Bill Chappell

Bill Chappell is a blogger and producer who currently works on The Two Way, NPR's flagship blog. In the past, he has coordinated digital features for Morning Edition and Fresh Air, and edited the rundown of All Things Considered. He frequently contributes to other NPR blogs, such as All Tech Considered and The Salt.

Chappell's work at NPR has ranged from being the site's first full-time homepage editor to being the lead writer and editor on the London 2012 Olympics blog, The Torch. His assignments have included being the lead web producer for NPR's trip to Asia's Grand Trunk Road, as well as establishing the Peabody Award-winning StoryCorps on

In 2009, Chappell was a key editorial member of the small team that redesigned NPR's web site. One year later, the site won its first Peabody Award, along with the National Press Foundation's Excellence in Online Journalism award.

At NPR, Chappell has trained both digital and radio staff to use digital tools to tell compelling stories, in addition to "evangelizing" — promoting more collaboration between legacy and digital departments.

Prior to joining NPR in late 2003, Chappell worked on the Assignment Desk at CNN International, handling coverage in areas from the Middle East, Asia, Africa, Europe, and Latin America, and coordinating CNN's pool coverage out of Qatar during the Iraq war.

Chappell's work for CNN also included producing Web stories and editing digital video for, and editing and producing stories for's features division.

Before joining CNN, Chappell wrote about movies, restaurants and music for alternative weeklies, in addition to his first job: editing the police blotter.

A holder of bachelor's degrees in English and History from the University of Georgia, he attended graduate school for English Literature at the University of South Carolina.

A calico lobster that had been living in obscurity off the coast of Maine has now been catapulted into a sort of celebrity, thanks to its rare coloring: a calico mix of orange and yellow spots. Researchers say it could be a 1 in 30 million specimen.

The invertebrate was caught off Winter Harbor, Maine; it was saved from the cooking pot at Jasper White's Summer Shack restaurant in Cambridge, Mass., after the staff noticed its striking coloration.

A Russian anti-terrorism agency says that its secret service agents have thwarted a planned attack on Sochi, the city slated to host the 2014 Winter Olympics. Russia's FSB security service says it found 10 caches of weapons that it believes were meant to be used during either preparations for the Olympics or in an attack during the Games themselves.

From Moscosw, Jessica Golloher filed this report for NPR's Newscast:

In Scotland, viewers of a nightly BBC news program got a surprise Thursday, when Prince Charles stood in front of a weather map to tell them about all the rain and cold they'd soon experience.

With the darkest days of the Martian winter now over, NASA took its Opportunity Mars Rover for a drive this week. The rover had been stationary while its solar panels lacked enough sunlight to power its batteries.

The rover's drive Tuesday was a short one: "about 12 feet northwest and downhill," according to NASA. The agency says Opportunity has driven 21.4 miles since it landed on Mars in January of 2004.

For decades, Olympics fans have loathed two words: "tape" and "delay." But this summer, things will be different: For the first time, NBC will stream live video of the London Games, online and via mobile.

If you think that decision is overdue, you're not alone. Sports Business Daily media reporter John Ourand says he is shocked it has taken this long for the network to put live video of all Olympic events online.

The sports world is brimming with talk about Lopez Lomong, the American runner who set a 2012 world best in the men's 5,000-meter race in California Sunday. It was Lomong's first race at that distance (just over 3 miles), which he covered in 13 minutes and 11.63 seconds. But the race took a very unusual turn in its final laps.

A British winemaker has finally been given official approval to release a limited-edition wine made in collaboration with Malbec grape growers in Argentina, on one condition: It can't sell the wine, or label it a Malbec. Actually, it can't even call it wine at all.

The Chapel Down winery's only option for getting rid of its wine is to give it away as a sample, calling it a "fruit-derived alcoholic beverage from produce sourced outside the EU."

A video that caused a sensation in Mexico for using child actors to highlight the country's social and political challenges has been removed from both YouTube and the website of Nuestro Mexico Del Futuro (Our Mexico of the Future), the group that produced it.

The TV show Mad Men has won fans for breathing life — and a heavy whiff of bourbon — into the fictional advertising world of 1960s New York. But surely no American company has such a liver-pickling culture in this day and age, right?

Warren Buffett, 81, has been diagnosed with prostate cancer, his Berkshire Hathaway company announced Tuesday afternoon. The cancer is at Stage 1, according to MarketWatch. The billionaire investor's condition is not life-threatening, he says.

Buffett send a letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders to inform and reassure them. Here's the text of that letter:

"Americans now walk the least of any industrialized nation in the world," says writer Tom Vanderbilt. To find out why that is, Vanderbilt has been exploring how towns are built, how Americans view walking — and what might be done to get them moving around on their own two feet.

Talking with Morning Edition co-host Steve Inskeep about what is wrong with Americans' relationship with walking, Vanderbilt says, "The main thing is, we're just not doing enough of it."

Days after it was acquired by Facebook for $1 billion, reports have emerged that Instagram now has more than 40 million users in its photo-sharing community. The gain, which was derived from the service's API, represents a spike of 10 million Instagram users added in the past 10 days, according to Venture Beat.

When he appeared in court on second-degree murder charges in the shooting death of teenager Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman was accompanied by his new defense attorney, Mark O'Mara. Hours after the hearing, O'Mara told NPR that he doubts the case will go to trial in 2012.

But in the meantime, O'Mara tells Tell Me More host Michel Martin, he'd like to get his client out of jail.

George Zimmerman, who says he killed unarmed Florida teenager Trayvon Martin in self-defense, has been arrested and will face a charge of second-degree murder, says State Attorney Angela Corey, the special prosecutor investigating Martin's death.

Corey said that Zimmerman turned himself in to the authorities Wednesday.

As they sought to quell a November protest at the University of California-Davis, campus police officers' "decision to use pepper spray was not supported by objective evidence and not authorized by policy," according to a review of the incident released Wednesday.

Convicted murderer Charles Manson, sentenced to life in prison for his role in the grisly deaths of seven people in 1969, will not be released from prison, California's parole board decided Wednesday. The hearing, which Manson did not attend, may have been the 77-year-old's last chance at freedom. His next bid for a parole hearing isn't likely to be heard until 2027.

The bulk of the U.S. military force in Afghanistan is slated to leave the country by 2014. But the Pentagon is willing to keep some Americans there to train Afghan forces, according to a report by NPR's Tom Bowman.

Here's Tom's report for NPR's Newscast:

"Afghan Defense Minister Adbul Rahim Wardak says his country is looking for an enduring long-term relationship with the United States. And part of the relationship centers on training and equipping Afghan soldiers and police."

With sensors that translate the motions of a bike — turning the handlebars, spinning the wheels, etc. — into music, the Turntable Rider "is an epic bicycle accessory which converts a bicycle into a musical instrument," according to Cogoo, the company that created the device.

The Federal Reserve's policymakers seem to be reluctant to consider any more efforts to inject a monetary stimulus into the U.S. economy — but that doesn't mean you should expect the central bank to raise interest rates any time soon.

Iranian officials spoke out Tuesday to insist that reports that the country is killing access to the Internet are grossly exaggerated. Several news outlets had picked up on a report from Reporters Without Borders — a report that contains the information that "Iran has announced the launch of a national Internet."

Lawyers for George Zimmerman in the case of the shooting death of Trayvon Martin say they are no longer representing the man who killed the unarmed Florida teenager.

Defense attorneys Craig Sonner and Hal Uhrig announced their decision in an appearance outside the Seminole County Courthouse in Sanford, Fla.

The two lawyers said that they had fallen out of contact with Zimmerman.

Uhrig also said that he "heard today" that Zimmerman had been in direct contact with the special prosecutor in the Martin case, according to Reuters.

U.S. beach volleyball star Kerri Walsh is honing her game for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, where she and her playing partner, Misty May-Treanor, hope to continue a streak of dominance that goes back to the 2004 games in Athens and Beijing in 2008.

Speaking with Morning Edition co-host Renee Montagne, Walsh says the duo's effort to represent the United States this summer is going well.

America's reliance on coal to produce electricity has declined by more than 20 percent in recent years — but in 2011, the U.S. exported coal at a rate not seen in 20 years, according to the AP. And much of the new surge in coal exports comes from Asia and Europe.

Here's a rough guide to who's buying America's coal, based on the AP story:

  • South Korea: Up 81 percent to more than 10 million tons.
  • India: Up 65 percent, to 4.5 million tons.

Anders Behring Breivik, the Norwegian man who confessed to killing 77 people last July, was not criminally insane when he bombed a government building and gunned unarmed people down at a youth conference, according to two psychiatrists appointed by a court in Norway.

The new development comes days before Behring Breivik's trial is set to begin, on April 16.

Jack Tramiel, the man behind the Commodore 64 computer, died Sunday, according to reports. Tramiel, who was 83, came to America after World War II. He was a survivor of the Auschwitz concentration camp in his native Poland.

Update: This post has been updated to reflect Tramiel's liberation from the Ahlem work camp, after his time in Auschwitz.