"You've got spunk," Lou Grant says to Mary Richards on the very first episode of The Mary Tyler Moore Show. And then he adds, famously, "I hate spunk." The year is 1970, the same year in which Jeannette Walls set her new novel, The Silver Star. In the book, someone tells the 12-year-old narrator, Bean Holladay, that she's got spunk too. Maybe it's no coincidence. 1970, after all, was situated squarely in the middle of second-wave feminism. It was an era when women and girls were asserting themselves and finding their voices, which weren't always met with approval.
The moms at Saturday's soccer game let out a collective wow as a 10-year-old girl headed the ball away from the net.
Then one next to me said, "Should they be doing that?" Another said, "I don't think so." But none of us yelled: "Hey, kids, no heading the ball!"
Head injuries are a big problem for young athletes, who may be more vulnerable for a year after having a concussion, according to research published Monday. That means students and their parents may have to think hard about when it's safe to return to play.
BP is ending its cleanup of the massive Deepwater Horizon oil spill in three Gulf Coast states this month, leaving Louisiana as the only state with ongoing cleanup linked to the company's Deepwater Horizon Response effort. Reports of oil sightings in Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida will soon be the U.S. Coast Guard's responsibility to investigate.
The panel now headed by Rep. Darrell Issa, a California Republican, has long been a place to watch partisan tempers fly.
But the assertion by the panel's top Democrat, Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, that the investigation into the Internal Revenue Service's targeting of conservative groups should be closed appears to have only escalated the bad feelings that already existed.
As a child, Jeannie Peeper was diagnosed with fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva, an extremely rare disease that causes a second skeleton to grow inside the body. Peeper and science writer Carl Zimmer discuss the efforts of a small group to fund research to battle the disease.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. And we focus today on what we now know about U.S. government information sweeps of telephone and Internet data and on the man who now admits he disclosed the top secret documents to The Guardian and the Washington Post.
Chad Johnson — the NFL star formerly known as Chad Ochocinco for his jersey number — was minutes from having part of his life back on track. Johnson, who had pleaded no contest to head-butting his ex-wife, was about to seal a plea-deal that called for community service and counseling instead of jail time, when he did something that made the entire court room erupt in laughter.