Lightning from a clear sky — that's how historians have described the rise of Islam. Stories say the Prophet Muhammad received his revelations from the Angel Gabriel deep in the Arabian desert, hundreds of miles away from any outside influences. The Prophet was even said to be illiterate and therefore free of the taint of other religious writings.
The mother's milk of many political campaigns is the survey — a snapshot of how likely voters feel about particular subjects. But a recent study suggests that only 9 percent of people asked to take part in surveys actually do, calling into question any survey's findings. Slate reporter Will Oremus offers his insight.
It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz.
In two days, voters in Wisconsin will decide whether or not to recall their governor, Republican Scott Walker. It's been one of the most expensive statewide races in American history. And the stakes in that election could have national implications for unions, for deficit hawks, for businesses, even for President Obama's re-election. We'll tell you why in a moment in our cover story today, but first to some news out of Syria.
This Tuesday, a congressional race in California's rural Central Valley will come down to a fight for second place. As Sasha Khokha of member station KQED reports now, the race pits a farm worker-turned-astronaut against the son of a disgraced congressman.
Thousands are crowding the banks of the Thames today to catch a glimpse of Queen Elizabeth leading a flotilla of a thousand boats to mark her 60-year reign.
Her gilded barge is the centerpiece of what organizers are calling the biggest pageant on the river in 350 years. As NPR's Philip Reeves reports from London, a 41-gun salute echoed over the city this morning, launching what will be several days of festivities.
On her first journey abroad in 24 years, Myanmar's opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi upstaged and dazzled world leaders with her statesmanship and charisma.
Suu Kyi attended an international economic forum in Thailand last week, but Saturday was very different. She visited a camp on the Thai-Myanmar border, where refugees have fled to escape oppression and civil war in her homeland. The visit showed that despite becoming one of the most prominent politicians in Asia, her political situation at home remains a bit precarious.
One hundred and nine years ago — June 4, 1903 — the famous Italian communications pioneer Marconi waited on a cliff in Cornwall, England, ready to send a Morse code message to a colleague named Fleming in London. Fleming wasn't waiting alone for the historic transmission: he had set up a new wireless communicator in front of an eager audience at London's Royal Institution.
Marconi had boasted that with this new wireless technology, Morse code could be sent privately over long distances.
I admit it's a bold statement, suggesting that the most glamorous and prestigious awards ceremony Americans watch all year could learn something from an event that once had a category called "Biggest Badass Star." Certainly, I wouldn't want to see the Oscars replaced with the MTV Movie Awards, given that the first Twilight movie won five of them.