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Technology
1:00 pm
Fri November 18, 2011

Building A Better Toilet

Toilets, as most of us know them, haven't changed much since the 1800s--they use a lot of water, and require an infrastructure that many communities can't afford. Ira Flatow and guests look at the problem of access to sanitation, and how engineers are making toilets better.

Health
1:00 pm
Fri November 18, 2011

Strangers Can Spot Genetic Disposition For Empathy

Reporting in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers write that complete strangers are capable of spotting individuals with a genetic predisposition to empathy and sociable behavior. Author Sarina Saturn discusses the study, and how sociability has evolved across cultures.

Pop Culture
1:00 pm
Fri November 18, 2011

Balloonatics Prepare For Thanksgiving Day Parade

With the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade less than a week away, it's crunch time for the balloon technicians. Science Friday goes behind the scenes at Macy's design studio to find out about the final preparations for the parade.

Shots - Health Blog
12:11 pm
Fri November 18, 2011

FDA Pulls Approval Of Avastin For Breast Cancer

Richard Morgenstein Genentech

Originally published on Sun November 20, 2011 11:22 am

Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Margaret Hamburg has spoken.

After more than a year of deliberations and an unprecedented public hearing in June, the agency has revoked approval of the biotech blockbuster Avastin, a medicine that chokes off the blood supply to various cancer cells, as a treatment for metastatic breast cancer.

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The Two-Way
12:06 pm
Fri November 18, 2011

Detroit Mayor Plans To Lay Off 1,000 City Employees

Detroit Mayor Dave Bing.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 18, 2011 12:09 pm

"Detroit Mayor Dave Bing, who outlined an emergency plan two days ago, isn't wasting any time taking action" in tackling his city's financial crisis, our colleague Micki Maynard at the Changing Gears project reports. "Today, Bing said the city will lay off 1,000 employees, or about 9 percent of the city's payroll, by Feb. 25."

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The Two-Way
11:37 am
Fri November 18, 2011

Hotter Hot Days, And More Of Them, 'Virtually Certain'

"It is virtually certain that on a global scale hot days [will] become even hotter and occur more often" in coming decades, according to a report released today from a group of more than 100 scientists convened by the United Nations.

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Movie Interviews
11:24 am
Fri November 18, 2011

In 'Beginners,' A Gay Man Comes Out Late In Life

Academy Award nominee Christopher Plummer (left) and Ewan McGregor star as father and son in Mike Mills' Beginners.
Focus Features

This interview was originally broadcast on June 2, 2011. Beginners is now available on DVD.

Filmmaker Mike Mills' parents met in junior high school. For 45 years, they lived together, raising Mills and his older sisters, until Mills' mother died in 1999. Six months later, Mills' father — a 75-year-old retired museum director — announced that he's gay.

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The Two-Way
10:25 am
Fri November 18, 2011

'Leading Indicators' Rise Sharply

An index that's designed to forecast how the economy will be doing in coming months rose a solid 0.9 percent in October from September, the business research group The Conference Board reports. It had risen just 0.1 percent in September and had fallen 0.3 percent in August.

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Shots - Health Blog
10:09 am
Fri November 18, 2011

When to Worry About Smart Kids and Drugs

Make sure she has dinner with the rest of the family.
Jan van den Brink iStockphoto.com

All parents hope their children will be smart. But no parents want their children to grow up to have problems with drugs like cocaine, marijuana and amphetamines.

So it's no surprise that a study out this week linking high IQ in children with illegal drug use as adults has been giving parents the willies. "I think it's kind of scary that this article is out there," says Lisa Boesky, a mom in San Diego.

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The Two-Way
9:55 am
Fri November 18, 2011

Oklahoma State Women's Basketball Coach Killed In Plane Crash

Kurt Budke, coach of the women's basketball team at Oklahoma State University, was killed in the crash of a small plane last night in Perry County, Ark.

Also dead: assistant women's basketball coach Miranda Serna and two others, including the pilot. The coaches had been on a recruiting trip to Arkansas.

As The Oklahoman reports:

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The Two-Way
9:17 am
Fri November 18, 2011

New Tests Support Claim That Speed Of Light's Been Broken

A 2010 light installation entitled 'Speed of Light' in London.
Ben Stansall AFP/Getty Images

It's not the final word, but scientists at the Italian Institute for Nuclear Physics report today that "new tests conducted at the Gran Sasso National Laboratory of INFN by the OPERA Collaboration, with a specially set up neutrino beam from CERN, confirm so far the previous results on the measurement of the neutrino velocity."

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The Two-Way
9:00 am
Fri November 18, 2011

Syracuse Assistant Coach Put On Leave After New Accusation

Originally published on Fri November 18, 2011 3:51 pm

Update at 3:50 p.m. ET: Syracuse assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine has called the accusations about him "patently false," The Associated Press reports.

Our original post:

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The Two-Way
8:34 am
Fri November 18, 2011

Tea Party And Occupy Members Find Common Ground In Memphis

An Associated Press reporter was on hand last night in Tennessee when two representatives from the Occupy Memphis movement sat down with about 75 members of the Mid-South Tea Party and had what's described as a "sometimes strained and confrontational, but mostly civil discussion."

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The Two-Way
7:45 am
Fri November 18, 2011

Robert Wagner Supports New Look Into Natalie Wood's Death

Authorities in Los Angeles plan to say more later today about why they're reopening the investigation into actress Natalie Wood's drowning death over the weekend of Thanksgiving 1981.

Wood's husband at the time, actor Robert Wagner, says through a spokesman that he supports the new probe.

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Economy
7:43 am
Fri November 18, 2011

Toast Sandwich Is Cheap And Easy But Is It Good?

In these hard times, Britain's Royal Academy of Chemistry has come up with the cheapest meal of all: a toast sandwich. They found the recipe in the Victorian bestseller: Mrs. Beeton's Book of Household Management. It's a piece of toast between two buttered slices of bread and costs 12 cents to make.

Around the Nation
7:30 am
Fri November 18, 2011

Columbia's Band Banned From Final Football Game

Originally published on Fri November 18, 2011 7:31 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Renee Montagne. The Columbia University Marching Band is known for its sense of humor, but their joke fell flat at a recent football game against Cornell. In a parody of the school fight song, the band sang: We always lose, lose, lose by a lot; sometimes, by a little - which is accurate. Their loss to Cornell was their ninth straight this year.

The athletic department wasn't amused. They banned the marching band from the final game of the season. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

The Two-Way
7:15 am
Fri November 18, 2011

Clinton Plans Landmark Visit After Myanmar's 'Flickers Of Progress'

Myanmar pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
Khin Maung Win AP

Originally published on Fri November 18, 2011 12:24 pm

When he announced early today that Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will visit Myanmar next month, President Obama cited "flickers of progress" on respect for human rights in the country also known as Burma as grounds for the first visit by an American secretary of state in 50 years.

Among those signs: the release of some political prisoners new President Thein Sein's government and relaxing of some restrictions on the media.

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Business
4:00 am
Fri November 18, 2011

Big, Small Cars Adorn LA Auto Show

Originally published on Fri November 18, 2011 7:12 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's Nina Gregory was also looking around the L.A. Auto Show searching for new extremes. She wanted to see some of the biggest offerings automakers had on display this year and also the littlest.

NINA GREGORY, BYLINE: The newest entry to the teeny tiny market is the Chevrolet Spark, a 144-inch four-door.

BRANDY SCHAFFELS: You might like the sound...

(SOUNDBITE OF DOOR SLAMMING)

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Business
4:00 am
Fri November 18, 2011

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Fri November 18, 2011 7:25 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Let's consider now, those vehicles that offer something really cheap - the food trucks that have become so popular. At the L.A. Auto Show, Nissan has on display a new truck specially designed for mobile restaurateurs. Our last word in business today is: culinary concept car.

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Asia
4:00 am
Fri November 18, 2011

Obama In Bali For East Asia Summit

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Europe
4:00 am
Fri November 18, 2011

Italy's New Government Passes 1st Confidence Vote

Originally published on Fri November 18, 2011 5:33 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Italy's new prime minister has pledged far-reaching reforms. An economist himself, Mario Monti has managed to win a vote of confidence for his new national unity government by an overwhelming majority in Italy's senate. Still, Europe's debt crisis is gathering more steam and now pushing borrowing costs for Spain and France sharply higher. As NPR's Sylvia Poggioli reports, pressure is mounting on the European Central Bank to act to stem the crisis.

(SOUNDBITE OF PROTEST)

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Around the Nation
4:00 am
Fri November 18, 2011

Will Football Remain King At Penn State?

Interim Penn State football coach Tom Bradley, shown here at a Nov. 12 game against the Nebraska Cornhuskers, is now focused on Saturday's game against Ohio State.
Justin K. Aller Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 18, 2011 9:45 pm

Football has long been beloved at Penn State, and the program is one of the most lucrative in the country. But as the biggest scandal in the school's history continues to roil the campus, some in State College, Pa., are beginning to question football's influence.

At his news conference this week, interim Penn State football coach Tom Bradley tried to focus on Saturday's game in Columbus.

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Europe
4:00 am
Fri November 18, 2011

Why Germany Needs The Eurozone To Be A Success

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The outcome in Italy is, of course, of huge importance to Germany. Germany is the strongest economy in the eurozone and has a deep historical interest in the euro's success. We asked the economist Nicolas Veron to remind us of Germany's role in this grand monetary experiment.

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Around the Nation
4:00 am
Fri November 18, 2011

Thousands Participate In Occupy Wall Street Protests

Originally published on Fri November 18, 2011 6:54 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The Occupy Wall Street movement saw mostly peaceful demonstrations across the country yesterday. In cities including Las Vegas, Washington, D.C., and Portland, occupiers were marking the second month of their movement. Dozens were arrested at a rally in Los Angeles and even more in New York City, where protesters tried to shut down Wall Street. NPR's Margot Adler reports.

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Movies
4:00 am
Fri November 18, 2011

'Happy Feet Two' Lacks Satisfying Story

Originally published on Fri November 18, 2011 6:10 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And it is always fun to be in the audience for Susan's cranberry relish sequels. Kenneth Turan says there's a sequel opening in theaters today that's not as much fun as the first. Five years ago "Happy Feet" won the Oscar for best animated feature. Now the penguins are back.

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Around the Nation
4:00 am
Fri November 18, 2011

Penn State Child Sex Abuse Scandal Still Raises Questions

The child sex abuse scandal at Penn State is raising more and more questions about who knew what, when and what actions were, or were not taken. Elements of the unfolding scandal remain quite confusing. Former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky is charged with abusing young boys.

Business
4:00 am
Fri November 18, 2011

Honda Works To Assure Quality Cars

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The Los Angeles Auto Show begins today. It's the first of America's car shows and it's where manufacturers put their best foot forward or try to reinvent themselves. One those carmakers is Honda. Honda's production was badly hurt by Japan's earthquake and tsunami, and as it was getting back on track, the floods in Thailand crippled production again. But as NPR's Sonari Glinton reports from the L.A. Auto Show, natural disasters may be the least of Honda's problems.

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Business
4:00 am
Fri November 18, 2011

Oil Prices Raise Sharply On Improving U.S. Economy

Originally published on Fri November 18, 2011 7:16 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with oil prices hovering around $99 a barrel. Oil has gone up sharply since last month, partly because of signs of improvement in the U.S. economy. Also because of tensions in some oil producing regions, which could affect supplies. Still, the debt crisis in Europe is holding prices below that psychologically important $100 a barrel mark. Benchmark crude was trading in Asia this morning at about $98.90. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Politics
4:00 am
Fri November 18, 2011

House Panel Questions Chu About Solyndra Loan

Energy Secretary Steven Chu appeared before a House oversight subcommittee Thursday to defend his agency's decision to lend $500 million in federal money to Solyndra, a company that made solar panels and is now bankrupt. The company is the subject of numerous federal investigations.

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