While many universities try to win national attention with their sports programs, one school is dominating a lesser-known competitive arena: speech teams. Bradley University in Peoria, Ill., will defend its U.S. title again this weekend at the National Forensic Association tournament in Huntington, W.Va. Jonathan Ahl reports.
JONATHAN AHL, BYLINE: Cecil Blutcher is on stage, practicing his poetry recitation in front of his fellow speech team members.
CECIL BLUTCHER: Now my face is stuck to lamppost, glued to plate-glass windows.
People in Boston can speak for themselves. And do. Loudly, bluntly and often with humor that bites.
It's a city that speaks with both its own broad, homebrew, local accent — although no one really pahks thea cah in Havahd Yahd — and dialects from around the world. It is home to some of America's oldest founding families, and fathers, mothers and children who have just arrived from Jamaica, Ireland, Bangladesh and Ghana.
There are people in Boston who dress in pinstripes and tweeds, and tattoos and spiked hair. Sometimes, they are even the same person.
How do you write something like Partita for 8 Voices, the a cappella vocal piece that is this year's winner of the Pulitzer Prize for music?
"Very late at night," says the composer, Caroline Shaw, speaking with NPR's Scott Simon. "Sometimes it comes from having a sound in your head that you really want to hear, that you've never heard before, and struggling to make that sound happen in any way you can."
Al Neuharth died Friday at his home in Cocoa Beach, Fla.
He was 89.
Al's name may not be familiar to you, but this blogger hopes that you are acquainted with the newspaper he willed to life in 1982: USA Today.
From 1984 to 2009, I was either a reporter or editor — and sometimes both — at McPaper (a nickname that critics bestowed upon USA Today, but which those of us who were there in its best days adopted with the pride of underdogs).
Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:
"A powerful earthquake jolted China's Sichuan province Saturday near where a devastating quake struck five years ago," The Associated Press writes. According to CNN, early estimates put the death toll around 100. More than 1,000 other people were reportedly injured. Both figures could change substantially as more information comes in.
Back now to our coverage of the tense night and police activity that brought an end to the manhunt for the second Boston Marathon bombing suspect. Franklin Street in Watertown was the epicenter of that massive search. Police and SWAT teams took over the suburban neighborhood looking for 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Keith Glavish lives nearby. He was in his house while the search unfolded. Thanks for being with us.
Soon after federal authorities disclosed that the suspects in the Boston Marathon bombings were Muslims of Chechen descent, many American Muslims began bracing for a backlash. NPR's Jennifer Ludden has more.