Science fiction is often a genre in conversation with itself; from Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels to Galaxy Quest, from The Walking Dead to The Purple Rose of Cairo, it thrives on metatext and a love of details. It's a place inhabited by loyal, passionate fans who are nonetheless acutely aware of — and happy to question — the minutiae of what they love.
In fact, it's a show's biggest fans who are most likely to be watching a starship crew suit up for a mission and asking the screen, "All three top-ranking officers are going? Really?"
Lawyers on all sides agree the system enshrined nearly 50 years ago that gives all defendants the right to a lawyer is not working. The Justice Department calls it a crisis — such a big problem that it's been doling out grants to improve how its adversaries perform in criminal cases.
Tyler Saladino plays baseball in the minor leagues in Birmingham, Ala. A prospect in the Chicago White Sox system, he was sent to the AA Birmingham Barons after spending part of spring training with the major league club.
And when he arrived in Alabama, Saladino's first task was to find a place to live, as he tells Morning Edition's David Greene. He settled on sharing an apartment.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad delivers a speech under a portrait of Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, on June 2. The supreme leader has said repeatedly that nuclear weapons are un-Islamic and Iran will not pursue them. But in the West, many are skeptical.
Scenes from the Khan el-Khalili market in downtown Cairo. Karim Gomma (right), a shop worker, says he's voting for the Muslim Brotherhood candidate, Mohammed Mursi. But he says most shop owners are voting for Ahmed Shafiq because he has promised to restore law and order.
NPR Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep is nearing the end of his Revolutionary Road Trip, a journey of some 2,500 miles across North Africa to see how the countries that staged revolutions last year are remaking themselves. Steve and his team have traveled from Tunisia's ancient city of Carthage across the deserts of Libya and have now reached the third and final country, Egypt.
On the road eastward from the Libyan border, the Egyptian desert became a blur. Then we started to run low on fuel.
Ice-T, the rapper and actor, wants people to think about the craft of making rap music. He has directed and starred in a documentary called Something From Nothing: The Art of Rap that takes viewers from Harlem into the South Bronx, to Detroit and South Central Los Angeles. In the film, Ice-T talks to musicians like Doug E.
A kayak used by Times-Picayune photographer John McCusker to cover Hurricane Katrina is displayed at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., in 2010. McCusker, who worked for the paper for 25 years, is being laid off.
Immigrant success stories are closely woven into the concept of the American dream. In South Carolina, two generations of an immigrant family have worked hard to live out their dreams, but anti-illegal immigration laws have put even legal immigrants like them on edge.
Amid all the economic uncertainty over the credit crisis in Europe and slow job growth in the U.S., one sector may be looking up. The U.S. housing market is finally showing more signs of recovery, according to a report being released Thursday by Harvard University.
Harvard comes out with this study once a year, and this time around, it's painting a much brighter picture.