National / International News

Ballerina Misty Copeland counts herself lucky

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2016-06-30 11:20

Update: Misty Copeland was promoted Tuesday, June 30 to principal dancer for the American Ballet Theater. She's the first-ever African-American woman to hold that title.

 

Age starting dance: 13

Height: 5 feet 2 inches

Bust: "Bigger than most"

At least, that's how ballerina Misty Copeland describes her numbers-defying career in dance. A soloist with the American Ballet Theater in New York, Copeland recently explained how she doesn't really fit into the traditional model for ballet, but still made it work.

“All of those numbers, they just don’t add up to create a classical dancer,” she says. "No matter what, I'm going to be who I am."

Listen to the full conversation from our live show in New York City in the audio player above.

Tesla is disrupting more than just the car business

Marketplace - American Public Media - Sat, 2016-02-06 16:01

Tesla Motors is building the world's biggest battery factory just outside of Reno, Nevada. The company is calling it the “gigafactory,” and when it’s up and running in 2016 it’s expected to make Tesla’s electric cars much more affordable. 

“In a single factory we're doubling the worldwide capacity to manufacture lithium-ion batteries,” says J.B. Straubel, Tesla's chief technology officer. 

That's significant enough. But the company also plans to develop batteries for use with solar-power generation – giving Tesla a shot at challenging public utilities as an energy source, Straubel says.

“At the price points that we're expecting to achieve with the gigafactory ... we see a market that is well in excess of the production capability of the factory,” says Straubel.

The market for batteries is an offshoot of the booming business for solar panels, particularly in states such as California, where solar is becoming commonplace.

“We sign up approximately one new customer every minute of the workday," says Will Craven, director of public affairs at California-based SolarCity.

Much of the excess energy harnessed by solar panels is returned to the power grid, Cravens says. This means homeowners and businesses may earn a credit from their power companies, but have no say over when and how that energy is used.

The partnership with SolarCity will use rooftop solar panels fitted with Tesla’s battery packs to allow customers to keep that energy in-house. That means they can use it however, and whenever, they want. The concept puts Tesla in direct competition with utility companies.

“Stationary storage, or backup storage, is really being considered the ‘Holy Grail’ of renewable electricity generation,” says Ben Kallo, an analyst with the Robert W. Baird financial services firm.

Kallo points out that the intermittent nature of renewable energy sources makes them less reliable because the wind doesn’t always blow and the sun doesn’t always shine.  But with the ability to store that energy, renewable energy sources can compete head-to-head with utility companies for customers.

“There are still many utilities out there who kind of have their head stuck in the sand and just hope that this goes away. What we're seeing is really building momentum,” Kallo says.

Forward-minded utilities might look at Tesla’s business model as an opportunity, he says.  Energy-storage technology could be used to build capacity in their existing grids, and also build new infrastructure for battery-powered cars and homes.

 

Chinese shares continue recovery

BBC - 3 hours 36 min ago
Chinese shares extend their recovery on the last day of a volatile week which started with shock losses that spread fear to global markets.

VIDEO: Knut died of autoimmune illness

BBC - 3 hours 39 min ago
Scientists say they can now explain what happened to Knut, the famous polar bear that drowned at Berlin Zoo in 2011.

Difficulties of getting fit if you're disabled

BBC - 3 hours 55 min ago
The difficulties of getting fit when you're disabled

Are these England's most beautiful pubs?

BBC - 4 hours 11 min ago
Are these England's most beautiful pubs?

'Great Escape' survivor dies at 101

BBC - 4 hours 27 min ago
One of the last survivors of World War Two's most famous prison break dies at the age of 101.

Young drivers 'most likely' to use mobiles

BBC - 4 hours 48 min ago
Young motorists are the most likely to speak on the phone while driving, a survey for road safety charity Brake suggests.

New Tesla Breaks Consumer Reports' Ratings Scale, Bolsters Company's Stock

NPR News - 4 hours 51 min ago

"It kind of broke the system," says Jake Fisher, director of the magazine's auto test division. Tesla's stock rose 8 percent Thursday.

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Did French media put lives at risk?

BBC - 4 hours 54 min ago
How far can broadcast journalists go in live coverage of terrorist incidents when their reports might influence the course of events or even endanger lives?

Will a Turkish border deal block IS recruits?

BBC - 4 hours 57 min ago
The BBC's Frank Gardner reports on the implications of Turkey's intention to close its border with Syria.

Are Pakistan’s female medical students to be doctors or wives?

BBC - 5 hours 9 min ago
Why a 'quota' for female medical students is causing controversy

Tap water boiling 'to end soon'

BBC - 5 hours 15 min ago
Hundreds of thousands of people in Lancashire should no longer need to boil their tap water to make it safe within the coming week, United Utilities says.

The battle over the words used to describe migrants

BBC - 5 hours 19 min ago
The battle over the terms used to describe migrants

Young goths 'at risk of depression'

BBC - 5 hours 34 min ago
Young people who identify as goths may be at increased risk of depression and self-harm, a study suggests.

Europe's life-jacket capital

BBC - 5 hours 40 min ago
The port city selling migrants what they need to go to sea

Quiz of the week's news

BBC - 5 hours 40 min ago
What was One Direction's biggest hit?

VIDEO: 'It's like the end of the Earth'

BBC - 5 hours 40 min ago
The corner of England 'like the end of the Earth'

Why do some people refer to themselves in the third person?

BBC - 5 hours 41 min ago
Why do some people refer to themselves in the third person?

Lords 'shame', and migrant numbers record

BBC - 5 hours 51 min ago
Friday's newspapers cast a highly critical eye on the new peerages announced on Thursday, and there is coverage of a landmark immigration figure.

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