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Shots - Health News
2:36 am
Wed November 21, 2012

Patients With Online Access To Doctors May Make More Office Visits

New research suggests that doctors who communicate online with their patients may not see a drop in office visits.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed November 21, 2012 8:49 am

Uncle Sam wants you to email your doctor. A federal law passed in 2009 says that physicians have to start offering their patients online communication, or Medicare will start docking how much it pays them in the future.

Some patients hope that having online access to their doctors will mean they can cut down on how often they have to go to the doctor's office. But fresh research suggests that patients with online access actually schedule more office visits.

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Business
2:34 am
Wed November 21, 2012

To Lure Shoppers, Wal-Mart Tries Same-Day Delivery

Like many other brick-and-mortar retailers, Wal-Mart is trying to attract shoppers increasingly accustomed to online shopping. In one experiment, it's offering same-day delivery in four select markets.
Paul Sakuma AP

Originally published on Wed November 21, 2012 10:07 am

With the holiday shopping season shifting into high gear, retailers are doing everything they can to win consumer dollars. Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, is trying out one new strategy this season: same-day delivery. In a few select markets, it's joining online retail giant Amazon and eBay's "Now" service in offering super-quick delivery, straight to your door.

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The Salt
2:33 am
Wed November 21, 2012

Why Greek Yogurt Makers Want Whey To Go Away

Most of the gleaming steel tanks outside Fage's yogurt factory hold milk. One, however, holds the yogurt byproduct whey.
Dan Charles NPR

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 12:45 pm

A few months ago, I let you in on a little secret about Greek yogurt. Not all of this extra-thick, protein-rich yogurt is made the old-style way, by straining liquid out of it it. Some companies are creating that rich taste by adding thickeners, such as powdered protein and starch.

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All Tech Considered
2:20 am
Wed November 21, 2012

For Holiday Road Trips, Apps That Promise Diversions For Kids

Apps that can keep kids entertained during long road trips include (from left) Waze, Story Dice, Mobbles, Cobypic, and Postcard on the Run.
NPR

Originally published on Wed November 21, 2012 9:29 am

Thanksgiving is Thursday, and that means more than 43 million Americans will be on the road, driving to family gatherings. For many parents, the crowded roads can bring another challenge: Keeping a 9-year-old entertained along the way. And sometimes, DVDs are not enough. These days, kids love to tinker with smartphones and tablets, as well.

With that in mind, NPR's Renee Montagne spoke with an actual 9-year-old, Jane Frauenfelder, and her father, Mark. Together, they host the podcast Apps for Kids.

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Kitchen Window
2:17 am
Wed November 21, 2012

Frozen Meals Soothe The Sick And Shut-In

Deena Prichep for NPR

Originally published on Wed November 21, 2012 6:30 am

Despite my outward 30-something appearance, deep inside my chest beats the heart of an old Jewish grandmother. I want to make my friends sweaters when it's getting cold, or throw them parades when they've mastered some feat. But mostly, I want to feed them. Especially when they need a little help.

Over the past few years, I've brought dozens of meals to friends who are nursing new babies or broken bones. And I've learned a few things about how to help when it comes to feeding people in need — specifically, that an extra meal or two for the freezer can be the best gift of all.

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Sweetness And Light
2:15 am
Wed November 21, 2012

What's Good For The Goose Is Good For The Gander

Jockey Rosie Napravnik sponges off Shanghai Bobby after winning the Breeders' Cup Juvenile horse race at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif.
Mark J. Terrill AP

Originally published on Wed November 21, 2012 8:49 am

A trivia question for you: Who today is the leading jockey who was born in the U.S.?

The answer is Rosie Napravnik. Yes, of all our American jockeys, the one with the best record is a woman.

Napravnik's mounts have earned more than $11 million this year, and none of the seven jocks who have earned more began life in this country. So, even in a dangerously athletic job like race-riding, a woman can sometimes compete straight up with men.

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Law
5:33 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

Scandals Call Into Question Crime Labs' Oversight

Greg Taylor holds up his release papers after he was unanimously exonerated by a three-judge panel in Raleigh, N.C., in 2010. Taylor, who had been in prison since 1993 for murder, is now suing several people who worked at a crime lab, claiming their erroneous findings landed him in jail.
Shawn Rocco AP

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 6:06 pm

Three years ago, a report from the National Academy of Sciences exposed serious problems in the nation's forensic science community. It found not only a lack of peer-reviewed science in the field, but also insufficient oversight in crime laboratories.

Little has changed since that report came out, but concerns are growing as scandals keep surfacing at crime labs across the country.

Critical Errors

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It's All Politics
5:02 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

Obama Campaign Machine May Be Turned Loose On Fiscal Cliff Climbing Congress

Jim Messina, President Obama's 2012 campaign manager
Charles Rex Arbogast AP

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 5:19 pm

The 2012 general election may be slipping into the past, but elements of President Obama's successful campaign aren't likely to go away anytime soon.

Just as it did after the president's 2008 election, the Obama campaign appears very likely to keep alive parts of the grass-roots effort that contributed to victory. And, just like four years ago, the idea would be to use the corps of Obama organizers and volunteers to push for the president's second-term agenda.

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The Two-Way
5:00 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

A Grand Bargain Could Bring Good New Year For U.S. Economy, Says Bernanke

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke warned again that driving off the fiscal cliff could be detrimental to the U.S. economy. However, if a grand bargain is reached by politicians in Washington, Bernanke said during a speech a the Economic Club of New York, it could be a good new year for the U.S.

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It's All Politics
4:39 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

Democrats Poised To Pick Up Seats In Final House Tally

Two weeks after Election Day, the results are almost final. It appears the U.S. House of Representatives will be filled with 234 Republicans and 201 Democrats, though the outcome is not yet official in two states.
Brendan Hoffman Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 6:00 pm

Two weeks after Election Day, it appears the partisan makeup of the new House of Representatives will be 234 Republicans and 201 Democrats, although the outcome is not yet official in two states.

One result that did become clear on Tuesday: Republican Rep. Allen West, a Tea Party favorite, conceded to Democrat Patrick Murphy in Florida.

Unresolved races remain in Louisiana and North Carolina.

A new district map forced two Republican incumbents to run against each other in Louisiana. They will meet in a runoff on Dec. 8.

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Israeli-Palestinian Coverage
4:01 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

Fighting Continues In Gaza Amid Talk Of Cease-Fire

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 5:14 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. We begin this hour with growing talk of a cease fire in the fight between Israel and Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip, but at this point, it is still just talk. Officials in Israel and in Egypt, where negotiations are underway, say there is no agreement yet. In the meantime, the fighting has intensified, with more casualties on both sides.

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Around the Nation
3:59 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

Fingerprint Scans Create Unease For Poor Parents

A pilot program in Mississippi requires low-income parents who receive subsidized child care to submit to biometric finger scans like this one, at Northtown Child Development Center in Jackson. Some parents and day care workers say the rule is unnecessary and discriminatory, but state officials say it will save money and prevent fraud.
Kathy Lohr NPR

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 5:14 pm

Some Mississippi parents are learning a new routine when they drop their kids off at day care centers that are taking part in a new pilot program aimed at combating fraud and saving the state money.

Under the program, the state scans parents' fingerprints to capture biometric information, and that information is turned into a number. Then, at a day care center, parents dropping off or picking up their kids put their fingers on a pad, and a small keyboard records the exact time a child is checked in or out.

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Intelligence Squared U.S.
3:54 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

Should We Legalize Drugs?

Theodore Dalrymple (left) and Asa Hutchinson argue against legalizing drugs in an Intelligence Squared U.S. debate.
Samuel LaHoz
  • Listen To The Full Audio Of The Debate
  • Listen to the Broadcast Version of the Debate

In Colorado and Washington, voters recently approved measures to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. Supporters say legalization will generate tax revenue, move the trade into the open, and free up law enforcement resources.

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Superstorm Sandy: Before, During And Beyond
3:53 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

Thousands Of Trees Gone, Ripped Out By Sandy

Ken Chaya created a map that charts every single tree in New York's Central Park. He stands next to one of the thousands of trees uprooted by Sandy.
Margot Adler NPR

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 5:14 pm

New York City lost almost 10,000 trees from the winds of Superstorm Sandy and the nor'easter that followed. That's far more trees lost in the city than in any other storm for which tree damage was recorded.

Walking through Central Park, Ken Chaya peers past a stone arch, observing the damage and uprooting of about 800 trees. He knows more about the park's trees than just about anybody else; he created a map that charts every single one of the roughly 20,000 trees.

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Shots - Health News
3:39 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

Making Sense Of Colors And Shapes In The Toilet

A physician examines a patient's urine flask in this 17th century print by Isaac Sarrabat.
CollectionImages from the History of Medicine (NLM)

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 4:30 pm

If you haven't heard, yesterday was World Toilet Day, and its sponsors, the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council and the World Toilet Organization, suggest you take a moment to consider the profound luxury of good sanitation. A mind-boggling 2.6 billion people on Earth don't have toilets, and WSSCC and WTO are among the parties set on bringing that number down.

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Around the Nation
3:35 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

There's Oil On Them Thar Campuses!

Students in environmental science professor Jeffery Stone's class watch as a seismic shaker truck rolls through Indiana State University's campus.
Tony Campbell Courtesy of Indiana State University

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 5:14 pm

Imagine going to college and finding an oil rig on campus. That's becoming increasingly likely as oil and gas companies use a controversial technique commonly referred to as fracking to extract resources from land underneath campuses across the country.

Environmental science professor Jeffery Stone will never forget the day the earth shook on Indiana State University's campus in Terre Haute.

"They did it like in eight-second pulses, and you could feel the whole sidewalk wobble like an earthquake almost," Stone says.

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Movie Reviews
3:34 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

For Pi, A Wonderful 'Life' Finds Its Way To Film

Pi takes in the bioluminescent wonders of the sea.
Twentieth Century Fox

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 5:14 pm

When your dad owns a zoo in India, as Pi's dad does, it's perhaps natural to regard animals as your buddies. Cool if you're talking goats and turtles; less cool if the animal you decide you want to pet is a Bengal tiger.

"He's an animal, not a playmate," his terrified father shouts. "Animals have souls," the boy replies gently. "I have seen it in their eyes."

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It's All Politics
3:28 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

Tough Turkey: People Have A Harder Time Getting Pardons Under Obama

President Obama, with daughters Sasha and Malia, at last year's turkey pardoning ceremony.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 5:14 pm

Presidential pardons usually take the world by surprise. There's no advance notice — the White House just sends out an announcement with the names of those receiving clemency. Thanksgiving is one lighthearted exception.

On Wednesday, President Obama will once again take part in the traditional turkey pardoning at the White House. But while the business of pardoning humans is more serious, it's also increasingly rare.

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Europe
2:31 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

In Brussels, Be Kind ... Or Be Fined

Tired of boorish behavior, the mayor of Brussels pushed for a new law that imposes stiff fines for infractions ranging from sexist, racist or homophobic comments to failing to clean up after your dog.
Dean Mouhtaropoulos Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 5:14 pm

The Grand Place in downtown Brussels can be a feast for the senses: the wafting scent of hot waffles, shop windows chock-full of chocolate, exquisite Baroque architecture.

But that's not all you'll find on the quaint cobblestone streets as the city that serves as both the capital of Belgium and the headquarters of the European Union. There's also puke, dog poop, trash, spit, drug addicts, drunks and brawls.

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The Two-Way
2:15 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

So What Did The Mars Rover Find On Mars? You Tell Us

NASA's Mars rover Curiosity cut a wheel scuff mark into a wind-formed ripple at the "Rocknest" site to give researchers a better opportunity to examine the particle-size distribution of the material forming the ripple. The rover's right Navigation camera took this image of the scuff mark on the mission's 57th Martian day.
NASA/JPL-Caltech

Originally published on Wed November 21, 2012 7:21 am

Talk about a tease! Our friend Joe Palca reported some pretty big news today on Morning Edition.

The scientists working on the Mars Curiosity rover mission have found something "earthshaking," some data that is going "be one for the history books."

But John Grotzinger, the principal investigator for the rover mission, stopped there. He'll say nothing more until the rover conducts more tests to prove this wasn't a fluke.

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From Our Listeners
2:13 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

Letters: Banning High School Football, Shoplifting

Originally published on Wed November 21, 2012 8:23 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

It's Tuesday and time to read from your comments. Last Wednesday, we discussed the dangers and benefits of high school football. Walt in Bakersfield, California wrote to say: I learned teamwork, perseverance and sacrifice of personal goals for larger good through football. At work, the word coachability is applied to people who will listen with humility and attentiveness. Other sports are more individualistically oriented. Please, consider these losses before you drop football.

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Books
2:10 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

The Key To Zen For Tony Bennett: 'Life Is A Gift'

Legendary singer Tony Bennett has won 17 Grammy Awards. He had his first No. 1 hit in 1951 with the song "Because of You."
Marion Curtis AP

Originally published on Wed November 21, 2012 1:36 pm

At 86, legendary singer Tony Bennett says he's at the top of his game and more passionate than ever about his art.

"I want to try to prove that at 100, I could sing as well as I was singing when I was 45 or 43," he tells NPR's Neal Conan. "I'd like to prove that if you take care of yourself, you can actually not regret the fact that you've become an old-timer, but you can just still improve and actually get better."

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Shots - Health News
2:06 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

Administration Lays Down Rules For Future Health Insurance

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 5:14 pm

You've got questions about the health law? The Obama administration has some answers. Finally.

Now that the Supreme Court has found the Affordable Care Act constitutional and the president's re-election made clear that big chunks of the law will take effect Jan. 1, 2014, the administration is finally releasing rules of the road that states and insurance companies have been clamoring for.

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Book Reviews
2:00 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

Hungry Hearts And Family Matters In 'Middlesteins'

iStockphoto.com

At first glance, a novel in which the main character eats herself to death may not seem like the most felicitous pick for Thanksgiving week; but The Middlesteins turns out to be a tough but affecting story about family members putting up with each other, even in their most unlovely, chewing-with-their-mouths-open life moments. If you have a Thanksgiving family reunion looming before you that doesn't exactly promise to be a Norman Rockwell painting, The Middlesteins may just be the perfect literary corrective to overindulgence in high-calorie holiday expectations.

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World
1:58 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

Blasphemy Charges On The Rise In Pakistan

Students demand the reopening of the Farooqi Girls High School in Lahore, Pakistan, in early November. A mob attacked the school in October, accusing a teacher of insulting the Prophet Muhammad. It takes just one accusation to lead to an arrest under Pakistan's stringent blasphemy laws.
Arif Ali AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 5:14 pm

Pakistan has had 27 blasphemy cases filed so far this year, a figure that alarms human rights groups, who say the law is frequently used to persecute religious minorities.

In a case that has drawn international attention, a judge on Tuesday dismissed blasphemy charges against a Christian girl, Rimsha Masih, ending a three-month order for her and her family.

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The Salt
1:40 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

Coconut Conservationist Seeks Pacific Islands For Fun And Palm Preservation

The diversity of coconut trees like these planted along the beach in the northern Philippines is in danger, but a French scientist has a plan.
Jay Directo AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 7:59 am

French adventurer-scientist Roland Bourdeix has a grand, almost surreal, vision for how to preserve a thousand or more genetic varieties of coconut trees. Imagine, as he does, turning dozens or hundreds of remote Pacific islands into coconut sanctuaries. Each island would contain just a few varieties of these trees. No others would be allowed, because the whole point of this exercise is to prevent uncontrolled mixing of genes from different varieties.

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Author Interviews
1:30 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

A Model Career: 'Grace' Goes From Runway To Vogue

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 3:25 pm

Grace Coddington grew up on what she calls "an island off an island," far from the fashion industry. Her new memoir, Grace, chronicles her journey from a sleepy town on the coast of Wales to her current job as the creative director of Vogue magazine.

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Africa
1:08 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

Conflict In Congo Escalates, Goes Largely Unnoticed

Originally published on Wed November 21, 2012 1:36 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Congolese rebels today captured the city of Goma, as government troops melted away and U.N. peacekeepers stood by. And if that sounds a bit like deja vu, you may be remembering a similar battle on the same ground four years ago, or parts of other wars that have ravaged the eastern part of Congo for nearly two decades now, wars blamed for the deaths of five million over those years, along with a long list of associated crimes including systematic rape, looting and child soldiers.

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The Two-Way
1:05 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

Church Of England Votes Against Introducing Female Bishops

Rev. Sally Hitchiner stands outside Church House during a lunch break on Tuesday.
Peter Macdiarmid Getty Images

The Guardian, which followed the vote live, says whether to allow female bishops was the Church of England's biggest decision in 20 years.

A majority of the House of Bishops voted yes. A majority of the House of Clergy voted yes. But about 36 percent of The House of Laity, members elected by lay members of the church, voted no.

The measure needed a two-thirds majority in all three houses to pass.

The Guardian writes:

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Iraq
1:02 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

'The Long Walk' To Defuse A Ticking Bomb

Originally published on Wed November 21, 2012 2:08 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

If you saw the movie "The Hurt Locker," you probably can't forget that scene at the start where a soldier puts on an 80-pound Kevlar suit and takes the long, lonely walk to diffuse an unexploded bomb. True enough, according to Brian Castner, but life as a bomb tech involves a great deal more, rushing in to investigate the scene of a bloody car bomb even as grieving relatives pull out the pieces of their loved ones and also ordering someone else to don the bomb suit and take that lonely walk.

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