The Two-Way
11:54 am
Mon April 29, 2013

Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo Passes First Rocket Test

Originally published on Mon April 29, 2013 2:02 pm

Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo — designed to carry paying passengers beyond Earth's atmosphere — passed a key test Monday, shooting past the speed of sound under its own rocket power.

The spacecraft developed by Sir Richard Branson's space tourism venture dropped from its mother ship over the Mojave Desert and then, for the first time, fired its engine. It hit Mach 1.2 and reached an altitude of 56,000 feet before gliding to a landing.

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World Cafe
11:52 am
Mon April 29, 2013

The Lone Bellow On World Cafe

The Lone Bellow.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon April 29, 2013 12:02 pm

Zach Williams, Kanene Pipkin and Brian Elmquist are The Lone Bellow. Although Williams, the principal songwriter and lead singer, is a native Georgian, the group found its soulful folk-rock sound in Brooklyn. The group recorded its self-titled debut album on the Lower East Side, yet the lyrical, foot-stomping songs could have easily come from the heart of Nashville.

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The Two-Way
10:50 am
Mon April 29, 2013

NBA's Jason Collins Is First Active Player To Come Out As Gay

Jason Collins (left), then of the Washington Wizards, during a game this month against the Chicago Bulls.
Jim Young Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon April 29, 2013 8:39 pm

"I didn't set out to be the first openly gay athlete playing in a major American team sport," National Basketball Association center Jason Collins writes in a Sports Illustrated essay posted Monday, "but since I am, I'm happy to start the conversation."

With that, the 34-year-old veteran of 12 NBA seasons and six pro teams becomes the first active player in the four major American team sports to come out.

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Author Interviews
10:47 am
Mon April 29, 2013

Marc Maron: A Life Fueled By 'Panic And Dread'

Marc Maron, whose latest book is Attempting Normal, is also the author of The Jerusalem Syndrome: My Life As a Reluctant Messiah.
Leigh Righton Spiegel & Grau

Originally published on Mon April 29, 2013 12:15 pm

When Marc Maron started his podcast "WTF with Marc Maron" out of his garage in September 2009, he was in a dark place: He was going through a divorce, his comedy career had hit a wall and — in his mid-40s — he didn't have a Plan B.

"I was at a place in my life where I had gotten very cynical," he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "I had lost a lot of hope for my comedy and everything else, and I really feel that I was no longer able to really appreciate other people's stories. I had lost my ability to really kind of listen and enjoy the company of other people."

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The Two-Way
10:18 am
Mon April 29, 2013

Justices Let Stand Block On Alabama's Tough Immigration Law

People lined up to enter the U.S. Supreme Court building last week.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 29, 2013 2:57 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to review a lower court ruling that effectively bars Alabama from enforcing an anti-immigration law that was considered one of the toughest in the nation.

In an 8-to-1 vote, the justices let stand the lower court decision that prevents the state from enforcing the 2011 law. Justice Antonin Scalia was the sole dissenter, and did so without comment.

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