As a middle-school student in the '80s, Lee Buono stayed after school one day to remove the brain and spinal cord from a frog. He did such a good job that his science teacher told him he might become a neurosurgeon someday. That's exactly what Buono did.
Many students prepare for the SAT by drilling themselves on esoteric, arcane and recondite words — like esoteric, arcane and recondite. Linguist Geoff Nunberg doesn't discourage these efforts, but he does have a word of caution: memorizing a definition is hardly the same as learning a new word.
Bryan McGrath spent 21 years in the United States Navy before retiring. He now works as a defense contractor, and he believes that it's not necessarily a bad thing that military pensions are changing. NPR's Rachel Martin reports.
Linguist Geoff Nunberg says he feels a little defensive about choosing "selfie" — a word that wears its ephemerality on its outstretched sleeve — as the word of 2013. But not only was this a year when we couldn't stop posting photos of ourselves online; we couldn't stop talking about it either.
Maria Vasquez-Rojas was thrilled when she learned she was pregnant. But soon afterward she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer — at the same time her brother Francisco was struggling with drug addiction. Maria's daughter's birth has transformed not just Maria's life, but Francisco's, too.
Former Nightline host and NPR contributor Ted Koppel interviewed Nelson Mandela. Koppel says that Mandela is deservedly seen as a great man, but that one of the keys to his exalted status is that for 27 years he was behind bars, hidden from the kind of scrutiny and decision-making that can turn heroes into mere mortals.
When you give to WAMU, your tax-deductible membership gift helps make possible award-winning programs such as Morning Edition, All Things Considered, The Diane Rehm Show, The Kojo Nnamdi Show, and other favorites.