, but for families dependent on federal food assistance, it's infuriating.

Enter the Feminist Hulk.

The Twitter monster is smashing the shutdown's threats to the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Food and Nutrition program, which provides food aid to pregnant women and mothers of young children deemed to be at risk of malnutrition. And she's urging her nearly 74,000 followers to help.

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Parallels
1:54 am
Sat October 12, 2013

What Did The Arab Spring Cost? One Estimate Says $800 Billion

Anti-government demonstrators crowd Cairo's Tahrir Square in February 2011. A report from HSBC says Egypt and other Arab Spring countries will lose a total of $800 billion by the end of next year because of the unrest.
Mohammed Abed AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat October 12, 2013 9:41 am

The Arab Spring unleashed massive, region-wide political turmoil, unseated longtime strongmen and it's still playing out. But what did it all cost?

A lot, according to a new report from the bank HSBC:

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Shots - Health News
1:53 am
Sat October 12, 2013

More Evidence Against Vitamin D To Build Bones In Middle Age

If only it was as simple as popping a supplement and being set for life. But alas, no.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat October 12, 2013 9:51 am

It's not easy being a wonder vitamin these days. Just when it looks like you're the solution to every health problem, some doctors come along and burst your bubble. Now it's happening to vitamin D.

The supplement has been widely promoted to prevent osteoporosis and fight a host of other ills. But recent studies haven't found much benefit, for bones or for general health.

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Music Interviews
12:03 am
Sat October 12, 2013

Electronic Music's Godfather Isn't Done Innovating

Morton Subotnick performs at New York's La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club in 2004. The pioneering electronic composer recently created a mobile app for children.
Jack Vartoogian Getty Images

Originally published on Sat October 12, 2013 6:05 am

Morton Subotnick could fairly be called electronic music's first hitmaker. His 1967 album Silver Apples of the Moon was an international sensation. Or, in his words, "It was like a bombshell."

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It's All Politics
4:57 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

Worst Since Nixon? Report Slams White House Leak Policy

President Obama arrives to make a statement to the press at the White House.
Charles Dharapak AP

The most open and transparent administration in history? That's not how some veteran members of the press see it.

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The Salt
4:38 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

Shutdown Leaves Some Seniors Worried About Their Next Meal

Seniors around the country depend on weekly deliveries of nutritionally balanced food from the USDA's supplemental nutrition program.
tmarvin iStockPhoto.com

Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 5:27 pm

You've no doubt heard of Senior Meals on Wheels preparing hot meals delivered to the elderly. But there's a different meal program that's been put on hold because of the partial government shutdown. It's the USDA's Commodity Supplemental Food Program.

In Michigan's western Kent County alone, more than 1,300 low-income seniors depend on the program. For them, it's a nutrition lifeline: They can't just go to a food pantry for similar assistance.

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The Two-Way
4:27 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

Migrant Boats Capsize Off Italy And Near Egypt

An Italian student holds a paper boat reading "How many tombs without names in Lampedusa, No to Bossi Fini" in reference to the recent tragedy near Lampedusa island where at least hundreds of immigrants drowned and the Bossi-Fini anti-immigration law.
Filippo Monteforte AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 5:59 pm

Two separate incidents left dozens of migrants dead, when their boats capsized on Friday.

First, a boat capsized off the Coast of Egypt and 12 migrants died and 116 were rescued. Then, 27 migrants died and 221 were rescued after a boat capsized off the coast of Italy.

Of course, this comes about a week after a similar incident left 339 dead because of a capsized boat near Italy.

The BBC reports on the Egypt accident:

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Business
3:42 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

At Global Gathering, Many Worry About U.S. Strength

The annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank began Thursday in Washington amid a partial government shutdown. Many delegates are concerned that the U.S. budget impasse may threaten global economic stability.
Jose Luis Magana AP

Originally published on Sat October 12, 2013 9:19 am

When you invite guests over, you probably straighten up the house to make a good impression.

This week, the nation's capital is welcoming guests from all over the world. Thousands of finance ministers, central bankers, scholars and industry leaders are in Washington, D.C., for the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank.

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Sports
3:42 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

Electric Football, Invented In 1948, Still Alive And Buzzing

Electric football survived the advent of Madden video games and today has a cult following.
Chris Benderev NPR

Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 8:52 pm

Professional football is America's real pastime.

The 2013 Super Bowl was the third-most-watched piece of television in recorded history. The first- and second-most-watched? The previous two Super Bowls.

And buried deep down inside that avalanche of fandom are the people who still play a board game invented in 1948 called electric football.

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