Shots - Health News
10:52 am
Mon January 27, 2014

You'd Think We'd Have Baby-Making All Figured Out, But No

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 4:41 am

"Oh, just put a pillow underneath your hips during sex, then you'll definitely get pregnant," a good friend told me. "That did the trick for us — twice."

Now, the friend is a smart woman. She has a Ph.D. in biology, for Pete's sake. So she must know what she's talking about when it comes to conception, right?

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The Two-Way
10:48 am
Mon January 27, 2014

NYT: NSA Can Exploit Mobile Apps For Information

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 1:53 pm

The National Security Agency, along with its British counterpart, the GCHQ, can exploit sometimes very personal data that leaks from popular phone apps.

That's according to The New York Times, which is basing its reporting on secret British documents obtained by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

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The Salt
9:51 am
Mon January 27, 2014

Making Moonshine At Home Is On The Rise. But It's Still Illegal

A worker at New York's Kings County Distillery, which opened in 2010. Before going legit with the operation, co-founder Colin Spoelman (not pictured) learned to make moonshine in his Brooklyn apartment without a permit.
Courtesy of Valery Rizzo

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 2:26 pm

Within days after each season premiere and season finale of the Discovery Channel's reality show "Moonshiners," they come — a small but perceptible wave of people — to purchase suspiciously large amounts of corn, sugar and hardy strains of fermenting yeast at Austin Homebrew Supply.

"We know what they're up to," says Chris Ellison, the manager of the Texas store.

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Book Reviews
9:48 am
Mon January 27, 2014

On This Spanish Slave Ship, Nothing Was As It Seemed

Detail from the cover of The Empire of Necessity.
Courtesy of Metropolitan Books

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 2:14 pm

Shortly after sunrise, on the morning of Feb. 20, 1805, sailors on an American ship called the Perseverance, anchored near an uninhabited island off the coast of Chile, spied a weird vessel drifting into view. It flew no flag and its threadbare sails were slack. The captain of the Perseverance, a man named Amasa Delano, decided to come to the aid of the ship, whose name, painted in faded white letters along its bow, was the Tryal.

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Author Interviews
9:48 am
Mon January 27, 2014

'Pope And Mussolini' Tells The 'Secret History' Of Fascism And The Church

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 10:45 am

It's commonly thought that the Catholic Church fought heroically against the fascists when Benito Mussolini's party ruled over Italy in the 1920s and '30s. But in The Pope and Mussolini, David Kertzer says the historical record and a trove of recently released archives tell a very different story.

It's fascinating, Kertzer tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies, "how in a very brief period of time, Mussolini came to realize the importance of enlisting the pope's support."

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The Two-Way
9:34 am
Mon January 27, 2014

CEO Of A Bitcoin Exchange Charged With Money Laundering

Charlie Shrem, CEO of the BitInstant bitcoin exchange, and another man have been charged with allegedly laundering money for individuals who illegally bought drugs online.

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The Two-Way
9:21 am
Mon January 27, 2014

FAA Orders Safety Checks On Boeing 767 Jets

An American Airlines Boeing 767 takes off from Miami International Airport.
Wilfredo Lee AP

The Federal Aviation Administration ordered safety inspections on Monday of all Boeing 767 jets.

As The Los Angeles Times reports, the FAA is worried about potential problems to the aircraft's horizontal flight-control surfaces, which could result in a "possible loss of control of the airplane."

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The Salt
9:07 am
Mon January 27, 2014

Soil, Weedkillers And GMOs: When Numbers Don't Tell The Whole Story

Farm statistics: usually illuminating ... occasionally misleading.
Seth Perlman AP

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 1:12 pm

I love numbers. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but I think a good bar graph can be worth a thousand pictures.

But three times in the past few days, I've come across statistics in reputable-looking publications that made me stop and say, "Huh?"

I did some investigating so you don't have to. And indeed, the numbers don't quite tell the story that they purport to tell.

So here goes: My skeptical inquiry into statistics on herbicide use, soil erosion, and the production of fruits and nuts.

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The Two-Way
8:42 am
Mon January 27, 2014

Boston Bombing Survivors Will Be Guests At State Of The Union

An emergency responder and volunteers, including Carlos Arredondo, in the cowboy hat, push Jeff Bauman in a wheelchair after he was injured in one of two explosions near the finish line of the Boston Marathon.
Charles Krupa AP

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 1:53 pm

The White House began releasing the guest list for President Obama's State of the Union speech on Tuesday.

As The Boston Globe reports, sitting with first lady Michelle Obama will be two survivors of the bombing at the Boston Marathon last year.

The paper reports:

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The Two-Way
8:39 am
Mon January 27, 2014

Relic Containing Pope John Paul II's Blood Stolen

Pope John Paul II in 1982
Hulton Archive Getty Images

One of only three known containers holding what's said to be Pope John Paul II's blood was stolen over the weekend from a small church in the mountains of Italy's central Abruzzo region.

According to the BBC, the thief or thieves "left the collection box, but took a crucifix and the priceless relic, which contains a piece of gauze once soaked in the blood of the late pope."

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