World

The Salt
4:16 pm
Mon June 29, 2015

Why You Should Thank A Caterpillar For Your Mustard And Wasabi

A cabbage butterfly caterpillar. For tens of millions of years, these critters have been in an evolutionary arms race with plants they munch on. The end result: "mustard oil bombs" that also explode with flavor when we humans harness them to make condiments.
Courtesy of Roger Meissen/Bond LSC

The next time you dab wasabi on your sushi or spread mustard on your hot dog, take a moment to thank a caterpillar. It may sound unlikely, but the critters play a critical role in creating the sharp, pungent flavors that give those condiments a savory kick.

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World Cafe
3:31 pm
Mon June 29, 2015

World Cafe Next: Boxed In

Boxed In.
Daniel Harris Courtesy of the artist

This week's World Cafe: Next artist is British keyboardist, producer and vocalist Oli Bayston, who records smart, indie-rock-influenced house music with Boxed In. Hear a few songs on this episode, and head over to the World Cafe Tumblr for more.

Goats and Soda
3:26 pm
Mon June 29, 2015

The U.S. Now Has A 'Girls Count' Law. But Don't Boys Count, Too?

Children in Bangladesh display their birth registration cards.
Jannatul Mawa UNICEF

Originally published on Tue June 30, 2015 9:55 am

The world needs to count its girls!

That's the message that President Obama sent earlier this month when he signed the Girls Count Act into law. Congress had previously approved the act by unanimous vote.

There are 220 million children around the world who are uncounted. They were not registered at birth, and they don't have birth certificates.

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The Two-Way
3:13 pm
Mon June 29, 2015

Solar-Powered Airplane Begins Long Journey From Japan To Hawaii

Pilot André Borschberg sent this photo of his flight over Japan; he's now over the Pacific Ocean, heading to Hawaii. He's not expected to land until Friday morning, Eastern time.
Solar Impulse

In the longest leg of its planned around-the-world flight, the Solar Impulse took off from Nagoya, Japan, and is now headed to Hawaii. The plane is powered solely by the sun's energy that's stored in batteries; the current trip is expected to last 120 hours — five days and five nights.

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World Cafe
3:06 pm
Mon June 29, 2015

James McMurtry On World Cafe

James McMurtry.
Jeremy Zimmerman / WXPN

James McMurtry writes wonderfully detailed narrative songs, making his characters come alive with humor and poignancy. He remains an exquisite guitarist, whether he's playing electric or 12-string acoustic, as he is in this World Cafe session. Earlier this year, McMurtry released Complicated Game, his first new studio album in six years.

The Salt
3:04 pm
Mon June 29, 2015

Curb Your Appetite: Save Bread For The End Of The Meal

Bite into that bread before your main meal, and you'll spike your blood sugar and amp up your appetite. Waiting until the end of your dinner to nosh on bread can blunt those effects.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon June 29, 2015 8:20 pm

Ah, the bread basket. You sit down for a nice meal out, and there it appears: piping hot, giving off a waft of yeasty divinity.

Who can resist?

There's a reason this age-old tradition prevails. Even in the era of paleo and gluten-free, there are still hordes of us who will gladly nosh on crusty, chewy, soul-warming bread.

But the downside may be more than just some extra calories. Turns out, eating all those carbs before a meal can amp up our appetites and spike our blood sugar.

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Favorite Sessions
2:41 pm
Mon June 29, 2015

KEXP Presents: Speedy Ortiz

Speedy Ortiz performs live on KEXP.
Amber Knecht KEXP

Following a shakeup in Speedy Ortiz, Sadie Dupuis found new confidence as both a bandleader and a songwriter on her latest album. Foil Deer is full of jagged bursts of '90s-inspired indie-rock, highlighting the vigor of her smartly crafted wordplay. During their recent performance at KEXP, Dupuis and the band took command of the room in this live performance of "Raising The Skate."

SET LIST

  • "Raising The Skate"
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Monkey See
2:37 pm
Mon June 29, 2015

Pop Culture Happy Hour, Small Batch Edition: Audiobooks

NPR

During our recent time with charming Bostonian librarian Margaret Willison, we managed to sit her down for a chat about audiobooks. We discovered that while I am a frequent listener to a variety of kinds of books (as I wrote about recently), Margaret uses them in a very different way that might appeal to some of you who like to revisit and reread your favorites.

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NPR Story
2:33 pm
Mon June 29, 2015

Smart Meters: An Experiment In Power Grid Innovation

John Phelan with Fort Collins Utilities inspects the smart meter at his home. (Dan Boyce)

Originally published on Mon June 29, 2015 4:30 pm

Our electricity system is changing rapidly around us. New sources of renewable power are meeting technologies that can crunch unprecedented amounts of data. It’s all leading to a major shakeup for how utilities do business. Dan Boyce from Here & Now’s contributor Inside Energy takes us to Fort Collins, Colorado, for a peek into our utility’s possible future.

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NPR Story
2:33 pm
Mon June 29, 2015

How Historic Was Last Week? A Historian Puts It In Context.

President Barack Obama sings "Amazing Grace" as he delivers the eulogy for South Carolina state senator and Rev. Clementa Pinckney during Pinckney's funeral service June 26, 2015 in Charleston, South Carolina. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Originally published on Mon June 29, 2015 4:30 pm

President Obama won a series of huge victories in the Supreme Court last week, including health care and same sex marriage. And officials in South Carolina called for the removal of the Confederate flag from the state capitol grounds after nine African Americans were gunned down in a Charleston church. Here & Now’s Robin Young asks historian Julian Zelizer to put the week into historical context.

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NPR Story
2:33 pm
Mon June 29, 2015

High Stakes Financial News: From Greece To China

A Chinese stock investor monitors share prices at a securities firm in Fuyang, in China's Anhui province on June 19, 2015. Shanghai shares plunged 6.42 percent on June 19, ending a torrid week as the benchmark index was hit by tight liquidity and profit-taking after a powerful surge over the past year. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)

Originally published on Mon June 29, 2015 4:30 pm

There are a number of dramatic economic stories in the news today. In Greece, banks and markets are closed, as the country edges towards a default and or exit from the eurozone.

Meanwhile, Puerto Rico’s governor now says that the commonwealth cannot pay its $72 billion in debts. And in China, stocks have tumbled into a bear market, despite a move by the central bank there to cut interest rates to a record low.

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NPR Story
2:32 pm
Mon June 29, 2015

Paul Thurmond Explains His Change Of Heart On The Confederate Flag

The Confederate Flag flies on the South Carolina State House grounds in Columbia, South Carolina, June 24, 2015. (Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images)

Originally published on Mon June 29, 2015 4:30 pm

South Carolina state Senator Paul Thurmond, son of segregationist presidential candidate U.S. Senator Strom Thurmond, has joined fellow Republicans in calling for the Confederate flag to be removed from a public monument across the street from the South Carolina State House, following last week’s deadly shooting at a historically black church in Charleston.

Lawmakers are expected to debate the flag’s removal as soon as next week. Sen. Thurmond speaks with Here & Now’s Robin Young.

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Parallels
1:55 pm
Mon June 29, 2015

Sri Lanka's War Is Long Over, But Reconciliation Remains Elusive

Manuel Udaya Chandra's 24-year-old son disappeared in 2008, shortly before Sri Lanka's civil war ended. She holds out hope that he's still alive, though a government commission looking into those who disappeared has moved slowly.
Julie McCarthy NPR

Originally published on Tue June 30, 2015 9:29 am

Sri Lanka, a palm-fringed island in the Indian Ocean, is in the sixth year of peace. But as the country prepares for elections in August, the legacy of its long civil war still casts a shadow.

The intervening years have been especially painful for the families of the thousands who disappeared in three decades of conflict and remain unaccounted for.

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NPR Story
1:49 pm
Mon June 29, 2015

Supreme Court Upholds Use Of Execution Drug

The gurney used to restrain condemned prisoners during the lethal injection process is shown in Huntsville, Texas. The U.S. Supreme Court, ruled lethal injection is legal in a 5-4 opinion ruled on June 29, 2015. (Pat Sullivan/AP Photo)

Originally published on Mon June 29, 2015 4:30 pm

In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court has upheld the use of a controversial execution drug.

The case was brought by a group of Oklahoma inmates who argued that a drug used by the state constituted cruel and unusual punishment because it did not guarantee that prisoners would be unconscious when additional drugs were administered to stop their hearts.

The drug was used in three botched executions last year that appeared to leave prisoners in excruciating pain. The court ruled that the Oklahoma prisoners did not prove that a better drug was available.

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NPR Story
1:49 pm
Mon June 29, 2015

What Happens If Workers Become Obsolete?

Precision fitters and assemblers at work in the Ministry of Labour Training Centre at Waddon, England on May 19, 1931. Here, in a large factory building, miners from the depressed mining areas all over the country are being trained for entirely new jobs in a scheme which aims to cut unemployment figures. (AP)

Originally published on Mon June 29, 2015 4:30 pm

The rapid rise in technology and machines has some experts predicting that workers could become obsolete. As Derek Thompson writes in a cover article for The Atlantic, futurists have often looked at this in a positive way — with people having more free time for leisure.

But there are of course questions of what it would mean economically, and also culturally. Thompson writes that it would bring about a great social and cultural transformation.

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Music Reviews
1:31 pm
Mon June 29, 2015

'BrotherLee Love' Offers A Fearless, Fresh Tribute To Trumpeter Lee Morgan

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

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Author Interviews
1:31 pm
Mon June 29, 2015

Mat Johnson On 'Loving Day' And Life As A 'Black Boy' Who Looks White

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

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NPR Story
12:58 pm
Mon June 29, 2015

SpaceX Rocket Explodes Minutes After Takeoff

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft breaks apart shortly after liftoff at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Sunday, June 28, 2015. The rocket was carrying supplies to the International Space Station. (John Raoux/AP)

Originally published on Mon June 29, 2015 4:30 pm

Astronauts at the International Space Station will have to wait little longer for their grocery order, after an unmanned SpaceX rocket launch ended in failure.

According to NASA, the astronauts still have at least four months of food and supplies left, although they were looking forward to receiving a new water filtration system.

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon cargo ship exploded minutes after takeoff.

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NPR Story
12:57 pm
Mon June 29, 2015

Confederate Flag Flying Again, After Activist Bree Newsome Took It Down

Bree Newsome of Charlotte, N.C., climbs a flagpole to remove the Confederate battle flag at a Confederate monument in front of the Statehouse in Columbia, S.C., on Saturday, June, 27, 2015. She was taken into custody when she came down. The flag was raised again by capitol workers about 45 minutes later. (Bruce Smith/AP)

Originally published on Mon June 29, 2015 4:30 pm

The two people arrested for removing the Confederate flag from the front of the South Carolina Statehouse have been released from jail in the state capital.

Officer L. Tucker of the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center said 30-year-old Bree Newsome and 30-year-old James Ian Tyson were released from jail Saturday after posting bond.

Both Newsome and Tyson are from Charlotte.

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NPR Story
12:57 pm
Mon June 29, 2015

3 More Decisions From The Supreme Court

Originally published on Mon June 29, 2015 4:30 pm

Last week might have felt like a grand finale, with decisions on same-sex marriage and the Affordable Care Act, but this morning the Supreme Court announced three more decisions, relating to capital punishment, power plant emissions and congressional redistricting. NPR’s Ron Elving joins Here & Now’s Robin Young to discuss what what they all mean.

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