All Things Considered from NPR

Mon-Fri 4PM – 6:30PM
  • Hosted by Robert Siegel, Audie Cornish, Melissa Block

Each show consists of the biggest stories of the day, thoughtful commentaries, insightful features on the quirky and the mainstream in arts and life, music and entertainment, all brought alive through sound.

Why GDP Is Like GPA

Oct 28, 2011

GDP contains multitudes. Everything we manufacture. Every plumber who fixed a sink, every accountant who carried the one and divided by five — all the goods and services we produced.

It was invented by a guy named Simon Kuznets during the the Great Depression, when everybody wanted to know just how bad things were.

Now the number is put out by Steve Landefeld at the government's Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Welcome to the first installment of NPR's Backseat Book Club! We've invited all of our younger listeners to join us for conversations with authors of kids' books. We kicked off the club with The Graveyard Book, a thrilling Halloween treat from Neil Gaiman that won the Newbery Medal in 2009. Gaiman loves Halloween and all the creepy fun that goes along with it.

Amy Dickinson writes the Ask Amy advice column for the Chicago Tribune. Her column appears in 150 newspapers across the country.

I think the best advice is simply good advice.

It's helpful, useful and delivered with respect.

Ask Beth's specialty was advising young people about relationships, sexuality and sexual behavior. This is a tricky business because kids and teens are often misinformed — or simply uninformed.

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Game 6, World Series, and last night the St. Louis Cardinals pulled out an amazing come-from-behind victory in the bottom of the 11th.

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What if you could time-travel back to Memphis' Sun Studios in the 1950s? Behind the console would be none other than producer Sam Phillips. You might hear such classic songs as "My Happiness," "Crazy Arms" or "Walk the Line," originally recorded at Sun Studio by Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and Johnny Cash, respectively.

Adam Frank is an astrophysicist at the University of Rochester. He is a regular contributor to the NPR blog 13.7: Cosmos and Culture.

What is going to happen when our machines wake up? What will happen when all these computers that run our lives suddenly become intelligent and self-aware? It's a question that makes sense to ask today, as the world marks the recent passage of John McCarthy.

Time for our home video feature, where NPR movie critic Bob Mondello suggests something for those who like to pop their own popcorn and pop in a video. For this Halloween week, Bob suggests sending a shiver up your spine with some classics from: Alfred Hitchcock: The Essentials Collection.

CBO Report Looks At Top Earners

Oct 26, 2011

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Tom Waits generally sings like a psychotic carnival barker or a drunken lounge crooner. And I really mean that as a compliment.

Part 2 of a three-part investigation

On a small crest deep in South Dakota's Black Hills, a dozen children jumped on sleds and floated across the snow. They are wards of the state, and this is their home: the western campus of the Children's Home Society.

There are rolling hills, a babbling brook — even a new school.

Children's Home Director Bill Colson says it's a place to help children who can't make it in regular foster homes.

In a hurry-up world, the garden keeps its own time. Old-fashioned plants like raspberries, asparagus and rhubarb ask us to slow down and wait for the sweet reward they offer. Commentator Julie Zickefoose revels in the waiting.

I have a friend who lives up in the mountains of North Carolina who loves to give me wonderful plants. Usually Connie gives me native prairie plants, and I plop them in the meadow, and it's no big deal. But this year she gave me raspberries. Not just any raspberries. Golden raspberries.

ETS Says SAT Cheating Attempts Not Uncommon

Oct 25, 2011

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Between speeches about jobs and the economy on the House floor today, there was a standing ovation and a unanimous vote.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: On this vote, the yeas are 422, the nays are zero.

In Tunisia, a moderate, once-banned Islamist political party is on track to win the country's first free and democratic election — and the first among the countries of the Arab Spring. On Sunday, Tunisians elected a national assembly that will rewrite the country's constitution.

Despite the strong showing by the Islamists, no party is expected to get an absolute majority in the assembly, and the new government will likely be a coalition of secular and religious parties. And that, it appears, is what most Tunisians want.

Cold War Bomb To Be Dismantled

Oct 25, 2011

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The United States is taking one of its nuclear options off the table today. The B-53 is a 10,000-pound relic of the Cold War days. A bomb so big it could have obliterated a big city in a single blow. Well, now near Amarillo, Texas, the last B-53 is being dismantled.

Northern Lights Glow In Southern States

Oct 25, 2011

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Wild splashes of Technicolor - pink and green and red - bathed the sky yesterday in more than half the United States, from Minnesota down to Mississippi. The Aurora Borealis, the Northern Lights, put on a great display unusually far south.

Huntsman Shows Off Mandarin Skills

Oct 25, 2011

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Police Arrested On Gun-Smuggling Charges

Oct 25, 2011

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Now, to New York City where this morning, eight former and current members of the police department were arrested. They face charges of smuggling guns and other property.

Music-based games like Rock Band and Guitar Hero, which let you play along to popular songs with fake instruments, once ruled the video game industry. They raked in billions of dollars in sales in 2008, when their popularity was at its peak. But such games have since lost their luster, and sales for both have plummeted. Now the French video game publisher and development company Ubisoft is hoping to revive interest in the video game genre by adding a new twist — the ability to use a real guitar.

Thomas J. Reese is a senior fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University, and a former editor of America, the national Catholic weekly magazine.

The Vatican released a document on the world economy on Monday that will cause heartburn in the Tea Party, but will be cheered by the folks occupying Wall Street.

Norton Juster is the author of The Phantom Tollbooth.

"There was once a boy named Milo who didn't know what to do with himself — not just sometimes but always. When he was in school he longed to be out, and when he was out he longed to be in ... Nothing really interested him — least of all the things that should have."

It was, of course, the doldrums — his own special version of them.

Families Broken Up As Immigrants Flee Alabama

Oct 24, 2011

Some immigrant families say Alabama's tough new immigration law is forcing them to split up, at least temporarily.

Every fall, migrant workers follow the tomato harvest south from Alabama to the Redlands Christian Migrant Association campus in Mulberry, Fla. It's an oasis of shady oak trees amid acres and acres of tomato fields.

But this year, women and children are showing up several weeks ahead of their husbands, who have stayed behind in Alabama to finish the tomato harvest. Other families who aren't migrant workers are showing up for the first time.

Joe Henry's Raw, Raucous 'Reverie'

Oct 24, 2011

When Joe Henry sets out to produce an album — and he's produced dozens, from the great soul singers Solomon Burke and Bettye LaVette to the actor and blues singer Hugh Laurie — he says he's looking for a point of view.

Coldplay's 'Mylo Xyloto' Has Mass Appeal

Oct 24, 2011

In a music world commercially dominated by pop singers, rappers and country artists, Coldplay is one of the rare modern superstar acts that actually is a rock band. But for a group as patently inoffensive as Coldplay, it's earned an impressive number of "haters." Many rock fans dismiss its music as milquetoast, and even The New York Times once called Coldplay "the most insufferable band of the decade." Me?

Products R Us: Are We 'Brandwashed'?

Oct 23, 2011

Martin Lindstrom got into the advertising business early on.

"I started up my own ad agency when I was 12 years old," he tells Guy Raz, host of weekend on All Things Considered. "I was a huge fan of Lego, so I built up my own Legoland in the backyard of my mom and dad's garden."

No one showed up on the first day, but Lindstrom persuaded a local ad agency to sponsor him. On the third day, he had 131 visitors.

The only problem? "Visitor number 130 and visitor 131 were the lawyers from Lego suing me."

Tunisians Vote In Free Elections

Oct 23, 2011

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From NPR News, it's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Guy Raz.

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Barry Duncan has an obsession that follows him everywhere he goes. "I see street signs, restaurant menus, objects while I'm walking along, and I'm just reversing them all the time," he tells Guy Raz, host of weekends on All Things Considered.

Duncan is a master palindromist. He creates phrases, sentences, even passages that read the same forward and backward. He's been at it since 1981, when he was working at a bookstore in Philadelphia and stumbled onto a book of wordplay.

Jane's Addiction defined the Los Angeles rock scene of the late 1980s, and by the beginning of the next decade, the band had become famous worldwide. But almost as soon as they'd gained the world's attention, Jane's Addiction split up.

Modest reunions have taken place since then. This month, three of the four original members are back with a new album, The Great Escape Artist. Weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz, who grew up listening to Jane's Addiction, spoke to the group's leader, Perry Farrell.

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It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz.

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On Friday, News Corp. held its first shareholder meeting since a phone-hacking scandal in the U.K. led the company to close a major tabloid. Outside the meeting at Fox Studios in Los Angeles, about 100 demonstrators assembled to condemn the Murdochs and News Corp.'s leadership.

But the complaints that followed inside were far more specific. There was a vote to approve the board of directors, but it was largely a formality because the Murdoch family and its allies control so many voting shares.

Rupert Murdoch wasted little time in reminding investors of his track record.

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