In a recent Nippon Professional Baseball game in Japan, Kazuhito Tadano threw a slow, arcing pitch that caught the batter by surprise. Video of the play quickly went viral on the Internet, but the pitch has a history — and a name: the eephus pitch. Paul Dickson, author of the Dickson Baseball Dictionary, offers more details.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
And I'm Robert Siegel. The State Department has confirmed that a U.S. citizen was involved in the suicide bombing in Syria earlier this week. Today, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki confirmed the man's identity in response to a reporter's question.
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UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Can you confirm, at least, the name that he went by - as was published - Abu Huraya al-Amriki?
A true mad man has died. Al Feldstein steered MAD Magazine to the height of its madness as its editor. It's a role he held for nearly 30 years, developing the iconic image of the magazine's mascot, Alfred E. Neuman.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
What, me worry? When MAD magazine's first editor left and took the whole staff with him, Feldstein recruited a sharp new group of artists and writers. Al Jaffee, who is now in his 90s, was among them. He's the guy who created MAD's fold-in back cover.
There was a time when cell phones were used to make calls and many of the calls were defined by this.
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SIEGEL: The Nokia ringtone, it was introduced in 1994. Last Friday, Nokia - once the world's cell phone leader - sold its dwindling phone business to Microsoft for a lot of money, seven and a half billion dollars.
Until today, no one had said what becomes of that ringtone, a tune Nokia says is played about 20,000 times a second worldwide.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel. We're continuing to follow developments in yesterday's deadly shooting at Fort Hood that left four people dead and 16 wounded. This afternoon, the commander of Fort Hood, Lieutenant General Mark Milley, confirmed the identity of the shooter.
LIEUTENTANT GENERAL MARK MILLEY: We are able to release, his next kin have been notified. The alleged shooter is Specialist Ivan A. Lopez. He is 34 years old, originally from Puerto Rico.
Time now for your letters. First, two corrections. On Monday, we took you to the South by Southwest Festival in Austin to tell you about something called Oculus Rift. It is a virtual reality headset. And in our story, we mistakenly said that it would be available to consumers in 18 to 20 months. In fact, there is no release date yet for a consumer model. Only the development kit is currently available.
Long-time fans of the comedy website, "Funny or Die," know this already. But for the rest of you, this is the theme song of "Between Two Ferns." The Web series mimics a low-budget, cable-access interview program.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
It's the brainchild of actor and comedian Zach Galifinakis. He plays an unprepared host who fumbles through awkward conversations with celebrities. But the guest of his latest episode, released today, was a little different.
Now, health and electrical lighting. Last month, Mariana Figueiro showed me something she has developed to help seniors avoid falls in the night. Figueiro researches health applications at the Lighting Research Center at Rennselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. Her project is a nightlight. But it's not just a single bulb. It's a string of yellow lights that border the darkened entrance to, say, a bathroom.
It's a doorway and around the frame of the doorway are the yellow LEDs?
In Qatar's rapid race to modernity, the emirate has created a distinctive approach to educating its young: It has effectively imported a host of American universities.
Dr. Sheikha Aisha bint Faleh bin Nasser Al-Thani, a member of Qatar's ruling family, sits on the Supreme Education Council and owns a few independent schools. For her own children, she wanted a top-flight college education. Her sons were educated in Britain.
Over the past decade, Qatar's population has soared from 660,000 to more than 2 million. Here's the catch: Qataris themselves number only around 260,000.
The rest, more than 85 percent of the population, are not citizens. As Professor Mehran Kamrava, an American scholar at Georgetown University's campus in Qatar, says, they are all migrant workers of varying types.
Qatar is a tiny place that insists on being heard.
The Arab nation just off the coast of Saudi Arabia has made itself a major diplomatic player, a generous donor of foreign aid, and a leader in modernizing education in the region. The ultra-modern capital Doha is full of skyscrapers, museums and history, much of it dating as far back as ... the 1990s.
Qatar is also a commercial capital that aims to become a cultural, sports and tourist center for the Gulf region despite having just 260,000 citizens.
The International Olympic committee (IOC) has elected a new president, Thomas Bach of Germany. He assumes leadership of an organization that faces criticism over politics, costs and what some view as its insular approach to which sports are offered during the games. The new president succeeds Jacques Rogge, who lead the IOC for 12 years.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel. One criticism of baseball is that it's too prone to long stretches of inaction, players sitting around not doing much. Well, if that's what baseball is, then Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees has been Mr. Baseball this season. He's been on the disabled list, but he claims he's healthy enough to play. His team begs to differ. Here to talk about the confusion is NPR's Mike Pesca, who joins us from New York. Hi, Mike.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
On Capitol Hill, an effort to limit the authority of the National Security Agency has fallen short. It was the first chance for House lawmakers to vote on the government's phone surveillance program since news of it was leaked by Edward Snowden. They rejected an amendment that the White House and top intelligence officials had lobbied hard against.
NPR's Tamara Keith joins us from Capitol Hill. And, Tamara, the amendment was defeated. How close was it?