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National Security
3:11 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

Reporter Had To Decide If Snowden Leaks Were 'The Real Thing'

According to Barton Gellman, Edward Snowden (above) specifically asked journalists not to make all the documents he leaked available to the public.
Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 4:21 pm

Since the beginning of June, Barton Gellman has been reporting on classified intelligence documents given to him by Edward Snowden, a former National Security Agency contractor. As a result of the Snowden leaks, Gellman and reporter Laura Poitras broke the story of the PRISM program, which mines data from nine U.S. Internet companies, including Microsoft, Yahoo, Google and Facebook.

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The Two-Way
3:05 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

Vatican's Secretary Of State Says Celibacy Is An Open Question

Pietro Parolin in 2009.
Hoang Dinh Nam AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 4:33 pm

The Vatican's new secretary of state made some comments in an interview with a Venezuelan newspaper earlier this week that have surprised many.

Archbishop Pietro Parolin, whom Pope Francis appointed on Aug. 31, said the issue of priest celibacy is open to discussion.

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The Two-Way
2:55 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

Discovery Of Massive Aquifers Could Be Game Changer For Kenya

Members of the El Molo tribe are pictured in the village of Komote, on the shores of Lake Turkana, northern Kenya, last year.
Carl De Souza AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 4:07 pm

Satellite imagery and seismic data have identified two huge underground aquifers in Kenya's drought-prone north, a discovery that could be "a game changer" for the country, NPR's Gregory Warner reports.

The aquifers, located hundreds of feet underground in the Turkana region that borders Ethiopia and South Sudan, contain billions of gallons of water, according to UNESCO, which confirmed the existence of the subterranean lakes discovered with the help of a French company using technology originally designed to reveal oil deposits.

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Field Recordings
2:12 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

Bill Callahan Sings 'Small Plane' In A Serene City

Bill Callahan in the 6th and B Community Garden.
Mito Habe-Evans NPR

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 1:21 pm

When we first approached Bill Callahan to do a Field Recording in New York City, we asked him if he had any special place in mind. His reply surprised me: "A community garden." I guess I'd stereotyped him in my head, because after all those years of dark, thoughtful songwriting — first as Smog and then on the pensive records he's made under his own name — I'd imagined a library, someplace quiet and dark.

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The Two-Way
2:05 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

U.S. Troops Oppose Striking Syria, Online Survey Suggests

Members of the U.S. Marine Corps listen to President Obama during his visit to Camp Pendleton, Calif., in August.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

An online survey of 750 active-duty U.S. troops suggests that opposition to striking Syria is "more intense" among military personnel than among the American public.

Military Times, a publication and newssite owned by Gannett Co. (not the federal government) reports that:

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All Tech Considered
2:01 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

Court Decision Means Another Look At Google Street View Case

An employee drives a Google Maps Street View car around Palo Alto, Calif. The U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco said Tuesday that Google went far beyond listening to accessible radio communication when it drew information from inside people's homes.
Paul Sakuma AP

Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 4:20 pm

The U.S. Appeals Court in San Francisco refused Tuesday to dismiss a lawsuit that accuses Google of violating federal wiretapping laws by collecting emails and data about people's Web surfing habits as the company's Street View cars crisscrossed the world.

Millions of people use unencrypted wireless networks in their homes to access the Internet. The lawsuit alleges Google's Street View cars were listening in to those digital conversations and making recordings of the traffic in violation of federal law.

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
1:54 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

The 10 Most Important Questions In Science*

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 4:52 pm

I noticed in The Guardian that there's a book coming out this week listing the 20 biggest challenges for modern science. I'd like to go over 10 of them today, perhaps coming back to the other 10 next week.

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Krulwich Wonders...
1:48 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

When The Dutch Keep Secrets, Everybody Notices. A Google Puzzle

Mishka Henner

What is this?

When I saw it for the first time, here's what I knew: It's a Google image found on Google Maps, taken by a satellite, plucked and blogged by photographer/sleuth, Mishka Henner. It's a patch of land near a town called Coevorden, in The Netherlands. There's a road on one side, plowed farmland all about, some trees on the lower left and then, weirdly, grey, black, white, golden, green and brown patches crunched together in an almost-rectangle. Those couldn't be natural, I thought.

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Deceptive Cadence
1:38 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

Soundscapes In C, In Winter And In Alaska

An incredible roster of musicians gathered at Carnegie Hall in 2009 to play Terry Riley's epic 'In C' — with the complete, but only single-page, score projected overhead.
Julien Jourdes courtesy of Carnegie Hall Archive

Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 1:58 pm

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Shots - Health News
1:26 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

What To Avoid At The Orthopedist's Office

Here's an evidence-based test with no dangerous side effects. But some common orthopedic treatments don't work.
Selim Ucar CAM/iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 4:01 pm

If the orthopedist wants to inject saline into your arthritic knee, it's time to say no thanks. Same for taking the popular supplements glucosamine and chondroitin for arthritis pain.

Why? There's no good evidence to prove they'll help you.

Those are two of the latest additions to lists of medical don'ts for doctors and patients.

The reasoning behind the lists is simple. A lot of things that doctors do to patients won't do them any good. Besides being wasteful, some of the tests and treatments may lead to harm.

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The Salt
1:25 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

Wasted Food Around The World Takes Heavy Toll On Environment

A farmer carries a bag of rice in China's Jiangxi province in July 2013.
Zhou Ke Xinhua /Landov

Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 4:07 pm

It's one of the great paradoxes of our time: Hundreds of millions of people go hungry, and yet we waste a whopping 1.43 billion tons of food — one third of what we produce. Food waste is a problem in rich countries and poor countries alike, and it's happening throughout the supply chain — from the farm to the truck to the warehouse to the store to your refrigerator.

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The Two-Way
1:20 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

Oklahoma State Promises Own Probe Of Alleged Football Abuses

Oklahoma State players celebrate after a score during an Aug. 31 game against Mississippi State.
Bob Levey Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 4:05 pm

On this third day of Sports Illustrated's five-part series that exposes what the magazine says are sweeping problems in Oklahoma State University's football program — including money being paid to players, tutors doing players' schoolwork and women from a "hostess program" having sex with recruits — the school's president is vowing to investigate it thoroughly.

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The Two-Way
1:13 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

Chinese Premier Says Foreign Companies To Get 'Equal Treatment'

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (right) listens to Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong during a meeting last month.
How Hwee Young AP

Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 3:25 pm

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has pledged to treat foreign multinational companies on a par with the country's own state-owned enterprises, but he warned that an economic rebound remains fragile.

Li, speaking at a business forum in the northeastern city of Dalian on Wednesday, cautioned that the global economic outlook was a "complex situation" and outlined a series of steps designed to keep the country on a moderate but sustainable growth path.

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All Tech Considered
1:12 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

What Does The NSA Think About You?

Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 2:06 pm

If you are wondering what NSA insiders think of the millions of us who are being watched by the agency, we now have a clue.

As part of a slide deck that shows how the NSA can use location information collected by mobile phone users, someone at the NSA apparently thought it would be amusing to play with images from Apple's "Big Brother" ad from 1984 and make allusions to Orwell's body of work.

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Ask Me Another
1:03 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

The Last Film I'd Want To See

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 9:54 am

Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Now it's time to crown this week's grand champion. Let's bring back from Isn't It Ironic, Jessica Morello; from Minimum Sentence, Whitney Reynolds; from Sensational Spelling Bee, Virginia Roberts; and from Nursery Rhyme News, Kevin Maroney.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: They'll be playing our Ask Me One More final round, and I'm going to ask puzzle guru Mary Tobler to lead our final game.

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Ask Me Another
1:03 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

Adam Rapoport: Good Eggs, Bad Apples

Bon Appétit magazine editor-in-chief Adam Rapoport." href="/post/adam-rapoport" class="noexit lightbox">
"I don't want a waiter to lecture me, and have to explain to me how to eat something. It's like, 'Dude, stop.'" Bon Appétit magazine editor-in-chief Adam Rapoport.
Courtesy of Adam Rapoport

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 1:33 pm

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Ask Me Another
1:03 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

Nursery Rhyme News

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 9:54 am

Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Let's say hello to our next two contestants, Amy Passiak and Kevin Maroney.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Amy, you are a classics major, and you work in art conservation. Kevin, you publish the New York Review of Science Fiction.

KEVIN MARONEY: It's true.

EISENBERG: Here is my first question for you, Amy. This is not a quiz, just curious. What is your favorite nursery rhyme?

AMY PASSIAK: Jack be nimble, Jack be quick. It's really the first one I can think of.

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Ask Me Another
1:03 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

Sensational Spelling Bee

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 9:54 am

Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

On our stage right now, we have Virginia Roberts and Grant Roberts. Welcome to ASK ME ANOTHER.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: You guys are visiting from Seattle, and I take it perhaps you are married with the same last name?

VIRGINIA ROBERTS: We'll see how it goes.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Virginia, you are an online dating coach, is that correct?

ROBERTS: That is correct.

EISENBERG: But what's the number one tip you give people when writing their online ad?

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Ask Me Another
1:03 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

We're Not Gonna Bake It

Professional competitive eaters Eric "Badlands" Booker (left) and Crazy Legs Conti.
Josh Rogosin NPR

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 9:54 am

Professional competitive eaters Crazy Legs Conti and Eric "Badlands" Booker join Ask Me Another for a round that'll make you hungry. House musician Jonathan Coulton quizzes them about different types of baked goods, with clues sung to the tune of the Twisted Sister anthem "We're Not Gonna Take It." Plus, find out how many pounds of quiche Crazy Legs can put away, and get a taste of Badlands' other talent—competitive eating-themed hip-hop.

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Ask Me Another
1:03 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

Minimum Sentence

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 12:03 pm

Some people have a last name that is also a verb, so their full name forms a complete sentence--like George Burns and Stevie Nicks. (If you're one of these people, we salute you.) In this game, house musician Jonathan Coulton gives contestants clues about famous people whose names also tell a story--a very short story.

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