Monkey See
2:30 am
Fri October 5, 2012

Picking The Best Bond: Connery And Craig Rise To The Top

The Gold Standard: In NPR's survey, most readers chose Sean Connery (above, in Goldfinger), as the best James Bond. Daniel Craig placed second in our survey.
The Kobal Collection

Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 2:33 am

It's official: Sean Connery IS James Bond, according to NPR readers who weighed the question this week. The final results show that Connery set the gold standard as 007, the spy known for his playfulness, his ruthlessness — and his ability to look good in a suit. Today marks the Bond film franchise's 50th anniversary.

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Sports
2:30 am
Fri October 5, 2012

U.S. Speedskater Admits To Sabotaging Rival's Skates

Simon Cho competes in the men's 500-meter finals at the 2011 ISU World Cup short track speedskating final in Dresden, Germany. He won the event.
Robert Michael AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 1:19 pm

American speedskater Simon Cho says what he did was "wrong" when he yielded to what he claims was persistent pressure from a coach to tamper with another skater's blades at the World Short Track Team Championships in Poland last year.

"Tampering with someone's skates is inexcusable," Cho told NPR in his first interview about the incident. "And I'm coming out now and admitting that I did this and acknowledging that what I did was wrong." The Washington Post and the Chicago Tribune also spoke with Cho earlier this week after the NPR interview.

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Planet Money
12:43 am
Fri October 5, 2012

No One Trusts China's Unemployment Rate

Mark Ralston AFP/GettyImages

Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 1:09 pm

Ask an economist like Eswar Prasad, who used to work at the International Monetary Fund, "So, do you know, what the unemployment rate in China is?"

And he'll answer, "We don't."

The official unemployment rate, put out by the government, Prasad says, is 6.5 percent, but according to him, "that number has no credibility at all."

He's not the only dubious one.

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Solve This
12:21 am
Fri October 5, 2012

Romney, Obama Far Apart On Closing Budget Gap

President Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney finish their debate at the University of Denver on Wednesday.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 2:33 am

Here's one thing President Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney could agree on during their first debate this week: Something has to be done about the enormous gap between what the federal government collects in taxes and what it spends.

But the two men fundamentally disagree on what to do about that budget deficit.

The Problem

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Europe
12:18 am
Fri October 5, 2012

Not Everyone In Spain Eager To Wager On EuroVegas

Spaniards protest the construction of the EuroVegas gambling complex at Puerta del Sol in Madrid last month.
Gustavo Cuevas EPA/Landov

Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 1:03 pm

American billionaire, casino mogul and Republican donor Sheldon Adelson has a new project: a $35 billion gambling megacity in Europe. He has chosen debt-ridden Spain as the location for "EuroVegas," which is expected to bring up to 250,000 much-needed jobs.

But many Spaniards are divided over whether they want casinos in their backyard.

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The Salt
12:16 am
Fri October 5, 2012

Shake It Up, Baby: Are Martinis Made The Bond Way Better?

One martini; shaken, not stirred.
Karen Castillo Farfan NPR

Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 5:12 am

In the movie Goldfinger, a minion of bad guy Auric Goldfinger asks 007: "Can I do something for you, Mr. Bond?"

"Just a drink," Sean Connery's Bond replies, deadpan. "A martini. Shaken, not stirred," he intones.

From Connery to Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig, this preference is repeated again and again in 007 flicks. (Check out this video montage for the full Bond effect.)

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The Salt
12:15 am
Fri October 5, 2012

In Haiti, Aid Groups Squabble Over Rival Peanut Butter Factories

Alex E. Proimos Flickr.com

Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 1:00 pm

Can there be too much life-saving peanut butter?

In Haiti, two different humanitarian groups have built new factories to make this product, which is used to treat severe malnutrition and maybe someday prevent it. The problem is, Haiti doesn't appear to need two of them. Each factory, all by itself, could satisfy Haiti's current demand.

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Shots - Health Blog
11:29 pm
Thu October 4, 2012

Rare Fungal Meningitis Outbreak Spreads To Six States

The fungus Aspergillus niger shows up as a black mold on decaying vegetation and food.
Dr. Lucille K. Georg CDC

Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 6:33 am

It's a troubling story authorities think will unfold over the next month or so. An untold number of Americans who got steroid injections in their spine to relieve back pain may end up with a rare fungal meningitis. The drug was contaminated with the spores of a common leaf mold — nobody knows how.

So far, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recorded 35 cases of the fungal meningitis in six states: Tennessee, North Carolina, Florida, Virginia, Maryland and Indiana. Five patients have died.

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StoryCorps
7:03 pm
Thu October 4, 2012

For Special Education Teacher, 'Every Day Is Precious'

Ken Rensink found his calling, teaching special education, after a debilitating accident when he was 19. Now 47, he talked about his journey with friend and colleague Laurel Hill-Ward at StoryCorps in Chico, Calif.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 6:04 am

Ken Rensink's path to special education teaching began when he was 19, just one day after he completed his training for the U.S. Army Reserves. He fell asleep at the wheel of his car, hit a telephone pole and nearly lost his life.

"I was paralyzed from the waist down," Ken told friend Laurel Hill-Ward, a Chico State University professor who trains special education teachers. "My left arm was so weak, I could barely hold a plastic cup of water."

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Government & Politics
6:49 pm
Thu October 4, 2012

City of Fresno to Study Police, Sheriff Consolidation

Council member Lee Brand speaks on behalf of a plan to study police and sheriff's department consolidation

The Fresno City Council voted Thursday to spend $50,000 to hire a consultant who will examine the possibility of consolidating city and county law enforcement. The council also established a special sub-committee to examine the issue.

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