And finally this hour, it's time for a literary take on one of our top stories today. Reporters step aside. Spin doctors drop those talking points. We've asked two writers to reflect on last night's debate in poetry. One from the right and one from the left. This is still politics, after all. First up, conservative commentator Mark Steyn, author of the book, "After America: Get Ready for Armageddon." He was inspired by the fact that last night's debate coincided with the president's 20th wedding anniversary.
The Major League playoffs begin tomorrow, spinning off a dizzying last day of the regular season, and there's a ton of drama to talk about with Joe Lemire, baseball writer for Sports Illustrated. Welcome, Joe.
JOE LEMIRE: Thanks for having me.
BLOCK: That dizzying last day featured a remarkable finish by the Oakland A's. They won the American League West, but they were all but dead three months ago. They were 13 games behind the Texas Rangers. What happened?
Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 4:03 pm
Despite President Obama's celebrated gift for oratory, the Obama supporters least surprised by his underwhelming performance against Mitt Romney may have been two of his top advisers.
Senior strategists David Plouffe and David Axelrod have long doubted Obama's debating skills. Their concerns date back to the 2008 presidential campaign, as Plouffe wrote in his book, The Audacity to Win. He put it plainly: "Historically, Obama was not a strong debater."
Stephen Colbert has no idea how other news pundits find time to write books. But he felt certain that his character on his Comedy Central show, The Colbert Report, needed to have another one.
"My character is based on news punditry, the masters of opinion in cable news, and they all have books," he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "We don't have time to write a book and feed and wash ourselves, so something has to go out the window. And [for me] it was family, friends and hygiene for the past year."
The story of the birth of accounting begins with numbers. In the 1400s, much of Europe was still using Roman numerals, and finding it really hard to easily add or subtract. (Try adding MCVI to XCIV.)
But fortunately, Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, 4, etc.) started catching on, and with those numbers, merchants in Venice developed a revolutionary system we now call "double-entry" bookkeeping. This is how it works:
Jose Garces is among the most talented and innovative chefs in America. He opened his first restaurant, Amada, in 2005, and since then his Garces Group has opened 14 other restaurants across the country.
In 2009, he won the James Beard Award for Best Chef in the Mid-Atlantic region, and he's also a Food Network Iron Chef, rubbing elbows with the likes of Bobby Flay, Cat Cora and Michael Symon.
Mitt Romney proved he can go head-to-head with President Obama in the first of three debates. The consensus is that Romney won the night with a performance Republicans hope brings new life to his campaign. NPR's Ron Elving talks about the debate and what the candidates did — and didn't — say.