Planet Money
11:51 am
Fri June 14, 2013

When People Make Their Own Banks

Harlem funeral directors Tamara Bullock and Patricia Hamilton are going to spend their next savings-club payout on a sky-diving trip (unless Bullock can get out of it).
Marianne McCune NPR

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 3:12 pm

Miguelo Rada doesn't seem like the kind of guy who'd have extra cash. He just spent 32 years in prison, he lives in a halfway house in West Harlem, and his current income comes only from public assistance.

He uses food stamps for food, wears hand-me-down clothes and buys almost nothing. He is also an unofficial bank.

"If somebody asks me, 'Can I borrow $20?' If I have it I'll say, 'Here!' " he says.

This kind of borrowing is one way people do what economists call "consumption smoothing" – basically making spending more regular, even when income is not.

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Shots - Health News
11:50 am
Fri June 14, 2013

Doctors To Vote On Whether Cheerleading Is A Sport

University of Louisville cheerleaders hurled into the air during the first half of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball semifinal game against Wichita State in April.
Charlie Neibergall AP

Originally published on Mon June 17, 2013 4:43 am

This weekend the American Medical Association will kick off its annual exercise in medical democracy.

The group's House of Delegates will meet in Chicago to vote on resolutions that range from a demand that private insurers pay doctors at least as much as Medicare does to a call for federal legislation affirming the right of doctors to talk about gun safety with patients.

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Environment
11:34 am
Fri June 14, 2013

Budget Agreement Diverts Money From Cap and Trade

file photo
Credit Valley Public Radio

California’s budget agreement borrows 500-million dollars from the state’s cap-and-trade program. As Amy Quinton reports from Sacramento, environmentalists say the maneuver neglects polluted communities.

Environmentalists say money from the sale of carbon pollution permits is supposed to go to programs that help further reduce emissions. California Governor Jerry Brown and lawmakers say it will, just not this year.

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Technology
11:03 am
Fri June 14, 2013

Looking Back, and Up, at a Seattle Icon

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 1:13 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

We are broadcasting today from the Pacific Science Center in Seattle. And just steps away from this building, right outside is something that should be familiar to anyone who's ever received a postcard from Seattle or taken home a pen or a glass or anything tchotchke of any kind. And it's the Space Needle, built in connection with the 1962 World's Fair. It is an iconic part of the Seattle skyline.

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Health Care
11:00 am
Fri June 14, 2013

New Budget Fills In Dental Coverage Gaps for Poor Californians

file photo
Credit California Department of Health Care Services

California lawmakers and Governor Jerry Brown reached a budget agreement this week. The Governor had previously said he had no intention of bringing back services slashed in years past, but a small number of areas won restored funding for next year - dental care was one of them. Health care reporter Pauline Bartolone has more from Sacramento about what that led up to the decision to renew services.

For four years, Karen Wadsack has been struggling to get the dental care she says she needs.

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The Two-Way
10:35 am
Fri June 14, 2013

U.N. Chief Opposes U.S. Military Support For Syrian Rebels

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 10:58 am

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Friday that he opposes the U.S. decision to provide Syrian rebels with military support.

"The United Nations, and in particular I, have been making it consistently clear that providing arms to either side would not address this current situation," Ban told reporters during a briefing. "There is no such military solution."

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Movie Reviews
10:31 am
Fri June 14, 2013

Whedon's Touch Finds A Match With 'Much Ado'

Fran Kranz stars as Claudio in Joss Whedon's new take on Shakespeare's classic comedy Much Ado About Nothing.
Elsa Guillet-Chapuis Roadside Attractions

One word sums up my reaction to Joss Whedon's film of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing: Huzzah!

Here is the creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer — and the director of The Avengers — working with American TV actors who have little or no training in verse-speaking. Who could have predicted such a team would produce the best of all filmed Shakespeare comedies?

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Author Interviews
10:26 am
Fri June 14, 2013

Mantel Takes Up Betrayal, Beheadings In 'Bodies'

Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall won both the Man Booker Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award. The sequel, Bring Up the Bodies, won this year's Man Booker Prize.
Francesco Guidicini

This interview was originally broadcast on Nov. 26, 2012.

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The Salt
10:24 am
Fri June 14, 2013

Nudging Detroit: Program Doubles Food Stamp Bucks In Grocery Stores

A customer in the produce section at Metro Foodland, one of the Detroit grocery stores participating in a healthy food incentive program for people with SNAP benefits. The store will add a section of specially marked local produce as part of the program.
Courtesy of the Fair Food Network

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 11:35 am

In recent years, programs that double the value of food stamp dollars spent at farmers markets have generated a lot of attention. The basic idea: Spend, say, $10 in food stamps and get an extra $10 credit for purchases at the market.

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Science
10:03 am
Fri June 14, 2013

Decoding 'the Most Complex Object in the Universe'

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 1:13 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. Your brain has nearly 100 billion neurons, and one of my next guests compares that complexity to the Amazon rainforest. In fact, he says there about as many trees in the Amazon as there are neurons in your brain. Think about what the Amazon looks like for a second.

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