In the fall of 2008 my friend, TJ Anderson — a member of the University of Iowa's Herky the Hawk mascot squad — took note of an unused space in the southwest corner of Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City. And the idea of "Herky's Nest" was born.
TJ envisioned creating Herky's Nest — a home for Herky — that also serves as a premium seating area for children and families from the University of Iowa Children's Hospital. The goodwill gesture brings the community together in a lighthearted and meaningful way.
On a placid summer morning last month, before the Virginia heat could hit them, a former U.S. Marine and his partner lifted their rowing scull into the glassy water of the Rivanna River, near Charlottesville.
"First thing I do is take these legs off," said Rob Jones, who like his rowing partner, Oksana Masters, is a double, above-the-knee amputee. They're the U.S. team for mixed-doubles rowing at the 2012 London Paralympics, which started Wednesday.
Melissa Block speaks with U.S. Paralympian and flag bearer at the Paralympics opening ceremony, Scott Danberg. The competition, which opens tonight in London, will be Danberg's fifth Paralympic Games. Over the years he has participated in multiple events, from power-lifting to javelin.
Certain forms of art are performed in private. The painter is alone when he paints, the writer likewise.
But the most pertinent aspect of the performing arts is that they are watched. Dance, music, drama and sport are most challenging — and most thrilling — precisely because they are real, before our eyes.
One of the biggest debates in Washington, D.C., these days has nothing to do with taxes, health care or the economy. It's about baseball and whether the Washington Nationals should end the season of their young pitching star, Stephen Strasburg, just as the team may be headed for the playoffs.
Two years ago, Strasburg's promising career was threatened when he tore a ligament in his pitching arm. He needed surgery and couldn't pitch for a year.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And I'm Melissa Block. The torch has been lit for the Paralympics, and it will travel now to the same stadium in London that was home to the Olympics for opening ceremonies tomorrow. More than 4,000 athletes, with all sorts of impairments - amputees, the blind, the intellectually impaired - will compete in events including swimming, cycling, rowing, wheelchair basketball and sitting volleyball, to name just a few.
The Madden NFL video game franchise has sold close to 100 million copies, a number that will only go up on Tuesday when Madden NFL 13 hits shelves. Madden is the biggest franchise of its kind in North America, and big business for an enormous, tangled web of interested parties. Just ask Tommy Mullings — he craves football.
"After the football's done, like, I can't get enough football," he says. "So I'll go watch football all day and then end my Sunday with a couple of games of Madden."