3:21am

Fri December 28, 2012
Arts & Life

Let's Double Down On A Superstorm Of Malarkey: Picking 2012's Word Of The Year

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 2:26 pm

Selfie, one of the candidates for 2012's Word of the Year, means a self-portrait photograph, usually posted to a social networking site.
textsfromhillaryclinton.tumblr.com/Original image by Diana Walker for Time

There is a major decision coming up that will truly define the year 2012. Yes, it's almost time for the American Dialect Society to once again vote on the Word of the Year. Will it be selfie? Hate-watching? Superstorm? Double down? Fiscal cliff? Or (shudder) YOLO?

Read more

8:38pm

Thu December 27, 2012
Remembrances

Schwarzkopf, Commander In Gulf War, Dies At 78

Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 9:40 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.

General Norman Schwarzkopf has died. The military leader who earned the nickname Stormin' Norman was 78 years old. He became a household name in the 1991 Persian Gulf War, commanding the U.S.-led international coalition that drove Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait.

Joining us now is NPR's Pentagon correspondent, Tom Bowman. And, Tom, to begin, tell us a little bit about his background. How did Schwarzkopf rise through the ranks?

Read more

6:56pm

Thu December 27, 2012
Books

Libraries And E-Lending: The 'Wild West' Of Digital Licensing?

Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 9:40 pm

About three-quarters of public libraries offer digital lending, but finding a book you want can be frustrating — every publisher has its own set of rules.
iStockphoto.com

Have you ever borrowed an e-book from a library? If the answer is no, you're a member of a large majority. A survey out Thursday from the Pew Internet Project finds that only 5 percent of "recent library users" have tried to borrow an e-book this year.

About three-quarters of public libraries offer e-books, according to the American Library Association, but finding the book you want to read can be a challenge — when it's available at all.

Read more

5:51pm

Thu December 27, 2012
The Two-Way

Italians Outraged By Priest's Claim That Women Bring Violence On Themselves

In Italy, a Catholic priest has stirred widespread outrage after he blamed incidents of domestic violence on the way women dress. Father Piero Corsi's remarks were in a Christmas message he put on a church bulletin board; photos of the note soon went viral.

As NPR's Sylvia Poggioli reports, "a record 118 women have been murdered this year alone in domestic violence" in Italy, reportedly the highest number in Europe.

Here's more from Sylvia, in Rome:

"The title of message was 'Women and Femicide, How often do they provoke?'"

Read more

5:34pm

Thu December 27, 2012
Books

E-Books Destroying Traditional Publishing? The Story's Not That Simple

Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 9:40 pm

Publishers are finding that flexible pricing on e-books can help bring in new readers.
iStockphoto.com

What counts as a book these days, in a world of Kindles, Nooks and iPads — and eager talk about new platforms and distribution methods?

Traditional publishers are traveling a long and confusing road into the digital future. To begin with, here's the conventional wisdom about publishing: E-books are destroying the business model.

Read more

4:57pm

Thu December 27, 2012
The Two-Way

After Apparent Abduction, Miniature Pony Returns To Circus

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 6:45 am

Sighs of relief were breathed in Austria today, after a missing pony made it back to his circus after an apparent horse-napping. While it might seem difficult to steal, and then conceal, a horse, consider that the animal, named Fridolin, is only about two feet tall.

The miniature pony, a main attraction of the Vienna Christmas Circus, was found after a tip came in that the pint-sized horse "had been abandoned at a bus stop," reports the Vienna Times.

Read more

4:24pm

Thu December 27, 2012
Books

Margaret Atwood's Brave New World Of Online Publishing

Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 9:40 pm

Margaret Atwood has written 13 novels, including The Handmaid's Tale and Oryx and Crake.
George Whiteside

If you're a Margaret Atwood fan — and you've got some spare change under the couch cushions — just a few dollars will get you a stand-alone episode of the new novel she's writing in serial form.

It's called Positron, and Atwood is publishing it on Byliner, a website launched last year that's one of many new sites billing themselves as platforms for writers.

Read more

4:24pm

Thu December 27, 2012
Books

Change Is The Only Constant In Today's Publishing Industry

Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 9:40 pm

Penguin and Random House, two of the biggest players in publishing, announced in October that they would merge.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

The publishing industry has been in flux for years. First chain stores, then Amazon, then e-books — many forces have combined to create dramatic change in the traditional publishing model.

Mike Shatzkin is the founder and CEO of the publishing industry consulting firm Idea Logical. He says one of the biggest changes happening in publishing right now is the planned merger of two of the biggest players in the field, Penguin and Random House — with whispers of further mergers to come.

Read more

4:23pm

Thu December 27, 2012
It's All Politics

Federal Government Prepares For Uncertain Landing After 'Fiscal Cliff'

Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 9:40 pm

With negotiations to avoid the "fiscal cliff" uncertain at best, the Obama administration is trying to tamp down anxiety in the federal workforce.

The administration's message to various federal agencies is that there will be little immediate effect on public employees from the budget cuts scheduled to take effect next week if a deal is not reached. Treasury Department employees, for instance, were told not to expect "day to day operations to change dramatically on or immediately after January 2."

For workers, of course, that's good news.

Read more

4:20pm

Thu December 27, 2012
Research News

Birds Hang Around Mistletoe For More Than A Kiss

Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 9:40 pm

Researchers in Australia found that when they removed mistletoe from large sections of forests, vast numbers of birds left.
BSIP UIG via Getty Images

For the Druids, mistletoe was sacred. For us, it's a cute ornament and maybe an excuse to steal a kiss. And of course it's a Christmas tradition.

But for a forest, mistletoe might be much more important. It's a parasite, shows up on tree branches and looks like an out-of-place evergreen bush hanging in the air.

Read more

Pages