4:58am

Sun April 14, 2013
Education

Jazz In The Cafeteria: Kids Learn To Listen While They Chomp

Originally published on Sun April 14, 2013 6:44 pm

Saxophonist Harold Rapp plays during lunchtime at Alice Terry Elementary School in Sheridan, Colo.
Jenny Brundin for NPR

School lunch is often synonymous with loud noise. Studies have shown the decibel level in some cafeterias is as high as a lawn mower.

Every so often, though, students at Alice Terry Elementary School, southwest of Denver, are asked not to make any noise.

When the music teacher told students here they'd occasionally have a "silent" lunch break, this was kindergartner Alyssa Norquette's reaction: "Why do we need a silent lunch? Is it because we're too loud or something?"

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4:58am

Sun April 14, 2013
Education

'Core' Curriculum Puts Education Experts At Odds

Originally published on Sun April 14, 2013 6:16 pm

At 2 p.m., it's crunchtime for students who write for The Harbinger Online, the award-winning, student news site at Shawnee Mission East High just outside Kansas City, Kan. They've been investigating an initiative to develop common curriculum and test guidelines for states.

The young reporters have pored over countless documents about the Common Core State Standards and talked to Kansas state legislators who pushed for their adoption, trying to understand why they're necessary.

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4:57am

Sun April 14, 2013
Shots - Health News

Scientists Race To Stay Ahead Of New Bird Flu Virus

Originally published on Mon April 15, 2013 9:01 am

Workers prepare an H7N9 virus detection kit at the Center for Disease Control in Beijing on April 3.
AFP/Getty Images

A precious package arrived at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last Thursday afternoon.

Inside, packed in dry ice to keep it frozen, was a vial containing millions of viruses derived from a 35-year-old Chinese housewife who died last Tuesday of respiratory and kidney failure.

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6:27pm

Sat April 13, 2013
Music Interviews

Thao Nguyen's Musical Life Is Far From 'Common'

Thao & The Get Down Stay Down's new album is titled We The Common.
Nick Walker Courtesy of the artist

Thao Nguyen, of the folk-rock group Thao & the Get Down Stay Down, has been on a musical journey since she started performing in her teens in Northern Virginia. Delicate yet fierce in her vocal delivery, she writes often about her social concerns — and it was a trip to a California women's prison that inspired much of her latest album, We the Common.

Ngyuen and her band are on the road for the first time in several years; she spoke with NPR's Jacki Lyden from a tour stop in Kansas City.

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5:43pm

Sat April 13, 2013
Movies

Jurassic Bark: How Sound Design Changed Our Imaginations

Originally published on Sat April 13, 2013 8:15 pm

A single trumpet from a baby elephant at the San Francisco Zoo was used for every single T. Rex roar in Jurassic Park.
Universal Pictures

Nobody actually knows what dinosaurs sound like. But if you can imagine the roar of a T. Rex or the bellow of a brachiosaurus, it's probably thanks to the 1993 blockbuster Jurassic Park, which turns 20 this summer.

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5:11pm

Sat April 13, 2013
All Tech Considered

When Digital Dust Is Gathered, Constellation May Be Muddled

Originally published on Sat April 13, 2013 6:09 pm

The Orion nebula is the brightest spot in the sword of the Orion, or the Hunter constellation.
NASA

That constellation of information known as Big Data can be a sight to behold.

Adam Frank of NPR's 13.7 blog explains Big Data as "the ability to understand (and control) a seemingly chaotic world on levels never before imagined."

Big Data is like gathering digital dust, says New Yorker tech blogger Gary Marcus. "It's a very valuable tool," he says, "but it's rarely the whole solution by itself."

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5:02pm

Sat April 13, 2013
Dance

'First American Ballet Star' Soared To Fame With 'Firebird'

Originally published on Sat April 13, 2013 6:09 pm

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

The dancer who brought "Firebird" and "The Nutcracker" to life at the New York City Ballet died this week. Maria Tallchief was one of America's great prima ballerinas. NPR's Joel Rose has this remembrance.

JOEL ROSE, BYLINE: Maria Tallchief soared to fame in 1949 when she danced the lead role in Stravinsky's "Firebird" in a production choreographed by George Balanchine.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED INTERVIEW)

MARIA TALLCHIEF: He was a poet. And he taught us how to react and to become this poetry.

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5:02pm

Sat April 13, 2013
Sports

Down To The Putt: Golf Analytics Gain Traction

Originally published on Sat April 13, 2013 6:09 pm

Numbers crunching has become a big deal in sports. Analytics have been slower to take hold in the tradition-bound game of golf, but it is happening. NPR's Tom Goldman reports on the phenomenon from the tournament most steeped in tradition, the Masters.

4:16pm

Sat April 13, 2013
The Two-Way

Palestinian Prime Minister Fayyad Resigns Post

Originally published on Sun April 14, 2013 8:54 am

Salam Fayyad passes through an Israeli checkpoint in the West Bank town of Hebron in January. This week, he resigned from his post as prime minister of the Palestinian Authority.
Hazem Bader AFP/Getty Images

Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad has resigned, ending a power struggle with President Mahmoud Abbas that rose to new heights in recent months. Fayyad had reportedly tried to quit his job earlier this week; Abbas initially refused it, but he finally accepted the resignation Saturday.

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3:26pm

Sat April 13, 2013
The Two-Way

Egyptian Judge Abruptly Steps Down From Mubarak Retrial

Ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, waves from behind his son, Alaa, during the opening session of Mubarak's retrial in Cairo on Saturday.
AFP/Getty Images

A Cairo courtroom burst into chants of "The people want the execution of the president" on Saturday after the judge overseeing former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's retrial withdrew from the case on opening day. NPR's Leila Fadel reports:

"The session lasted only seconds. Judge Mustafa Hassan Abdullah opened the trial, quickly recused himself and transferred the proceedings to the court of appeals for the case to be reassigned to a new court.

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