American Idol, The Sing-Off, The Voice — there's no shortage of over-the-top, glitzy, ratings-driven music competitions on TV. And now Aretha Franklin is getting in on the singing contest circuit, but she's turning her searchlight on the world of classical music. That's right — the Queen of Soul is searching for the next great opera singer.
Oh! Pears is the brainchild of Seattle native Corey Duncan, who started the 13-piece group after a split with his former band Pattern Is Movement. With two violas, a violin, two cellos, four guitars, two drum stations, a flute, a trumpet and plenty of voices, Oh! Pears creates robust layers of instrumentation and vocals on its latest EP, Fill Your Lungs.
The Federal Reserve will now tell the public its expectations for short-term interest rates. In the minutes of the Fed's Open Market Committee Dec. 13 meeting , the Fed said it would update that forecast four times a year, beginning after its Jan. 24-25 meeting.
Myanmar has set parliamentary by-elections for April 1, scheduling a highly anticipated vote that will return dissident Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy to mainstream politics after two decades. Here, Suu Kyi attends a fundraising event for the party in Yangon, Myanmar, last month.
Credit Khin Maung Win / AP
People stand behind barricades as they wait for family members to be freed from Insein Prison in Yangon, Myanmar, on Tuesday. Myanmar's government announced Monday that it is reducing the sentences of many prisoners, but stopped short of declaring an amnesty for political prisoners that many people had expected.
The six-word memoir conceit grew into a popular series of books, but the editors know it's tough to share a meaningful story in so few words. So Smith Magazine released The Moment: Wild, Poignant, Life-Changing Stories from 125 Writers and Artists Famous and Obscure, a collection of longer tales.
Larry Smith,editor of the collection, joins NPR's Neal Conan to talk about the moments included in the book, and to hear listeners' stories of the moments that changed their lives.
NPR's Neal Conan reads from Talk of the Nation listener comments on previous show topics, including our annual show remembering remarkable lives lost, and a recent proposal to change the laws governing what work children may do on farms.
When Facebook engineer Arturo Bejar observed users were reporting pictures of themselves, not those with illegal content, he recognized the need for a better way for users to resolve internal conflicts. Bejar talks about how Facebook is trying to encourage compassion in online social interaction.
Two-thirds of Americans are overweight. And when many of them try to take off the extra pounds, their bodies fight to stay fat. Tara Parker-Pope, who described "The Fat Trap" in The New York Times Magazine, and Dr. Arthur Frank talk about why some people appear more biologically prone to obesity.