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This Is NPR
5:55 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Christopher Guest Hearts NPR

Melissa Kuypers NPR

Christopher Guest, known as a leader in the mockumentary style after his 1984 film This is Spinal Tap, has a new show on HBO. It's called Family Tree, and stars Chris O'Dowd as a man tracking down his family lineage after receiving a mysterious box from an aunt he didn't know existed. Guest came in to talk to Weekend Edition Host Scott Simon about his career, inspiration for the show and working on a funny set.

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The Salt
5:44 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Could African Crops Be Improved With Private Biotech Data?

The baobob fruit is one of the 100 traditional African food crops that a group of scientists want to learn more about to improve nutrition.
Alexander Joe AFP/Getty Images

"I'm shocked by the optimism here," Howard Yana-Shapiro, the chief agricultural officer for Mars Inc. said Tuesday to the audience of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs' Global Food Security Symposium in Washington, D.C.

Seated there before him were some of the leaders from the wealthiest international organizations and multinational companies of the fight to end hunger. And Shapiro told them they weren't even close.

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The Two-Way
5:04 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

British Driver Says She's Sorry In 'Twit And Run' Case

A screen capture shows a tweet sent by Emma Way after she was involved in a collision Sunday. She has apologized for the incident.
@FSUSteve

A British driver who struck a cyclist with her car — and who then bragged about the incident on Twitter — has issued an apology. The incident caused an uproar after the collision Sunday.

"Definitely knocked a cyclist off his bike earlier - I have right of way he doesn't even pay road tax! #bloodycyclist," tweeted Emma Way, in a message that has been widely circulated despite her apparent attempts to delete it, and seemingly her Twitter account, @EmmaWay20.

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Politics
4:31 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

With White House Bogged Down By Scandal, GOP Looks For Boost

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. Immigration reform heads to the Senate floor, ex-congressman Weiner guns for Gracie Mansion, and Senator Inhofe on the distinction between disaster aid for a superstorm and tornados. It's Wednesday, and time for a...

SENATOR JAMES INHOFE: Totally different...

CONAN: ...edition of the Political Junkie.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDINGS)

PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: There you go again.

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Digital Life
4:31 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

How That 'Nigerian Email Scam' Got Started

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

If you have an email account, you've almost certainly received a message that sounds something like this.

(SOUNDBITE OF RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: I am Mr. Edward Impoya(ph), a member of the Movement for Democratic Change in Zimbabwe.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #1: We are members of the special committee.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: I am Mr. Ahmed Guraba(ph), the bills and exchange director at the Foreign Remittance Department.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #3: I am David Mapalay(ph), the first son of Dr. Jonathan Mapalay(ph).

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Politics
4:26 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Scandal Politics: The Downstream Effect

The scandals affecting the Obama administration could make some would-be candidates leery of running for political office.
Olivier Douliery Pool/Getty Images

Add this to the list of Democratic worries surrounding the wave of Obama administration scandals: the downstream effect.

It's prime candidate-recruiting season right now — the period in the two-year election cycle when officials in both parties fan out across the map in hopes of persuading prospective candidates to run for Congress. Issues and money always get plenty of attention, but the ability of party leaders to attract strong, capable candidates is vital to success on Election Day.

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The Two-Way
4:14 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Costa Concordia Captain To Face Manslaughter Charges

Francesco Schettino (left), the captain of the Costa Concordia, leaves court with his lawyer, Francesco Pepe, last month. A judge has ordered Schettino to stand trial in the wreck of the cruise ship last year.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 23, 2013 6:04 am

A judge in Italy on Wednesday ordered the captain of the ill-fated Costa Concordia cruise ship that ran aground off the coast of Tuscany last year, killing 32 people, to face charges of manslaughter.

Francesco Schettino, 52, is accused of negligence that led to the grounding of the ship and for abandoning the vessel while a rescue of the 4,200 passengers and crew was still underway.

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The Two-Way
3:06 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Oregon's Cash-Strapped Counties Reject Public Safety Levies

A yard sign opposes a local tax increase to fund public safety in Josephine County, Oregon. The ballot measure reportedly failed by a thin margin.
Amelia Templeton OPB

Two Oregon counties have reportedly rejected property tax increases that would have funded law enforcement and public safety services. The counties once received federal timber subsidies, but those days are over — and now they're scrambling to pay for essential services.

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Planet Money
3:04 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Go East, Young Marijuana Dealer

David McNew Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 22, 2013 6:40 pm

Chuck used to sell marijuana in California. But the legalization of medical marijuana in the state meant he was suddenly competing against hundreds of marijuana dispensaries. So he moved to New York, where marijuana is still 100 percent illegal. Since making the move, he says, he's quadrupled his income. (For the record: His name isn't really Chuck.)

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Parallels
2:59 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

China's Artist Provocateur Explores New Medium: Heavy Metal

The video for Chinese artist Ai Weiwei's newly released song starts by re-creating the conditions of his captivity during the 81 days he was held in police detention in 2011, and later dissolves into a dystopian nightmare.
Courtesy Ai Weiwei

Originally published on Wed May 22, 2013 8:18 pm

The man ArtReview magazine named the most powerful artist in the world is trying his hand at rock stardom. In 2011, the Chinese artist Ai Weiwei spent 81 days in detention. He was later let go and charged with tax evasion.

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Shots - Health News
2:58 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Polio Outbreak In Kenya: A Threat To Global Eradication

A baby receives a polio vaccine at the Medina Maternal Child Health center in Mogadishu, Somalia. The country has one of the lowest immunization rates in the world.
Ben Curtis AP

Originally published on Wed May 22, 2013 3:14 pm

Kenya has recorded its first case of polio in two years, the World Health Organization said Wednesday.

A 4-month-old girl came down with paralysis on April 30, and then two healthy kids nearby also tested positive for the virus.

But this handful of infections with poliovirus has the potential to set back global efforts to eradicate polio, WHO spokeswoman Sona Bari tells Shots.

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Monkey See
2:49 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Cannes Diary: Delusions Of 'Gatsby' (And Dreams Of Notoriety)

The cast of Sofia Coppola's The Bling Ring, which writer Raj Ranade says has set a high bar for other contenders at this year's Cannes Film Festival.
Merrick Morton American Zoetrope/Nala Films

It's true enough that there's plenty wrong with Gatsby Le Magnifique, as the French are calling the latest from director Baz Luhrmann. But what better film could there have been to open the sensory onslaught that is the Cannes Film Festival than one orchestrated by that patron saint of overstimulation?

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Parallels
2:02 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Riots In Sweden. That's Right. Sweden

Swedish firemen extinguish a burning car Tuesday after youths rioted for a third night in a row in the suburbs of Stockholm. The unrest began after police said they shot dead a 69-year-old man wielding a machete in an immigrant neighborhood.
Jonathan Nackstrand AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 22, 2013 3:48 pm

Sweden is one of the wealthiest, most stable and smoothly running countries in the world.

Which would explain why the country's 9.5 million residents may be shocked by the events of the past few days.

For the past three nights, hundreds of youths have been rampaging through parts of the capital, Stockholm, torching cars, setting fires, and throwing rocks at police and fire trucks.

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The Two-Way
1:57 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

GIF Talk: Do You Say It With A G Or A J?

Steve Wilhite, inventor of the GIF file, was given a lifetime achievement award at the 17th annual Webby Awards Tuesday night in New York City. Don't congratulate him the wrong way: To him, GIF sounds like Jif.
Stephen Lovekin Getty Images for The Webby Awards

Originally published on Wed May 22, 2013 3:41 pm

The kerfuffle Tuesday and today on Twitter about the "news" that the creator of the GIF gets annoyed if he hears someone use a hard "G" when pronouncing the name of his file format triggered our aging memory banks.

Hadn't we heard a while back that GIF creator Steve Wilhite and many other tech types insist it's supposed to be pronounced with a soft "J," like Jif peanut butter?

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Law
1:57 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Why Urban Dictionary Comes In Handy On The Witness Stand

Originally published on Wed May 22, 2013 4:31 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan.

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The Two-Way
1:24 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Male Sergeant May Have Filmed Female Cadets At West Point

The U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y.
Greg Mathieson MAI /Landov

A male sergeant at West Point has been accused of secretly videotaping at least a dozen female cadets, sometimes when they were showering, The New York Times reports.

Gen. John F. Campbell, the army's vice chief of staff, tells the Times that "once notified of the violation, a full investigation was launched, followed by swift action to correct the problem."

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Shots - Health News
1:18 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Research Reveals Yeasty Beasts Living On Our Skin

Fungi (cyan) surround a human hair within the skin. A study in the journal Nature shows the population of fungi on human skin is more diverse that previously thought.
Alex Valm, Ph.D.

Originally published on Fri May 24, 2013 11:20 am

Scientists have completed an unusual survey: a census of the fungi that inhabit different places on our skin. It's part of a big scientific push to better understand the microbes that live in and on our bodies.

"This is the first study of our fungi, which are yeast and other molds that live on the human body," says Julie Segre, of the National Human Genome Research Institute, who led the survey.

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Author Interviews
1:08 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Fictional 'Mothers' Reveal Facts Of A Painful Adoption Process

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed May 22, 2013 4:38 pm

After years of trying to conceive, novelist Jennifer Gilmore and her husband decided to pursue a domestic open adoption. They were told they'd be matched within a year; it took four. And along the way they faced complicated decisions and heartbreak.

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Music Reviews
1:08 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Daft Punk: Accessing Electronic Music's Humanity

Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter are the two men behind Daft Punk.
David Black Courtesy of the artist

I freely admit that, until the new Random Access Memories, I wasn't much of a Daft Punk fan. I could appreciate the craft and imagination that went into creating the French duo's mixture of electronic genres — techno, house, disco — but the mechanical repetitions and heavily filtered vocals didn't turn me on in any other way.

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The Two-Way
12:59 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Libya 'Talking Points' Emails Put Petraeus Back In Spotlight

The Washington Post." href="/post/libya-talking-points-emails-put-petraeus-back-spotlight" class="noexit lightbox">
Former CIA director and retired Gen. David Petraeus helped shape the first draft of "talking points" about the Sept. 11, 2012, Benghazi attacks, according to emails released by the White House and analyzed by The Washington Post.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Former CIA Director David Petraeus is under renewed scrutiny over the role he played in creating the discredited "talking points" about the attack that killed four Americans last year in Benghazi, Libya. The Washington Post has a front-page story Wednesday that suggests Petraeus sought to shape the resulting memo to favor his agency.

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