Art & Design
1:55 pm
Sat January 28, 2012

At 100, Pollock's Legend Still Splattered On Art World

Influenced by Mexican and Native American art, Pollock popularized action-painting and drip style, as seen in Number 7, 1951.
Pollock-Krasner Foundation, National Gallery of Art/Artists Rights Society

Even a century since his birth, American "splatter artist" Jackson Pollock still provokes heated debate about the very definition of art.

Was a man who placed a canvas on the floor and dripped paint straight from the can actually creating a work of art?

"It's very hard if you try to build the paint up to this extent with this many colors and not achieve mud," says National Gallery of Art curator Harry Cooper.

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The Salt
7:12 am
Sat January 28, 2012

Deception Diet: How Optical Illusions Can Trick Your Appetite

The Delboeuf illusion makes one dot appear larger than the other. But they're the same size. Your brain is misled by comparing the dots to the surrounding circles.
Washiucho Wikimedia Commons

Originally published on Sat January 28, 2012 2:12 pm

Think you know how to avoid overeating? Think again.

Research suggests that choices, like how much to eat during a meal, are often made subconsciously. Trouble is, our brains are hard-wired to mislead us in lots of little ways, which can have a big impact on our diets.

Take the Delboeuf effect, an optical illusion first documented in 1865. It starts with two dots of equal size. But surround one dot with a large circle and the other dot with a small one, and suddenly the second dot looks bigger.

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Election 2012
6:24 am
Sat January 28, 2012

Why New Photo ID Laws Mean Some Won't Vote

Stickers at a Nevada polling place on Election Day 2010.
Max Whittaker Getty Images

Originally published on Sat January 28, 2012 12:55 pm

The argument over whether voters should have to present photo identification at the polls usually splits along party lines. Republicans who favor the requirement say it prevents ballot fraud. Democrats and election rights groups who oppose it say it is meant to suppress turnout.

And people of all political stripes wonder what all the fuss is about.

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Mitt Romney
6:18 am
Sat January 28, 2012

'Battling Was Won': Romney Gets Boost In Florida

Puerto Rico Gov. Luis Fortuno endorsed Mitt Romney at a campaign rally in Orlando, Fla., on Friday.
Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat January 28, 2012 1:07 pm

After his second-place finish in the South Carolina primary, Mitt Romney arrived in Florida armed with money and organization. He's used both to stop Newt Gingrich's momentum. With three days until the primary, polls give Romney a solid lead over Gingrich in Florida.

Florida is a big state, but Romney and Gingrich's paths have crossed often this week. There were the two debates, and in Miami on Friday, Romney, like Gingrich, spoke to the Hispanic Leadership Network.

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Latin America
6:16 am
Sat January 28, 2012

Law-Abiding Mexicans Taking Up Illegal Guns

Police stand near the scene of a murder in Juarez, Mexico. The country suffers from drug cartel-related violence despite some of the most restrictive gun laws in the world.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Sat January 28, 2012 5:53 pm

In Mexico, where criminals are armed to the teeth with high-powered weapons smuggled from the United States, it may come as a surprise that the country has some of the most restrictive gun laws in the world.

Law-abiding Mexicans who want a gun to defend themselves have no good options. Either they fight government red tape to get a legal permit, or they buy one on the black market.

After an outbreak of violence, one embattled community in northern Mexico called Colonia LeBaron has begun to ask if it's time for the country to address its gun laws.

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Politics
6:15 am
Sat January 28, 2012

The Smart Politician's Guide To Avoiding Scandal

When former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin addressed attendees at the National Tea Party Convention in Nashville, Tenn., on Feb. 6, 2010, she appeared to have notes written on her left hand.
Ed Reinke AP

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 6:06 pm

Politics may be show business for ugly people, but you don't have to be ugly about it yourself.

It's become a cliche to describe the endless series of Republican presidential debates as a reality show. But lately a lot of politicians have been acting as though they were looking to secure a spot on the "now trending" lists of Internet search engines.

Secretly donating sperm to lesbians in New Zealand? Seriously?

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Presidential Race
6:18 pm
Fri January 27, 2012

GOP Candidates Wrangle Over Reagan's Legacy

President Ronald Reagan rides his horse at his Rancho del Cielo, "Ranch in the Sky," located outside Santa Barbara, Calif., in April 1985.
Pete Souza AP

As he campaigns for the Republican presidential nomination, Newt Gingrich almost always works the name of Ronald Reagan into his speeches.

In fact, it's become so common that Gingrich's name-dropping has become an issue itself.

Sometimes Gingrich invokes the name of Ronald Reagan to associate himself with the policies of the former president.

"When I worked with President Reagan, we adopted a lower tax, less regulation, more American energy policy, and it led to 16 million new jobs," Gingrich said at a speech in St. Petersburg, Fla., this week.

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The Salt
6:03 pm
Fri January 27, 2012

Cuban Chefs Modernize Their Cuisine Despite U.S. Embargo

Lobster salad, pineapple sorbet and truffle oil-infused black sesame seeds, as prepared by Cuban Chef Luis Alberto Alfonso Pérez.
Robert Vesco

Ham sandwiches, hot-pressed and gooey with cheese. Neat piles of black beans and rice. Grilled chicken.

This is the simple, filling fare served at Cuban restaurants around the world. And like the iconic, rusty Studebakers that line the streets of Havana, Cuban food hasn't changed much since the 1950s. The communist government's stranglehold on the economy, combined with the U.S. trade embargo, has meant that Cuban chefs haven't picked up the modern cooking techniques, or exotic ingredients, that have invigorated the cuisines of much of the rest of the world.

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Former elementary and middle school teacher Claudio Sanchez is an Education Correspondent for NPR. He focuses on the "three p's" of education reform: politics, policy and pedagogy. Sanchez's reports air regularly on NPR's award-winning newsmagazines Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Weekend Edition.

Sanchez joined NPR in 1989, after serving for a year as executive producer for the El Paso, Texas, based Latin American News Service, a daily national radio news service covering Latin America and the U.S.- Mexico border.

From 1984 to 1988, Sanchez was news and public affairs director at KXCR-FM in El Paso. During this time, he contributed reports and features to NPR's news programs.

Former elementary and middle school teacher Claudio Sanchez is an Education Correspondent for NPR. He focuses on the "three p's" of education reform: politics, policy and pedagogy. Sanchez's reports air regularly on NPR's award-winning newsmagazines Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Weekend Edition.

Sanchez joined NPR in 1989, after serving for a year as executive producer for the El Paso, Texas, based Latin American News Service, a daily national radio news service covering Latin America and the U.S.- Mexico border.

From 1984 to 1988, Sanchez was news and public affairs director at KXCR-FM in El Paso. During this time, he contributed reports and features to NPR's news programs.

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