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Planet Money
12:06 pm
Fri September 7, 2012

The Economics Of Stealing Bikes

Originally published on Fri September 7, 2012 3:18 pm

The normal bike market is pretty straightforward — supplier, middleman and buyer. The market for stolen bikes has the same roles, but different players. Here's a quick look at how it works.

The Supplier

The supplier, instead of Schwinn or Cannondale, is the bike thief.

Hal Ruzzal, a bike mechanic at Bicycle Habitat in Manhattan, describes two types of thieves.

Thief Type 1: "Your standard drug addict."

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Summer Nights: Funtown
12:02 pm
Fri September 7, 2012

A Slamming Good Time On The Jersey Shore

Keith Van Brunt (left) and Tom Mgerack, known as the "Bumper Car Psychos," go for a ride July 27 at the Keansburg Amusement Park in Keansburg, N.J.
Elise Hu NPR

Originally published on Mon September 10, 2012 3:31 pm

The "Bumper Car Psychos" are easy to spot. While the other bumper cars at New Jersey's Keansburg Amusement Park spin wildly from one collision to the next, the Psychos cruise gracefully around the track, grinning from ear to ear as they slam their targets into the wall.

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Sports
11:59 am
Fri September 7, 2012

A Year After War Wound, Vet Wins Paralympic Gold

Lt. Brad Snyder mounts the starting blocks while training on his starting technique. Snyder was permanently blinded last year by an IED in Afghanistan, and is now competing in the Paralympics in London.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Fri September 7, 2012 7:06 pm

The first thing you need to know about Navy Lt. Brad Snyder is that he's a bit intense.

If you go to the U.S. Naval Academy, swim competitively, and make the cut for the Navy's elite bomb-disposal squad, you're probably going to be the competitive type.

"Crossfit, surfing, biking, running, swimming, you name it I'm into it. Rock climbing," says Snyder.

The second thing you should know is that Snyder plans to continue doing all these things — even though he's now blind.

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Mom And Dad's Record Collection
11:30 am
Fri September 7, 2012

'American Pie' And The Box Of Records A Father Left Behind

Mel Fisher Ostrowski played Don McLean's American Pie until she "learned every word."
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri September 7, 2012 3:18 pm

This summer, All Things Considered has asked listeners and guests to share a personal memory of one song discovered through their parents' record collection.

NPR listener Mel Fisher Ostrowski wrote in to tell us about how Don McLean's "American Pie" helped her "bridge a gap between my long-deceased father and baby boy." Hear the radio version at the audio link above — and read a lightly edited version of Ostrowski's original letter to NPR below.

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It's All Politics
11:12 am
Fri September 7, 2012

Deflating Jobs Report May Not Move The Needle On The Election

President Obama spoke at a campaign event at Strawbery Banke Museum in Portsmouth, N.H., on Friday.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Fri September 7, 2012 11:52 am

It wasn't what President Obama was hoping for: another disappointing jobs report the morning after he accepted the Democratic nomination and asked Americans to stay the course.

The U.S. economy added just 96,000 jobs last month, according to the Labor Department, and a drop in the unemployment rate to 8.1 percent was mostly due to people giving up on job searches.

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Book Reviews
11:04 am
Fri September 7, 2012

Safe Landing For 'Stag's Leap'?

Originally published on Fri September 7, 2012 3:18 pm

What do you do when, after 30 years, your husband tells you he is leaving you for someone else? If you're poet Sharon Olds, you grab your spiral-bound notebook and write about it. And though the marriage ended in 1997, she has waited 15 years to tell us about it — half as long as her marriage lasted.

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Music Interviews
10:55 am
Fri September 7, 2012

Fresh Air Remembers Grammy Winner Hal David

Burt Bacharach with Hal David (right).
Lawrence Lucier Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 7, 2012 2:23 pm

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Health
10:51 am
Fri September 7, 2012

The Secrets In A Cigarette

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. In a few days, my next guest will be in Florida. He's going there to testify against Big Tobacco in a lawsuit brought by a smoker with health problems. Oh, you didn't know that tobacco lawsuits like this are still going on today? You certainly don't hear a lot about them in the news. But some 8,000 more cases just like this one exist in Florida alone.

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Science
10:47 am
Fri September 7, 2012

The Importance of Strange Science

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. Consider the shrew, a small harmless, nearly blind animal. If you were to find one scrambling across your kitchen floor, you might shriek or stomp on it. Shrews look a lot like mice. Or you could catch it and release it outside. But what if you ate the shrew, whole, instead? No, you don't debone it. You don't even chew it. You just hack the tail off and swallow it whole. Why? Well, for science, of course.

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Health
10:45 am
Fri September 7, 2012

Study May Link Pro Football, Brain Decline

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY, I'm Ira Flatow. Football season is getting into full swing this week: tailgating parties, point spreads, Tim Tebow. But amid all the excitement of a new season comes an old and disturbing ghost. This week, a new study finds that pro football players may be more likely to die from various neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's or ALS, more likely than the rest of us.

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Asia
10:40 am
Fri September 7, 2012

Little Islands Are Big Trouble In The South China Sea

Last month, Japanese police officers arrested activists holding Chinese and Taiwanese flags who landed on Uotsuri Island, one of the islands of Senkaku (in Japanese), which is known as Diaoyu in Chinese.
Masataka Morita AP

A storm has been brewing for decades in the South China Sea, and it has nothing to do with the weather.

Instead, it's a virtual typhoon of competing claims over tiny, uninhabited island chains that ring the South China Sea and reach even farther north. They all have one thing in common: China has claimed control of them.

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NPR Story
10:38 am
Fri September 7, 2012

Tracking Viruses From Animals To People

Originally published on Fri September 7, 2012 11:04 am

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

I'm Ira Flatow. This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. We're going to talk now about West Nile virus, it showed up in 48 states, reports in viruses in either people or birds or mosquitoes, and it's not exactly clear just why the virus is so widespread this year or why the state of Texas has been particularly hard-hit.

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NPR Story
10:38 am
Fri September 7, 2012

Oregon Power Project Needs The Motion Of The Ocean

Originally published on Fri September 7, 2012 10:59 am

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

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NPR Story
10:38 am
Fri September 7, 2012

Tour A Bat Cave

Originally published on Fri September 7, 2012 10:56 am

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Joining us now is Flora Lichtman, our multimedia editor, with our Video Pick this week.

FLORA LICHTMAN, BYLINE: This week, Ira, we're going to the bat cave. Well...

FLATOW: I saw the movie, you know. So not that, not that, I know.

LICHTMAN: Exactly. Another bat cave.

FLATOW: Oh, shucks.

(LAUGHTER)

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Movie Reviews
10:21 am
Fri September 7, 2012

'Bachelorette' Sounds Dark Comedic Depths

Party Animals: Lizzy Caplan (from left), Isla Fisher and Kirsten Dunst play the brazen bridesmaids who make trouble for bride-to-be Becky (Rebel Wilson) in Bachelorette.
Radius-TWC

Originally published on Fri September 7, 2012 10:55 am

Long before Bridesmaids convinced studio executives that a raunchy, female-centric comedy could find a huge audience, Leslye Headland was busy adapting her play Bachelorette into a movie. So this isn't a copycat rom-com, but the themes do overlap. Each film turns on a female rivalry: In Bridesmaids, it's between the maid of honor, Kristen Wiig, and the bride's rich friend, played by Rose Byrne. In Bachelorette, the rivalry is more complicated, more ... ugly. It's between the three, 30-ish, unmarried central characters and the bride.

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Election 2012
9:37 am
Fri September 7, 2012

The 7 Coolest Presidents In American History

President George W. Bush dances with members of the KanKouran West African Dance Company during a Rose Garden event to mark Malaria Awareness Day at the White House on April 25, 2007.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 7, 2012 12:34 pm

When former President Bill Clinton referred to present President Barack Obama at the Democratic National Convention as "cool on the outside," Clinton was underscoring the notion that Obama is, well, cool.

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The Two-Way
9:27 am
Fri September 7, 2012

Suspect Charged In 'Air Hoax,' And Victim Arrested On Unrelated Charges

The US Air flight that was forced to return to Philadelphia on Thursday because of the hoax.
Clem Murray MCT /Landov

File this under "you think you had a bad day?" and "that was a really dumb idea."

First, a plane headed from Philadelphia to Texas is turned around Thursday because someone called authorities to say a passenger was carrying a "liquid explosive."

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Sports
8:58 am
Fri September 7, 2012

Paralympians 'Dream, Drive, Do' In London

Joe Kusumoto U.S. Paralympics

Originally published on Fri September 7, 2012 2:04 pm

Team USA wheelchair sprinter Anjali Forber-Pratt may have won two bronze medals at the Beijing Paralympics, but she told NPR's Michel Martin that competing in London this year has blown her away.

"Oh my goodness, the stadium itself is just unbelievable," she said. "There's about 80,000 fans, and everyone is just genuinely excited to support all of the athletes here. It's surreal."

Forber-Pratt says that the sound from the stadium carries a mile away to where the athletes live. "Whenever there's a U.K. athlete ... you can actually hear the roar of the crowd," she laughs.

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Election 2012
8:58 am
Fri September 7, 2012

Top Speechwriters Grade Conventions

President Obama's acceptance of the Democratic nomination capped two weeks of speeches at the political conventions. Host Michel Martin discusses hits and misses with Mary Kate Cary, former speechwriter for President George H.W. Bush; and Paul Orzulak, former speechwriter for President Clinton and Vice President Al Gore.

Economy
8:58 am
Fri September 7, 2012

What August Job Numbers Mean

The Labor Department reported that the economy added 96,000 jobs in August, far fewer than analysts had predicted. The unemployment rate fell from 8.3 percent to 8.1 percent, an indication that more people moved out of the workforce. Host Michel Martin discusses the latest unemployment numbers with NPR Senior Business Editor Marilyn Geewax.

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