It's 8 a.m. on a recent day at Forward Operating Base Nolay, a small Marine outpost in Taliban-infested Sangin District of southern Afghanistan's Helmand province. The Marines are in the process of caffeinating and preparing for the day.
Suddenly, explosions and gunfire ring out. The Marines don't run for their weapons or bunkers for that matter. They don't even flinch.
"We can sit here and we can have a cup of coffee when there's booms going on, we're not concerned about it," says Lt. Col. Jonathan Loney.
Look in the mirror and you won't see your microbiome. But it's there with you from the day you are born. Over time, those bacteria, viruses and fungi multiply until they outnumber your own cells 10 to 1.
As babies, the microbes may teach our immune systems how to fight off bad bugs that make us sick and ignore things that aren't a threat.
We get our first dose of microbes from our mothers, both in the birth canal and in breast milk. Family members tend to have similar microbiomes.
Of all the world's birds, perhaps none are more mystical than cranes.
From Asia to North America, these tall birds with haunting cries have been woven into paintings, literature and folk tales. But today, 10 of the world's 15 crane species are threatened, and some are on the brink of extinction.
Their grass and wetland habitats are devastated all over the world. The International Crane Foundation, based in Wisconsin, has been studying and advocating for the birds for 40 years. George Archibald founded it with another young ornithologist on a family farm near Baraboo.
Diana Nyad's successful swim from Cuba to Key West on Monday was made all the sweeter because she had tried — and failed — four times before.
She learned you should "never, ever give up," but she also learned some practical lessons to help beat the elements in those earlier attempts. Out of failure, she innovated. And out of innovation, she succeeded.
If you're just joining us, this is WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Jacki Lyden. Coming up, the art of embracing failure.
But first, reading and learning have been enshrined in Baghdad's storied libraries for centuries. Some were destroyed by Mongol invaders hundreds of years ago, but more recently, the war in Iraq savaged the country's libraries. Looting and burning left many of them emptied of books and patrons.
If you're just joining us, this is WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Jacki Lyden.
The ancient Olympic sport of wrestling will be the future Olympic sport of wrestling. Wrestling was the winner of a vote by members of the International Olympic Committee earlier today. It beat out squash and a combined bid by baseball and softball for inclusion in the 2020 and 2024 games.
NPR's Mike Pesca has been covering the IOC meetings in Buenos Aires, and he joins us now. Hello there, Mike.
For Prince Andrew, a stroll in the garden of Buckingham Palace turned into a confrontation with police, after officers ordered the prince to show ID. Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, is the son of Queen Elizabeth II; Buckingham is her most famous residence.
"We are grateful to the duke for his understanding and have apologized for any inconvenience caused," Scotland Yard says.
If we didn't experience Hurricane Katrina ourselves, we saw it: the ominous red pinwheel on the radar, the wrecked Superdome, the corpses. And certainly we saw our shame — America's inequality, negligence and violence were all laid bare by the storm.
But one tragedy went largely unwitnessed. And this is the subject of Sheri Fink's provocative new book, Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital. The Pulitzer Prize-winning writer examines what happens when people make life-and-death decisions in a state of anarchy.
Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 10:18 am
A mysterious disease in the Middle East has triggered international alarms for two big reasons. The virus is often deadly: It has killed almost half of the 114 people known to have caught it. And there's no clear treatment for it.
Now scientists might have made some progress toward fixing that second problem.
A combination of two drugs commonly used for other viral infections reduced the symptoms of the Middle East respiratory syndrome, or MERS, in monkeys, virologists report Sunday in the journal Nature Medicine.
The Michigan Wolverines defeated the Notre Dame Fighting Irish Saturday night, 41-30 — and then celebrated by playing some polka. Here, the Irish's Chris Brown is tackled by Michigan's Delonte Hollowell after making a catch.
Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 1:16 pm
Wrestling, which was bounced from the Olympics' permanent roster of sports earlier this year, has been given a reprieve: It will be part of the 2020 and 2024 Olympics. In a vote held Sunday, the International Olympic Committee chose it over squash and a combined bid from baseball and softball.
Wrestling was cut from the list of 25 core Summer Olympic sports in February. As NPR's Mike Pesca reported, the cut came as a shock.