National News

Oscar-Winning Director Malik Bendjelloul Dies At 36

NPR News - Tue, 2014-05-13 16:46

Swede Bendjelloul's Searching for Sugar Man, won a Best Documentary Feature Oscar in 2013. He died in Stockholm.

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Wildfire Evacuation Orders Lifted For Most In Southern California

NPR News - Tue, 2014-05-13 16:25

More than 20,000 residents around San Diego have been allowed to return home. In Santa Barbara County, a small number of homes and business still must stay away.

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Obama Sanctions Individuals In Central African Republic

NPR News - Tue, 2014-05-13 16:00

The sanctions against an ex-president of the CAR and four other rebel leaders comes amid escalating sectarian violence.

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Longtime Congressman John Conyers Off Primary Ballot

NPR News - Tue, 2014-05-13 15:09

A local election official says the Detroit Democrat, who has served in the U.S. House since 1965, failed to collect enough valid signatures.

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Sorry, former Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-05-13 14:29

Former Treasury secretary Timothy Geithner has a new book out, as you may have heard. 

As part of the publicity campaign, the website Charitybuzz auctioned off lunch with Mr. Geithner today, with proceeds to benefit the RFK Center for Justice and Human Rights.

$50,000 was the winning bid.

Nice and all, but a good deal shy of the 2013 record holder... a $610,000 lunch with Apple CEO Tim Cook.

 

 

Last Chance To See Astronaut's 'Space Oddity' Video

NPR News - Tue, 2014-05-13 14:06

The YouTube video of astronaut Chris Hadfield aboard the International Space Station is set to come down as the licensing agreement on the iconic David Bowie song expires.

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2 Die In W.Va. Mine With Troubled Safety Record

NPR News - Tue, 2014-05-13 13:22

A review of federal mine safety data shows that the Brody mine had a rate of violations more than twice the national average for underground coal mines.

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Pub Owner Frustrated That Health Plan Prices Keep Jumping

NPR News - Tue, 2014-05-13 12:53

The ACA may eventually smooth out the volatility in health insurance costs for small businesses. But for the next few years, it could be a bumpy — and expensive — ride for some firms.

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Oregon's Legendary Wandering Wolf May Have Met A Mate

NPR News - Tue, 2014-05-13 12:49

OR-7, as he is known, traveled from northeast Oregon all the way to California for years in search of a new home and a chance for a mate. Now, biologists say, he may have found a mate.

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Gardeners' Gems: Designer Crops That Will Wow The Neighbors

NPR News - Tue, 2014-05-13 12:38

For the fashion-conscious gardener, here are the most colorful and flavorful new edibles. This year's picks include the indigo tomato, wasabi and a pineapple-flavored berry.

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The high-tech shop teacher of the future

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-05-13 12:28

Now that much of the grunt work in American manufacturing is done by machines, we need skilled, high-paid workers to run those machines. Specifically, workers with more math and engineering knowledge than in the past. And the manufacturing industry worries that schools aren't teaching future workers what they'll need to know.

Educators are working with industry to change that; in some cases by combining cutting-edge technology with an old-school educational concept. Some of this thinking is in action in upstate New York, on the tech-focused campus of Hudson Valley Community College. A group of high school students is huddled around teacher Darrel Ackroyd, who is showing them a 3-D printer. As the machine whirs and slices out patterns, one student wants to know if it could print out a person.

"In a plastic form, yes," Ackroyd answers.

This cracks the students up and they immediately start joking about the possibilities of "3-D selfies." But they take their tech seriously, and they pepper the teacher with thoughtful questions about speed, cost and potential uses of the technology.

Ackroyd is young, with a hipster beard and man bun. Despite his techie image, he's also a kind of a throwback to a character these students' grandparents would recognize: the high school shop teacher.

Schools are bringing back this tradition of showing students how to work with their hands, this time with a high-tech twist. Now, instead of a crappy birdhouse and a mouthful of sawdust, students get hands-on technology experience that could help them land well-paying jobs.

"We're preparing our students for jobs that don't exist yet," says Laurel Logan-King, assistant superintendent at Ballston Spa Central School District.

Ballston Spa runs the program, but students in districts from around the region are eligible. They can get college credit studying here, which saves them (and their parents) money. But the big draw is the chance to get their hands on some of the latest technology, from nanotechnology to green energy.

The program, a partnership between high school, higher education and industry, is new, so educators often have to explain the benefits of working with technology that some find strange, maybe even scary.

"It's really about creating that awareness, not only for the students, but also for the parents, so that they can have an understanding about what are these new opportunities that are going to be available for my children," Logan-King explains.

Bringing students from around the region to a well-equipped college campus gives them the chance to have experiences like the realization student Morgan Pakatar had when she first suited up to enter a nanotech lab.

"I'm just, like, I feel cool, this is awesome, this is what I wanna do," she remembers.

That's what educators and tech companies hope for from programs like this: a new generation of workers excited about the jobs of the future, with marketable skills that only hands-on learning can provide.

New Lab Technique Could One Day Make Malaria Easier To Treat

NPR News - Tue, 2014-05-13 12:20

A malaria patient can carry different parasites that respond differently to drugs. Now there's a way to profile the parasites, which could someday lead to more tailored treatments.

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Meds Can Help Problem Drinkers, But Many Doctors Don't Know That

NPR News - Tue, 2014-05-13 12:19

People are rarely offered medication to help them stop drinking. But there are drugs that work, and they don't make you sick. Instead they target the underlying mechanisms of addiction.

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Russia Aborts Rocket Engine Sales, GPS Cooperation With U.S.

NPR News - Tue, 2014-05-13 12:12

The moves come after Washington banned some high-tech equipment sales to Russia as part of sanctions in response to the annexation of Crimea.

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Companies Face Backlash Over Foreign Mergers To Avoid U.S. Taxes

NPR News - Tue, 2014-05-13 12:09

Pfizer, the giant drugmaker, is the latest American company seeking a foreign merger to elude U.S. taxes. Public advocacy groups call such deals unfair and want Congress to crack down.

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Frustrations Defeat Another Diplomat, As U.N. Syria Envoy Quits

NPR News - Tue, 2014-05-13 12:05

The U.N. envoy for Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, quit in frustration over the difficulties of bringing an end to the civil war and the failure of the United Nations to intervene.

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In Somalia, Collecting People For Profit

NPR News - Tue, 2014-05-13 12:05

Distributing aid can be an incredibly risky job for Westerners in Somalia, so local entrepreneurs have filled the gap. But what happens when aid become a profitable business in a lawless place?

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Obama Judicial Nominee Gets A Hostile Reception From Democrats

NPR News - Tue, 2014-05-13 12:05

The Senate Judiciary Committee is hearing from a controversial nominee for the Georgia federal district court bench. Though President Obama nominated him, many Democrats take issue with his history.

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150 Years On, Arlington National Cemetery Honors Its First Burial

NPR News - Tue, 2014-05-13 12:05

Arlington National Cemetery kicks off celebrations of its 150th anniversary by commemorating its first military burial on May 13, 1864. Members of the family of Army Pvt. William Christman will participate in a wreath laying ceremony and place a stone of remembrance from the family's original home.

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American Ranchers Wary As U.S. Government Considers Brazilian Beef Imports

NPR News - Tue, 2014-05-13 12:05

The U.S. wants to allow imports of fresh beef from Brazil, but the country has a history of foot-and-mouth disease. American ranchers worry about the risk and lower beef prices.

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