Approximately 40 percent of U.S. voters identify as independents, giving them considerable clout with political candidates. Chicago Tribune columnist Clarence Page and George W. Bush campaign strategist Daron Shaw discuss who makes up the independent electorate, and if its influence is sometimes overstated.
Operation Migration uses ultralight planes to guide whooping cranes in migration from Wisconsin to their winter home in Florida. But a Federal Aviation Administration investigation has grounded a flock of whooping cranes and an ultralight guiding plane.
The Obama administration has laid out billions in cuts to the U.S. military over the next decade. Some say the cuts will weaken the armed forces, while others argue it's time to reconsider the type of military presence the U.S. should maintain. NPR's Tom Bowman describes the proposed cuts and their potential implications for future military operations.
The winter solstice has come and gone, making it officially winter in the U.S., with cooler temperatures, less sunlight, and, in some places, snow, ice, and frost. A panel of experts discusses the different phenomena that combine to make up the season we call winter, and give tips for how best to appreciate the natural world in wintertime.
A placebo can take the form of a sugar pill or even a fake surgery. It's often used to test the effectiveness of a trial drug. Ted Kaptchuk, director of Harvard University's Program in Placebo Studies and the Therapeutic Encounter, discusses potential applications for the healing power of placebos.