World

The Two-Way
12:12 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Japan Shows Off Largest Warship In 60 Years

Japan's new warship, the Izumo, draws a crowd for its launch ceremony at the port in Yokohama Tuesday. At 248 meters (814 feet) in length, the flat-topped ship has been called a destroyer, or a helicopter carrier.
Toshifumi Kitamura AFP/Getty Images

It's being called a destroyer, or perhaps a helicopter carrier. But by any name, Japan's new warship, unveiled Tuesday, is the largest it has built since World War II. The ship was shown to the public on the anniversary of the 1945 atomic bombing of Hiroshima, and at a time of escalating tensions with China.

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Africa
12:07 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Do Zimbabweans See Election As A Sham?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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The Salt
11:46 am
Tue August 6, 2013

The Cotton Candy Grape: A Sweet Spin On Designer Fruit

The Cotton Candy grape looks and smells like a regular green grape. But the taste will evoke memories of the circus.
Courtesy of Spencer Gray

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 1:48 pm

Can't we just leave our fruit alone?

Last year, apple farmers were soaking their fruit in grape flavor to make them more attractive to kids. Now, plant breeders in California have created a grape that tastes like — well, spun sugar and air.

That's right, Salties. Say hello to the Cotton Candy grape.

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Shots - Health News
11:37 am
Tue August 6, 2013

Obamacare Hurdle: Consumers Flunk Health Insurance 101

You're not the only one who finds health insurance perplexing.
iStockphoto.com

It's hardly news that people are having trouble understanding the nitty-gritty of the Affordable Care Act. Recent polls have detailed the difficulties.

But work by economists at Carnegie Mellon University suggests a big reason for the confusion that's been largely overlooked: The public doesn't understand how health insurance works in the first place.

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Krulwich Wonders...
11:33 am
Tue August 6, 2013

The Subtle Mysteries Of Dinosaur Sex

Robert Krulwich NPR

They dominated our planet for 130 million years. You can't do that without having babies, and to have babies, dinosaurs had to have sex. The mystery is — and this is still very much a mystery — we don't really know how they did it.

The key problems being:

First, dinosaur ladies and dinosaur gentlemen were roughly the same size. No big/little asymmetry as with spiders. With spiders, the little fellow mounts the big lady. There are no body-crushing weight issues.

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The Protojournalist
11:31 am
Tue August 6, 2013

The End Of Football As We Know It

iStockphoto.com

The Kickoff

It happens every year — air cools, leaves change, Americans talk about the demise of football. This year there may be more talk than usual, for several reasons, such as:

1st Down

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Book Reviews
11:30 am
Tue August 6, 2013

'Love Affairs' Of A Hip, Young Literary Hound Dog

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 12:18 pm

Before I read Adelle Waldman's brilliant debut novel, The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P., I had about as much interest in reading about the hip, young literary types who've colonized Brooklyn as I do in watching Duck Dynasty, that reality show about a family of bearded Luddites who live in the Louisiana swamps. Both clans are ingrown and smug, each, in their own way, disdainful of the American mainstream.

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Television
11:21 am
Tue August 6, 2013

Bob Odenkirk Brings Some Laughs To 'Breaking Bad'

Bob Odenkirk plays sleazeball lawyer Saul Goodman on AMC's Breaking Bad. The show is in its final season, but creator Vince Gilligan has talked about doing a spinoff series for Saul that would star Odenkirk.
Ursula Coyote AMC

Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 12:01 pm

"When the going gets tough, you don't want a criminal lawyer — you want a criminal lawyer."

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The Two-Way
11:09 am
Tue August 6, 2013

FATBERG! 15-Ton 'Lump Of Lard' Removed From London Sewer

That's a lot of fat: A photo showing some of the 15-ton "fatberg" that was clogging up a London sewer system.
Thames Water AP

Set this post aside until after lunch if you have a sensitive stomach.

A " 'bus-sized lump' of food fat mixed with wet wipes" has been removed from a southwest London sewer, the BBC says.

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The Two-Way
11:03 am
Tue August 6, 2013

George Duke, Legendary Jazz Keyboardist, Dies

George Duke.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 12:42 pm

George Duke, the legendary jazz keyboardist, died on Monday, his publicist tells NPR.

Duke's career spanned five decades and he always straddled the line between disparate genres, collaborating with artists such as Miles Davis, Barry Manilow, Frank Zappa, George Clinton and some of Brazil's top musicians.

Here's how NPR's Felix Contreras describes him:

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The Two-Way
10:51 am
Tue August 6, 2013

India Accuses Pakistan Of Killing 5 Soldiers

Supporters of India's main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party protest Tuesday in Allahabad, India, against the deaths of five Indian soldiers. India has accused Pakistani soldiers of firing across the Line of Control in Kashmir; Islamabad denies the charge.
Rajesh Kumar Singh AP

Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 12:35 pm

India has accused Pakistani troops of killing five Indian soldiers after firing across the Line of Control, the de facto border in disputed Kashmir. Pakistan denies any firing from its side, and calls the allegation "baseless."

This latest incident comes amid attempts to renew diplomatic overtures for peace between the two nuclear-armed rivals.

Indian officials say Pakistani soldiers fired into Indian territory overnight, ambushing a patrol of Indian troops.

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Shots - Health News
9:54 am
Tue August 6, 2013

Smoking Ban Tilts Odds Against Ambulance Calls From Casinos

Feeling lucky? Smoke-filled casinos cloud the health outlook for workers and gamblers alike.
William Thomas Cain Getty Images

Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 4:20 pm

Public health advocates have lobbied hard in recent years to clear restaurants, bars and other workplaces of tobacco smoke, and the winds seem to be at their back.

Already, 36 states and the District of Columbia have enacted some version of an indoor smoking ban to protect the health of workers and patrons, and many local communities in other states have followed suit.

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
9:44 am
Tue August 6, 2013

Is Weak Evidence Better Than No Evidence?

Jonathan Downey iStockphoto.com

In my post last week, I wrote that "weak evidence is still better than no evidence." The statement prompted some thoughtful comments from readers:

I find that weak evidence is often worse than no evidence. (Chris Harlan)

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Deceptive Cadence
8:18 am
Tue August 6, 2013

And in This Corner: A Baritone Fights For Opera On The BBC

Baritone Thomas Hampson takes his punches for opera on a BBC talk show.
Dario Acosta

Originally published on Fri August 9, 2013 5:32 pm

With an interview show named HARDtalk I suppose the host might be expected to come out swinging. And recently the BBC's Sarah Montague did not disappoint.

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Newport Folk Festival
8:03 am
Tue August 6, 2013

The Mountain Goats, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2013

Members of the Mountain Goats perform live at the 2013 Newport Folk Festival.
Adam Kissick NPR

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 11:16 am

The Mountain Goats' John Darnielle spent the 1990s recording his songs — just a voice, an acoustic guitar and bracingly articulate lyrics about catastrophe and survival — on low-fidelity equipment like boom boxes. It got to the point where the tape hiss felt like another instrument, but in the last decade, the Mountain Goats' music has become ever more polished.

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The Two-Way
7:19 am
Tue August 6, 2013

Book News: Crime Writer Elmore Leonard Recovering From Stroke

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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Animals
7:18 am
Tue August 6, 2013

Researchers Focus On Sharks' Point Of View

The term "shark attack" is under attack by the leading society of shark researchers. They're calling on the media to stop labeling any sort of interaction with humans as an "attack." They suggest using specific terms like: shark sightings and shark encounters.

First Reads
7:03 am
Tue August 6, 2013

Exclusive First Read: Marisha Pessl's 'Night Film'

Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 10:56 am

Marisha Pessl's dark, cinematic and wildly over-the-top new novel, Night Film, starts with a mysterious death: Ashley Cordova, troubled former child prodigy and daughter of mysterious filmmaker Stanislas Cordova, is found dead at the bottom of a disused elevator shaft, an apparent suicide. Disgraced investigative journalist Scott McGrath thinks there's more to the case.

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Book Reviews
7:03 am
Tue August 6, 2013

Party Like It's 2009: Life And Friendship In The Great Recession

Choire Sicha co-runs the website The Awl. Very Recent History is his first book.
Jonathan Snyder

Originally published on Sun August 11, 2013 5:23 pm

In Choire Sicha's Very Recent History: An Entirely Factual Account of a Year (c. AD 2009) in a Large City, a voice from our future looks back at events taking place in a "massive" East Coast metropolis, its citizens perpetually gripped with "a quiet panic" while living in a gritty landscape of iron and excess. Throw in a mysterious virus, a rich, blind governor, a sketchy mayor campaigning for a third term, and this novel gets even more curious.

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