The Midwestern country-rock ensemble The Bottle Rockets have been playing together for close to 20 years. Along the way, they selected an audacious nickname for themselves — "The Best Band on the Planet" — which they've worked hard to live up to ever since. Frontman Brian Henneman says he prefers that name to the one some fans have settled on: "America's Greatest Bar Band."
One hundred years ago, a community of African-Americans raised money for a monument to abolitionist John Brown in Kansas City, Kan. NPR's summer road trip, Honey Stop The Car!, visits the statue, which, while in need of repair, is still a sense of pride to the community. Elana Gordon of member station KCUR reports.
Psychologists have found that great stories can't be spoiled. Guest host John Ydstie has more on a UC San Diego study that says film buffs and bibliophiles not only don't mind spoilers, they actually like them.
The political landscape in California is on the verge of drastic change. On Monday, the state's Citizens Redistricting Commission is expected to give final approval to a new map of congressional and legislative districts. Those newly drawn districts, combined with a new primary election system, are likely to shake up California's political status quo for the first time in two decades. Guest host John Ydstie talks to Bruce Cain, director of the University of California Washington Center, about the national implications of redistricting in California.
Texas governor Rick Perry declared Saturday that he's entering the race for the Republican presidential nomination. Perry spoke at the Red State Gathering conference in Charleston, S.C. WFAE's Julie Rose reports.
Less than two months into her campaign for the Republican presidential nomination, Minnesota Congresswoman Michelle Bachman won Saturday's Iowa straw poll. Bachman won what is considered to be a bellwether event and one measure of a presidential candidate's strength. NPR's Debbie Elliott reports.
Last week, NPR's John Burnett filed a report on Texas governor Rick Perry's prayer rally in Houston, spurring a flood of responses. We also heard from roots-music artist Gillian Welch and her long-time partner, guitarist David Rawlings. Guest host John Ydstie reads listeners' comments to these stories and more.
The Mars rover Spirit conked out in May, but its twin, the rover Opportunity, is still functioning and has just arrived at a spot NASA's dubbed Spirit Point. Guest host John Ydstie speaks with geologist John Grant about his decades working on the Mars Rover project.
Famines like Somalia's might be a thing of the past if farmers in the Horn of Africa could grow enough crops to protect against hunger. Making that possible would require a number of things, including international development aid to small farmers, but that's been in decline over the past 25 years. Guest host John Ydstie talks to author and Harvard Professor Robert Paarlberg about U.S. investment in farm development in Africa.