Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton was in Springfield, Ill., Wednesday where she sought to use the symbolism of a historic landmark to draw parallels to a present-day America that is in need of repairing deepening racial and cultural divides.

The Old State Capitol — where Abraham Lincoln delivered his famous "A house divided" speech in 1858 warning against the ills of slavery and where Barack Obama launched his presidential bid in 2007 — served as the backdrop for Clinton as she spoke of how "America's long struggle with race is far from finished."

Episode 711: Hooked on Heroin

58 minutes ago

When we meet the heroin dealer called Bone, he has just shot up. He has a lot to say anyway. He tells us about his career--it pretty much tracks the evolution of drug use in America these past ten years or so. He tells us about his rough past. And he tells us about how he died a week ago. He overdosed on his own supply and his friend took his body to the emergency room, then left.

New British Prime Minister Theresa May announced six members of her Cabinet Wednesday.

Amid a sweeping crackdown on dissent in Egypt, security forces have forcibly disappeared hundreds of people since the beginning of 2015, according to a new report from Amnesty International.

It's an "unprecedented spike," the group says, with an average of three or four people disappeared every day.

The Republican Party, as it prepares for its convention next week has checked off item No. 1 on its housekeeping list — drafting a party platform. The document reflects the conservative views of its authors, many of whom are party activists. So don't look for any concessions to changing views among the broader public on key social issues.

Many public figures who took to Twitter and Facebook following the murder of five police officers in Dallas have faced public blowback and, in some cases, found their employers less than forgiving about inflammatory and sometimes hateful online comments.

As Venezuela unravels — with shortages of food and medicine, as well as runaway inflation — President Nicolas Maduro is increasingly unpopular. But he's still holding onto power.

"The truth in Venezuela is there is real hunger. We are hungry," says a man who has invited me into his house in the northwestern city of Maracaibo, but doesn't want his name used for fear of reprisals by the government.

The wiry man paces angrily as he speaks. It wasn't always this way, he says, showing how loose his pants are now.

Ask a typical teenage girl about the latest slang and girl crushes and you might get answers like "spilling the tea" and Taylor Swift. But at the Girl Up Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C., the answers were "intersectional feminism" — the idea that there's no one-size-fits-all definition of feminism — and U.N. climate chief Christiana Figueres.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Arizona Hispanics Poised To Swing State Blue

4 hours ago
Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Pages

Isn't It Ironic?

Sep 12, 2013
Originally published on January 23, 2014 10:38 am

Rest assured, this game contains no ironic t-shirts or mustaches. Here, irony is defined as an "incongruous yet appropriate juxtaposition that highlights the discordant, revelatory nature of the universe." Deep. Play along as host Ophira Eisenberg asks contestants about certain ironic situations, like how the best-selling holiday song of all time, "White Christmas," was written by Irving Berlin--who was Jewish.

Plus, Jonathan Coulton tops off this game with a rendition of the pop standard "Everything Happens To Me."

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Let's get started with our first two contestants, Jessica Morello and Dave Miss.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Dave, you own a candy company. What is one of the signature candies you sell?

DAVE MISS: Pistachio crack.

EISENBERG: Oh.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: What is in that?

MISS: Pistachios, butter, toffee, kind of - sea salt.

EISENBERG: Sea salt, that's the crack part right there, right the sea salt?

MISS: It's all kind of the crack part, excellent. Jessica, you do many interesting things.

JESSICA MORELLO: I do.

EISENBERG: If I were to look at your resume, what is - what is the job that might stand out?

MORELLO: Maybe lettuce picker but probably zookeeper.

EISENBERG: Lettuce picker and zookeeper, that - what is that, a bachelor of the arts that you needed to...?

(LAUGHTER)

MORELLO: I was a film major.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Film major, OK. Yeah, sorry, fine arts, fine arts, of course. Zookeeper, what kind of animals?

MORELLO: I interned with the elephants. I worked in the children's zoo. I scratched a warthog's back.

JONATHAN COULTON: They keep children in the zoo?

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Our first game is called Isn't it Ironic. Turns out many people are confused as to what irony means. Mary, can you help clarify?

MARY TOBLER: No. Well...

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: OK.

TOBLER: Well not in under an hour because there are lots of different types of irony. There's verbal irony, dramatic irony, situational irony. And in this game we're choosing to define irony as incongruous yet appropriate juxtapositions that highlight the discordant revelatory nature of the universe.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Ah yes, of course. So this is about interesting coincidences, that's what this is about. If you have a better definition of the word irony, please feel free to send letters to WEEKEND EDITION SUNDAY, attention Will Shortz.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: He will answer each one of them personally. Right now contestants, we're going to ask you trivia questions about fun facts that we find ironic. Ring in when you know the answer. And the winner of this round will move on to our Ask Me One More final round at the end of the show.

Ironically, what's the bestselling holiday song by legendary songwriter Irving Berlin, who was Jewish?

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

MORELLO: "White Christmas"?

EISENBERG: That is correct.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Well done, Jessica. Ironically, Frank Beard is the usually beardless drummer for what rock band known for their facial hair?

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Jessica?

MORELLO: ZZ Top.

EISENBERG: Yes.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: But I imagine this is for a reason. I turn to you, Jonathan Coulton, as a musician. Is it a safety hazard, having a beard and drumsticks? Is that what...?

COULTON: Oh yeah, super-dangerous because the sticks will get caught in your beard, and then it'll come right off.

EISENBERG: It's over, right, it's over for you. Ironically, what mammal can no longer be found in the wild in the state of Michigan despite its state's nickname?

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Jessica?

MORELLO: Wolverine?

EISENBERG: That's a guess, that is correct, yes.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Dave, you knew that one, and you were...?

MISS: Yes.

EISENBERG: Yes, you did.

MISS: Slow.

EISENBERG: Slow.

MISS: I'm slow.

EISENBERG: You're slow. Hey, hey, hey, hey, it's OK. Don't get down on yourself. It's going to be all right. Wolverine was a great guess, but you're also not from Michigan, so you just pulled that out of nowhere.

MORELLO: Oh yeah, a zookeeper.

EISENBERG: Zookeeper, that's right. It's all paying off for you right now, like really all of a sudden, all of your jobs...

MORELLO: Those long hours of scooping poop...

COULTON: The next question is about lettuce.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Ironically, what inventor was born in 1947 to a woman who would later go deaf?

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Jessica.

MORELLO: Alexander Graham Bell?

EISENBERG: Yes.

(APPLAUSE)

MORELLO: I'm sorry.

EISENBERG: Given his last name, it's ironic that one of the co-founders of Wikipedia is from Alabama, not what part of the United Kingdom?

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Dave?

MISS: Scotland.

EISENBERG: His last name's Scotland, is that what you're saying?

MISS: Birmingham.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Oh, I see what's going on here.

COULTON: Just naming some random places in the United Kingdom, hoping for the best?

MISS: Lettuce.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: I'm sorry, none of those are correct. Jessica, do you want to try to steal? No idea? I'm sure some people are yelling this right now at their radio, but let's throw it out to our audience.

UNIDENTIFIED PEOPLE: Wales.

EISENBERG: That is correct, Jimmy Wales is his name. No, both of them don't know and don't look impressed to now know. This is your last clue. Ironically, what athlete turned actor was considered to play the title role in the Terminator until producers decided that audiences would just not believe he could be a killer?

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Dave?

MISS: OJ Simpson.

EISENBERG: You got it. That is right.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Mary Tobler, how did these contestants do?

TOBLER: Jessica has won this round, congratulations.

EISENBERG: Well done, Jessica, you'll be moving on to our final round at the end of the show. Thank you so much Dave Miss.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Hey, Jonathan, do you have a song about lettuce or something you could play for us?

COULTON: I don't have any songs about lettuce. This song is not really about irony, which is maybe a little ironic.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: I'm trying my best. This is more about bad luck. This is called "Everything Happens to Me."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "EVERYTHING HAPPENS TO ME")

COULTON: (Singing) Black cats creep across my path until I'm almost mad. I must have roused the devil's wrath because all my luck is bad. I make a date for golf, and you can bet your life it rains. I try to throw a party, and the guy upstairs complains. I guess I'll go through life just catching colds and missing trains. Everything happens to me.

(Singing) I never miss a thing. I've had the measles and the mumps. And every time I play an ace, my partner always trumps. I guess I'm just a fool who never looks before he jumps. Everything happens to me. Everything happens to me.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Jonathan Coulton

COULTON: Thank you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.