Walking Back The Largest U.S. Power Blackout, 10 Years Later
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.
Some Consumers Push Back Against 'Smart' Utility Meters
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.
19th Century Virginia Tunnel A Relic Of American Ingenuity
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.
Life As Prayer: The Singing Nuns Of Ann Arbor
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."
Italy's First Black Minister Finds Herself A Target Of Slurs
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.
Lawmakers, Banking Regulators Take On Bitcoin
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.
Book Review: 'Return To Oakpine'
Alan Cheuse recommends a new novel by Ron Carlson. Return to Oakpine is about a man trying to go home again — to a town in Wyoming — in middle age.
DOJ Tries To Block Airline Merger With Antitrust Suit
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.