The tornados that struck St. Louis this week are the latest in a record-breaking number of twisters that have swept across the country this month. That's in addition to historic droughts and fires in Texas, record low temperatures in Seattle, and snow and flooding in the Midwest. What's going on with the weather? Linda Wertheimer puts the question to John Christy, director of the Earth System Science Center at the University of Alabama in Huntsville.
Why, in this age of Kindles and iPads, do hundreds of people crowd into an exhibit hall in Akron, Ohio, to leaf through the delicate pages of old books? The answer rests as much with touch, smell and memory as it does with the stories of the Civil War, science fiction and topics. M.L. Schultze of member station WKSU takes us on a tour of one antiquarian book fair.
Headlines this week screamed about rising gas prices — as they have many times before. In the past 15 years, Dick Polman, national political writer for the Philadelphia Inquirer, estimates he's covered spiking gas prices a dozen times. The story, he tells NPR's Linda Wertheimer, almost always has the same narrative arc.
This coming week, New Orleans will welcome thousands of music fans to its banks with the annual Jazz & Cultural Heritage Festival. The city's signature sound started taking shape decades before the recorded era, but one of the first musicians to immortalize zydeco on wax was singer and accordionist Amede Ardoin.