And with much of the nation is in the middle of this brutal cold snap, let's take a moment to hear from scientists who study other planets or even the chilliest places on Earth. Those researchers commonly encounter temperatures that make this news-making cold seem downright balmy. We asked NPR science correspondent Geoff Brumfiel to find out just how low it can go.
GEOFF BRUMFIEL, BYLINE: I caught up with researcher Paul Mayewski yesterday just as he was headed out of town.
A bone chilling cold snap will affect nearly 200 million people in the United States before it subsides. Many areas of the country have wind chill warnings or advisories in place. The cold is sweeping today, east and even south. The Midwest has been frozen now for a couple days. Here's NPR's Cheryl Corley.
CHERYL CORLEY, BYLINE: Walk down a Chicago street and you might not even recognize your best friend. The frigid temperatures mean just about everybody is bundled - scarves drawn tight, hats pulled down low, often only eyes visible.
GREENE: Microsoft announced sales of its new Xbox One topped three million units by the end of 2013. In a blog post, the company called it the most epic launch of Xbox, by all measures.
The third-generation console was available a week before Thanksgiving. It's been competing with Sony's new baby, Playstation 4, which also launched in November. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
In the years following the Sept. 11 attacks, many Americans heard the term "waterboarding" for the first time — a technique aimed to simulate the act of drowning. Waterboarding was at the center of the debate about what the CIA called "enhanced interrogation techniques" — and what critics called "torture."
John Rizzo, acting general counsel of the CIA in the years after Sept. 11, 2001, has written a memoir about his three decades at the agency. He talks with NPR's Renee Montagne about Company Man: Thirty Years of Controversy and Crisis in the CIA.