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Remembrances
11:14 am
Fri August 10, 2012

David Rakoff: 'There Is No Answer As To Why Me'

Originally published on Mon August 13, 2012 4:28 am

Writer and humorist David Rakoff, who died Thursday at the age of 47, wrote with a perfect balance of wit and gravity about the cancer that would ultimately take his life.

Rakoff developed a devoted following as a regular contributor to the public radio program This American Life. His books of essays include Fraud and Don't Get Too Comfortable. Rakoff's most recent book, Half Empty, won the Thurber Prize for American Humor in 2011.

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Planet Money
11:05 am
Fri August 10, 2012

How A Pasta Factory Got People To Show Up For Work

Robert Smith NPR

Originally published on Mon August 13, 2012 7:06 am

Zoe Chace and Robert Smith are reporting from European borders this week. This story is about the unofficial border within one country — the border that divides northern and southern Italy. This is the fourth story in a four-part series.

A decade ago, the Barilla pasta factory in Foggia, Italy, had a big problem with people skipping work. The absentee rate was around 10 percent.

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The Salt
11:02 am
Fri August 10, 2012

Consumer Group Files Suit Against Sweetener For Claiming It's 'Essential'

Spenda Essentials
NPR

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 8:06 am

Ok guys, reality check here: Nutella is not really a health food, POM Wonderful may be wonderful, but it doesn't necessarily prevent heart disease and... eating Splenda Essentials doesn't single-handedly make the pounds drop off.

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Book Reviews
10:43 am
Fri August 10, 2012

SciFri Book Club Talks 'Monkey Mind'

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Up next, our monthly meeting of the SCIENCE FRIDAY book club. Flora Lichtman, our multimedia editor is going to stay here with us. And joining us now also is Annette Heist, our senior producer. Did you get your reading done? (Unintelligible) The book, the book, Annette, you chose, it was "Monkey Mind," right? "Memoir of Anxiety" by Daniel Smith. Tell us a little bit about why you chose that book. What sang to you when you chose it?

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Space
10:41 am
Fri August 10, 2012

Martian Lab Made In Manhattan

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Speaking of Mars, Flora Lichtman is here with our Video Pick of the Week.

FLORA LICHTMAN, BYLINE: Speaking of Mars.

(LAUGHTER)

LICHTMAN: Speaking of Martians.

(LAUGHTER)

FLATOW: Well, I said it because you have a great Mars-related video.

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Space
10:38 am
Fri August 10, 2012

After 'Terror,' Mars Scientists Plan Exploration

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY, I'm Ira Flatow. Unless you've been hiding under a rock on Mars, you know that last weekend NASA's Mars Science Laboratory safely made its way down to the surface of the Red Planet and now the Rover Curiosity sits, set up camp in Gale Crater.

So what'll it do now that it's there? Joining me now to talk about it is John Grotzinger. He's project scientist for the mission, professor of geology at Caltech. He joins me from the JPL Campus in Pasadena. Welcome back to the program.

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Books
10:33 am
Fri August 10, 2012

Catching Up With Tom Swift a Century Later

Science fiction hero Tom Swift has amazed children with his incredible inventions since combustion and electricity drove the nation into a new era. These stories captured a cultural love of science and inspired such famous figures as Steve Wozniak and Isaac Asimov — all while predicting new technologies decades in advance.

The Two-Way
10:32 am
Fri August 10, 2012

California's Baking And The Power Grid's Being Tested

Will there be too much demand? Power lines near Redondo Beach, Calif.
Gerard Burkhart AFP/Getty Images

Southern California will be broiling through the weekend, as a heat wave that has brought record-breaking temperatures continues, the Los Angeles Times says.

That's why the managers of California's power grid have issued a "flex alert" to customers.

They're asking that residents:

-- "Turn off all unnecessary lights."

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Science
10:32 am
Fri August 10, 2012

Amidst Rocky Peaks, Physicists Ponder The Universe

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY from NPR. I'm Ira Flatow. How many pictures have you seen of Einstein in front of a blackboard, you know, scribbling equations, working through the math? That's how theoretical physicists spend their time, right? Either that or cooped up alone in their university offices with pencil and paper.

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NPR Story
10:25 am
Fri August 10, 2012

Attacking Alzheimer's With Antibodies, Hormones

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY, I'm Ira Flatow. Earlier this week, yet another potential cure for Alzheimer's failed. Pfizer called off additional studies of its intravenous drug bapineuzumab, an antibody designed to seek and destroy plaques that build up in the brains of people with Alzheimer's.

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The Torch
10:24 am
Fri August 10, 2012

Year Of The Woman At The London Games? For Americans, It's True

The U.S. women's soccer team won gold Thursday, in a victory that also kept the American women far ahead of the men in the number of medals won at the London Games: 100 to 59.
Martin Bernetti AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 3:27 pm

Every nation that sent a delegation to the London Games sent at least one female athlete — a first for the Olympics. This year's Team USA has more female than male athletes — and the women have won nearly twice as many medals: 100 total medals, by my count, to 59 for the men.

So yes, it looks like this is the Year of the Woman at the Olympics, particularly for the United States.

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The Two-Way
10:15 am
Fri August 10, 2012

Wave Of Violence Leaves Dozens Dead Across Mexico

Police officers and soldiers stand around a white van containing the dead bodies of several man while it is being hauled onto a tow truck in San Luis Potosi on Thursday.
Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 11:39 am

While the exact number of dead seems to be in flux, there is no question that the last few days have been incredibly bloody across Mexico.

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Shots - Health Blog
9:39 am
Fri August 10, 2012

Yoga On Commission: More Employers Pay For Good Health Habits

Health risk questionnaires and other wellness programs are becoming a popular way for employers to encourage employee health and, ultimately, reduce health care costs.
grandaded/iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 3:31 pm

If you feel like your employer is more interested in your health lately, you're probably right.

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Participation Nation
9:33 am
Fri August 10, 2012

Running For Others In Richmond, Ky.

Afsi and Lindsey use Skype to make plans for Eastern Further.
Colin Reusch Courtesy of Eastern Further

Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 9:59 am

There is something special about Eastern Kentucky University: We call it "the Power of Maroon."

Eastern Further, a group of Eastern alumnae who recognize the positive impact that EKU has had on our lives, has organized a running team to compete in the Disney Princesses Half Marathon in February 2013.

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The Two-Way
9:23 am
Fri August 10, 2012

Bears With Taste For Beer Have Quite A Night In Norway

Don't get between a beer and a bear.
London Express Getty Images

"Drunk Bear Family Downs Over 100 Beers During Bear Rager."

Given our fondness for stories about pick-a-nicking bears, we couldn't resist that Gawker headline.

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The Two-Way
9:14 am
Fri August 10, 2012

FTC Finalizes Privacy Settlement With Facebook

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg talks about history of Facebook during the f/8 conference in San Francisco.
Paul Sakuma AP

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 9:20 am

The Federal Trade Commission has finalized a settlement with Facebook in which the social media leader agrees to get users' approval before making any privacy changes and agrees to periodic third-party audits for the next 20 years on how it handles user privacy.

We told you about this settlement back in November, but today, Reuters reports, after a period of public comment, the settlement has become official.

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'It's All Politics': NPR's Weekly News Roundup
9:11 am
Fri August 10, 2012

It's All Politics, Aug. 9, 2012

Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 5:01 pm

In what could be the last podcast before GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney's V.P. announcement, NPR's Ron Elving and Ken Rudin once again review the finalists. Plus: A look at the latest Obama and Romney ads, more battleground state polls, primary results in Missouri and elsewhere, and a look ahead to the next Tea Party target: U.S. Senate candidate Tommy Thompson in Wisconsin on Aug. 14.

Election 2012
9:00 am
Fri August 10, 2012

Voter ID Laws: Necessity Or Burden?

Originally published on Mon August 13, 2012 2:11 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. Coming up, if you thought the Tea Party a passing political fad with a catchy name, our next guest would urge you to reconsider. He's written a new book about the Tea Party and what he believes is the source of its influence in today's politics. We'll talk about that in just a few minutes.

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Shots - Health Blog
8:28 am
Fri August 10, 2012

Why Is The World's Largest Foundation Buying Fake Poop?

Graduate student Clement Cid sits atop the solar-powered toilet he helped to build at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Calif. Underneath the platform, the toilet converts waste into fertilizer. The Caltech team will use fake feces to demonstrate the toilet's features next week at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation offices.
Courtesy of Michael Hoffmann/Caltech

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 9:31 am

Last week, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced that it's purchasing 50 pounds of fake poop.

A practical joke? No, not in the least.

Nor is this synthetic poop a plastic replica of the real thing; it's an organic version made from soybeans. The Gates Foundation will use it to test high-tech commodes at their Reinvent the Toilet Fair next week.

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The Torch
8:16 am
Fri August 10, 2012

Boxing Maths and Aftermaths: Why Similar Scores Are A Mean System

Shiming Zou of China is declared the winner over Paddy Barnes of Ireland during their men's light flyweight boxing semifinal in London. The match was scored a 15-15 tie; Zou won on the number of punches landed.
Scott Heavey Getty Images

Four years ago, Irish boxer Paddy Barnes lost to China's Zou Shiming by a score of 15-0 in Beijing. Today in London, Barnes fought his way back into their match to tie Zou at 15-15 — but he still lost. Barnes accepted the decision, but the result might confuse anyone who isn't familiar with boxing's scoring system.

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