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Still No Job: Over A Year Without Enough Work
4:29 pm
Tue December 20, 2011

Marriage Economy: 'I Couldn't Afford To Get Divorced'

iStockphoto.com

Lindsay Reynolds lives in Waterloo, Wis. Even before the recent economic downturn, Reynolds and her husband struggled to make ends meet. They quarreled, especially over money.

"We never had enough income to pay bills, to pay rent. We were constantly late on rent," Reynolds says. "He always wanted to go do things. He wanted to go buy things. And I said, 'No, we can't. We have to be fiscally responsible.' "

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It's All Politics
4:07 pm
Tue December 20, 2011

'We The People': NPR Readers Would Ratify Four New Amendments

The people have spoken: NPR readers would add four new amendments to the Constitution.
ASSOCIATED PRESS

In "Reconstituting The Constitution: How To Rewrite It," we invited readers to share their own thoughts on how we might change the founding document for 2011. Now the people have spoken.

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The Two-Way
3:52 pm
Tue December 20, 2011

A Mighty Release This Is: Star Wars Video Game Is EA's Most Expensive

Part of the packaging of "Star Wars: The Old Republic."
EA

Originally published on Tue December 20, 2011 3:59 pm

The video game "Star Wars: The Old Republic" is estimated to have cost Electronic Arts somewhere between $100 and $300 million to make. To put it into perspective Avatar, released in 2009 and one of Hollywood's most expensive movies, cost $237 million to make. Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, released in 1977, had a budget of $11 million.

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Opinion
3:48 pm
Tue December 20, 2011

A Quest To Seek The Sublime In The Spiritual

A globe Buddha is visible against the sunset in the Republic of the Union of Myanmar (Burma).
istockphoto.com

Eric Weiner's most recent book is Man Seeks God: My Flirtations with the Divine.

Surveys show religious people are happier than the secular? Why is this? Is it — as an atheist friend quipped — that "ignorance is bliss?" Not long ago, that's what I would have concluded. Like many people of my ilk — cerebral East Coaster, highly skeptical, and, yes, latte drinking — I reflexively viewed the religious as less sophisticated. And, if I'm brutally honest here, somehow less intelligent, or at least more narrow-minded. I don't feel that way anymore.

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The Two-Way
3:25 pm
Tue December 20, 2011

From Homeless To White House To 'The Martha Stewart Show'

One of the decorations in the Red Room of the White House, where David Bondarchuck was among the volunteer decorators.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

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

When NPR's Ari Shapiro earlier this month filed a report on the 2011 holiday decorations at the executive mansion, he focused some of his attention on the diverse group of volunteer decorators who were called on to help dress up 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

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Politics
3:00 pm
Tue December 20, 2011

Dreier Discusses The Payroll Tax Cut

Robert Siegel speaks with California Republican Rep. David Dreier for the latest on the payroll tax cut and the House vote.

Presidential Race
3:00 pm
Tue December 20, 2011

Prominent Iowa Conservative Backs Santorum

The Family Leader, an influential social conservative organization based in Iowa, has decided to remain neutral in the race for the Republican presidential nomination. But the group's founder, Bob Vander Plaats, surprised many political observers Tuesday by throwing his support to former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum.

Around the Nation
3:00 pm
Tue December 20, 2011

Winter Weather Grounds Travelers

Winter weather is making travel difficult in parts of the county. The blizzard is making its way through the lower plains.

Media
3:00 pm
Tue December 20, 2011

Piers Morgan Testifies Before Judicial Inquiry

Originally published on Tue December 20, 2011 6:09 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.

Piers Morgan, the man who took over Larry King's chair at CNN, was forced to confront his past today. Morgan was hooked up by video link to London to field questions at a public inquiry into media ethics. The inquiry was convened because of the News of the World phone hacking affair. That scandal has so far led to the resignation of top executives in Rupert Murdoch's media empire and more than 20 arrests.

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Politics
3:00 pm
Tue December 20, 2011

House Rejects Senate's Payroll Tax Extension

The House blew up the end-of-year deal to extend the payroll tax holiday, but it insists it's the Senate's fault. If both chambers fail to forge a compromise, taxes go up, unemployment benefits expire and payments to Medicare doctors get cut by 27 percent — all starting Jan. 1.

Sports
3:00 pm
Tue December 20, 2011

Montrealers Reject New Interim Canadiens Coach

Originally published on Tue December 20, 2011 6:09 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

The Montreal Canadiens hockey team has lost more games than it's won this season. It's in last place in its division and so, as often happens when a sports teams does poorly, the Canadiens coach, Jacques Martin, was fired. In his place, the Canadiens, who are owned by Geoff Molson of Molson Beer fame, promoted the assistant coach, Ontario-born Randy Cunneyworth. Mr. Cunneyworth instantly encountered a serious objection, though. He may know hockey, but he doesn't know French.

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Presidential Race
3:00 pm
Tue December 20, 2011

Looking For Boost, Candidates Hit The Ground In N.H.

Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul laughs as he sits down with Elizabeth Rose Chamberlain, 3, of Epping, N.H., while campaigning at the Early Bird Cafe in Plaistow, N.H., on Tuesday.
Charles Krupa AP

With three weeks to go before the New Hampshire primary, presidential campaigns are working at full speed to reach out to voters.

Political strategists say a good ground game — a campaign's ability to identify voters and get them to the polls — is worth 3 points at the ballot box. That's a boost any candidate would want.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:36 pm
Tue December 20, 2011

U.S. Says Details Of Flu Experiments Should Stay Secret

H5N1 avian flu viruses (seen in gold) grow inside canine kidney cells (seen in green).
Cynthia Goldsmith CDC

Originally published on Wed December 21, 2011 10:35 am

A committee that advises the government says that details of two controversial experiments on bird flu virus should not be made public, because of fears that the work could provide a recipe for a bioweapon.

The government-funded experiments were done by researchers who wanted to understand if bird flu virus might change in the future to cause a pandemic in people. By tweaking genes, they made the deadly bird flu virus more contagious between lab animals.

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The Two-Way
2:26 pm
Tue December 20, 2011

Citing Competition, Honda Announces Civic Overhaul

Honda hopes a Civic revamp will boost sales.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Here's some interesting news about the car market in the United States: Citing increased competition, Honda said it is taking the unusual step of redesigning its Civic sedan months after a unveiling its 2012 model this summer.

Here's what Tetsuo Iwamura, chief executive for American Honda Motor Co., told The Detroit News:

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The Two-Way
2:15 pm
Tue December 20, 2011

Report: Ohio State Football Team 'Banned From Postseason Play Next Year'

"The NCAA today stunned Ohio State University's football program by banning it from postseason play after the 2012 season," multiple sources tell The Columbus Dispatch.

It adds that:

"The penalty means Ohio State automatically is out of the running for any bowl, or a Big Ten or national championship next year, just as newly appointed head coach Urban Meyer is wooing recruits to the Buckeyes."

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Book Reviews
2:03 pm
Tue December 20, 2011

The Story Of The Chitlin' Circuit's Great Performers

Cover detail

During the years before the Civil Rights movement got underway, segregated American cities helped give birth to a touring circuit that provided employment for hundreds of black musicians and eventually brought about the birth of rock 'n' roll. Today, rock historian Ed Ward looks at two books, Preston Lauterbach's The Chitlin' Circuit and the Road to Rock 'n' Roll and Fever, Susan Whitall's biography of Little Willie John, one of the Chitlin' Circuit's last stars.

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The Two-Way
1:30 pm
Tue December 20, 2011

'Ultimate Dog Tease' Is No. 2 On YouTube's List, No. 1 In Some Hearts

How can you not love that face?
Talking Animals

YouTube is out with its most-viewed video list for the year and if you didn't know that Rebecca Black's Friday would be on top, than you're among the (dare we say?) lucky few who didn't get her song stuck in their head this year.

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NPR Story
1:00 pm
Tue December 20, 2011

Finding Bright Spots In A Difficult 2011

2011 has been a tough year in many ways: the economy is still struggling, Europe's dealing with a huge debt crisis and Japan is still recovering from a devastating tsunami. But from Chrysler to coconut water, there are people, products and ideas that have done well in 2011.

NPR Story
1:00 pm
Tue December 20, 2011

Revisiting The First Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

Before the 2011 film version of John Le Carre's spy novel, British director John Irvin directed the original 1979 multi-episode series for the BBC, starring George Smiley as the master spy recalled from forced retirement to root out a traitor in the top ranks of the British intelligence service.

NPR Story
1:00 pm
Tue December 20, 2011

Letters: Video Games And The High Cost Of College

NPR's Neal Conan reads from listener comments on previous show topics, including realizing how much college actually costs, recovering from a traumatic injury and the season's big video games.

Children's Health
1:00 pm
Tue December 20, 2011

Autism Rates Have Spiked, But Why?

According to the Centers for Disease Control, nearly one percent of U.S. children have some form of autism, 20 times higher than the rate in the 1980s. Alan Zarembo of The Los Angeles Times and clinical psychologist Catherine Lord discuss what's behind the growing number of diagnoses.

NPR Story
1:00 pm
Tue December 20, 2011

Jake Shimabukuro Gives Ukelele A Chance To Shine

Originally published on Wed December 21, 2011 11:35 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

Well, contrary to the old belief, the ukulele is no joke. Just listen to this.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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The Two-Way
12:45 pm
Tue December 20, 2011

CNN's Piers Morgan Testifies Before British Parliament About Phone Hacking

CNN's Piers Morgan has been testifying today before the British Parliament about the country's phone hacking scandal. Morgan, who was the editor of two British tabloids, became a figure in the scandal when a British politician said Morgan had "boasted" about hacking into phones.

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Business
12:02 pm
Tue December 20, 2011

Investors Endure Another Disappointing Year

For Americans saving for retirement, 2011 was another lackluster year, filled with lots of risks but few rewards.

Savers who tried to avoid risks by putting money into federally insured savings accounts earned almost no interest. The money just sat there, even as inflation ate away at its value, with consumer prices rising nearly 3.5 percent this year.

And for those who invested in a broad array of U.S. stocks, the results were — at best — mixed.

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Election 2012
12:01 pm
Tue December 20, 2011

In Iowa, The Final GOP Ground Game Takes Shape

A supporter of Republican presidential candidate Texas Gov. Rick Perry passes out stickers on Dec. 16 in Cherokee, Iowa.
Scott Olson Getty Images

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

Two weeks from Tuesday, Iowa voters will head out to almost 1,800 caucus sites to help select a Republican presidential nominee. It could be cold. It could also be snowing. And the campaigns know they'll have to work hard to make sure their supporters show up. Those get-out-the-vote efforts could make all the difference in a race that now appears to be up for grabs.

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The Salt
11:51 am
Tue December 20, 2011

With Hanukkah Microbrews, A Taste of Jewish History

An early predecessor to the Hanukkah brews of today, Russian Jew Max Lapides stands with his sons in front of the Bauernschmidt Brewery Saloon in Baltimore, circa 1900.
Gift of Rose Sacks. Courtesy of the Jewish Museum of Maryland, 1988.227.1

Originally published on Tue December 20, 2011 12:32 pm

During the holidays, many beer manufacturers roll out seasonal brews. But there's a relative newcomer for the festival of lights: Hanukkah beer.

Lompoc Brewing, in Portland, Ore., is one small, craft brewery that has added it to its winter lineup.

"We had a Jewish gentleman here ... and he wanted to make a Hanukkah brew," says David Fleming, the head brewer. "So we thought it was a great idea. We already had six Christmas beers going anyhow, so why couldn't we have a seventh one for Hanukkah?"

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The Two-Way
10:35 am
Tue December 20, 2011

Cool Video: Massive Cloud 'Waves' Roll Over Alabama

Huge clouds roll over Birmingham, Ala., on Dec. 16, 2011.
ABC 33/40

Originally published on Tue February 7, 2012 5:28 pm

Video of some pretty awesome looking clouds rolling across the sky last Friday in Birmingham, Ala., is beginning to roll up a lot of views.

They sure look like either some amazingly huge waves or a line of Loch Ness monsters marching across the horizon.

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Best Music Of 2011
10:09 am
Tue December 20, 2011

Ken Tucker's Top 10: The Year In Music

Television
10:07 am
Tue December 20, 2011

Bianculli Picks The Best (And Worst) TV Of 2011

Over the past few seasons, Breaking Bad's Walter White (Bryan Cranston) has changed from meek hero to forceful villain. TV critic David Bianculli says he isn't just breaking bad anymore — he's entirely broken.
Gregory Peters AMC

Fresh Air's TV critic David Bianculli liked so many shows this year that he says he couldn't pick just 10 favorites. Instead, he split his favorites into several lists, including best documentaries and best scripted comedies/dramas.

Bianculli also highlights some of the worst shows to hit TV screens this year — including not one but two shows featuring Snooki.

Despite his Snooki misgivings, Bianculli says it was a banner year for TV.

"There is more good television on a weekly basis than there has ever been," Bianculli says. "I am absolutely certain of it."

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It's All Politics
9:59 am
Tue December 20, 2011

Flagging In Polls, Gingrich Urges Voters To Reject Negative Campaigning

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich makes remarks at a town hall meeting at Level 10 Apparel's screen-printing warehouse, in Hiawatha, Iowa, Dec. 19.
MIKE THEILER UPI /Landov

New polls — both in Iowa and nationwide — show front-running GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich losing his edge. Over at the New York Times' blog FiveThirtyEight, Nate Silver's latest forecast shows Ron Paul taking the lead in Iowa.

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