Fans of Star Trek long ago noted that anonymous security officers who accompanied the show's stars rarely survived the experience. Shortly after being beamed down, they would be vaporized, stomped or eaten for dramatic effect. It's a plot device so common that these expendable crewmen became known collectively as redshirts.
In his novel Redshirts, science fiction writer John Scalzi follows Andrew Dahl, a similarly expendable ensign as he sorts out this life-expectancy issue.
Investigators have yet to rule out arson as they continue to look for the cause of Colorado's Waldo Canyon fire, the most destructive wildfire in state history. Former FBI agent Brad Garrett and forensic psychologist N.G. Berrell talk about the process of investigating fires and the profile of an arsonist.
A day after Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney spoke to the nation's oldest civil right organization, Vice President Joe Biden appeared at the NAACP's annual convention. He quickly tackled one issue that drew Romney sustained boos — the 2010 health care overhaul.
Biden appeared in place of President Obama, who made a brief videotaped address thanking the group for its work. He walked out to warm applause, and several of his remarks were interrupted by shouts of agreement.
Lots of people know Woody Guthrie's classic 1940 ballad "This Land Is Your Land," but the story behind the tune may not be as familiar.
Guthrie, who would have turned 100 this week, wrote "This Land" as a response to Irving Berlin's "God Bless America," a song he felt was overly patriotic and not directed at ordinary Americans like himself.
This week, a federal panel is hearing arguments for and against a voter ID law in Texas. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder says the Texas voter ID law is like a modern poll tax. Guest host Maria Hinojosa talks more about the issue with Rep. Jose Aliseda, who testified at the hearing. He's a Republican State Representative for Texas who was born in Mexico.
I'm Maria Hinojosa and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Michel Martin is away. Coming up, California's governor has signed a landmark bill meant to protect homeowners from unfair bank and mortgage practices. We'll speak with state attorney general Kamala Harris about that in just a few minutes.
Guest Host Maria Hinojosa talks with Kamala Harris, California's Attorney General about the state's newly passed "Homeowner Bill of Rights." The law, which was signed yesterday by Governor Jerry Brown, makes it harder for lenders to seize a property and allows homeowners to sue to stop a foreclosure process.
If you only knew about America from watching TV, the last few months might lead you to think that women here wield enormous political power. First you had Game Change, the story of Sarah Palin's attempt to become vice president. Then you had Veep, in which Julia Louis-Dreyfus's character has accomplished just that. Now comes Political Animals, a new USA network series about a strong female secretary of state who I suspect even a Martian would realize is based on Hillary Clinton.