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3:37 pm
Sun February 3, 2013

'Disaster Diaries' Will Help You Survive The End Of The World

Courtesy Penguin Press

Originally published on Sun February 3, 2013 5:16 pm

From movies about outbreaks, to television shows about zombies, to books about Armageddon, we're in love with the end of the world.

Author Sam Sheridan wants to teach you how to survive it, no matter the catastrophe. His new book is called Disaster Diaries: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Apocalypse.

He's got the skill set to prepare us: Sheridan's resume includes wilderness firefighting, construction work in the South Pole, and everything in between.

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Health
2:26 pm
Sun February 3, 2013

Got A Superbug? Bring In The Robots

Disinfecting robots at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore spray rooms with toxic doses of hydrogen peroxide to kill dangerous drug-resistant bacteria.
Rebecca Hersher/NPR

Originally published on Sun February 3, 2013 5:16 pm

Drug-resistant bacteria are a growing problem at hospitals across the country. The bacteria, such as Staphylococcus and Clostridium difficile, are difficult to prevent and impossible to treat.

"The problem is expanding, and it's going up and up and up," explains Dr. Trish Perl of Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. "We're running out of antibiotics to treat, and so the challenge is can we prevent?"

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Animals
2:13 pm
Sun February 3, 2013

Wood Stork's Endangered Status Is Up In The Air

A wood stork soars over its nest in Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary near Fort Myers, Fla., in 2008, as baby wood storks wait in their nest for an adult to bring food.
Peter Andrew Bosch MCT /Landov

Originally published on Sun February 3, 2013 5:16 pm

The last few years have been especially tough in South Florida for wading birds such as egrets, herons, ibises and wood storks that feed and nest in the region's wetlands.

The problem is there are fewer wetlands, and the last few years have been dry, reducing water levels in critical areas.

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The Two-Way
1:39 pm
Sun February 3, 2013

Syrian Activist's Offer Of Talks With Assad Draws Mixed Response

Activists in the town of Saraqib, Syria, hold a poster that reads, "Sheikh Moaz al Khatib represents me."
Courtesy of Mahmoud Bakkour

Moaz al-Khatib sent waves through the Syrian activist community this week when he announced via Facebook that he was open to talks with representatives of Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime on two conditions: that political prisoners, thought to number in the tens of thousands, be released; and exiled Syrians be able to renew their passports at embassies abroad.

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Movies I've Seen A Million Times
1:20 pm
Sun February 3, 2013

The Movie Jonathan Levine Has 'Seen A Million Times'

Jon Voight and Jane Fonda in a scene from the Hal Ashby film Coming Home.
Michael Ochs Archives Getty Images

Originally published on Sun February 3, 2013 5:16 pm

The weekends on All Things Considered series Movies I've Seen A Million Times features filmmakers, actors, writers and directors talking about the movies that they never get tired of watching.

The movie that writer-director Jonathan Levine, whose credits include The Wackness, 50/50 and Warm Bodies — currently playing in theaters — could watch a million times is Hal Ashby's Coming Home.

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The Two-Way
11:49 am
Sun February 3, 2013

Gun-Control Battle Spills Over To Super Bowl Ads

Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a group founded by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, is airing a 30-second spot in the Washington, D.C., area calling for background checks on all gun sales.

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The Two-Way
10:58 am
Sun February 3, 2013

Coming Monday: A Daily Dose Of 'Book News'

NPR

For some months now, many of us at NPR have been enjoying a daily email from our friends here who report about books and the publishing industry. It's a tip sheet with news, and a bit of attitude.

Eyder and several others started saying "hey, we ought to publish this."

So, The Two-Way will.

Annalisa Quinn, who's been writing the notes, sends along this mission statement and a little bit about herself:

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Sports
10:57 am
Sun February 3, 2013

Keeping Those Jerseys Unwashed For The Big Win

49ers fan Kristofer Noceda (third from left) with friends at Candlestick Park in San Francisco.
Kristofer Noceda

Originally published on Sun February 3, 2013 5:16 pm

Sports fans and athletes alike are notorious for superstitions. Take Michael Jordan, who would famously wear his North Carolina shorts under his Bulls uniform.

On Super Bowl Sunday, fans on both sides of the country are engaging in some odd behavior: donning unwashed jerseys, sporting fresh facial hair and sitting in that oh-so-special spot.

While the routines may seem silly, superstitions may actually have helped us evolve as a species.

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The Two-Way
10:14 am
Sun February 3, 2013

Man Charged In Death Of 'American Sniper' Author

Originally published on Sun February 3, 2013 2:40 pm

A 25-year-old man has been charged with killing the author of American Sniper and another person at a Texas gun range.

Former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle wrote American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History, a best-seller that detailed his more than 150 kills of insurgents between 1999 and 2009. He also set up FITCO Cares, a nonprofit that helps soldiers deal with post-traumatic stress disorder.

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The Two-Way
8:56 am
Sun February 3, 2013

Iraq Attack Kills At Least 15, Wounds Dozens

Iraqi security forces inspect the scene of a bombing in Kirkuk, 180 miles north of Baghdad on Sunday.
Emad Matti AP

Originally published on Sun February 3, 2013 1:16 pm

Update at 1:32 p.m. ET. Toll Rises:

The death toll from the coordinated attacks in the oil-rich city of Kirkuk has risen: The BBC says at least 16 people are dead, while Al Jazeera puts the number at at least 30.

Our original post:

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The Two-Way
7:57 am
Sun February 3, 2013

Foreign Minister Says Iran Is Open To Talks With U.S.

Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi speaks to reporters on the third day of the 49th Munich Security Conference on Sunday.
Tobias Hase AP

Originally published on Sun February 3, 2013 4:24 pm

Iran's foreign minister on Sunday welcomed Vice President Joe Biden's comments that the U.S. was willing to hold direct talks with the Islamic republic over its nuclear program.

"We have no red line for bilateral negotiations when it comes to negotiating over a particular subject," Ali Akbar Salehi said at a security conference in Munich, Germany. "If the subject is the nuclear file, yes, we are ready for negotiations but we have to make sure ... that the other side this time comes with authentic intention, with a fair and real intention to resolve the issue."

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Monkey See
7:23 am
Sun February 3, 2013

Choosing Sides: How To Pick Between The Ravens And The 49ers

Sourdough Sam, the mascot for the San Francisco 49ers, looks on in January 2012.
Doug Pensinger Getty Images

Originally published on Sun February 3, 2013 9:13 am

Headlines were circulating last week about how, as Slate put it, "almost everybody" is rooting for the San Francisco 49ers over the Baltimore Ravens in Sunday's Super Bowl. Of course, it turns out that what this actually meant was more like "substantially more than half of the area of the country is included within counties in which more people like the 49ers on Facebook than like the Ravens on Facebook."

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The Record
7:23 am
Sun February 3, 2013

A Small-Time Wordsmith Hits It Big In Nashville

Once a poet and an English teacher, Jim McCormick has become a powerhouse Nashville songwriter.
Scott Saltzman Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun February 3, 2013 5:21 pm

In March, country music star Jason Aldean is playing Madison Square Garden. Tickets sold out in 10 minutes. Fans want to hear his latest No. 1 song, "Take a Little Ride."

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The Two-Way
4:42 am
Sun February 3, 2013

In China, A Breath Of Fresh Air (In A Can)

Chinese businessman Chen Guangbiao (center) gives cans of fresh air produced by his factory to passersby for free in a financial district in Beijing.
Mark Wong EPA /LANDOV

In response to the growing concern over China's air pollution, a theatrical Chinese entrepreneur is selling cans of fresh air.

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Commentary
4:28 am
Sun February 3, 2013

Super Bowl Cheat Sheet: Key Phrases To Keep You In The Game

San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh (right) and his brother, Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh, with the Vince Lombardi Trophy on Friday.
Jim Young Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Sun February 3, 2013 7:22 am

Sure, you can go to a Super Bowl party and be That Guy. The one who gleefully lectures the crowd on the merits of running the inverted veer out of the pistol in order to freeze the weak-side backer.

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Afghanistan
4:21 am
Sun February 3, 2013

From A Land Where Music Was Banned — To Carnegie Hall

Afghanistan's youth orchestra performs in Kabul on Jan. 31. The orchestra is coming to the U.S. and will appear at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center.
Shah Marai AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun February 3, 2013 2:49 pm

In Afghanistan, there was no sound of music when the Taliban ruled from 1996 to 2001. The Islamist militants destroyed music CDs and instruments and even jailed musicians.

Today, there are music schools and young Afghans playing in public. And, this weekend, 48 Afghan boys and girls are traveling to the U.S. to perform at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center.

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National Security
4:11 am
Sun February 3, 2013

Panetta: 'My Mission Has Always Been To Keep The Country Safe'

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta arrives in London on Jan. 17. Panetta is stepping down as defense secretary as soon as the Senate confirms his successor.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Sun February 3, 2013 2:49 pm

For more than 40 years, Leon Panetta has split his life on two coasts: his home in California and his work in Washington, D.C. It's a career that included 16 years in Congress, stints as White House chief of staff for President Clinton, and as the head of the CIA and the Pentagon under President Obama.

As Panetta prepares to leave his job as defense secretary, he sat down with Rachel Martin, host of Weekend Edition Sunday, to talk about his years in Washington and serving in the Obama administration.

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Medical Treatments
3:49 pm
Sat February 2, 2013

FDA Challenges Stem Cell Companies As Patients Run Out Of Time

Scientists have seen promise in the potential of stem cells, but not everyone agrees stem cell replacement therapy is ready for prime time.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Originally published on Sun February 3, 2013 9:30 am

Americans seeking stem cell replacement therapy hope the process can heal them of myriad diseases, and a 2011 report by the Baker Institute estimated the industry could bring in $16 billion in revenue by 2020.

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Sports
3:49 pm
Sat February 2, 2013

Inside The Training Room: Uncovering Football's Scars

Originally published on Sat February 2, 2013 5:41 pm

Transcript

LAURA SULLIVAN, HOST:

This is WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, from NPR News. I'm Laura Sullivan. And if it's anything like last year, tomorrow's Super Bowl will reach more than 111 million viewers, in this country alone. And while the game ends for the fans tomorrow night, for players, the effects will likely linger on.

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Music Interviews
3:27 pm
Sat February 2, 2013

Wayne Shorter On Jazz: 'How Do You Rehearse The Unknown?'

Wayne Shorter turns 80 this year. His newest album is called Without a Net.
Robert Ascroft Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat February 2, 2013 5:41 pm

The New York Times doesn't mince words when it writes, "Wayne Shorter is generally acknowledged to be jazz's greatest living composer."

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The Two-Way
3:07 pm
Sat February 2, 2013

Turkish Left-Wing Group Claims Responsibility For U.S. Embassy Blast

Mourners gather in Ankara on Saturday by the coffin of Mustafa Akarsu, who was killed in the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Turkey's capital on Friday.
AP

A radical left-wing group is calling Friday's attack on the U.S. Embassy in Turkey "an act of self-sacrifice" against the U.S. The suicide bombing killed an embassy guard and injured several others.

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The Two-Way
12:56 pm
Sat February 2, 2013

Direct Talks With Iran? Biden Says It's Possible

Vice President Joe Biden speaks during the Security Conference in Munich, Germany, on Saturday.
Matthias Schrader AP

Originally published on Sat February 2, 2013 1:53 pm

Vice President Joe Biden says the United States is ready to hold direct talks with Iran over its nuclear program — provided that the country's top leader is serious about such discussions.

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The Two-Way
12:02 pm
Sat February 2, 2013

Powerful Quake Rocks Northern Japan; No Reported Damage

The Japanese Meteorological Agency says an extremely strong earthquake rattled the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido on Saturday. The magnitude was 6.4. The U.S. Geological Survey's report puts the tremor at a higher magnitude of 6.9; the epicenter was very deep, about 65 miles below ground, near the city of Obihiro. That's about 120 miles east of Hokkaido's largest city, Sapporo.

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The Two-Way
11:15 am
Sat February 2, 2013

Yes, He Did: Obama Shoots Skeet

President Obama shoots clay targets on the range at Camp David in Maryland on Aug. 4.
Pete Souza The White House

Originally published on Sun February 3, 2013 8:01 am

The White House has released proof that President Obama really did shoot skeet — at least once — at the Maryland presidential retreat, last summer.

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The Two-Way
9:45 am
Sat February 2, 2013

Spring Is Nigh! Punxsutawney Phil Predicts An Early End To Winter

Punxsutawney Phil climbs on the shoulder of handler John Griffiths. The groundhog did not see his shadow during the 127th Groundhog Day Celebration in Punxsutawney, Pa., on Saturday.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 4, 2013 5:42 am

"An early spring for you and me," is this year's prediction from Punxsutawney Phil, the premiere Groundhog Day forecaster.

With an estimated 35,000 spectators watching him Saturday morning, the groundhog — or as he is known to his followers, "the seer of seers" — did not see his shadow.

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The Two-Way
9:32 am
Sat February 2, 2013

'Vive Francois Hollande!' France's President Visits Mali

French President Francois Hollande is surrounded by well-wishers on his short visit to Timbuktu, Mali, on Saturday.
Jerome Delay AP

Originally published on Sat February 2, 2013 10:15 am

The security situation in Northern Mali has improved with the arrival of the French military last month, so French president Francois Hollande traveled there Saturday for a one-day visit. He didn't stay in the southern capital, Bamako, which has remained under Malian government control, but instead flew north to the ancient city of Timbuktu to meet residents and thank French troops for their work in ousting Islamist rebels from the historic city.

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Fresh Air Weekend
8:03 am
Sat February 2, 2013

Fresh Air Weekend: Spacey, Fincher And Macy

Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright star in the new Netflix original series House of Cards, which premieres Feb. 1.
Patrick Harbron Netflix

Originally published on Sat February 2, 2013 9:53 am

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

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Animals
5:54 am
Sat February 2, 2013

Did You Hear That? I Think It Was A Walrus

claumoho flickr

Originally published on Sat February 2, 2013 9:15 pm

Stand aside Beyonce, there's a new sound in town. More than 9,000 sounds, to be more precise. The Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology has just finished digitizing its huge archive of wildlife sounds and made it available online.

"It represents the voice of the world — all the voices of the world," Greg Budney, audio curator for the archive, tells NPR's Scott Simon. Among the vast collection are birds, mammals, insects and amphibians, Budney says, all made available "to anyone who has an interest in nature, in conservation and in the world around them."

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Remembrances
5:52 am
Sat February 2, 2013

Remembering New York's Large-Than-Life Mayor, Ed Koch

Originally published on Sat February 2, 2013 2:07 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

ED KOCH: Hi, hi. How am I doing?

SIMON: Ed Koch, the former mayor of New York, died yesterday at the age of 88. He was as New York as a salt bagel with an extra schmear. I profiled him when he ran for re-election in 1981.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

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Television
5:52 am
Sat February 2, 2013

'House Of Cards' A Delicate Balance Of Politics And Drama

Originally published on Sat February 2, 2013 2:07 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Kevin Spacey's got a memorable entrance in the new series "House of Cards." He looks into the camera and talks to the audience while he strangles an injured dog.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "HOUSE OF CARDS")

KEVIN SPACEY: (as Francis Underwood) There are two kinds of pain: the sort of pain that makes you strong; or useless pain, the sort of pain that's only suffering. I have no patience for useless things.

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