Jonathan Coulton's songs almost never get played on the radio. He doesn't have a contract with a music label. Yet he's a one man counterargument to the idea that musicians can't make money making music.
In 2010, Coulton's music brought in about $500,000 in revenue. And since his overhead costs are very low, most of that money went straight to him.
Did he ever expect to make that kind of money as a musician?
One of the few Western journalists who has been able to get in to Syria to see the protests there and the crackdown by the regime of President Bashar Assad says he was "surprised at how much support President Assad himself still has."
Martin Fletcher, associate editor at The Times of London, spoke with All Things Considered host Robert Siegel earlier today.
More than 200 billboards began springing up around Los Angeles today in an attempt to identify two men police suspect were involved in the brutal beating of a San Francisco Giants fan in Dodger Stadium on opening day.
In Depression-era New York jazz clubs, "Fats" Waller was known for getting the party jumping. Now, musicians Jason Moran and Me'Shell Ndegeocello are collaborating on a new project that transforms Waller's rollicking stride piano style into contemporary dance music.
Syrian security forces opened fire on thousands of protesters Friday, killing at least six people as soldiers tried to head off demonstrations by occupying mosques and blocking public squares, human rights activists said.
A leading activist told The Associated Press that three people were killed in Homs, two in Damascus and one in a village outside Daraa, the southern city where the nationwide uprising began in March. He asked that his name not be used for fear of reprisals by the government.
"A stash of pornography was found in the hideout of Osama bin Laden by the U.S. commandos who killed him, current and former U.S. officials said on Friday."
The wire service says it was told that the pornography "consists of modern, electronically recorded video and is fairly extensive" and that the sources "said they did not know if bin Laden himself had acquired or viewed the materials."
"The government says that a bad economy has shortened the lives of the trust funds that support the nation's two biggest benefit programs," The Associated Press writes.
The wire service says that the fund's trustees are reporting today that "the Medicare hospital insurance fund will now be exhausted in 2024, five years earlier than last year's estimate. ... [And] the Social Security trust fund will be exhausted in 2036, one year earlier than before."
The Obama administration's special Mideast envoy, former Sen. George Mitchell, is stepping down after more than two years of trying to restart peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, a U.S. official with knowledge of the situation told NPR.
The White House was expected to release a statement from President Obama later Friday on the resignation of the veteran mediator and broker of the Northern Ireland peace accord.