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1:55 am
Wed February 6, 2013

Why You Love That Ikea Table, Even If It's Crooked

Building your own stuff boosts your feelings of pride and competence, and also signals to others that you are competent.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 9:51 am

Have you ever spent a couple of hours working on a craft project — or a presentation for work — and then fallen in love with what you've accomplished? Do the colors you've picked for your PowerPoint background pop so beautifully that you just have to sit back and admire your own genius?

If so, get in line: You're the latest person to fall victim to the Ikea Effect.

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Books
1:53 am
Wed February 6, 2013

Hollywood Hot Shots, Scientology And A Story Worth The Risk In 'Going Clear'

AK2 iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 11:26 am

In the 1970s, a young man named Paul Haggis was walking down a street in Ontario, Canada. He encountered a man peddling a book.

"And he handed the book to Paul, and he said, 'You've got a mind — this is the owner's manual,' " journalist Lawrence Wright tells NPR's Steve Inskeep. "And inside, there was a stamp saying 'Church of Scientology,' and Paul was intrigued, and he said, 'Take me there.' " Haggis soon became a member of the Church of Scientology — and he's a central character in Wright's new book, Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood and the Prison of Belief.

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Sweetness And Light
1:01 am
Wed February 6, 2013

It's The Dog Days For America's Sports Dynasties

Maltipoo Shaggy is dressed as a Yankees fan at the Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade in New York City last year. Commentator Frank Deford says the Yankees are turning into a home for the assisted living.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 9:51 am

Since that devilish little morality saga with Linda Evans and Joan Collins left television in 1989, there have been no dynasties in our world outside of sports.

Today, nobody says that William and Kate are continuing a dynasty or the Kennedys are a dynasty, or the Rockefellers, or even that dreadful ugly chubby family in North Korea.

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The Two-Way
5:52 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

VIDEO: In Israel, City Paints Car Into Handicap Spot, Then Tows It

A car after it was painted into a handicapped space.
YouTube

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 6:52 pm

There is plenty of unfairness in life. But today, an Israeli woman is getting some justice after the city of Tel Aviv tried to pull a fast one.

In a video Hila Ben Baruch posted on Facebook Monday, Tel Aviv municipal workers are seen painting the pavement and curb around her car. By the time they're done, it's clear that they've painted the car into a handicapped spot.

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Business
5:36 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

S&P Lawsuit Puts Ratings Firms Back In The Spotlight

In a lawsuit, the Justice Department alleges Standard and Poor's misled investors with fraudulent credit ratings. The agency could seek more than $5 billion in damages.
Henny Ray Abrams AP

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 6:17 pm

The Justice Department said Tuesday it could seek more than $5 billion in damages from Standard & Poor's, the nation's biggest credit ratings company, a day after it sued the company, alleging that S&P defrauded investors by giving triple-A ratings to risky subprime mortgage investments.

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It's All Politics
5:21 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Viral Story About Free Wi-Fi Spotlights Mostly Hidden Policy War

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski last year warned of a "war on Wi-Fi."
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 11:48 am

(Revised on 2/6/1013 at 12:28 pm ET to include FCC comment.)

In Washington, there's always one kind of alleged war or another against some group or idea — the war on women, the war on religion and the war on the Second Amendment come quickly to mind.

This week, many of us became aware of another supposed conflict we had never heard of: essentially, a war on Wi-Fi.

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The Two-Way
5:15 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Survey: Republicans In Congress Own More Guns Than Democrats

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, of Alaska, told USA Today she owned a dozen guns.
Brendan Smialowski Getty Images

In Washington, everything seems to break down along partisan lines. Gun ownership is no exception.

USA Today surveyed every congressional office to ask whether its lawmaker owned a gun.

The results?

-- "One hundred nineteen Republicans and 46 Democrats declared themselves as gun owners..."

And:

-- "Only 10% of Republicans who responded said they do not own a gun, while 66% of Democrats said they are not gun owners."

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Europe
5:15 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Bulgaria Links Hezbollah To Deadly Attack On Israelis

Originally published on Sun February 10, 2013 7:51 am

Bulgarian authorities say they have evidence the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah financed and carried out a bomb attack at a Black Sea resort town last year, killing five Israeli tourists and one Bulgarian citizen.

Bulgarian Foreign Minister Nikolay Mladenov said it was an extremely intensive investigation.

"The results of that investigation leads to a number of persons who are connected to the military wing of Hezbollah," he said.

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Middle East
4:07 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

For The First Time In Decades, Iran's President Visits Egypt

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visits an Islamic shrine Tuesday in Cairo. He became the first Iranian leader to visit Egypt since the 1970s.
Amr Nabil AP

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 5:36 pm

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Tuesday became the first Iranian leader to visit Egypt since the 1970s, the latest sign of the thawing of relations between the rival Muslim nations.

Ahmadinejad received a red-carpet welcome as Egypt's President Mohammed Morsi greeted him on the tarmac at Cairo International Airport with a kiss on each cheek.

Under Egypt's former leader, Hosni Mubarak, a visit like this would never have happened.

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It's All Politics
4:02 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Even When They Qualify For Citizenship, Few Mexican Immigrants Seek It

While a path to citizenship is a central component of proposed changes to the nation's immigration laws, most Mexican immigrants now eligible for U.S. citizenship don't obtain it, according to a new study.

The Pew Hispanic Center report found that only about 36 percent of eligible Mexicans take the steps to become U.S. citizens, compared to 68 percent of all other immigrants.

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Shots - Health News
3:59 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Aggressive Care Still Common For Dying Seniors, Despite Hospice Uptick

Joe Takach comforts his friend Lillian Landry, as she spends her last days in the hospice wing of a hospital in Oakland Park, Fla., in 2009.
J. Pat Carter AP

Although federal data show that fewer Medicare beneficiaries are dying in hospitals that doesn't mean they're getting a lot less medical care in their final days, new research suggests.

Even as deaths in acute-care hospitals declined between 2000 and 2009, the use of intensive care units in the final 30 days of life increased, as did short-term hospice use. The rate of changes to care for these patients, such as transfers within the last three days of life, also increased.

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The Two-Way
3:49 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Did Ninjas Use Throwing Stars? A Conversation About Ninja Realities

An authentic master of ninjutsu martial art, Kazuki Ukita poses in Ninja costume at the Ninja museum's Ninja residence in the small ancient city of Ueno.
Toshifumi Kitamura AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 4:31 pm

Our friends at On Point had a fascinating discussion today with the author of a new book about ninjas.

Here's what Sam Gale Rosen, On Point's producer, told us:

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Business
3:40 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Why Is It So Hard To Make A 100 Percent American Hand Dryer?

The Xlerator hand dryer is made almost entirely of American components and assembled in Massachusetts. But the company's owner says it's simply not cost-effective to use an American-made motor.
Andrea Hsu NPR

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 7:17 pm

Fifteen years ago, Denis Gagnon bought a company that made a product nobody really liked: hand dryers. But he quickly managed to turn Massachusetts-based Excel Dryer into an innovator with the Xlerator — a high-speed dryer that cut drying time from more than 30 seconds to less than 15.

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The Two-Way
3:39 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

White House Says Obama Will Visit Israel This Spring

Originally published on Sun February 10, 2013 7:49 am

President Obama will make his first presidential visit to Israel this spring, the White House announced this afternoon.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney did not give an indication of date, but he said that Obama will also visit the West Bank and Jordan during the trip.

As The Washington Post points out, the trip comes at a time when Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations have stalled. The Post reports:

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Shots - Health News
3:39 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Exercise Can Be Good For The Heart, And Maybe For Sperm, Too

Human sperm race to fertilize an egg.
David M. Phillips Science Source

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 9:39 am

Guys, it may be time to get off the couch and hit the treadmill — especially if you want to have kids.

Okay, we all know that exercise is good for us. It can reduce the risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease, to name a few benefits. Now researchers say physical activity may also help keep sperm healthy and happy.

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The Record
3:38 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Reg Presley, The Voice Of 'Wild Thing,' Dies

Reg Presley in Hamburg, circa 1965.
Petra Niemeier — K & K Redferns

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 5:36 pm

Reg Presley, the founder and lead singer of The Troggs, the rock group best known for the performing the original version of the song "Wild Thing," has died. Presley was 71. He died of lung cancer yesterday at his home in England.

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Music Reviews
3:25 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Reissued And Relevant, Marcos Valle's '70s Bossa Nova Returns

Marcos Valle in Los Angeles in 1968.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 5:36 pm

Marcos Valle wasn't identified with Brazil's influential Tropicalia movement during the 1960s and 1970s. But, like his peers Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil, he made ambitious and subversive pop music during those years, mixing American soul and rock with samba, bossa nova and other Brazilian styles.

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The Salt
3:19 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Mixing Alcohol With Diet Soda May Make You Drunker

The rum in that Cuba libre will hit your bloodstream faster if it's mixed with diet cola.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon February 11, 2013 3:36 pm

Looking to cut back on the calories in your cocktail by mixing, say, diet soda and rum? Well, get ready for the buzz.

According to the results of a new study, this combination will leave you drunker than if you'd mixed the liquor with a sugary, caloric mixer.

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The Two-Way
2:57 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

5 Questions About Justice Department Memo On Targeted Killings

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 5:48 am

A confidential Justice Department memo obtained by NBC News outlines legal theories the Obama administration has used to justify killing American citizens abroad. Here are five key questions and answers about the document:

1) What is it?

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The Two-Way
2:38 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

U.S. Says It Has No Plans To Charge Lance Armstrong

Lance Armstrong during a January interview with Oprah Winfrey regarding the controversy surrounding his cycling career.
Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 2:52 pm

The Department of Justice said today that it was sticking by its decision not to pursue any charges against cyclist Lance Armstrong.

"We made a decision on that case a little over a year ago. Obviously, we've been well aware of the statements that have been made by Mr. Armstrong in other media reports. That does not change my view at this time," André Birotte, a U.S. attorney based in Los Angeles, said according to Reuters.

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Middle East
1:57 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Tracking Rape In Syria Through Social Media

Syrian women walk through a market area in the northern city of Aleppo last November. A new website is documenting the use of rape in the Syrian conflict.
John Cantlie AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 7:17 pm

Rape has long been a weapon of war, but documenting sexual violence usually happens after a conflict is over. Researchers are taking a new path with the Syrian conflict: tracking the incidents of rape as they occur.

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The Two-Way
1:46 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

British House Of Commons Passes Bill Legalizing Gay Marriage

Snow falls on the Houses of Parliament in London in January.
Oli Scarff Getty Images

By an overwhelming majority, the British House of Commons passed a bill that legalizes gay marriage. The bill is expected to become law because it is supported by Prime Minister David Cameron.

The House passed the bill with a vote of 400 to 175.

The CBC reports:

"Same-sex civil partnerships have been allowed in the U.K. for eight years. One of the more high-profile unions is between musician Elton John and his Canadian partner, David Furnish.

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It's All Politics
1:40 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

In Florida, An Email Trail On Redistricting Raises Questions

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 2:42 pm

Florida voters in 2010 approved constitutional amendments by nearly 2-to-1 margins that forbade state legislators from coordinating with political parties or favoring incumbents when drawing new congressional districts.

So what did lawmakers in Tallahassee do? The Republican leaders in charge of drawing new maps coordinated with Republican Party consultants to protect Republican incumbents.

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Shots - Health News
1:19 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Why Prostate Cancer Screening Is So Tricky

When is the right time to check the PSA box?
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 1:56 pm

Men can be forgiven for being confused over screening for prostate cancer. Doctors are confused, too.

When it comes to figuring out if the benefits are worth the risks, the simplest solutions may not be best, a study of the options finds.

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The Two-Way
1:03 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Economy To Slow This Year As The Government Tightens, CBO Says

While the economy will benefit from continued improvement in "underlying" conditions, the federal government's push to tighten its spending will slow overall growth in 2013, the Congressional Budget Office projects.

In an updated "Budget and Economic Outlook" reported released Tuesday afternoon, the agency forecasts:

-- 1.4 percent growth in gross domestic product this year, vs. 2.3 percent in 2012.

-- 2.6 percent growth in 2014.

-- 4.1 percent growth in 2015.

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Law
12:38 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Immigration Challenges For 'Mixed-Status' Families

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 3:14 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Noncitizen meets U.S. citizen, they fall in love, get married. The immigration papers are filed, and a green card arrives in the mailbox. Right? Well, not exactly. Many citizens seeking legal residency for their spouses meet surprises, penalties that can bar their spouses from the U.S. for 10 years, 20 years or for life.

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Around the Nation
12:34 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Drawing Your Gun: The Moment And The Aftermath

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 1:15 pm

In the debate on gun control, self-protection and the protection of others are commonly cited justifications for gun ownership. NPR's Neal Conan talks with guests about what happens when a person draws a gun on another individual.

Theater
12:33 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Rebecca Luker Has 'Got Love' For Jerome Kern

Soprano Rebecca Luker made her Broadway debut as an understudy to Sarah Brightman in Phantom of the Opera in 1988.
Leslie Van Stelten Derek Bishop

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 1:39 pm

For her latest album, Broadway soprano Rebecca Luker brings her live show — featuring songs by legendary theater composer Jerome Kern, recorded at the Manhattan club 54 Below — to the recording studio. The album, I Got Love: Songs of Jerome Kern, features 14 tracks and classics ranging from "Bill/Can't Help Loving That Man" to "My Husband's First Wife."

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Middle East
12:28 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Lessons Learned Two Years After The Arab Spring

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. For most of this hour, we'll focus on the experiences of mixed-status families and the complications of navigating the gray areas in the shadows of immigration, when one or some are citizens and others are here illegally.

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The Salt
12:23 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

First, Personalized Pez Dispensers. Next, Printed Food?

Toronto-based 3-D jewelry company Hot Pop Factory created personalized Pez dispenser heads for the employees of an architecture firm.
Hot Pop Factory

Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 11:11 am

The Pez dispenser is a cultural icon that has withstood the test of time, with Mickey Mouse, Yoda, even George Washington doling out little candy bricks through their plastic necks.

So applying the hot new technology of 3-D printing to make personalized Pez dispensers makes sense, in a weird way. It's just one of a growing number of efforts under way to print customized food products.

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