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NPR Story
1:00 pm
Fri February 17, 2012

Where's The Cuttlefish

Duke biologist Sarah Zylinski wants to better understand how cuttlefish see the world. Like their relatives octopus and squid, cuttlefish are master camouflagers--and Zylinski says you can learn something about how they process visual information by testing how they change their skin patterns in relation to different backgrounds.

NPR Story
1:00 pm
Fri February 17, 2012

Approved Reactors Could Power Up Nuclear Industry

Originally published on Fri February 17, 2012 5:52 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. Some good news for the nuclear industry. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission licensed the construction, issued licenses for the construction, of two nuclear reactors at a plant in eastern Georgia. Until last week, the NRC hadn't approved the construction of any new reactors in the U.S. since 1978. That was a year before the partial reactor meltdown at Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania.

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NPR Story
1:00 pm
Fri February 17, 2012

Concrete's Role As A Building Block In History

In his book Concrete Planet, author Robert Courland discusses why the concrete first used by the Romans is more durable than the concrete used in most present day buildings. Plus, mineralogist Peter Stemmerman tells us about his invention, Celitement and why it is greener than Portland cement.

NPR Story
1:00 pm
Fri February 17, 2012

Digital Tools Help Document Vanishing Languages

Linguist David Harrison has travelled to remote corners of the world seeking the last speakers of endangered languages. Now, he's using digital tools to to record and revitalize these dying languages. At the AAAS meeting this week, Harrison unveiled 'talking dictionaries' for eight languages.

Energy
1:00 pm
Fri February 17, 2012

Desert Military Bases Could Be Boon To Solar

Originally published on Fri February 17, 2012 5:52 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. Last week, the government approved the first new nuclear reactor power plants in over 30 years, but in the meantime, the Department of Defense has been investigating a different energy source for its military bases: solar.

My next guest says the military could install seven gigawatts of solar power on its bases. That's roughly equivalent to the output of seven nuclear power plants, and that's all without interfering with bombing ranges or rocket tests and of course the desert tortoise.

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The Salt
12:47 pm
Fri February 17, 2012

Is That A Plastic Baby Jesus In My Cake?

Sucre in New Orleans is one of many bakeries that leaves the plastic baby out of the king cake.
John Rose/NPR

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 5:04 pm

If you've been in New Orleans for carnival season, or if you're lucky enough to taste a cake from there that has arrived in the mail, there's a pretty good chance that yes, there is a plastic baby that comes with your cake.

The baby, meant to represent Jesus, has become a fixture of the king cake (galette des rois in France or rosca de reyes as it's called in Mexico). It's a frosted yeast dough cake that New Orleans bakeries churn out between King's Day, January 6th, and Fat Tuesday, the last day of indulgence before Lent.

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The Two-Way
12:29 pm
Fri February 17, 2012

#Feb17: A First Visit To Revolution Central: The Benghazi Courthouse

While pretty much any corner of Benghazi is a fine place to celebrate this week, the heart of the celebrations are taking place at the courthouse and its public square, where some of the revolution's first protests took place.

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The Two-Way
12:19 pm
Fri February 17, 2012

Proview Threatens Apple With $2 Billion Suit Over iPad Trademark

Proview Technology is threatening to take Apple to court to seek $2 billion in compensation, because the company says it owns the iPad name in China.

CNET reports:

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The Two-Way
12:12 pm
Fri February 17, 2012

Syrian Troops Step Up Homs Shelling After U.N. Resolution

More horrific reports out of Homs only a day after the United Nations General Assembly called on President Bashar al-Assad's regime to end its shelling of the city.

Voice of America reports activists say:

... tank fire and artillery shelling hit four neighborhoods in the central protest city Friday which has spearheaded the 11-month uprising.

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Remembrances
12:08 pm
Fri February 17, 2012

Fresh Air Remembers War Reporter Anthony Shadid

It is with great sadness that we report the sudden death of a frequent Fresh Air guest. New York Times foreign correspondent Anthony Shadid suffered a fatal asthma attack yesterday in Syria, where he was reporting on the political uprising.

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The Two-Way
11:55 am
Fri February 17, 2012

House Passes Payroll Tax Extension

The Republican-controlled House voted 293-132 today to renew a payroll tax cut that benefits 160 million workers, as well as extending benefits to millions of unemployed Americans.

The Senate is expected to quickly approve the legislation, which then goes to President Obama for his signature.

Workers would continue to receive the two percentage-point cut in the 6.2 percent Social Security payroll tax — as much as $2,200 for high-income earners.

The Associated Press reports:

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The Two-Way
11:06 am
Fri February 17, 2012

The Libyan Art Of Honking

Children in Tripoli, Libya, wave a national flag from a car as people celebrate the one-year anniversary of the beginning of Libya's revolution, Feb. 16 2012.
Sabri Elmhedwi EPA /Landov

Originally published on Fri February 17, 2012 1:12 pm

The streets of Benghazi have turned into the world's most joyous parking lot.

Every single vehicle, moving slower than a toddler walking, is honking its horn in a variety of patterns to celebrate the first anniversary of the revolution.

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The Two-Way
10:28 am
Fri February 17, 2012

Millions Of Apple Users Unwittingly Tracked By Google

If you thought privacy settings on your iPhone, iPad or Apple desktop were keeping others from tracking your travels across the Web, think again.

Google Inc. and some advertizing companies have been bypassing the privacy settings of millions of people using Safari, the default Apple-supplied browser, The Wall Street Journal reports.

In a story today by Julia Angwin and Jennifer Valentino-Devries, the WSJ said:

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Shots - Health Blog
10:21 am
Fri February 17, 2012

Johnson & Johnson Recalls Infants' Tylenol That's Too Hard To Use

More than a half-million bottles of Tylenol for babies have been recalled because of complaints about a new system for getting the dose right. The doughnut-like receptacle for the syringe seen in the neck of the bottle can get pushed down into the liquid medicine.
Johnson & Johnson

Originally published on Tue February 21, 2012 5:49 pm

Johnson & Johnson keeps finding new reasons to recall products.

This time there's a problem with more than a half-million bottles of grape-flavored liquid Tylenol for infants. What's up?

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Movie Interviews
9:59 am
Fri February 17, 2012

Michelle Williams: The Fresh Air Interview

Actress Michelle Williams was recently nominated for an Academy Award for her performance in Blue Valentine. In Meek's Cutoff, she plays a bold settler named Emily Tetherow.
Matt Sayles AP Photo

This interview was originally broadcast on April 14, 2011. Michelle Williams just received a Best Actress nomination for her performance in My Week With Marilyn.

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It's All Politics
9:26 am
Fri February 17, 2012

Some Friday Political Stories Worth Noting

Those aren't bags of money but they might as well be. President Obama and the DNC raised $29.1 million in January.
Susan Walsh AP

A few of the political stories worth noting this Friday:

Congressional negotiators reached agreement on extensions of the payroll tax cut as well as federal jobless benefits and a "fix" that would prevent Medicare reimbursements to doctors from being cut. But while the House's Republican leaders and the Senate's Democratic leaders were on board, Senate Republicansn weren't. Votes are expected in both chambers Friday.

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Monkey See
9:01 am
Fri February 17, 2012

Is There Hope In Friday Night Television's 'Timeslot Of Death'?

The Wild Ranger crew of Bering Sea Gold: Steve Riedel, owner Vernon Adkison and Captain Scott Meisterheim.
Ryan Rude Discovery Channel

Originally published on Fri February 17, 2012 1:52 pm

Call it the resurrection of the time slot of death.

For years, Friday nights have carried a grisly reputation — where shows on broadcast networks are sent to die. But a certain kind of cable show has recently performed well — even really well — on Friday nights.

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The Two-Way
9:00 am
Fri February 17, 2012

Libya Celebrates Uprising, But Still A Long Way To Go

Libyans celebrated the first anniversary of the popular uprising that ousted long-time dictator Moammar Gaddafi today, but some of the very militias responsible for toppling the government have turned to terrorizing the population.

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The Two-Way
8:35 am
Fri February 17, 2012

Santorum, Romney Step Up Campaign In Michigan

On Morning Edition today, a couple of reports highlighting the run-up to the Feb. 28 Michigan primary, which is shaping up to be a close match between Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum, who has gained considerable momentum from wins elsewhere in the Midwest last week.

NPR's Don Gonyea reports from Michigan that Santorum's committment to conservative family values is having some resonance there.

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The Two-Way
7:57 am
Fri February 17, 2012

German President Resigns Amid Scandal

Originally published on Fri February 17, 2012 7:59 am

German President Chritian Wulff has resigned amid questions about possible corruption, a move that leaves Chancellor Angela Merkel - already under pressure from the eurozone debt crisis - scrambling for a replacement.

Wulff stepped down from the largely ceremonial post two months after the German newpaper Bild published a story alleging that while he was premier of Lower Saxony, he had failed to disclose his links to powerful businessman Egon Geerkens.

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Economy
7:11 am
Fri February 17, 2012

Does The Strengthening Economy Still Need Congress?

Employment has been rising in recent months, but most economists say Congress should keep trying to boost consumer spending.
Mark Lennihan AP

Originally published on Fri February 17, 2012 12:25 pm

Congress on Friday approved legislation to continue a payroll tax holiday and extend benefits for the long-term unemployed.

The goal is to make sure Americans have enough spending money to keep the recovery from faltering. President Obama is expected to sign the legislation.

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Remembrances
7:05 am
Fri February 17, 2012

Remembering 'Intrepid Storyteller' Anthony Shadid

New York Times journalist Anthony Shadid (second from right) reported from Embaba, a neighborhood in Cairo, in February 2011 during the revolution that toppled Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
Ed Ou Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:01 am

I met Anthony Shadid on a ruined airstrip in western Afghanistan in the winter of 2001-'02. He was sporting a beard and longer hair in those days that made him look a little like a crusading Arab warrior. We spoke briefly and exchanged a few bits of useful news about the place. As I recall his face now, I realize Anthony's secret: His sincerity was piercing, disarming and infectious.

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Around the Nation
6:43 am
Fri February 17, 2012

Mount Vernon Display Honors Washington's Kitchen

This President's Day weekend, a new exhibition opens at George Washington's Mt. Vernon. It's called Hoecakes & Hospitality: Cooking with Martha Washington. It displays Mrs. Washington's hand-written recipes along with her pots and pans. It honors the labor-intensive role slaves had in the kitchen.

Around the Nation
6:36 am
Fri February 17, 2012

Mall In 'Blues Brothers' To Be Demolished

Originally published on Fri February 17, 2012 9:34 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Despite its iconic place in film history, demolition has begun on the Dixie Square Mall in Harvey, Illinois. It was the setting for a famous scene in the movie, "The Blues Brothers." The heroes escaped from police by driving their blues mobile through the mall, destroying stores, mannequins flying in the air. The high speed chase in the 1980 film was the most action the mall has seen in a long time. It's been closed since '79. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Politics
6:28 am
Fri February 17, 2012

Donahoe Proposes Major Changes To Postal Service

In a letter addressed to Congress, Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe calls for slashing 150,000 jobs - mostly through retirements. The most significant savings Donahoe suggests would come from the Postal Service breaking away from the federal health benefits plan.

Election 2012
4:00 am
Fri February 17, 2012

Romney Campaigns In Michigan

Symbolically speaking, this month's Michigan's primary may be the most important of the GOP presidential race to date. It's the state where Mitt Romney grew up, and his father was a beloved government and business leader. And now, Romney seems to have a real chance of losing the state to Rick Santorum.

Election 2012
4:00 am
Fri February 17, 2012

Santorum Campaigns In Michigan

Originally published on Fri February 17, 2012 9:34 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And at his stops in Michigan yesterday, Rick Santorum spoke of economic revival through low taxes, fewer regulations and his commitment to conservative family values.

Here's NPR national political correspondent Don Gonyea.

DON GONYEA, BYLINE: Rick Santorum can't outspend Romney in Michigan, and he's facing a barrage of ads on radio and TV paid for by the pro-Romney superPAC Restore Our Future. The ads attack Santorum's U.S. Senate record.

(SOUNDBITE OF POLITICAL ADVERTISEMENT)

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Television
4:00 am
Fri February 17, 2012

How Friday Night TV Started Producing Hits

Fridays used to be infamous as the worst night for TV ratings. It was where shows went to die. Now, between DVRs and people not going out because of the lousy economy, Friday has become a perfectly respectful night to have a certain kind of show on TV and even become a hit.

Business
4:00 am
Fri February 17, 2012

Business News

Renee Montagne has business news.

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