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It's All Politics
5:14 pm
Thu May 3, 2012

Do Campaign Ads Seem More Negative This Year? It's Not Just You

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 10:43 am

If you thought the presidential primaries were extraordinarily negative, now there's statistical evidence that you were right.

A new analysis of TV ads finds that 70 percent of the messages were negative — a trend spearheaded by the heavily financed superPACs supporting the candidates. At this point in the 2008 election, 91 percent of TV ads were positive.

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Shots - Health Blog
5:02 pm
Thu May 3, 2012

Why Do Bike-Share Riders Skip Helmets?

Bartender Matt Carucci says he rarely feels safe biking in the city but often rides without a helmet anyway. "There are a lot of other ways to hurt yourself," he says.
John Rose NPR

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 10:50 am

If you've ever shaken your head over urban bicyclists' apparent unanimous decision to forgo helmets, you're not far off the mark.

Among users of bike-sharing programs, like Capital Bikeshare in Washington, D.C., the problem is obvious.

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Business
4:50 pm
Thu May 3, 2012

Corn Farmers Hope, Cautiously, For A Bumper Crop

This year, U.S. corn farmers have planted more acres of the crop than at any time since the Great Depression.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 10:43 am

It's still too early to predict whether the 2012 corn harvest will set a record, but many corn farmers say the prognosis for a bumper crop is looking pretty good right now.

U.S. farmers are planting more acres of corn this year than they have in any year since the Great Depression. And with a mild spring across much of the nation's Corn Belt, many are hoping this autumn's yield will be one for the record books.

A Crop That 'Will Knock Your Socks Off'

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Europe
4:48 pm
Thu May 3, 2012

Will French Election Mark A Reversal Of Austerity?

Tens of thousands of people in Paris used the annual May Day workers' events this year to denounce the world of finance amid the Europe-wide debt crisis. If elected, France's Socialist presidential challenger, Francois Hollande, says he will pursue a growth-oriented strategy.
Guillaume Baptiste AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 10:43 am

The possibility that French President Nicolas Sarkozy may lose the presidential election Sunday is making waves across Europe. Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are the architects of Europe's new fiscal austerity pact.

But the man likely to replace Sarkozy has other ideas.

Socialist candidate Francois Hollande — who is favored in opinion polls by several percentage points — says Europe cannot emerge from the crisis based on austerity alone.

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Environment
4:48 pm
Thu May 3, 2012

Greenland's Ice Melting More Slowly Than Expected

Researchers studying Greenland's ice say it is melting more slowly than previously thought. Here, ice travels down a relatively small outlet glacier into the sea.
Ian Joughin UW, Sarah Das/WHOI and Richard Harris/NPR

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 10:50 am

A new study has some reassuring news about how fast Greenland's glaciers are melting away.

Greenland's glaciers hold enough water to raise sea level by 20 feet, and they are melting as the planet warms, so there's a lot at stake.

A few years ago, the Jakobshavn glacier in Greenland really caught people's attention. In short order, this slow-moving stream of ice suddenly doubled its speed. It started dumping a whole lot more ice into the Atlantic. Other glaciers also sped up.

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Music News
4:48 pm
Thu May 3, 2012

'What's Going On': A New Generation Answers

Detail of cover art from the 1974 album Marvin Gaye Live!
Album cover

Originally published on Mon May 21, 2012 8:00 pm

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The Two-Way
4:11 pm
Thu May 3, 2012

Student Forgotten In Holding Cell: 'Changes Have To Be Made'

Daniel Chong appears at a news conference on Tuesday in San Diego.
K. C. Alfred UT San Diego

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 10:43 am

Daniel Chong, a California college senior, was forgotten in a federal holding cell without food or water for five days.

Today, he told All Things Considered's Audie Cornish that the five days tested his sanity and his resolve to live.

"I didn't stay sane," Chong said. "Eventually, by the second or third night ... I went completely insane and was just trying to get a grip on reality, on what's happening to me."

Chong said at one point he thought about using his glasses to cut into his arm and kill himself.

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The Salt
3:36 pm
Thu May 3, 2012

How To Tip-Toe Into The Hot Sauce Craze

Tami Franklin tries a variety of hot sauces on her barbecue ribs at Rocklands Barbeque and Grilling Company in Arlington, Va.
John Rose NPR

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 10:43 am

If you listen to my story above, you'll know that hot sauce production is one of the fastest growing industries in the United States.

And you'll learn that research finds chili-heads — people who love the burn of spicy food — tend to have a penchant for sensation-seeking. Think rollercoasters and action flicks.

So you wanna jump in, but you're new to the hot sauce world?

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Movie Reviews
3:22 pm
Thu May 3, 2012

'The Avengers': Superheroic Popcorn Fun At Its Best

promo
Walt Disney Pictures

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 10:43 am

That crashing sound you'll hear emanating from cineplexes this weekend will be the sound of comic-book superheroes smashing box-office records.

Actually, the smashing started last weekend, when Marvel's The Avengers opened in 39 territories around the world, scooping up a cool $178 million in three days. And with legions of fans having already bought advance tickets in the U.S., it's a pretty sure bet the box-office bonanza will continue as the film opens in more than 4,000 North American theaters.

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The Two-Way
3:19 pm
Thu May 3, 2012

Reports: Facebook Will Set IPO Pricing After Markets Close

Originally published on Thu May 3, 2012 4:45 pm

Update at 4:39 p.m. ET. $28 To $35:

The AP reports that Facebook has set a price range for its initial public offering between $28 and $35.

The AP adds:

"At the high end, this could raise as much as $11.8 billion. That's much higher than any other Internet IPO in the past, even Google Inc. in 2004."

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It's All Politics
2:43 pm
Thu May 3, 2012

Democrats Keep Getting Dinged For Hitting GOP On Women's Health, Loans

MoveOn.org

Originally published on Thu May 3, 2012 3:00 pm

Democrats keep getting dinged by media fact checkers for attacking Republicans for allegedly wanting to strip money from preventive health programs to pay for to keep the interest rates on some student loans from doubling this summer.

But that hasn't stopped progressives from continuing to make the claim. The latest comes in a new full-page MoveOn.org ad in Politico. The ad reads in part:

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The Two-Way
2:21 pm
Thu May 3, 2012

VIDEO: Lioness Tries To 'Eat' Baby Dressed In Zebra Hoodie

A lioness tries to "eat" a baby.
YouTube

Maybe she thought the baby — dressed in a black-and-white, stripped hoodie — was a small zebra and an easy snack. In any case, this video showing a lioness going after a baby through a glass has been making the rounds today, so we thought we'd share it:

Here's how the person who uploaded on YouTube described it:

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The Two-Way
2:20 pm
Thu May 3, 2012

Finish This Sentence: 'Before I Die, I Want To ...'

From the Before I Die wall in New Orleans.
Candy Chang

Originally published on Thu May 3, 2012 2:47 pm

Artist Candy Chang turned the wall of an abandoned house in New Orleans into "a giant chalkboard where residents can write on the wall and remember what is important to them."

And since putting up that public art project in February 2011, "Before I Die" walls have spread to at least 19 cities around the world. Friday, a wall goes up in Denver.

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NPR Story
2:16 pm
Thu May 3, 2012

'Be Richer' By Learning From Parents' Mistakes

Money — how to make it, and what to do with it when you have it — can be problematic for recent graduates.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri May 4, 2012 11:29 am

College seniors graduating in 2012 face a sluggish economy, bleak job prospects and a mountain of student loan debt. To make matters worse, many don't have the first clue about how to manage their personal finances.

Author Zac Bissonnette, a recent college graduate himself, learned how to handle money by watching his parents' mistakes and ignoring most of their advice. He put himself through college without loans, scholarships or help from his parents.

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National Security
1:53 pm
Thu May 3, 2012

Bin Laden Papers Show Him Frustrated, Marginalized

Pakistanis walk past the rubble of bin Laden's demolished compound this week.
Sajjad Qayyum AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 3, 2012 2:50 pm

Documents found at Osama bin Laden's compound in Pakistan reveal an al-Qaida leader who had come to feel marginalized and frustrated with actions taken by affiliated terror groups he had helped inspire.

The man responsible for the 9/11 terror attacks is seen struggling to limit attacks that killed mostly Muslims, and to keep the international jihad movement focused on what he viewed as the main target: the United States.

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Religion
1:48 pm
Thu May 3, 2012

Nuns And The Vatican: A Clash Decades In Making

American nuns attend Mass at Sant'Apollinare in Rome. The umbrella group that represents the majority of the approximately 56,000 U.S. nuns plans to meet later this month to discuss its response to a Vatican reprimand.
Andrew Medichini AP

Originally published on Fri May 4, 2012 4:42 pm

When Harvard divinity professor Harvey Cox arranged to meet with Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger at the Vatican in 1988, a group of nuns thought he was wasting his time.

"I was chatting and having dinner with a number of Dominican sisters who were staying there for a 30-day retreat," Cox says. "They were incredulous that I wanted to bother seeing Ratzinger. 'Why do you want to do that?' they asked. 'Who pays any attention to him?' "

Flash forward a few decades, and nuns are more than paying attention.

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Shots - Health Blog
1:44 pm
Thu May 3, 2012

CDC Says Helmets Are No Match For Tornadoes, But They Might Not Hurt

Noah Stewart shelters in the closet just 15 minutes before an April 2011 tornado demolished his house. Wearing the helmet may have saved his life, one doctor says.
Courtesy of the Stewart family

Can a helmet protect you in a tornado?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says there's no research on how effective helmets are in preventing head injuries during tornadoes.

But, in what looks like a first, the agency says, in effect, that it's not out of the question that they might help.

Last year, tornadoes claimed the lives of more than 500 people in the U.S. Some safety advocates say protecting your head with a sturdy helmet could help reduce injuries and deaths.

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The Two-Way
1:40 pm
Thu May 3, 2012

Syrian Security Forces Attack Aleppo University

A handout picture released by the Syrian opposition's Shaam News Network shows anti-regime graffiti sprayed on the walls of Aleppo University.
AFP/Getty Images

Syrian security forces stormed Aleppo University today, killing at least four. The incident underlines the continued violence in the country and signals that the unrest is spreading to cities that had remained peaceful.

Reuters reports that security personelle were joined by students wielding knives to attack a protest calling for the ouster of President Bashar Assad. Reuters reports:

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The Two-Way
1:23 pm
Thu May 3, 2012

With Chen's Fate Uncertain, Online 'Dark Glasses' Campaign Continues

The Dark Glasses blog.
ichenguangcheng.blogspot.com

Before his escape from house arrest, his stay at the U.S. embassy in Beijing and now his plea that he be allowed to go to the U.S., Chinese legal activist Chen Guangcheng was the focus of a "Dark Glasses" campaign aimed at drawing attention to his plight.

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Around the Nation
1:12 pm
Thu May 3, 2012

What's So Compelling About Skyscrapers

Rising above the Manhattan skyline: 1 World Trade Center.
Don Emmert AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 4, 2012 1:56 pm

After the terrorist attacks that brought down the twin towers in Manhattan, many said it was the end of an era for skyscrapers. New York City proved them wrong. The building constructed to replace the towers, 1 World Trade Center, has risen above 1,250 feet and surpassed the Empire State Building as the tallest in New York.

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Around the Nation
1:12 pm
Thu May 3, 2012

OWS: A Case Study In Social Movements

Originally published on Thu May 3, 2012 2:16 pm

On May Day, the Occupy Wall Street movement re-emerged to try to reestablish its message and place in the national conversation. Thousands marched in New York City, Oakland and other cities, then quickly faded from national view. Guests consider what sustains social movements, and why some fail.

On Aging
1:12 pm
Thu May 3, 2012

Confronting Your Crown: Male Pattern Baldness

"Macho types are inspired by the likes of Jason Statham," pictured here, writes Daniel Jones.
Max Nash AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 4, 2012 10:33 am

Men dealing with male pattern baldness have decisions to make — go with a comb over, take medication, get hair plugs or a toupee, or do nothing at all.

When New York Times contributing editor Daniel Jones started losing his hair, he chose what he considers a "cooler alternative" — head shaving.

"Losing your hair," he tells NPR's Neal Conan, "is a little bit like a girlfriend who's sort of drifting away, and you're clinging to her as she goes off and sees other people. ... It gets worse and worse. So it's better to take some sort of pre-emptive move."

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The Two-Way
12:40 pm
Thu May 3, 2012

Congressman Calls For Hearing On Google Street View Data Collection

The camera mounted on a Google Street View car used to photograph whole streets obscures part of the U.S. Internet giant's logo.
Daniel Mihailescu AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 3, 2012 12:59 pm

Google may be facing new investigations into its Street View program, which collected 600 gigabytes of personal data including e-mails, passwords, pictures and web searches while its vehicles roamed the streets.

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Movie Reviews
11:54 am
Thu May 3, 2012

'The Avengers': A Marvel-ous Whedonesque Ride

Thor (Chris Hemsworth, left) and Captain America (Chris Evans) join up with Iron Man and the Hulk to save the Earth in The Avengers.
Walt Disney Pictures

Originally published on Thu May 3, 2012 6:29 pm

Two spheres merge in The Avengers: the Marvel Comics universe and the Whedonverse, fans' name for the nerdy wisecracking existentialist superhero world of writer-director Joss Whedon.

The Whedon cult is smaller but maybe more fervent, inspiring academic conferences on such subjects as free will vs. determinism in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I find a lot of Whedon's banter self-consciously smart-alecky, but I love how he can spoof his subjects without robbing them of stature.

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Television
11:47 am
Thu May 3, 2012

The Man Who Revitalized 'Doctor Who' And 'Sherlock'

Steven Moffat is the co-creator of Sherlock. He's also the lead writer and executive producer for the British science-fiction TV show Doctor Who.
Toby Canham Getty

Originally published on Thu May 3, 2012 12:35 pm

TV writer and producer Steven Moffat specializes in injecting new life into old, familiar characters and stories. He first worked his magic on the revived edition of Doctor Who, leading to several BAFTA and Hugo Awards for the series.

More recently, he has turned his eye to the world's greatest detective, Sherlock Holmes. As the co-creator of the critically acclaimed BBC series Sherlock, Moffat is responsible for updating Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's famous fictional creation for a modern-day audience.

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Television
11:40 am
Thu May 3, 2012

Julia Louis-Dreyfus: From 'Seinfeld' To 'Veep'

Julia Louis-Dreyfus has won several awards, including Emmy Awards, Screen Actors Guild Awards and a Golden Globe.
Melanie Acevedo Courtesy of Julia Louis-Dreyfus

Originally published on Thu May 3, 2012 12:35 pm

Julia Louis-Dreyfus will forever be known to millions as Elaine Benes, the character she played for nine seasons on Seinfeld. But she was also an early cast member of Saturday Night Live, and she won the Emmy for Best Comedy Actress while starring in the CBS series The New Adventures of Old Christine, which ran for five seasons after Seinfeld.

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World
10:31 am
Thu May 3, 2012

A Look At Bin Laden's Letters To Confidants

Some of the documents found during the raid on Osama bin Laden's hideaway in Pakistan were released Thursday. West Point's Combating Terrorism Center has been reviewing those documents.

Shots - Health Blog
10:09 am
Thu May 3, 2012

Energy Drinks Can Take Teeth On An Irreversible Acid Trip

Drinks like Red Bull contain citric acid, which can strip away the enamel that protects teeth from decay.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 3, 2012 10:28 am

Drinks with a lot of sugar will rot your teeth, right? That's the conventional wisdom.

But what about the acid? It's not something we think much about, but dentists say it's high time we start, especially when it comes to the river of energy drinks we — and young people in particular — are consuming.

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The Two-Way
9:04 am
Thu May 3, 2012

Militia Leader Reportedly Involved In Shooting Deaths Of Four In Arizona

J.T. Ready is a reputed neo-Nazi who has been conducting heavily armed patrols to catch illegal aliens in the Arizona desert.
J.T. Ready AP

A man fatally shot four people Wednesday outside of Phoenix before being found dead, authorities say. Among the victims was a girl between 1 and 2 years old. There are concerns about possible hazardous materials in 55-gallon drums in the backyard, The Associated Press reports, slowing the investigation.

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The Two-Way
8:51 am
Thu May 3, 2012

Coming Up: Bin Laden Documents To Go Online

Osama bin Laden.
AP

Originally published on Thu May 3, 2012 1:59 pm

Al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden was frustrated with "regional jihadi groups and his seeming inability to exercise control over their actions" in the last few years before he was killed by U.S. Navy SEALs.

That's "the most compelling story to be told," according to an analysis of some documents seized from bin Laden's Pakistani compound in the May 2011 raid that ended with his death, West Point's Combating Terrorism Center reported today.

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