World

The Two-Way
3:18 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

Tropical Storm Barry Heads Toward Mexico, Forecasters Say

Tropical Storm Barry, the second named storm of the 2013 hurricane season, is expected to hit Mexico's southeastern coast.
NOAA

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 8:58 pm

The National Hurricane Center has issued coastal warnings in the Gulf of Mexico regarding Tropical Storm Barry. The second named storm of the 2013 hurricane season, Barry is currently in the southwest corner of the gulf; it is expected to make landfall in Mexico Thursday morning.

The center says an Air Force reconnaissance aircraft determined Wednesday that the storm, formerly called Tropical Depression Two, had strengthened. Barry is currently about 75 miles east-northeast of Veracruz, Mexico.

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Monkey See
3:15 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

From Classic Toys To New Twists, Kids Go Back To Blocks

Legos and other interlocking toys are only one kind of blocks that remain popular with kids.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 1:39 pm

I visited Toy Fair in New York City hunting for ideas for our summer series about kids' culture. One of the big takeaways was the increasing popularity of construction games such as Legos. Sales shot up nearly 20 percent last year. Now, it seems, every major toy manufacturer is scrambling to add new games geared toward kids building things.

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The Two-Way
2:58 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

Wanna Be A Rock Star? NASA Needs Help Tracking Asteroids

Actor Bruce Willis appears on the surface of an asteroid in a scene from the movie Armageddon.
Frank Masi AP

It won't be quite like Bruce Willis in Armageddon, but maybe you'll feel just as much a hero.

The White House and NASA are seeking the public's help in hunting for asteroids that could someday smash into Earth. They're also looking for a perfect space rock to capture so that astronauts could go there and study it.

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The Two-Way
2:53 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

Fed Leaves Interest Rates And Bond Purchase Plan Untouched

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said Wednesday that a fall in the unemployment rate would not automatically trigger a rise in interest rates. He spoke to the media after the central bank issued a policy update.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 3:57 pm

The Federal Reserve will continue its program of purchasing $85 billion in securities and will leave the target interest rate for federal funds untouched to support the U.S. economy, the U.S. central bank said in a policy update issued Wednesday afternoon.

Here's a summary of the state of the U.S. economy from the Fed, which concluded two days of meetings today:

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The Picture Show
2:52 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

Photography Cross-Stitch And Rebuilding The Berlin Wall

Mauerpark, 2012
Diane Meyer

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 3:23 pm

How do you photograph something that's not really there? Like the Berlin Wall, for example.

Diane Meyer, an assistant professor of photography at Loyola Marymount University, has one approach: She takes pictures where the wall once stood, prints them out, and then literally rebuilds it with a needle and thread.

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Business
2:00 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

Will Work For Free? The Future Of The Unpaid Internship

Originally published on Thu June 20, 2013 11:20 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. With school out, many college - and even some high school students - will spend the summer working as interns. It's a chance to beef up their resumes, gain on-the-job experience and make valuable contacts. Last week, a federal district court judge in New York issued a ruling that could change the system.

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Politics
1:56 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

The Penultimate Edition Of The Political Junkie

Originally published on Thu June 20, 2013 11:20 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. The speaker clamps the Hastert Rule on immigration reform. Three Republican senators now support gay marriage. And the Bay State Senate race goes into its last week. It's Wednesday and time for a penultimate edition of the political junkie.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDINGS)

PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: There you go again.

VICE PRESIDENT WALTER MONDALE: When I hear your new ideas, I'm reminded of that ad: Where's the beef?

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The Two-Way
1:12 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

FBI Director Says Agency Is Using Drones Over The U.S.

A Predator drone
General Atomics Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 4:55 pm

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is using drones on United States soil for surveillance purposes, the agency's director, Robert Mueller, told a Senate committee today.

"Our footprint is very small, and we have very few and of limited use, and we're exploring not only the use but also the necessary guidelines for that use," said Mueller , answering a question from Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa.

Mueller, who was testifying in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said they were used in a "very, very minimal way and very seldom."

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The Salt
12:26 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

Women And Children Caught In Middle Of Potato War

Fresh white spuds aren't allowed in a government supplemental nutrition program for women and children because, unlike other fruits and vegetables, potatoes aren't lacking in the typical diet.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 1:01 pm

We didn't plan it, but somehow, it has turned into Potato Week here at The Salt. The latest twist in the tater tales takes us to Capitol Hill.

Americans love to pile on the potatoes – we consumed a whopping 112 pounds per capita last year. But lately, the potato industry has been playing the part of jilted lover and taking its heartache to Congress.

According to the National Potato Council, the U.S. Department of Agriculture "discriminates" against fresh, white potatoes.

Huh?

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Krulwich Wonders...
12:21 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

The Love That Dared Not Speak Its Name, Of A Beetle For A Beer Bottle

YouTube

Originally published on Thu June 27, 2013 5:35 pm

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The Two-Way
12:09 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

It's Beach Time... In Alaska, Where Heat Wave Breaks Records

In this photo taken on Monday, people swim and sunbathe at Goose Lake in Anchorage, Alaska.
Rachel D'Oro AP

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 1:44 pm

Taking advantage of an intense heat wave that broke long-standing records yesterday, residents of Anchorage, Alaska, headed to the beach at Goose Lake.

As the Anchorage Daily News reports, the National Weather Service recorded a high temperature of 81 degrees in the city, beating the previous record of 80 degrees set in June of 1926.

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Classics in Concert
12:07 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

Mozart's Violin Comes To Boston, Live In Concert

Daniel Stepner performs on the violin once owned by Mozart himself.
WGBH

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 11:53 am

Mozart never made it to America: getting seasick crossing the English Channel put an end to any of his seafaring fantasies. But America was frequently on Mozart's mind. In fact, his closest collaborator, librettist Lorenzo Da Ponte, actually immigrated to these shores and became the first professor of Italian at Columbia University in New York.

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Mental Health
12:02 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

Inside The Mind Of A Sociopath

Confessions of a Sociopath is written under the pen name of M.E. Thomas.
Random House

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 12:48 pm

What exactly is a sociopath? Many people might think of killers, criminals, the cruel and heartless, Jack Nicholson's character in The Shining.

That's the common wisdom. But it's being challenged by a new memoir, Confessions of a Sociopath: A Life Spent Hiding in Plain Sight. It's written under the pen name of M.E. Thomas. The author says most sociopaths are not incarcerated — and the silent majority of them live freely and anonymously. They're your neighbors, colleagues, maybe even family members and lovers.

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Middle East
12:02 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

To Arm, Or Not To Arm The Syrian Rebels?

The White House says the United States will arm Syrian rebels, but a new poll shows most Americans don't like the idea. Guest host Celeste Headlee speaks with Shadi Hamid of The Brookings Institution, about America's current and future involvement in Syria.

The Salt
11:28 am
Wed June 19, 2013

The Martini: This American Cocktail May Have An International Twist

The martini: international drink of mystery?
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu June 20, 2013 2:15 pm

There's no cocktail more distinctly American than the martini. It's strong, sophisticated and sexy. It's everything we hope to project while ordering one.

Baltimore-born satirist H.L. Mencken is said to have called the martini "the only American invention as perfect as the sonnet." But is the martini perfectly American? Maybe not entirely.

So in honor of National Martini Day on Wednesday, we decided to dig into the drink's muddled past.

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The Protojournalist
11:13 am
Wed June 19, 2013

Scandalgate: A DIY, All-Purpose News Story

Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Good grief.

Scandals seem to swarm around American presidents like yellow jackets around a state park picnic table.

In fact, administration after administration has spent its second term swatting away falsehoods — and true tales — of miscreancy.

And so patterns have emerged. This happens, then that happens and eventually — well, you know how it works.

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Political Junkie
11:05 am
Wed June 19, 2013

It's The Final ScuttleButton Puzzle ... For Now

Ken Rudin collection

Some words I never thought I would utter: This is the last ScuttleButton puzzle that will ever appear on the NPR Web site.

With the cancellation of Talk of the Nation, and of course the weekly Political Junkie segment that goes with it, the long relationship between Political Junkie and NPR is coming to an end.

Thus, this is the last button puzzle, with the final winner (and t-shirt and button prizes) announced on Wednesday, June 26th — the final Junkie segment on TOTN.

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Shots - Health News
11:04 am
Wed June 19, 2013

AMA Says It's Time To Call Obesity A Disease

NPR

Originally published on Mon June 24, 2013 9:15 am

While the American Medical Association may not have the clout it once did, it's still the largest single group of doctors making waves about health and the practice of medicine.

So it's not nothing when the AMA's House of Delegates approves a measure to label obesity a disease. The group's deliberative democratic body passed a measure in Chicago Tuesday that broadly, if vaguely, says obesity is a medical condition:

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
10:15 am
Wed June 19, 2013

Does Life Have A Purpose?

Kind of cute. But pretty stupid. A scale model of a baby sauropod in its egg.
Tim Boyle Getty Images

I don't mean our private lives, our personal choices and hopes, the plans we make along the years. I imagine that each and every one of us believes our lives do have a purpose, or many. What I mean is life as a natural phenomenon, this strange assembly of matter endowed with autonomy, capable of absorbing energy from the environment and preserving itself through reproduction.

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Monkey See
10:03 am
Wed June 19, 2013

The 25 Movies To Which 'World War Z' Is A Sequel, Probably

Brad Pitt is Gerry Lane, Abigail Hargrove is Rachel Lane, and Mireille Enos is Karin Lane in World War Z.
Jaap Buitendijk Paramount Pictures

World War A (in which Isaac Newton is bonked on the head and still bravely figures out gravity)

World War B (spun off from a VH1 reality show)

World War C (in which two dudes hit each other with cellos for 2.5 hours)

World War D (part of The Great Report Card Skirmish Of 1998)

World War-E (in which a tiny robot rolls around and watches Hello Dolly and then smashes the doubloons out of everything in sight)

World War F (the [bleep]ing best war ever)

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