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The Two-Way
5:28 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

Using Sound To Levitate Objects And Move Them Midair

An image shows particles levitating in space between four sets of speakers. A Japanese team says they have used the system to manipulate items in mid-air.
Yoichi Ochiai

Researchers in Tokyo have put a new twist on the use of sound to suspend objects in air. They've used ultrasonic standing waves to trap pieces of wood, metal, and water – and even move them around.

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Movie Reviews
5:03 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

In 'Open Grave,' Plenty Of Open Questions

Josie Ho plays a character called Brown Eyes, who's the only one with any memory of what has transpired β€” but who can't communicate with the others.
Vermes Kata Tribeca Film

It's never a good sign when a character in a mystery has to give a speech at the end explaining exactly what's just happened. You know, just in case the story itself didn't actually manage to make it clear.

Sure, Hitchcock gets away with it at the end of Psycho, but only because the whodunit portion of that movie isn't the thing that makes it so great. Also, he's Alfred Hitchcock; the masters can get away with breaking some rules, because they can make up others that work just as well.

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The Two-Way
5:02 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

After Months On The Run, Former Georgia Banker Is Arrested

Originally published on Fri January 3, 2014 10:17 am

A former Georgia banker who vanished while under suspicion for stealing millions of dollars appeared in court Thursday, after being arrested during a traffic stop this week. The man had been presumed dead after his mysterious disappearance 18 months ago.

NPR's Debbie Elliott reports for our Newscast unit:

"Deputies in south Georgia picked up 47-year-old Aubrey Lee Price for a traffic violation on New Year's Day. Now he's in jail, charged with embezzling $21 million from Montgomery Bank and Trust, the bank he ran in tiny Ailey, Ga.

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Asia
4:41 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

Lure Of China's Gray Economy Reaches Rich And Poor

Chinese 100 yuan bank notes being counted at a bank in Huaibei, in eastern China's Anhui province, in 2013. Undeclared income β€” sometimes the proceeds of corruption, often just of unclear provenance β€” is estimated to make up a staggering 12 percent of China's GDP.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 8:27 pm

The income gap is growing dramatically in China and the rich are getting exponentially richer β€” the richest 10 percent of China's population are more than three times wealthier than the official figures.

Much of that undeclared wealth is what Chinese people call "gray income," including proceeds from corruption and other ethically "gray" areas of the economy.

Living on the margins of the "gray economy" are people like migrant laborer Wang Haichuan. He rents a room far below street level in a dark, former air-raid shelter inhabited by other migrants.

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Middle East
4:27 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

Egypt Targets Journalists In Crackdown On Muslim Brotherhood

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 6:18 pm

Egypt's government has been cracking down on the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist organization that backed recently deposed president Mohammed Morsi. Last week, the government designated the brotherhood as a terrorist organization.

World
4:27 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

Berlin Clinic Aims To Make Genital Cutting Survivors Feel Whole

The Desert Flower Center, created by Somali model Waris Dirie, opened in Berlin in September. The medical center provides victims of female genital cutting with reconstructive surgery, counseling and other treatment.
Stephanie Pilick DPA/Landov

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 8:46 pm

At a recent sewing class held in Berlin at Mama Afrika, which helps immigrants adjust to life in Germany, most of the African and Middle Eastern students feign ignorance when founder Hadja Kaba asks them about female genital mutilation.

Turning to one young woman wearing a veil she asks, "Have you been cut?"

"Yes," the woman answers, holding up the cloth she is sewing.

Kaba tries again. "No, not the cloth β€” down there!"

The veiled woman shakes her head and turns back to her fabric.

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Economy
4:27 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

The Widening Wealth Gap: Bringing Income Inequality Into Focus

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 6:18 pm

The widening gap between the rich and poor in the U.S. has become a central touch point for economists, pundits and politicians across the U.S. New York City's newly sworn-in mayor, Bill deBlasio, was elected after campaigning against a city divided between the haves and have-nots. President Obama has called tackling inequality the defining challenge of our time, saying that growing inequality and a lack of upward mobility jeopardizes the American dream. But what, exactly, is income inequality?

Around the Nation
4:27 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

Midwest, Northeast Brace For First Major Snow Storm In 2014

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 6:18 pm

The first major snow storm of the new year is expected to hit 22 states Thursday and Friday. About 100 million people are expected to be affected.

Shots - Health News
4:27 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

Obamacare Brings Medicaid To Skid Row's 'Ugly Reality'

Martha Castro lives on the streets in Los Angeles' Skid Row neighborhood. She's still resistant to the idea that she can now get health coverage because of California's expansion of Medicaid.
Anna Gorman Kaiser Health News

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 8:47 pm

If you were led blindfolded a few blocks east from Los Angeles' grand City Hall, you would know instantly when you entered Skid Row.

There is the pungent smell of urine and marijuana smoke, and the sound of music and easy laughter β€” a carnival rising out of misery.

This is the chaos that Chris Mack plunges into on most days. Once homeless himself, Mack is an outreach worker for the JWCH Institute's Center for Community Health, a free clinic in the heart of Skid Row.

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Around the Nation
4:27 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

In A Plot That Sounds Made Up, Embezzling Ga. Banker Resurfaces

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 6:18 pm

It sounds like a movie: Aubrey Lee Price was by all accounts a successful banker. But then he disappeared after writing a rambling 25-page suicide note. FBI and federal prosecutors said Price embezzled $21 million from his bank. But two days ago he was arrested in Brunswick, Ga., after a traffic stop and appeared in court Thursday.

Space
4:27 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

On Planet GJ1214 B, Expect Exotic Cloud Cover

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 6:18 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

In recent years, scientists have discovered around a thousand planets orbiting other distant stars, including some called super-Earths. These planets are bigger than our rocky hole but smaller than any of our solar system's gas giants. Not much is known about these mysterious worlds.

NPR is Nell Greenfieldboyce reports on new evidence that one super-Earth is shrouded in clouds.

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Energy
4:27 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

Move Over Electric Car, Auto Companies To Make Hydrogen Vehicles

Originally published on Fri January 3, 2014 10:56 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish. Toyota, Honda, Hyundai recently announced that they're planning to build hydrogen-powered cars in the next few years. These cars could rival all electric and plug-ins as cleaner alternatives to gasoline-powered cars. NPR's Richard Harris took a drive in a hydrogen car to learn about the advantages and drawbacks of the technology.

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Sports
4:27 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

Figure Skater Brian Boitano On Coming Out And Going To Sochi

Brian Boitano skates at Izod Center on Dec. 11 in East Rutherford, N.J. Boitano will go to the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, as part of the presidential delegation.
Maddie Meyer Getty

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 7:31 pm

When the White House named the delegation President Obama plans to send to the Winter Olympics in Sochi, many took it as a message to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Absent were any high-ranking U.S. officials: The president is too busy to attend, the White House said. But on the list were prominent LGBT athletes, which many took as a clear rebuke of Russia's controversial anti-gay laws.

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Politics
4:27 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

Remembering The Texans Who Made Attack Ads Nastier

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 6:18 pm

Texas Republican Harold Simmons, who died last weekend, was known for throwing millions of dollars into fiercely aggressive attack ads against Democrats. His death, along with that of Texas conservative Bob Perry earlier this year, signals the fading of the first wave of mega-donors in modern American politics.

The Salt
3:49 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

Cork Versus Screw Cap: Don't Judge A Wine By How It's Sealed

Winemakers are increasingly turning to screw caps. Now consumers are learning to get over their prejudice for cork, too.
Maggie Starbard NPR

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 6:18 pm

Step aside, cork.

If you're a wine drinker, you've probably noticed that screw caps are no longer considered the closure just for cheap vino. Increasingly, bottles of very good wines are unscrewed, rather than uncorked.

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The Two-Way
3:22 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

Chinese Balloonist Rescued At Sea By Japanese Coast Guard

A photo released by Japan's 11th Regional Coast Guard shows a hot air balloon whose Chinese occupant was rescued on Wednesday after a failed attempt to reach a disputed islands chain.
Uncredited AP

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 4:03 pm

A Chinese balloonist has been rescued by the Japanese Coast Guard after coming down in the East China Sea short of his intended destination β€” a tiny island chain that's part of a territorial tug of war between Beijing and Tokyo.

Japan Times writes:

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NPR Story
2:55 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

Bringing Back Detroit's 'Jit' Dance

The Jit is a street dance that was developed in Detroit during the 1970s. Haleem Rasul is the founder of HardCore Detroit, a dance troupe, and is keeping the dance's legacy alive in a new documentary. (Courtesy Haleem Rasul)

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 8:01 pm

Detroit is known for its auto industry, Motown music and now bankruptcy and vacant buildings β€” but a group of young dancers wants the city’s legacy also to include a street dance, known as the β€œJit” (not to be confused with the swing dance called the jitterbug from the 1930s).

Three brothers started the dance in Detroit in the 1970s, they became known as the β€œJitterbugs,” doing flips and kicks alongside each other in coordinated routines.

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Music Reviews
2:51 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

When Memphis Made A Move On Nashville's Country Monopoly

Label for Warren Smith's "Ubangi Stomp" on Sun Records.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 5:31 pm

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All Tech Considered
2:51 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

Netflix Built Its Microgenres By Staring Into The American Soul

While counting Netflix's microgenres, Madrigal discovered the streaming service's favorite adjective: romantic. It appears in 5,272 categories.
Robert Sullivan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 10:17 pm

In the old days, a movie genre was a simple, communal category: Action/Adventure, Comedy, Drama. One had to locate oneself in the Drama aisle at the video store and then look for just the right thing: A dark road trip movie with a strong female lead? Aha, Thelma & Louise.

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Shots - Health News
2:31 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

How Language Seems To Shape One's View Of The World

"It's on the left," he says. "No, it's southeast of here," she says.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon January 6, 2014 8:05 am

Lera Boroditsky once did a simple experiment: She asked people to close their eyes and point southeast. A room of distinguished professors in the U.S. pointed in almost every possible direction, whereas 5-year-old Australian aboriginal girls always got it right.

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