On a hot, summer afternoon in 2003, a set of sagging power lines outside of Cleveland sank into some overgrown trees, tripping circuit breakers, and leading to a massive power outage across the Northeastern U.S. It's estimated that this outage affected an estimated 50 million people in the U.S. and Canada. Traffic lights stopped working, cell phones were knocked out, and the Manhattan skyline went dark.
Power companies all over the country are in the process of replacing old residential meters with new digital smart ones. These meters transmit real time data back to the utilities, giving a precise picture of how much electricity customers are using and when. Audie Cornish talks to Severin Borenstein — director of the University of California Energy Institute — about the technology.
In Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains, there's a long-abandoned tunnel. The Crozet Tunnel was completed in the late 1800s and at the time was the longest rail tunnel in the world, nearly a mile long. In the 1940s, the tunnel was decommissioned. Now, it's experiencing a comeback of sorts.
In the cloistered world of classical music recordings, there is great interest in choral music by Catholic nuns these days. On Mater Eucharistiae, the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, are "able to bring other people into that space of prayer when we're singing."
Congo-born Cecile Kyenge's appointment in April as integration minister was hailed as a landmark for diversity. Instead, the mood of racial progress in Italy has suffered. The debate highlights growing intolerance and what the prime minister has called a shameful chapter for the country.
The New York Department of Financial Services has issued subpoenas to several companies using the virtual currency Bitcoin for more information on how they do business. Audie Cornish talks to Jerry Brito, senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, about the complications of regulating digital money.
The proposed merger of U.S. Airways and American Airlines ran into major turbulence on Tuesday as the Justice Department and six state attorneys general filed an antitrust suit aimed at blocking the deal. Justice Department officials said the merger would eliminate competition and put consumers at risk of higher prices.
William Ackman, a controversial hedge fund manager, has resigned from the board of the J.C. Penney Company. Ackman is Penny's largest shareholder and had been engaged in a public dispute with the board over who should lead the struggling retailer.
On Tuesday, the Israeli military shot down a rocket aimed at a Red Sea resort along the Israeli and Egyptian border. Robert Siegel talks to New York Times reporter Robert F. Worth about the increase in violence in the northern Sinai Peninsula.
North Carolina's new voter ID law is already facing legal challenges — one day after Governor Pat McCrory signed the bill into law. The measure ends a week of early voting and eliminates same-day registration.
When your dog gets a transfusion — during surgery, or if it has contracted any number of blood-damaging diseases — where does the blood come from? Much of the time, the blood products come from canine blood banks. But these days, demand for canine blood products often outstrips supply.
Members of the Access to Healthcare Network in Reno, Nev., get discounts on health services. But first, they pay a monthly membership fee. They also agree to pay their medical bills to providers upfront.
Gravity has long worked to keep us from understanding our place in the universe. You, however, can do something about that. Go find a dark, comfortable field and lie down. Soon your perspective on the stars, and our place among them, will shift, altering your view of the universe forever.
Librarians have to get creative to reach out beyond their faithful fans and engage with more members of their communities. So some libraries have started lending out tools like fishing poles, and others offer "human books" — volunteers with special expertise or interesting experiences.
The Iraqis, among many other Middle Easterners, believe they invented the kebab. The skewered meat dish appears as early as the 9th century in a book from the southern city of Basra called The Book of Misers.