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Middle East
12:44 pm
Fri November 23, 2012

Just Another Day In Damascus

A man walks near buildings damaged after shelling by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar Assad, at Harasta, a suburb of Damascus, on Nov. 19.
Abed Al-Kareem Muhammad Shaam News Network/HOReuters /Landov

Editor's Note: Throughout the Syrian uprising, the government has allowed few foreign journalists and other outsiders into the country, and there has been limited information about life in many parts of the country. In this essay, a Syrian citizen describes life in the capital, Damascus. For security reasons, NPR is not identifying the author.

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World
11:52 am
Fri November 23, 2012

Russia, U.S. Seek To Resolve Friction On Adoptions

Artyom Savelyev, now 9, was sent back to Russia on a plane by his adoptive U.S. mother in 2010. The case stirred anger in Russia.
Misha Japaridze AP

Originally published on Fri November 23, 2012 4:29 pm

Americans have been adopting Russian children in sizable numbers for two decades, and most of the unions have worked out well. But it remains a sensitive topic in Russia, where officials periodically point to high-profile cases of abuse or other problems.

Now, the two countries are putting the finishing touches on a new agreement governing these adoptions. It will make the process costlier and more time-consuming, but it's designed to address a host of concerns.

Some Russian officials still seem to bristle at the very thought of foreigners adopting Russian children.

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Food
11:25 am
Fri November 23, 2012

Ig Nobel Prizes Celebrate Somewhat Suspect Science

Originally published on Fri November 23, 2012 11:49 am

The Ig Nobel Prizes honor scientific research that, in the words of Master of Ceremonies Marc Abrahams, "first makes you laugh, and then makes you think." This year's prizes, awarded in late September, include citations for research into mysteriously green hair, potentially explosive colonoscopies, and the creation of equations that model the back-and-forth swing of a ponytail in motion.

Science
11:18 am
Fri November 23, 2012

Steven Strogatz: The Joy Of X

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Get out a pencil and paper and your graphic calculator because it's time for a little math review. And we'll warm up with some algebra, move on to imaginary numbers, then the quadratic formula, and we're going to finish up with a bit of vector calculus, how about some probability theory thrown in. No, no, no, I'm just joking. Don't turn off the radio just yet.

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NPR Story
11:07 am
Fri November 23, 2012

NPR: The Ugly Truth About Food Waste in America

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 5:17 am

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Up next, some food for thought as you chomp your Thanksgiving leftovers. Recycling paper and plastic, as you know, is an effective way to save money and energy. So why not recycle all the uneaten food that goes to waste? And there is an awful lot of it. Forty percent of the food in the U.S. today goes uneaten, which means Americans are throwing out the equivalent of $165 billion worth of food each year. But that's not all. Food waste, as it decays in landfills, also produces methane, which is a potent greenhouse gas.

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Movies
10:54 am
Fri November 23, 2012

What Happened To 'Baby Jane'? She's Turning 50

Bette Davis in the role of Jane Hudson in What Ever Happened To Baby Jane? The classic horror film, which has just turned 50, is being released on Blu-ray
AP

Originally published on Fri November 23, 2012 11:33 am

Baby Jane Hudson is now 50 years old — or at least the strange and brilliant movie in which she's the main character is, just released as a beautifully remastered Blu-ray. Robert Aldrich's grotesque gothic tragedy is a cross between Gypsy, with its antithetical show-biz kid sisters, and Sunset Boulevard, with its decayed Hollywood glamour.

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Piano Jazz
9:54 am
Fri November 23, 2012

Tony Bennett On Piano Jazz

Tony Bennett.
Jo Hale Getty Images Entertainment

Originally published on Sun December 2, 2012 9:01 am

On this Piano Jazz session from 2004, Tony Bennett brings his effortlessly swinging singing to an impeccable set of tunes from the Great American Songbook, including music from Johnny Mercer, Jimmy Van Heusen, Ted Koehler, Alec Wilder and more.

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Movie Reviews
9:28 am
Fri November 23, 2012

A Boy, A Boat, A Tiger: Reflecting On 'Life Of Pi'

Pi Patel (Suraj Sharma) begins a journey of personal growth and spiritual discovery after being lost at sea.
20th Century Fox

Originally published on Fri November 23, 2012 10:54 am

Director Ang Lee has a surprising affinity for the Indian hero of Life of Pi — that's his name, Pi, and he's seen at several ages but principally as a 17-year-old boy adrift on a lifeboat in the South Pacific. He's the lone survivor of a shipwreck that killed the crew, his family and a variety of zoo animals his father was transporting to North America for sale.

Actually, Pi is the lone human survivor. He shares his boat and its dwindling food supplies with a man-eating Bengal tiger.

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World
8:13 am
Fri November 23, 2012

Italian Women Call For Action Against 'Femicide'

Demonstrators rally to protest violence against women in a march in Milan, Italy, in November 2009. This year, more than 100 women in Italy have been killed by their male partners.
Antonio Calanni AP

Originally published on Fri November 23, 2012 7:02 pm

Already this year, 105 women in Italy have been killed by husbands or boyfriends –- present or former.

Vanessa Scialfa, 29, was killed by her partner in Sicily. Alessia Francesca Simonetta, 25, was pregnant when she was stabbed to death by her boyfriend in Milan. Carmella Petrucci, 17, was stabbed in the throat as she tried to defend her sister from her ex-boyfriend.

Police inspector Francesca Monaldi, who heads the gender crime unit in Rome, says the names and the cities change, but the stories are very similar.

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The Two-Way
7:52 am
Fri November 23, 2012

Why 'Black Friday' Has Dark Roots

People waited in line to make purchases at a Macy's department store in New York during last year's "Black Friday" shopping weekend.
Stan Honda AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 23, 2012 10:43 am

Black Friday may not yet be a bigger holiday than Thanksgiving, but it certainly has a bigger marketing budget. Retailers may have needed it to overcome the term's long and negative history.

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The Two-Way
7:33 am
Fri November 23, 2012

Egyptians Take To The Streets After President Expands Powers

Egyptian opponents and supporters of President Mohammed Morsi clashed here in Alexandria and in other cities on Friday. The protests broke out a day after Morsi gave himself sweeping new powers.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 23, 2012 9:31 am

Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi was showered with international praise on Wednesday as he brokered a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

On Friday, he was the target of angry protesters in Cairo's Tahrir Square as they denounced Morsi's decision to grant himself sweeping new powers a day earlier.

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Music
6:03 am
Fri November 23, 2012

Jazz Vocalist Susie Arioli Goes 'All The Way'

Susie Arioli's new album, All the Way, was released in June.
Marianne Larochelle

Originally published on Fri November 23, 2012 10:54 am

This interview was originally broadcast on Aug. 8, 2012.

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It's All Politics
5:54 am
Fri November 23, 2012

How To Oust A Congressman, SuperPAC-Style

U.S. Rep. Joe Baca of California, shown at the 2008 Democratic National Convention, learned the power of superPACs firsthand this year, when he lost for the first time since he was elected in 1999.
Jae C. Hong AP

Originally published on Fri November 23, 2012 10:53 am

After spending millions of dollars in the presidential and Senate campaigns with little to show for it, many superPACs and other outside groups are still tending their wounds. But it's too soon to write off superPACs as a waste of wealthy donors' money.

Consider, for instance, this upset in a congressional race outside Los Angeles.

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Business
5:01 am
Fri November 23, 2012

Cyprus, Turkey At Odds Over Natural Gas Drilling

Originally published on Fri November 23, 2012 10:53 am

The tiny eastern Mediterranean country of Cyprus is expected to become the fifth eurozone nation to receive a bailout. But the island-nation, which is about half the size of Connecticut, could soon access a massive treasure under the sea: natural gas.

If all goes well, Cyprus could start making more than $25 billion a year — about the same as the country's current GDP — starting as early as 2015, says Solon Kassinis. Twenty years ago, few listened to the engineer when he said there was gas and oil under the seabed.

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Shots - Health News
4:32 am
Fri November 23, 2012

Scientists Get A New Look At Einstein's Brain

Pathologist Thomas Harvey took dozens of photos of Einstein's brain. This one shows that Einstein's prefrontal cortex (associated with higher cognition and memory) is unusually convoluted. On the right side of the brain there are four large ridges, where most people have only three.
Brain(2012)/National Museum of Health and Medicine

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 11:00 am

Albert Einstein was a smart guy. Everybody knows that. But was there something about the structure of his brain that made it special?

Scientists have been trying to answer that question ever since his death. Previously unpublished photographs of Einstein's brain taken soon after he died were analyzed last week in the journal Brain. The images and the paper provide a more complete anatomical picture and may help shed light on his genius.

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Around the Nation
4:01 am
Fri November 23, 2012

Postcard Takes 69 Years To Reach Its Destination

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 10:35 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Linda Wertheimer. The postcard begins: Dear Pauline and Theresa, we arrived safe. But the news was out of date. Sent from Rockford, Illinois, the card took 69 years to reach Elmira, New York. Pauline and Theresa's parents went to visit brother George at a military camp. They're all dead now, but another family with two girls lives at the Elmira address, and the card has become a seventh grade history project. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Asia
3:56 am
Fri November 23, 2012

Christmas Is About The Gold-Plated Christmas Tree

Originally published on Fri November 23, 2012 10:53 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The Record
2:03 am
Fri November 23, 2012

How Much Does Crowd Funding Cost Musicians?

The Mallett Brothers Band is, from left to right, Brian Higgins, Wally Wenzel, Luke Mallett, Will Mallett, Nate Soule and Nick Leen.
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Wed July 31, 2013 11:25 am

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NPR Story
1:30 am
Fri November 23, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Fri November 23, 2012 10:53 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Today's last word in business is busting the doorbusters.

Shoppers are heading out to stores today. Many went shopping overnight to seize those Black Friday bargains. But are the deals really unbeatable?

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

No. Not according to an analysis by pricing research firm Decide Incorporated and The Wall Street Journal. They found that many products with so-called doorbuster deals had deals that were available at even lower prices at other times of the year - even at the same retailer.

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NPR Story
1:30 am
Fri November 23, 2012

Notre Dame Tries For Undefeated Season

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 6:36 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Nothing goes better with a turkey sandwich than a full day of college football. The season is winding down. There's a lot at stake as teams look ahead to bowl games and to the national title. Thanksgiving weekend brings about some of the great rivalries in college football. And here to give us a preview of the weekend is Chris Dufresne, who covers college football for the L.A. Times.

Chris, welcome.

CHRIS DUFRESNE: Well, thanks for having me.

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