Louis Marcell and Adam Jones prepare to search for old logs, known as sinker wood, on the bottom of Ashley River near Charleston, S.C. They use sonar and a book of old train lines to find the timber, some of which has been preserved in the mud since the 1800s.
Credit Noam Eshel
A cypress log, dredged from a river in South Carolina, being milled for furniture and other uses. The rough bottom edge indicates that the tree was originally felled by ax.
On the Ashley River, a few miles south of Charleston, S.C., the water is murky and the marsh grass high. A three-man logging crew is cruising on a 24-foot pontoon boat. It's low tide and logs are poking out everywhere.
Hewitt Emerson, owner of the Charleston-based reclaimed wood company Heartwood South, is in charge. He's going to an old saw mill site, but won't say exactly where. He's heading to Blackbeard's Creek, he says, as in pirate Blackbeard — the early 18th century scourge of the seas.
For Robert Pinsky, the pleasure in poetry comes from the music of the language, and not from the meaning of the words. So he put together an anthology of 80 poems that are models by master poets-- from Sappho to Allen Ginsberg, Shakespeare to Emily Dickinson.
Apple has been notoriously disinterested in Washington politics. But two decisions coming from the Obama administration in the past few days indicate that Washington is increasingly interested in Apple.
As our colleagues at The Two-Way reported, Tawana Brawley, the central figure in one of the most bizarre and racially polarizing cases in New York City's recent history, has begun to pay part of the more than $430,000 judgment against her.
Brawley accused a group of men of having raped her repeatedly. Among those she accused were several police officers and a prosecutor.
A gene that affects the brain's dopamine system appears to have influenced mothers' behavior during a recent economic downturn, researchers say.
At the beginning of the recession that began in 2007, mothers with the "sensitive" version of a gene called DRD2 became more likely to strike or scream at their children, the researchers say. Mothers with the other "insensitive" version of the gene didn't change their behavior.
Despite already being in the Hall of Fame, New York Yankees legend Mickey Mantle was banned from baseball in 1983, for his work for a casino. He was reinstated in 1985. MLB suspended Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez for 211 regular season games Monday.
<strong>Pete Rose:</strong> Baseball's all-time career hits leader (with 4,256) was given a lifetime ban in 1989 for betting on baseball while managing the Cincinnati Reds. Rose later admitted to gambling; his requests for reinstatement have been rejected several times.
Credit Rusty Kennedy / AP
<strong>Ryan Braun:</strong> Last year, the National League Most Valuable Player of 2011 won an appeal of a 50-game ban after a drug test showed high testosterone levels. But this summer, the Milwaukee Brewers star admitted he had made mistakes and accepted a 65-game ban.
Credit Morry Gash / AP
<strong>Willie Mays:</strong> The former Giants and Mets outfielder was banned from coaching in 1979 for working for casinos in Atlantic City, in what has been called an ambassadorial role. He was reinstated in 1985 along with Mickey Mantle, who faced similar claims. Both players were already in the Hall of Fame — in Mays' case, he was inducted months before being banned.
<strong>Mickey Mantle:</strong> The Yankees legend was barred from coaching and other baseball activities by MLB Commissioner Bowie Kuhn in 1983, due to his work for Atlantic City casinos that had hired him to socialize with big customers. He was reinstated in 1985 by newly arrived Commissioner Peter Ueberroth. Mantle is seen here in the 1960's.
Originally published on Mon August 5, 2013 6:01 pm
By suspending New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez for 211 regular-season games — through the end of the 2014 regular season — Major League Baseball stopped short of the lifetime ban that had been threatened.
Arizona's Monument Valley is known for its red sandstone buttes and spires, but now it's notorious for something else: crime. The Navajo Nation is one of the most violent reservations in the country. According to FBI reports, over the past five years, more rapes were reported on the Navajo Nation than in San Diego, Detroit or Denver, among other cities.
The U.S. attorney's office tries to take on the most violent crimes, but it often lacks enough evidence to prosecute. And because of antiquated tribal codes, Navajo courts can only order someone to serve one year in jail.
The man who pushed the book publishing industry into the digital age is now buying one of the country's most storied newspaper companies. Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon.com, is acquiring The Washington Post and its small sister papers. The news broke after the markets closed today. NPR's David Folkenflik covers the newspaper industry, and he joins me now. And, David, this was, I think, the best-kept secret in Washington. Tell us some details of this transaction and how it came about.
Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 8:03 am
The Washington Post Co. will sell its flagship newspaper and one of the most respected news organizations in the country to Amazon.com founder Jeffrey P. Bezos, the company announced in a press release. The Post has been a family-owned business for four generations.
Amazon, the company said, will play no role in the purchase. Bezos is making the purchase personally.
Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 3:04 pm
After three months, $330,000 and a high-profile media blitz, the world's first hamburger grown in a lab made its worldwide debut Monday.
The unveiling of "cultured beef," as the burger is branded, was a production worthy of the Food Network era, complete with chatty host, live-streamed video, hand-picked taste testers, a top London chef and an eager audience (made up mostly of journalists). Rarely has a single food gotten such star treatment.
Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 5:04 am
Silly me. I thought "rent-seeking" was something only landlords did.
But economists have their own way of looking at the world. To them, rent-seeking is a term for describing how someone snags a bigger share of a pie rather than making a pie bigger, as the venerable Economistexplains it.
So, a drugmaker can be seen as a rent-seeker if it cajoles doctors to prescribe more of a particular brand of medicine at the expense of a rival pharmaceutical company's wares.
Scrutinizing the books of government agencies can turn up lavish parties or illicit trips at the taxpayers' expense. But not every investigation turns out that way. And when they don't, the hunt for waste can appear to be a waste itself.
Such appears to be the case with a recent inquiry involving NASA and Viking re-enactors. This whole saga began with an idea from Ved Chirayath, an aeronautics graduate student at Stanford University who loves photography. He was talking over what to shoot one day with a colleague, and thought of Vikings.
Originally published on Mon August 5, 2013 4:20 pm
All of a sudden, Sen. John McCain matters again.
It's not like he disappeared. But after being sidelined for a time by his 2008 defeat in the presidential election against Barack Obama, the Arizona Republican has re-emerged as one of Obama's most important allies in the Senate.
McCain took the lead in crafting immigration legislation that passed the Senate in June. Last month, he came up with the deal that prevented the Senate from abolishing judicial filibusters, allowing several Obama Cabinet and agency nominees to win confirmation.
Protesters wave posters of Turkey's first president, Kemal Ataturk, before a police barricade outside the Silivri jail complex in Silivri, Turkey, on Monday. Scores of people were sentenced for their roles in what's being dubbed the Ergenekon plot.
The likes of you and I can't buy Google Glass yet. It's available only to the select developers and opinion-makers who have been permitted to spring $1,500 for the privilege of having the first one on the block. But I've seen a few around my San Francisco neighborhood among the young techies who commute down to the Google and Facebook campuses in WiFi-equipped shuttle buses or who pedal downtown to Zynga and Twitter on their fixies.
Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 3:46 pm
Rose Windows' debut album, The Sun Dogs, is steeped in '60s classic rock, recalling the heavy organ sounds of The Doors and the folk-infused flutes of Traffic. Formed in 2010 by songwriter Chris Cheveyo, the Seattle septet signed a label deal earlier this year, then put together an album that's layered with Middle Eastern influences.
Hear two songs from The Sun Dogs, a mellow combination of psychedelic folk and blues-rock instrumentation.
Country-music star Vince Gill and steel guitarist Paul Franklin have teamed up to record a new concept album called Bakersfield. Their idea is to cover hits from the 1960s and '70s by two artists who helped define the Bakersfield, Calif., country sound: Merle Haggard and the Strangers and Buck Owens and the Buckaroos. But this is no nostalgia-fest — it's a vital testament to music that retains energy and innovation.
We've all had the experience of watching a great athletic performance — from gymnast Mary Lou Retton defying gravity to Michael Jordan sinking a mind-blowing turnaround jumper — and wondered: Were they born with that talent or can you get there with hard work and practice?
Originally published on Mon August 5, 2013 12:32 pm
It was 1987 when a black teenager, Tawana Brawley, said she had been raped and kidnapped by a group of white men in Dutchess County, N.Y.
Her story of being attacked, scrawled with racial slurs, smeared with feces and left beside a road wrapped in a plastic bag made front pages across the nation — especially after the Rev. Al Sharpton took up her case.
Originally published on Mon August 5, 2013 12:21 pm
Time was when the belongings you left behind after death were tangible — furniture, jewelry, letters — and financial property, which hundreds of years of experience have taught executors how to handle. Today, some of the most valuable keys to our lives and identities exist digitally, and are technically owned by companies like Google or Facebook.
For the digital assets stored on shared servers in the cloud, legal systems have yet to catch up to help decide who controls your data when you're dead. And uniform laws around control of these assets could help.
The Risiera di San Sabba in Trieste was used during World War II as the only death camp on Italian soil. In the building's courtyard, the outline on the brick wall is where the crematorium was located.
Credit Sylvia Poggioli / NPR
Italian police officer Giovanni Palatucci has long been credited with saving the lives of 5,000 Jews during World War II. But new research discredits these claims — and even suggests that he willingly extorted Jewish prisoners and confiscated their goods.
Credit Wikipedia Commons
Italian Interior Minister Giuseppe Pisanu speaks during a ceremony in 2005 honoring Palatucci at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem. The museum now says it is reviewing the case.
A group of Italian researchers who have studied troves of World War II documents have found no evidence that Giovanni Palatucci, a police official long credited as the "Italian Schindler," saved the lives of 5,000 Jews.
The findings are demolishing the Italian national icon and angering supporters of the man who has been honored at Israel's Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial, and who has been put on the track to sainthood.
Visitors ride in a carriage at the entrance of the Jewel of the Nizams "Falaknuma Palace," the former residence of Nizam Mehaboob Ali Khan in the old city area of Hyderabad. The legacy of these Muslim rulers — and the disenfranchisement of the Hindu majority — contributed to the economic gap in Andhra Pradesh.
Credit Noah Seelam / AFP/Getty Images
In Hyderabad, Osmania University students celebrate the announcement of the separate Indian state of Telangana, on July 30. India's ruling Congress Party approved a resolution earlier that day to create the new state, amid fears that the decision could spark violence in the region.
Credit Noah Seelam / AFP/Getty Images
In the wake of the Telangana decisions, calls for the creation of other new states have intensified in places like West Bengal, where these protesters marched in favor of a separate state of Gorkhaland, in July.
Originally published on Mon August 5, 2013 11:35 am
India's cartographers may soon be redrawing the country's map. If events go to plan, India will inaugurate Telangana, its 29th state, perhaps as early as next year — casting the spotlight anew on the challenges of governing a country as vast, and with a population as diverse, as India.
Telangana, on the arid Deccan plateau, is due to be carved out of the southern state of Andhra Pradesh, India's fifth most populous state, with a population of 85 million.