All Things Considered for Sunday, December 29, 2013

A Look Back At A Rather Rotten Year In U.S. Politics

2013 was a terrible year for politics and politicians of all stripes. Matt Miller of The Washington Post and the public radio program Left, Right, & Center joins NPR's Arun Rath for a wrap-up.

The News That Rocked The World In 2013

Tumultuous news from across the world kept our heads spinning much of the past 12 months. Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic and Bloomberg View talks with NPR's Arun Rath about the biggest stories around the globe this year, from Iran to China.
The big energy story of 2013 was a boom in domestic oil production, especially in North Dakota. NPR's Arun Rath talks with national correspondent Jeff Brady, who saw the boom firsthand during a recent reporting trip to the state.
Three groundbreaking scientists, all of whom won the Nobel Prize for their discoveries, died in 2013. Francois Jacob figured out how genes work. Frederick Sanger, who sequenced the first genome, is one of only four people to win two Nobel Prizes. David Hubel found out how to listen to the brain.
Robert Ressler spent his career researching crimes that were tough to understand. He thought that by figuring out how — and why — violent criminals worked, he could help police identify suspects. He came face to face with notorious killers like Ted Bundy and John Wayne Gacy. Ressler died earlier this year. He was 76.

Fracking Pioneer Helped Boost U.S. Energy Independence

George Mitchell, the "father of hydraulic fracturing," passed away earlier this year. NPR's Arun Rath speaks with Wall Street Journal reporter Russell Gold about Mitchell's invention and his somewhat progressive environmental views.
Former NFL coach Bum Phillips died in October. With his unmistakable cowboy hat and colorful wit, he led the Houston Oilers to two conference championship games, missing the Super Bowl only due to the dominance of the Pittsburgh Steelers at the time. We here from longtime Houston sports writer John McClain.
Baseball legend Lavonne "Pepper" Paire Davis was the inspiration for Geena Davis' character in A League of Their Own. In the 1940s, the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League put young women on the field at a time when they just didn't play ball. Davis passed away earlier this year at the age of 88.
Eydie Gorme was most famous for being half of the husband-and-wife singing duo Steve and Eydie, with her husband of nearly 60 years, Steve Lawrence. But on her own she was known for her range, her deftness in English and Spanish and her sense of humor. She passed away in August in Las Vegas.

Booking A Flight For The 'Golden Age Of Hijacking'

In the 1960s, catching a flight wasn't much of a hassle. No lines, no security screenings and no need to show ID. But the ease of travel brought with it some serious consequences.

From Rodeo To Radio: Ryan Bingham's Wild Ride

The alt-country artist had been living in his truck when he began working on the song that would win him an Oscar. "You just can't muscle your way through some things in life," he says. "You just have to keep your head on your shoulders and dance with it as you go."
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