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The Salt
2:53 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

What Is Farm Runoff Doing To The Water? Scientists Wade In

Scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey sample water in Goodwater Creek, Mo., for pesticides and other chemicals that may have run off from the surrounding land.
Abbie Fentress Swanson Harvest Public Media

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 9:37 am

America's hugely productive food system is one of its success stories. The nation will export a projected $139.5 billion in agricultural products this fiscal year alone. It's an industry that supports "more than 1 million jobs," according to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

But all that productivity has taken a toll on the environment, especially rivers and lakes: Agriculture is the nation's leading cause of impaired water quality, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

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Parallels
2:48 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

Gatsby-Like Extravagance And Wealth ... In Communist China

A waiter delivers glasses of wine to guests at a luxury hotel bar near the Bund in Shanghai, on Sept. 8, 2012.
Aly Song Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 9:37 am

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Around the Nation
2:48 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

Vacation Horror Stories: Battling Snow And Broken Transmissions

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The search for true relaxation can be a taxing one. You take some time off to get away thinking of paradise and then harsh reality sets in. That's the sort of experience we're chronicling this summer in a series we call...

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Vacation...

(SOUNDBITE OF SCREAM)

SIEGEL: ...Horror Stories.

JIM MCLAUGHLIN: Hi, my name is Jim McLaughlin, and I live in Hershey, Pennsylvania. My wife, my sister, and our combined four children...

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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Economy
2:00 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

Jobs Keep Growing. How Soon Should The Fed Stop Helping?

Many economists are encouraged by the latest jobs report because the stronger growth doesn't appear to be just a one-month blip.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 9:37 am

The latest employment report is encouraging to many economists because the stronger job growth doesn't appear to be just a one-month blip. But some worry that it's so strong the Federal Reserve may pull back efforts to boost the economy.

The Labor Department's newest data released Friday shows the U.S. added 195,000 jobs in June. The prior two months were also revised upward — above 190,000 for both April and May.

That's three months of more-robust job growth.

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Social Entrepreneurs: Taking On World Problems
1:10 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

At Cambodia Hotel, The Workers Are The Boss

Traffic passes in front of the Soria Moria Boutique Hotel in Siem Reap, Cambodia.
Will Baxter for NPR

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 9:37 am

This story is part of NPR's ongoing series about social entrepreneurs — people around the world who are dreaming up innovative ways to develop communities and solve social problems.

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Shots - Health News
12:46 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

Genes May Reveal When Aspirin Won't Reduce Heart Risk

Aspirin has been prescribed for decades as a simple way to reduce heart disease risk, but doctors still aren't sure how it works.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon July 8, 2013 10:18 am

People are often told to take low-dose aspirin to reduce the risk of heart attacks and stroke. But that preventive remedy doesn't work for a lot of people.

Researchers say they've found genetic variations that might be used to identify people who don't respond well to aspirin. If the results prove out, there could soon be a blood test to tell who benefits from aspirin, and who needs to look for other treatments to reduce cardiovascular risk.

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The Two-Way
12:44 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

40 Years Of Disco Duds Prove A Teacher Can Be Awesome, Too

Dale Irby in 1973 (left) when his streak began, and in 2012, when the last of his 40 wonderful school photos was taken.
Courtesy of Dale Irby and The Dallas Morning News

One word came to mind this week when we saw the stories about Texas physical education teacher Dale Irby and how he had worn the same "groovy shirt and sweater vest" for every school photo in the past 40 years:

Awesome.

Before we explore his awesomeness, though, here's some background.

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
11:36 am
Fri July 5, 2013

NIH Director Francis Collins Plays Not My Job

Originally published on Sat July 6, 2013 8:41 am

Transcript

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

Francis Collins is a pretty good scientist. He unraveled the human genome, among other parlor tricks and now he's the head of the National Institutes of Health. We started our visit with him by asking him what the heck that is.

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
11:36 am
Fri July 5, 2013

Smithsonian's Wayne Clough Plays Not My Job

Originally published on Sat July 6, 2013 8:41 am

Transcript

CARL KASELL: From NPR and WBEZ-Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME!, the NPR News quiz. I'm Carl Kasell. And here again is your host, at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.

(APPLAUSE)

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
11:36 am
Fri July 5, 2013

Astrophysicist Adam Riess Plays Not My Job

Originally published on Sat July 6, 2013 8:41 am

Transcript

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

Winning a Nobel Prize, that's not cool. You know what's cool? Winning a MacArthur Grant and then winning a Nobel Prize.

CARL KASELL: Astrophysicist Adam Reiss did just that, winning the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2011. And he joined us that very week, along with P.J. O'Rourke, Paula Poundstone and Luke Burbank.

SAGAL: I started by asking him if he could explain what his award was for.

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The Two-Way
11:27 am
Fri July 5, 2013

Djokovic And Murray Win, Advance To Wimbledon Final

Serbia's Novak Djokovic (left) embraces Argentina's Juan Martin Del Potro after their match on day 11 of the 2013 Championships at Wimbledon.
Carl Court AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 5, 2013 2:32 pm

Novak Djokovic, the top seed in the Wimbledon men's draw, advanced to Sunday's singles final in a record-setting 4 hours, 43 minutes. The longest semifinal in tournament history, his five-set match fell only five minutes shy of the time set in a marathon 2008 five-set final between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

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The Two-Way
10:55 am
Fri July 5, 2013

Florida Family, Historic Yacht Presumed Lost Off New Zealand

This undated photo provided by the St. Andrews Historic Seaport and Commercial Marina in Panama City, Fla., shows American David Dyche, skipper of the 70-foot (21-meter) vessel Nina.
AP

The search for six Americans and one British man lost in the seas between New Zealand and Australia was called off Friday after extensive aerial searches failed to turn up any sign of the 85-year-old wooden sailing boat they were traveling on.

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Planet Money
10:26 am
Fri July 5, 2013

How To Spend $442 On A 15-Minute Cab Ride

Don Emmert AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 9:37 am

Say you're in Midtown Manhattan at rush hour. You need to go a mile uptown, and you can't find a cab. A pedicab, a taxi-bicycle hybrid (like the one in the picture) may not be a bad option.

Riding through the middle of Manhattan on the back of a bike, dodging buses and cabs, feels like the Wild West of transportation options. The pricing feels that way too: Unlike buses or cabs, pedicabs don't charge a set fee. It's whatever the rider and the driver agree to. And, like in the Wild West, innocents often get fleeced.

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NPR Story
10:04 am
Fri July 5, 2013

58 MRI's And Counting -- A Neuroscientist Maps His Own Brain

It seems like a simple question: how does the human brain change over the course of a year? It turns out, we know remarkably little about that. But one scientist at the University of Texas in Austin is trying to answer that question—and to do it, he’s had to take a pretty unusual approach — getting frequent MRI’s of his brain.

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NPR Story
9:44 am
Fri July 5, 2013

Wimbledon 'Upsets' Get Linguist Thinking

Serena Williams lost in the early rounds of Wimbledon. (AP)

Originally published on Sat July 6, 2013 3:20 am

It’s down to the wire at Wimbledon, the men’s finals are on Sunday, the women’s on Saturday. And some of the biggest names will not be participating, because there have been a lot of upsets—Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova all lost in the early rounds. These upsets had linguist Ben Zimmer thinking about the use of the word “upset.”

And that got him thinking about a horse race in 1919.

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Business
9:37 am
Fri July 5, 2013

June Jobs Report Exceeds Expectations, But Concerns Remain

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with the jobs report.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

Middle East
9:37 am
Fri July 5, 2013

Shootings Reported At Demonstrations In Egypt

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

This is a week when Egypt is divided on what democracy means. In what amounted to a second uprising, millions of Egyptians poured into the streets to demand that their democratically elected president step down. When he balked, the army ousted Mohamed Morsi, which led his supporters to say it is a dark day for democracy there. Today, thousands of Morsi supporters are out protesting that military coup, in demonstrations that have reportedly turned violent.

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Health
9:03 am
Fri July 5, 2013

Can White Blood Cells Spread Cancer?

Originally published on Fri July 5, 2013 10:55 am

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. White blood cells are part of our body's defense system. Their job is to attack invaders, and one of the first white blood cells sent out is the neutrophil. These neutrophils put out a trap to capture and destroy the invaders. But here's where it gets interesting, because in a new study, researchers say they have shown that these nets might actually activate and spread the cancer cells. It's the exact opposite of what you want. But there may be a way to counteract this problem.

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Economy
8:41 am
Fri July 5, 2013

Four Years On, Economic Recovery Still Sluggish

Originally published on Fri July 5, 2013 9:21 am

June job numbers are out, and the unemployment rate is still 7.6%. As the U.S. enters its fifth year of recovery, guest host Celeste Headlee asks Sudeep Reddy of the Wall Street Journal where we go from here.

The Salt
8:16 am
Fri July 5, 2013

Farming Got Hip In Iran Some 12,000 Years Ago, Ancient Seeds Reveal

An ancient wild barley sample recovered from Chogha Golan, Iran.
Courtesy of TISARP/Science

Originally published on Mon July 8, 2013 8:46 am

Archaeologists digging in the foothills of Iran's Zagros Mountains have discovered the remains of a Stone Age farming community. It turns out that people living there were growing plants like barley, peas and lentils as early as 12,000 years ago.

The findings offer a rare snapshot of a time when humans first started experimenting with farming. They also show that Iran was an important player in the origin of agriculture.

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