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Shots - Health Blog
1:30 pm
Thu August 23, 2012

Tattoo Ink Linked To Serious Skin Infections

Along with a tattoo, this person got an infection.
A. Kalus CDC

Originally published on Mon August 27, 2012 5:58 am

If you're going to take a walk on the wild side and get a tattoo, it could get even wilder than you planned.

Federal and state health investigators have identified five clusters of skin infections linked to tattoos.

Now it's true that infection risks from tattoos are not exactly new or unknown. In fact, tattoo parlors are licensed and regulated in many jurisdictions to minimize the risk of trouble for people getting "inked."

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Technology
1:26 pm
Thu August 23, 2012

Demand For Smartphones Takes A Human Toll Abroad

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 2:47 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

If you own a smartphone or a tablet, there's a good chance that inside the device is tin from Indonesia. Tin is used to make the solder that binds metal parts together. The explosion in demand for smart devices has driven up the demand for tin. But that demand has a human toll.

Reporter Cam Simpson traveled to an Indonesian island where nearly all the country's tin is mined. And a story about what he found was published today in Bloomberg Businessweek. Cam Simpson joins us from the Bloomberg studios in London. Welcome.

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It's All Politics
1:14 pm
Thu August 23, 2012

Presidential Campaign Ads Target Seniors In Fla., Younger Voters In N.H.

Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan campaigns with his mother, Betty Ryan Douglas, on Saturday in The Villages, Fla. The Mitt Romney campaign has created an ad from the event.
Phelan M. Ebenhack AP

Originally published on Fri August 24, 2012 12:27 pm

Ask your average American about Florida, and you'll hear something like this: It's hot, it has Disney World, and lots of old people live there.

And since the weather and Mickey Mouse don't make good attack ads, both presidential campaigns are trying to scare the bejeezus out of Florida's senior population over Medicare.

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The Salt
1:10 pm
Thu August 23, 2012

Willing To Play The Dating Game With Your Food? Try A Grocery Auction

Grocery auctions have been growing in popularity as a way to get a lot of food for not a lot of money.
Matt Sindelar for NPR

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 7:56 am

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Theater
1:07 pm
Thu August 23, 2012

In The Theater Of Politics, Staging Is Everything

Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential candidate, arrives to announce his choice of running mate aboard the U.S.S. Wisconsin in Norfolk, Va., on Aug. 11.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 3:16 pm

During the next two weeks, the major political parties will assemble their faithful in Tampa, Fla., and Charlotte, N.C., to officially nominate their presidential tickets. These conventions were once places of high political drama. But over the decades, as the primary system has determined the candidates well in advance, conventions have become political theater. With that in mind, there's much to be said on staging in politics — not substance, but style.

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The Two-Way
1:03 pm
Thu August 23, 2012

Ambassador To Afghanistan: 'Vast Majority' Of Afghans Support Coalition

U.S. Marines with 1st Platoon, Company I, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines (3/5), Regimental Combat Team 2, in Afghanistan. (January 2010 file photo.)
Corporal David R. Hernandez 3rd Battalion 5th Marines-RCT 2
  • Amb. James Cunningham on who is attacking U.S. troops
  • Amb. James Cunningham on the Afghan people's support

With "green on blue" attacks by Afghans in uniform increasingly in the news, Americans officials are being asked whether the people of Afghanistan are turning against the coalition troops that have been in the Central Asian nation since late 2001.

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The Two-Way
11:48 am
Thu August 23, 2012

Good Intention, Heartbreak: The Botched Restoration Of A 19th Century Fresco

A combination of three documents provided by the Centre de Estudios Borjanos.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 6:32 pm

Cecilia Giménez, 81, thought she was doing a good thing. A 19th century fresco by painter Elias Garcia Martinez had slowly been battered by time. The masterpiece portrait of Jesus had faded. His tunic was splashed by bare wall and half his face had gone missing.

Giménez, a member of the church where the fresco is located, took it upon herself to restore it to its former glory. Except, well, her artistic skills weren't up to the task.

The pictures tell the story, so we'll just show you.

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Asia
11:34 am
Thu August 23, 2012

With A Girl Jailed, Pakistan Law Again Under Scrutiny

Christians pray for Rimsha on the roof of their priest's compound. Hundreds of the girl's Christian neighbors have fled their homes, fearing attacks by Muslims.
Lauren Frayer for NPR

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 2:47 pm

Until last week, Pakistani Christians and Muslims on the outskirts of Islamabad lived side-by-side in peace — and in the tight quarters that come with extreme poverty.

Then an Islamic cleric heard a rumor: A Christian girl named Rimsha Masih may have set fire to pages of Quranic verse.

The girl's priest, Father Boota, says a Muslim neighbor claims to have witnessed it.

"He was the one who raised the alarm, and then there was a shopkeeper — he also started shouting, and he also started making calls, 'Get the Christians! Wage a jihad against them!' " the priest says.

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Megafires: The New Normal In The Southwest
11:30 am
Thu August 23, 2012

Why Forest-Killing Megafires Are The New Normal

Jorge Castro, a visiting professor of ecology from Spain, sips water in the shade of a burnt tree in New Mexico's Bandelier Wilderness area, adjacent to the Bandelier National Monument. This site was devastated by last year's Las Conchas fire.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Sun August 26, 2012 6:46 am

Second of a five-part series

Fire scientists are calling it "the new normal": a time of fires so big and hot that no one can remember anything like it.

One of the scientists who coined that term is Craig Allen. I drive with him to New Mexico's Bandelier National Monument, where he works for the U.S. Geological Survey. We take a dirt road up into the Jemez Mountains, into a landscape of black poles as far as you can see.

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Politics
11:07 am
Thu August 23, 2012

Jane Mayer: Obama In 'Impossible Bind' Over Donors

President Obama is on record as opposing superPACs for normalizing gigantic donations, but his campaign has hesitantly decided to accept donations from such groups. He is shown above speaking during a campaign stop in Oskaloosa, Iowa, last week.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 1:12 pm

When the Supreme Court ruled on the landmark Citizen United case in 2010, the landscape of presidential elections shifted. SuperPACs — entities that can't make direct contributions but are allowed to engage in limitless spending and fundraising independently of the campaigns — have allowed for the some of the largest indirect gifts by wealthy Americans in the nation's history.

Obama is on record as opposing superPACs for normalizing gigantic donations, but his campaign has hesitantly decided to accept donations from these outside groups.

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Participation Nation
11:03 am
Thu August 23, 2012

Group Gardening In San Antonio, Texas

Angela Hartsell, community gardener.
Courtesy of Jason Winn

My significant other, Angela Hartsell, is the Community Gardens Program Manager of Green Spaces Alliance Of South Texas. She builds public and private coalitions to help communities and their gardens in San Antonio. So far her efforts have helped create 33 gardens.

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NPR Story
10:41 am
Thu August 23, 2012

'Green-On-Blue' Attacks Challenge Afghan Security

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 11:06 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. As the U.S. and NATO start to withdraw combat forces from Afghanistan, many in Kabul are considering the lessons of history this summer, and two years in particular: 1989 and the withdrawal of Soviet troops after 10 years; 1992 and the Afghan civil war.

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NPR Story
10:41 am
Thu August 23, 2012

Preventing The Spread Of West Nile Virus

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 11:10 am

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 2012's outbreak of West Nile virus is on track to be the worst in U.S. history. The mayor of Dallas recently authorized an aerial spraying program to kill the mosquitoes that carry the virus, which provoked protest from area residents.

NPR Story
10:41 am
Thu August 23, 2012

A Sneak Preview Of The 2012 Paralympics

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 11:17 am

The Paralympic Games are the second largest sporting event in the world, after the Olympics, and begin August 29th. 4,000 elite disabled athletes will compete in 20 sports. Many of the sports are familiar, but others — like boccia and goalball — are unique to the Paralympics.

Movies
10:41 am
Thu August 23, 2012

Summer Movies: Older Movies With Modern Themes

Excited about The Expendables 2? Try renting The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen, or The Wild Bunch.
Frank Masi

Originally published on Fri August 24, 2012 6:43 am

The Avengers and Expendables 2 are two of the summer's biggest movies, and they share a common theme: a band of heroes trying to save the day.

Film buff Murray Horwitz — with some help from Talk of the Nation listeners — suggests alternative movies to watch at home if you like that theme, but don't want to stand in long lines at the box office.


The Magnificent Seven

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It's All Politics
10:35 am
Thu August 23, 2012

Will Tropical Storm Isaac Blow The GOP Convention Off Course?

Republican National Committee officials unveiled the stage inside the Tampa Bay Times Forum this week ahead of the Republican National Convention, which may or may not begin Monday.
Tim Boyles Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 12:05 pm

Hurricanes and politics don't mix. That's why next week's gathering in Tampa, Fla., might be the second-consecutive Republican National Convention to be delayed by a storm.

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Monkey See
10:18 am
Thu August 23, 2012

Rovers Are From Mars: How Curiosity Is Killing It On Twitter

This artist's rendering provided by NASA shows the Mars Rover, Curiosity.
AP

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 9:00 am

Twitter wasn't built to give voice to Curiosity, the rover currently exploring Mars, but it's awfully well-suited for the purpose.

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Planet Money
10:16 am
Thu August 23, 2012

American Houses Are Still Much, Much Bigger Than They Used To Be

Lam Thuy Vo / NPR

Originally published on Thu November 8, 2012 4:30 pm

Newly built homes got a little smaller during the housing bust. But just a little. As of 2010, the median new home was still bigger than homes built in the 1990s, when the economy was booming.

And the median home built in 2010 was much, much bigger — 41 percent bigger — than the median home built in 1975.

For more data, see this PDF.

13.7: Cosmos And Culture
10:10 am
Thu August 23, 2012

Ivan Dies At 50: A Gorilla Life, Remembered

Ivan chews on his finger at Zoo Atlanta in 1996.
John Bazemore AP

Originally published on Fri August 24, 2012 11:11 am

I've written before in this space about how an animal obituary may help mark a life of significance. Here is my obituary for Ivan the gorilla.

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The Two-Way
10:02 am
Thu August 23, 2012

Drought's Still Deep In Nation's Midsection

The week of Aug. 21.
National Drought Mitigation Center

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 12:04 pm

Though there were "a few notable improvements" in places such as Indiana, where beneficial rains fell, the deep drought that has dug in across much of the nation's midsection continued in the past week, according to the statisticians at the National Drought Mitigation Center.

Their maps from the past three weeks tell the story.

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