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Sports
9:47 am
Sun December 22, 2013

Are NFL Kickers Getting Better?

Originally published on Sun December 22, 2013 2:33 pm

Monday's game between the Baltimore Ravens and the Detroit Lions came down to the kicker. NPR's Rachel Martin and sports reporter Mike Pesca discuss the role of the NFL kicker and whether that job is getting more respect from fans and players.

Science
9:47 am
Sun December 22, 2013

Joe's Biggest Ideas From 2013

Originally published on Thu May 1, 2014 9:59 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

For the past year or so, NPR's Joe Palca has been on a new beat. He's calling it Joe's Big Idea. And it's been a chance for him to explore the minds and motivations of scientists and inventors, to find out what really makes them tick. We thought it might be a good time to check in with Joe and see what big ideas he has encountered along his journey. Hey Joe, thanks for being with us.

JOE PALCA, BYLINE: Oh, it's great to be here.

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Middle East
9:45 am
Sun December 22, 2013

New Agreement Could Bring Democracy Back In Tunisia

Originally published on Sun December 22, 2013 2:33 pm

A deal between the ruling Islamists and the secular opposition has opened a new path for Tunisia. NPR's Rachel Martin gets a post-Arab Spring update on the country from researcher Monica Marks.

Middle East
9:45 am
Sun December 22, 2013

Egypt's Turbulent Year

Originally published on Sun December 22, 2013 2:33 pm

It was a year of turmoil in Egypt. After being democratically elected following Hosni Mubarak's ouster, Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi was removed from power. The military-led government has since consolidated its power and cracked down on the Muslim Brotherhood. NPR's Rachel Martin and foreign correspondent Leila Fadel review this year's tumultuous developments.

Strange News
9:45 am
Sun December 22, 2013

Building A Robotic Christmas Wonderland Of Trash

Originally published on Sun December 22, 2013 2:33 pm

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

We all know the neighbor who goes a little bit overboard with the Christmas lights display. Well, we now take you to a perfectly manicured street in Palm Springs, where artist Kenny Irwin has taken holiday decorations to a new extreme. Sandhya Dirks of member station KPBS has this tour of a post-apocalyptic fantasy land.

SANDHYA DIRKS, BYLINE: Walk into Kenny Irwin's winter wonderland and you soon recognize it's not like anything you've ever seen before:

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Around the Nation
9:45 am
Sun December 22, 2013

'Bertha' Still Stuck In Her Tunnel Under Seattle

Originally published on Sun December 22, 2013 2:33 pm

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. The people of Seattle are puzzled by a mystery unfolding underground: the world's biggest tunneling machine is stuck about 75 feet under street level where it's digging a nearly two-mile-long highway right under downtown Seattle. As NPR's Martin Kaste reports, engineers say it'll take until January to figure out what is causing the block.

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Interviews
9:45 am
Sun December 22, 2013

What A Top Gun Learned On Her Way To The Top Of The Pentagon

Originally published on Sun December 22, 2013 2:33 pm

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

We're going to hear now from the woman charged with streamlining the Pentagon's roughly $700 billion annual budget.

CHRISTINE FOX: We have to curb the growth of the compensation of our force. It's grown 40 percent above inflation over the last decade. And it's fully half of our budget. So, we have to slow the growth.

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From Our Listeners
9:45 am
Sun December 22, 2013

Listeners Share Their First-Time-Ever Christmas Plans

Originally published on Sun December 22, 2013 2:33 pm

Weekend Edition asked you to share something memorable you'll be doing for the first time this Christmas. NPR's Rachel Martin shares some of your stories.

Economy
9:45 am
Sun December 22, 2013

Shark Attacks And Economic Growth: A Correlation Theory

Originally published on Sun December 22, 2013 2:33 pm

In studying the connection between economics and yearly trends in what he calls "shark-human interactions," shark attack expert George Burgess spotted a pattern. NPR's Rachel Martin asks Burgess about going to the beach.

Sunday Puzzle
8:32 am
Sun December 22, 2013

Follow Santa Claus' Lead

NPR

Originally published on Sun December 22, 2013 2:33 pm

On-air challenge: Every answer is a familiar two-word phrase or name in which, like Santa Claus, the first word starts with the letters S-A, and the second word starts with C.

Last week's challenge from listener Pete Collins of Ann Arbor, Mich.: Name an island in which some of the letters appear more than once. Drop exactly two instances of each repeated letter. The remaining letters can be rearranged to name something to eat. What is it?

Answer: Manhattan, ham

Winner: Fred Stadler of Oshkosh, Wis.

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The Two-Way
8:18 am
Sun December 22, 2013

Freed Russian Oil Tycoon Says He'll Work For Release Of Prisoners

Russian former oil tycoon and Kremlin critic Mikhail Khodorkovsky speaks during a press conference at the Wall Museum at Checkpoint Charlie on Sunday in Berlin.
John MacDougall AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun December 22, 2013 12:15 pm

Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the former oil tycoon who was pardoned by Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday after serving a decade in prison, says he will dedicate the rest of his life working for the release of other political prisoners.

"I would like to devote this time to pay off my debt to people who are worst off," Khodorkovsky said through an interpreter provided by Russia Today, a state-funded, English language news outlet.

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Three Books...
7:03 am
Sun December 22, 2013

In Search Of Identity: Three Of 2013's Best Translated Novels

iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon December 30, 2013 12:15 pm

I tend to like my heroes strong and capable; not self-important, yet with a certain brand of assurance. But in literature, as in life, profound truths often come to us not through confidence but through wrestling โ€” through the quest for who we are and what we hope to become. Three newly-translated novels star not exceptionally robust heroes but unexceptional, aimless ones, each exploring the inward struggles that make us human.

These three international voices offer no barrage of answers. Instead, they remind us of the importance, and the power, of simply asking the questions.

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Shots - Health News
6:10 am
Sun December 22, 2013

For 2 Young Doctors, Working On Christmas Was A Privilege

Katherine Streeter for NPR

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 8:03 am

December is supposed to be the time of year filled with family gatherings and holiday good cheer. For medical residents, quite the opposite is true.

There are no school breaks during residency. Being a medical resident is a real job, and a stressful one at that. Residents work long shifts, even with caps that max out at 16 hours for the newbies and up to 28 hours for those beyond the first year.

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Book Reviews
5:11 am
Sun December 22, 2013

'The Empty Chair' Meditates On The Space Between Two Stories

Originally published on Mon January 6, 2014 6:47 pm

Working in radio, you learn one uncomfortable truth faster than you would have otherwise: Few things make a story more difficult to tell than having a listener expecting to hear it. A microphone can make even the most relentless gabber stammer and become self-conscious.

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The Salt
5:10 am
Sun December 22, 2013

Flying This Holiday? Here Are A Few Tips To Survive Airline Food

Dan Pashman of The Sporkful podcast suggests saucy pastas over meat: "They tend to hold up better to the chilling and reheating process."
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu December 26, 2013 9:56 am

When you think about a scrumptious meal, airline food does not come to mind.

There are plenty of challenges to tasty airline meals, like the fact that many airlines now charge you for anything more than a tiny bag of chips and a plastic cup of non-alcoholic drink, at least on domestic flights. Plus, you can't cook on an airplane, so anything you're served has probably been chilled, then reheated. And flight delays certainly don't help with the freshness factor.

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Deceptive Cadence
5:07 am
Sun December 22, 2013

Talking Great Teachers And Students With Two Piano Masters

Pianist Lang Lang sits down with his own revered mentor Gary Graffman, to discuss what makes great teachers รขย€ย” and bad ones.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue December 24, 2013 12:52 pm

The relationship between a teacher and a student can be transformative. It's a particularly important relationship in classical music. A teacher is part mentor, part manager โ€” even a parental figure.

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The Salt
5:05 am
Sun December 22, 2013

Grasslands Get Squeezed As Another 1.6 Million Acres Go Into Crops

Retired farmer Joe Govert looks at a parcel of family land near Tribune, Kan. It has been enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program.
Charlie Riedel AP

Originally published on Sat December 28, 2013 6:59 pm

As the year winds down, we here at NPR are looking at a few key numbers that explain the big trends of 2013.

Today's number: 1.6 million.

That's 1.6 million acres โ€” about the area of the state of Delaware.

That's how much land was removed this year from the federal Conservation Reserve Program, or CRP, which pays farmers to keep land covered with native grasses or sometimes trees. Most of that land now will produce crops like corn or wheat.

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The Two-Way
9:13 pm
Sat December 21, 2013

17-Year-Old Colorado School Shooting Victim Claire Davis Dies

Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson holds a picture of Claire Davis, 17, at a briefing at Arapahoe High School in Centennial, Colo., the day after the Dec. 13 shooting. Davis died Saturday.
Ed Andrieski AP

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 5:56 am

The teenager shot in the head by a classmate at a high school outside Denver died Saturday after being hospitalized for eight days.

Claire Davis, 17, was shot at point blank range with a shotgun on Dec. 13 and had been hospitalized in critical condition.

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Code Switch
5:57 pm
Sat December 21, 2013

Reporter's Notebook: 'What Part Of Sacred Don't You Understand?'

Navajo activist Klee Benally chains himself to an excavator on the San Francisco Peaks, which he and 13 tribes consider sacred.
Ethan Sing

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 10:48 am

Laurel Morales covers Indian Country as a reporter for NPR member station KJZZ from a base in Flagstaff, which is on the edge of the country's largest reservation.

The Paris auction of 27 sacred American-Indian items earlier this month marks just the latest in a series of conflicts between what tribes consider sacred and what western cultures think is fair game in the marketplace.

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Around the Nation
5:55 pm
Sat December 21, 2013

Camels Trek In The Texas Desert, Just Like Old Times

The camel trek guides insist everything Americans think they know about camels is wrong.
Wade Goodwyn NPR

Originally published on Sat December 21, 2013 10:28 pm

At 10 on a crisp West Texas morning, five camel-trekkers stand under the open sky of the Davis Mountains. A few feet away, guide Doug Baum and Jason Mayfield load up five camels.

Baum, a former zookeeper, runs the Texas Camel Corps. The group guides camel treks around the world. In the Big Bend region, camels were for a brief time widespread, and the guides have brought them back.

'As Good As They Come'

You have to like a man who brings his own camel to a camel trek. On Mayfield's arm is a tall, beautiful blond named Butter.

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