Author Interviews
10:51 am
Thu December 27, 2012

R.A. Dickey On 'Winding Up' As A Knuckleballer

R.A. Dickey currently plays for the New York Mets. He was previously with the Seattle Mariners, Minnesota Twins, Texas Rangers and Milwaukee Brewers.
courtesy of the author

Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 11:18 am

As part of our year-end wrap up, we are sharing the best Fresh Air interviews of 2012. This interview was originally broadcast on April 10, 2012.

Most pitchers in the majors stick to fastballs, curveballs, sliders and change-ups when facing batters at the plate.

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Race
10:42 am
Thu December 27, 2012

Census Bureau Rethinks The Best Way To Measure Race

A crowd crosses the street in midtown Manhattan.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Possible revisions to how the decennial census asks questions about race and ethnicity have raised concerns among some groups that any changes could reduce their population count and thus weaken their electoral clout.

The Census Bureau is considering numerous changes to the 2020 survey in an effort to improve the responses of minorities and more accurately classify Latino, Asian, Middle Eastern and multiracial populations.

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Shots - Health News
9:39 am
Thu December 27, 2012

Random Acts Of Kindness Can Make Kids More Popular

A hug is good for Mom, and good for her daughter.
iStockphoto.com

In the aftermath of Christmas, a parent could be forgiven for thinking that materialism has trumped human kindness.

Take heart. Children can easily become kinder and more helpful. And that behavior makes them more positive, more accepting and more popular.

At least that's how it worked for fourth- and fifth-graders in Vancouver, Canada. Researchers there have been studying empathy and altruism in schoolchildren for decades.

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The Two-Way
9:38 am
Thu December 27, 2012

EPA Administrator Jackson Stepping Down

EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Lisa Jackson, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, is stepping down.

The Associated Press reports that:

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The Two-Way
9:15 am
Thu December 27, 2012

Consumer Confidence Dips; New Home Sales Rise

American consumers aren't feeling quite as confident this month as they were in November.

The widely watched Consumer Confidence Index from the private Conference Board declined to 65.1 in December from 71.5 the month before. It also fell slightly in November from October.

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The Salt
8:51 am
Thu December 27, 2012

Hospital Bids Bye-Bye To Big Macs, Others May Follow Suit

Visitors to one Kansas City hospital will no longer be able to buy a Big Mac on the premises.
Keith Srakocic AP

Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 12:25 pm

The McDonald's at the Truman Medical Centers' main campus in Kansas City, Mo., has closed, ending an epic, two-decade stint inside the hospital and making it the fifth health facility in the past few years to give the Big Mac the boot.

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Agriculture/Harvest Public Media
8:01 am
Thu December 27, 2012

Low Mississippi River levels could leave farmers in fertilizer crunch

A backhoe places a cover on a barge near Cape Girardeau, Mo. The backhoe had just finished removing fertilizer that was shipped up the river from New Orleans.
Credit Jacob McCleland

Southbound barges on the Mississippi River carry grain destined for world markets. Those barges regularly pass northbound tows with thousands of tons of fertilizer heading to Midwestern ports and, later, to farmers’ fields.

But this year’s drought is adding an element of uncertainty to those shipping patterns, as Mississippi River levels reach record lows. Water levels have fertilizer shippers scrambling to get their product to market before low water dries up their most important shipping route.

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The Two-Way
7:57 am
Thu December 27, 2012

Top Stories: Wintry Blast, 'Fiscal Cliff' Talks

Snow-covered roads in Pittsburgh on Wednesday.
Jeff Swensen Getty Images
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The Two-Way
7:21 am
Thu December 27, 2012

Putin Signals He Will Sign Law Banning U.S. Adoptions Of Russian Children

Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Alexi Nikolsky AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 1:55 pm

  • From the NPR Newscast: Michele Kelemen reports.

Saying that he does not see "any reasons why I should not sign it," Russian President Vladimir Putin indicated today that he will approve legislation to bar Americans from adopting Russian children.

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Latin America
7:04 am
Thu December 27, 2012

Maya Struggle With Poverty, Honoring Their Roots

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 8:11 am

The Mayan people of Mexico and Central America received quite a bit of attention this month thanks to a misinterpretation of their calendar. Word spread all over the globe that the ancient culture had predicted the world would end on Dec. 21.

The news attracted tens of thousands of tourists, who flocked to Mayan sites to await the prophecy. Since the world didn't end, the tourists went home. And now the modern-day Mayas go on with their lives marked by high rates of poverty and dependent on migration.

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