The emoticon, punctuation to depict a facial expression, began 30 years ago this week. Using three keystrokes, the colon, dash and parenthesis, to suggest a smile may not be a great scientific advance, like the coronary stent or computer chip. But the emoticon has been simple, useful and enduring.
There had been previous hints of emoticons. A newspaper transcript of Abraham Lincoln drawing a laugh in 1862 follows it with a semi-colon and parentheses, but that may have simply been a printer's typo.
Despite a series of political fumbles, Mitt Romney is "still very much in the game," according to political strategist Steve Schmidt. But, he says, it will take some work.
Schmidt served as John McCain's senior strategist in the 2008 election and helped George W. Bush get reelected in 2004. He spoke with Weekend Edition Saturday host Scott Simon about the Romney campaign's stresses.
Anyone who watches movies knows that when a mysterious disease breaks out ... or when zombies show up ... or when a meteorite causes people to mutate into giant glowing worms, the place you go for answers is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
We've invited CDC Director Thomas Frieden to play a game called "Try to stop these viruses!" Companies are constantly trying to make their campaigns "go viral," infecting brains all over the world. Frieden will answer three questions about viral marketing ideas gone awry.
It's been more than a quarter century since the federal government enacted any immigration legislation which wasn't about enforcement and over that time, the government has spend hundreds of billions of dollars on fences, aircrafts, detention centers and agents. NPR's Ted Robbins looks at what taxpayer money has bought and why it's not likely to go away, even as budgets shrink and illegal immigration lessens.
Host Scott Simon speaks with Craig Bennett and Michael Miller about being awarded a 2012 Ig Nobel prize for their paper on the brain waves of dead Atlantic Salmon, published in the Journal of Serendipitous and Unexpected Results.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Chicago teachers voted to end their strike this week, the first in 25 years, and came back to class. It brought an end to a heated confrontation between leaders of the Chicago teachers union and Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who repeated this phrase time and again during the strike.
MAYOR RAHM EMANUEL: This was a strike of choice and it's a wrong choice for the children. Really, it was a choice.
Imagine you're strolling down a dark and steamy alley. In the distance, you think you overhear Adele jamming with some combination of country and bluegrass pickers. As you round the corner and get a look at the band, you realize it's actually Lake Street Dive: singer Rachael Price, drummer Mike Calabrese, bassist Bridget Kearney and guitarist Mike "McDuck" Olson.
NPR's Ari Shapiro joins host Scott Simon to preview a pair of pieces he's reported for next week on the political ad wars. He talks about the unprecedented number of ads, the money and how it feels in one community: Colorado Springs.
President Obama and Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan spoke Friday at the annual AARP convention in New Orleans, Medicare and Social Security topped the agenda for both. NPR's Ina Jaffe reports the organization represents millions of older Americans, who are among the most reliable voters.