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.

 

Weather warnings across Wales

BBC - 55 min 27 sec ago
Wales could be set for heavy rain and thunderstorms on Friday, the Met Office warns.

Silence to remember Tunisia victims

BBC - 56 min 29 sec ago
Communities across Wales will join others around the UK to hold a minute's silence in memory of the victims of the Tunisia beach attack.

S Korea to pump $10bn into economy

BBC - 1 hour 4 min ago
South Korea will inject billions of dollars into its economy as it continues to struggle with falling exports and the outbreak of Mers.

NHS to reveal missed appointment cost

BBC - 1 hour 19 min ago
Patients who miss appointments will be told how much they have cost the NHS, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt says.

Rivals to rally as Greek vote looms

BBC - 2 hours 11 min ago
The rival "Yes" and "No" camps in Greece are set to hold major rallies in Athens ahead of Sunday's crucial referendum on a bailout deal.

Meeting the man behind Mr Tumble

BBC - 2 hours 17 min ago
So, Mr Tumble, don't you get sick of being so cheerful?

Silence to be held for Tunisia dead

BBC - 3 hours 40 min ago
A minute's silence is to be held across the UK at midday to remember the 38 people killed in the Tunisian beach attack a week ago, including 30 Britons.

Cystic fibrosis gene therapy boost

BBC - 4 hours 17 min ago
A gene therapy has stabilised and slightly improved cystic fibrosis in some of 136 patients in a trial.

NHS 'lags behind other nations'

BBC - 4 hours 49 min ago
The NHS lags behind other countries when it comes to preventing unnecessary hospital admissions and improving survival rates, a report suggests.

Health check for the NHS - how well is the service performing?

BBC - 4 hours 49 min ago
International comparisons are notoriously difficult with healthcare - different models and variable data quality can complicate the task. But Nuffield Trust and the Health Foundation have had a bash.

Malaysia pushes for MH17 tribunal

BBC - 4 hours 56 min ago
Malaysia says it wants to set up an international criminal tribunal to prosecute those suspected of having shot down flight MH17.

Hong Kong-to-NI 'spoof' revealed

BBC - 5 hours 18 min ago
A tongue-in-cheek plan to move the entire population of Hong Kong to Northern Ireland is revealed in newly released National Archives files.

Airbus plans new China plant

BBC - 5 hours 25 min ago
Airbus has signed a deal for its second factory in China, further expanding its growing relationship with the world's second largest economy.

Pre-pay energy users 'paid £226 more'

BBC - 5 hours 38 min ago
Energy customers on pre-payment meters have been paying an average of £226 a year more than they would have done on the cheapest direct debit tariff, Citizens Advice says.

REELZ TV Network Will Air Miss USA Pageant

NPR News - 5 hours 45 min ago

After two TV networks, Univision and NBC, dropped broadcasts of Miss USA and Miss Universe – pageants which Trump co-owns – a different network will broadcast the programming, according to The AP

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Why insects are marvels of engineering

BBC - 5 hours 47 min ago
High-speed video reveals how insects take to the air

Oceans face 'acidification crisis'

BBC - 5 hours 53 min ago
A major report warns that life in the seas will be irreversibly changed unless CO2 emissions are drastically cut.

Sniffing could provide autism test

BBC - 5 hours 57 min ago
The way children sniff different aromas could form the basis of a test for autism, suggest researchers in Israel.

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