National | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio


RSS Feed

Pa. Caterpillars Predict Wet, Cold Winter

Over the weekend, people in Lewisburg, Pa., gathered for a weather forecast from caterpillars. Woolly bear caterpillars are black, with a brown stripe down the middle. Folklore says the larger the stripe, the milder the winter.

On Capitol Hill, A Flurry Of Activity But Still No Deal

After finding that they did not have enough votes to pass a measure that would have reopened the government and raised the debt ceiling, the House will not vote tonight. With about 29 hours before the country runs out of borrowing authority, there is no solid plan on the table.


Before Churches Had Songbooks, There Was 'Lined-Out' Gospel

Hidden deep in the hills of Appalachia, there's a tradition of worship music that has not changed since the 18th century. The hymnody is still practiced by congregations of the Old Regular Baptist Church, where a leader calls out a line and the people respond in a mournful, soaring chorus.

Is It Too Soon To Worry About Holiday Retail Sales?

The calendar says October, but retailers and economists are already analyzing the holiday shopping season. With budget battles gripping Washington and an economy that's still recovering, there are mixed feelings about how far shoppers will open their wallets.

Newly Discovered Caves Aid Researchers Study Melting Glacier

Two explorers have discovered more than a mile of caves underneath a glacier on Mt. Hood near Portland, Oregon. They suspect the beautiful formations account for a significant loss of the glacier's ice, and they have set out to measure how much the inside of the glacier is melting each year. It's dangerous work, but it could reveal that some glaciers in the Pacific Northwest are retreating faster than anyone realized.

Astronauts Use Twitter During Shutdown To Update Space Fans

Two NASA astronauts are on the International Space Station. While the agency is largely shuttered during the government shutdown, Karen Nyberg and Mike Hopkins are using Twitter to update earth-bound fans on what they're doing.

Harvest Brings Farm Families Together, Redefines Commitment

For farm families in Nebraksa, it's all hands on deck to bring in the corn harvest. And just one year after the worst drought in half a century, 2013 could be one of the biggest corn crops ever.

House Waits For Details On Senate Bipartisan Proposal

With the debt ceiling deadline looming just two days away, Senate leaders say they're close to a deal that would reopen the government and avert default. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell have been leading bipartisan talks on a way out of the deadlock. Even if a bipartisan agreement clears the Senate, it will likely be a hard sell to House Republicans.

Silicon Valley Trailer Park Residents Fight To Stay

Amid skyrocketing real estate and rental prices, low-income families are fighting to stay put in order to access world-class public schools. One group of families battling the closure of Palo Alto's last mobile home park is getting help from a local PTA that values diversity.

One Roof, Many Generations: Redefining The Single-Family Home

Homebuilders are finding there's a post-recession demand for bigger houses, and it's partly thanks to boomerang kids who can't find jobs and aging parents who can't afford to live alone anymore.