Head outside at sunset tonight and look up at the sky. If the full moon seems a tad larger than normal to you, that means one of two things: You are exceptionally perceptive, or you were already expecting to be dazzled, after hearing some of the buzz about this year's "supermoon."
It turns out that all full moons are not created equal. That's because the moon's orbit around the Earth isn't a perfect circle — it's an ellipse. And tonight, we're in luck.
Antonis Samaras, leader of the conservative New Democracy Party, addresses an election rally in Thessaloniki Wednesday. One of two dominant parties in Greek politics, New Democracy has lost support to a new nationalist party.
It's anyone's guess what the Greek government will look like on Monday, but analysts predict a fragile coalition that must still stick to austerity to keep getting international bailout loans.
The country's early parliamentary elections Sunday are set to be the most divisive in recent history. Voters who are tired of austerity measures are rejecting mainstream politics and turning instead to fringe parties.
The conservative New Democracy Party and the Socialist Party, PASOK, have dominated Greek politics for three decades. This election, enthusiasm is waning.
When the gates fly open at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., on Saturday, all eyes will be on the 20 racehorses that launch themselves into the 138th Kentucky Derby. That's a lot of horses, and a special challenge for the men charged with getting them into the starting gate safely.
Caleb Hayes, 24, has been part of the 12-man start crew for the past six years. The 9-to-5 life isn't for him, he says — he loves his job and likes working the gate side by side with the older guys.
Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:
The infield at Churchill Downs can get pretty beer-soaked, as this scene from the 2011 Kentucky Derby proves. But this year, things could get even more crazy: The Derby falls on another of America's favorite "alcoholidays," Cinco de Mayo.
America is not a two-party country — it's a multiparty extravaganza.
We turn every possible pause from work into a party: New Year's Day, the Super Bowl, Mardi Gras, St. Patrick's Day, Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, Labor Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Eve.
And on Saturday, many Americans will play overtime by reveling in a pair of nationwide celebrations — Cinco de Mayo and the Kentucky Derby. Establishments everywhere will be mashing up Mexico and the Bluegrass State.
The archbishop of Philadelphia announced that five priests were "not suitable for ministry." It was the Catholic Church's first action since it suspended 27 priests last year when a grand jury report accused church officials of ignoring allegations of sex abuse.
The AP reports that Archbishop Charles J. Chaput said three other priests would return to the ministry and that one priest died in the process of the investigation. Chaput did not immediately announce the fate of the 17 others investigated.
I can't remember exactly when I received the first flower email, but I do remember it was sometime in 2005.
At the time, I had no idea why my old friend Darryl Pitt had sent it, but I didn't think too much about it. A flower. OK. That's nice. But then the flowers continued to arrive day after day after day — and soon a modest digital bouquet turned into a meadow, and that meadow into a hillside of, as always, flowers.
Jamaica's Usain Bolt shattered world records in the 100 and 200 meter races at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Shown here in the 200 meters at Beijing, he's looking to repeat this summer at the London Olympics and add another chapter to Jamaica's great tradition of sprinting.
Credit Alexander Hassenstein / Bongarts/Getty Images
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce waves after competing in the 100-meter semifinal at the World Athletics Championships in South Korea last year. Fraser-Pryce won gold at the 2008 Olympics, and is viewed as a hero by the Jamaican children she sometimes shares a track with.
Credit Viet Le / NPR
Top Jamaican sprinters, including Olympic gold medalist Asafa Powell (in blue), practice at Kingston's National Stadium on one of the country's few synthetic tracks.
Credit Viet Le / NPR
Jamaican teens and preteens compete in the island's track championships at the National Stadium in the capital, Kingston.
When it comes to sprinting, Jamaica reigns supreme.
At the Beijing Olympics in 2008, a Jamaican man — Usain Bolt — and a woman — Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce — took home the golds in the 100-meter race, and at this summer's London games, they're hoping to do it again.
If you visit the Caribbean island nation, you'll hear a lot of explanations for why they're so good, but let's start with the obvious: In Jamaica, kids really like to run.
Egyptian presidential candidate Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh is welcomed by supporters upon his arrival at a meeting north of Cairo, on April 26. He was formerly a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, but was kicked out of the organization.
Credit Amr Nabil / AP
Mohammed Morsi is the candidate for the Muslim Brotherhood, the group that got the most votes in parliamentary elections. He's shown here at a campaign rally in Cairo on April 30.
The field of horses charges down the stretch in the seventh race at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., on June 19, 2009. The day marked the first night racing at the storied track in its 135-year history. Track superintendent Butch Lehr is retiring after Saturday's race. He's been maintaining the track since 1982.
Credit Ed Reinke / AP
Lehr rolls in a section of a mosquito trap which is set up near the turf course at the track Aug. 13, 2002, in Louisville, Ky.
The surface on which Kentucky Derby horses will race Saturday is a special piece of real estate, built for high performance and safety. The track is generically described as dirt, but is actually a careful mixture of river sand, silt and clay.
In this photograph of a courtroom sketch, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, charged with orchestrating the Sept. 11 attacks, attends a court hearing at Guantanamo in 2008. He's expected to appear in a military court Saturday.
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other men charged in the Sept. 11 attacks were supposed to be tried six years ago in a military tribunal created by the Bush administration.
But that system — which allowed hearsay evidence, among other things — faced questions about its fundamental fairness. When President Obama came into office, he put all the proceedings at Guantanamo on hold and asked that the commission system be revamped.
Since then, there has been an effort to make sure the trials at Guantanamo are credible, with both Congress and the Supreme Court weighing in.
Political tensions are rising in Egypt ahead of the presidential elections later in May. Deadly protests in the capital are jeopardizing the already fragile transition process that started a year ago after the ousting of former President Hosni Mubarak. Robert Siegel talks to Egyptian parliament member Amr Hamzawy for more.
News of a possible way out of the diplomatic impasse over Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng has again overshadowed other events in Beijing. The Chinese Foreign ministry says Chen might be allowed to leave China to study abroad. Meanwhile about 200 U.S. officials from the State Department and the U.S. Treasury are in China to discuss other matters vital to the U.S.-China relationship.
Robert Siegel talks to actor Bill Nighy about his role in the new film, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. The movie follows a group of British retirees who move to the less-expensive and more-exotic India. Expecting a luxury development, they arrive to discover a hotel filled with dusty sheets and birds nesting in the rafters. Their experiences transform the way they see the world and themselves.
Robin Roberts of Good Morning America talks with Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg about Facebook's new tool that lets users share their organ donor status.
Invisible Children's "Kony 2012" video about Central African warlord Joseph Kony went viral earlier this year but is seen as a cautionary tale by some social media experts. Here, the group's co-founders, Jason Russell, Bobby Bailey and Laren Poole, record footage in Africa in 2007.
Credit Barbara L. Salisbury / The Washington Times/Landov
The American Red Cross recently unveiled a Digital Operations Center in Washington, D.C., which is devoted to disaster relief and uses social media to help empower stricken communities.
Hours after Facebook put out a call Tuesday for its users to register as organ donors, 6,000 people had already signed up. That's more than 15 times the number of people who normally register each day, according to Donate Life America, which is collaborating with Facebook.
Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former chief at the International Monetary Fund, is facing more allegations of sexual misconduct.
Strauss-Kahn was considered a top contender for the French presidency until he was accused of rape by a New York City hotel maid. That case against him was dropped, but it cost him his IMF job and then French investigators implicated Strauss-Kahn in a prostitution probe.
Two brothers have been charged in connection with one of the nation's largest drug heists, along with 20 other people in an organized crime ring that stretched from Florida to New Jersey and Connecticut.
It's the culmination of a three-year FBI investigation in which undercover agents managed to prevent any of the stolen drugs from entering the marketplace, the Associated Press reported yesterday.
This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. What if there was a nuclear reactor that was meltdown safe, generated power inexpensively, created no weapons-grade byproducts and burnt up existing nuclear waste stockpiled? Sound too good to be true?
Up now, our Video Pick of the Week. Flora Lichtman is with us. Hi, Flora.
FLORA LICHTMAN, BYLINE: Hi, Ira.
FLATOW: What have you got for us this week?
LICHTMAN: This week is an experiment that anyone can do at home. You just need permission from your housemates.
(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)
LICHTMAN: So here's what you do: Go to the refrigerator, get out some milk, and then pour a puddle of it on your countertop or your kitchen table. Then take a hard-boiled egg and spin it in that puddle.
One of the newer buzzwords coming out - buzz phrase, actually, has to do with the working in the cloud. Do you work in the cloud? Do you ever hear about it? You store your files, your movies, your music, maybe your office documents, even your word processor can be up there in the Cloud. What's this all about? Do you want to get involved? Are you wondering whether you should do that? That's what we're going to be talking about for the rest of the hour with two folks who write about technology and think about how it works.