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Simon Says
5:58 pm
Fri August 31, 2012

Without A Career, How Do We Know Who We Are?

Originally published on Sat September 1, 2012 3:31 pm

Are we what we do?

A lot of Americans identify themselves by their work. It's often how we introduce ourselves or describe our friends and parents: "I'm a police officer." "I'm a spot-welder." "My dad was a druggist." "My mom was a teacher." "My wife is a pilot." "My friend is a firefighter." "I sell insurance."

Our work has been a kind of identity stamp, defining us as much as our last name or place of birth. As Studs Terkel wrote in his 1974 classic, Working, "Our jobs give us daily meaning as well as daily bread."

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Participation Nation
5:33 pm
Fri August 31, 2012

Helping Hats In Reeds Spring, Mo.

Sophia Greenwalt in a hat.
Courtesy of the Greenwalts

Sophia Greenwalt, 13, is the founder of Helping Hats, a fundraising program in the Reeds Spring School District. Once a month, students and staff can wear a hat to school for a dollar donation. The money raised that day goes to a non-profit organization in the community.

In 2012, Sophia has gotten nine local businesses on board to match the money raised by the school. Helping Hats has raised more than $20,000 for organizations such as the Joplin School District (after a devastating tornado), the Humane Society and others.

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The Salt
5:08 pm
Fri August 31, 2012

Battle Over Michigan's New Swine Rules Goes Hog Wild

A Russian sow on Mark Baker's farm. Four other parties have joined Baker's lawsuit against the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
Courtesy of Long Haul Productions

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 4:33 pm

It's estimated that as many as 3,000 wild pigs are on the loose in Michigan. Nationwide, they cause more than $1.8 billion in damage to farms each year. So recently, the state's Department of Natural Resources put Russian boar on the state's invasive species list.

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Participation Nation
4:33 pm
Fri August 31, 2012

Dancing In The Dark In Nashville, Tenn.

Peggy Ivie, right, is a dancer.
Courtesy of Patricia Lefler

I had always dreamed of learning ballroom dancing. But when I lost most of my sight due to retinitis pigmentosa, the dream seemed over.

However, I joined a dance club in Nashville and began taking lessons. My instructor, Patricia Lefler, had never taught dance to a visually impaired person before, but she rose to the challenge.

One day she suggested that we volunteer to teach dancing at the Tennessee School for the Blind. In January, we taught our first group of six.

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The Two-Way
4:31 pm
Fri August 31, 2012

Thieves Hit Warehouse Holding $30 Million Of Canadian Maple Syrup

Maple syrup bottles sit on a shelf. A Canadian syrup producers' federation says a warehouse holding "over 10 million pounds of maple syrup" was recently burglarized.
Toby Talbot AP

Originally published on Fri August 31, 2012 6:27 pm

Every nation stockpiles vital resources — think of the U.S. Petroleum Reserve, for instance. In Canada, they have warehouses holding millions of pounds of maple syrup. And recently, one of them was the site of what may be "the sweetest heist of all time," as The Vancouver Sun reports.

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Shots - Health Blog
4:30 pm
Fri August 31, 2012

Thalidomide Maker Apologizes After More Than 50 Years

Originally published on Sat September 1, 2012 2:22 pm

You've probably heard of thalidomide, the infamous sedative that ended up causing birth defects in the children of mothers who took it.

Back in the late 1950s, the drug was sold in 46 countries, though not the U.S., and was particularly popular in then-West Germany, the U.K. and Australia. But in 1961, the drug was taken off the market after the link to birth defects emerged.

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It's All Politics
4:15 pm
Fri August 31, 2012

Eastwood And His Chair Not Only Entertainers On The Trail

Matt Berninger of The National will open for a President Obama rally Saturday in Des Moines, Iowa. Here, Berninger performs in Brisbane, Australia, in 2011.
Mark Metcalfe Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 31, 2012 4:19 pm

Mitt Romney has Clint Eastwood and that now-famous empty chair on his side. But the Republican presidential nominee isn't the only one getting entertainment industry shoutouts this week.

Actors Ashley Judd and Ben McKenzie were campaigning for President Obama in Iowa on Friday ahead of his latest campaign stop in the swing state.

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Politics
4:15 pm
Fri August 31, 2012

RNC's Program Aimed At Luring More Latino Voters

Originally published on Fri August 31, 2012 6:39 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

As they leave the convention in Tampa, Republican Party leaders are hoping their efforts in Florida will win over more Latino voters. Hispanic lawmakers were given high-profile speaking roles, including Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who introduced Mitt Romney last night. Recent polls suggests President Obama leads Romney 3 to 1 among Hispanics.

NPR's Cheryl Corley reports from Tampa on this week's Republican efforts at outreach.

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Music
4:14 pm
Fri August 31, 2012

Luciana Souza: From Bossa Nova To Chet Baker

Luciana Souza has two new albums out, Duos III and The Book of Chet.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri August 31, 2012 7:38 pm

Brazilian singer Luciana Souza has worked in many genres, from jazz and bossa nova to classical music and even, as a small child, commercial jingles. A graduate of Berklee and the New England Conservatory of Music, Souza has been nominated for four Grammys and worked at a prolific pace. In fact, she's just released two albums of covers, Duos III and The Book of Chet; the latter finds her covering the works of Chet Baker.

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Law
4:14 pm
Fri August 31, 2012

Judge Restores Extra Early Voting Days In Ohio

Originally published on Fri August 31, 2012 6:39 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

President Obama's re-election campaign won a big victory today in Ohio. A federal judge in Columbus has ordered the state to restore early voting in the three days prior to the November election. The state had eliminated it, except for voters in the military, and Ohio's attorney general insists he will appeal.

NPR's Pam Fessler has been covering this story. She joins me now. And, Pam, why is it such a big deal for the Obama campaign?

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Education
4:12 pm
Fri August 31, 2012

Possible Harvard Cheating Scandal Nets 125 Students

Originally published on Fri August 31, 2012 6:39 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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

Harvard University is investigating what it calls an unprecedented case of cheating. College officials say around 125 students may have shared answers and plagiarized on a final exam last spring. From member station WBUR in Boston, Curt Nickisch has reaction on campus.

CURT NICKISCH, BYLINE: This is not what a brand-new class of carefree 18-year-olds expected to be talking about as they went through freshman orientation today.

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Around the Nation
4:12 pm
Fri August 31, 2012

Floodwaters Begin To Recede After Hurricane Isaac

Originally published on Fri August 31, 2012 6:39 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block. The floodwaters have begun to recede in Louisiana and Mississippi as the remnants of Hurricane Isaac move north. Utility companies are scrambling to restore power to hundreds of thousands of customers. In some places, floodwaters are hampering the recovery. That includes an area about 30 miles west of New Orleans where we find NPR's Joel Rose.

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Law
4:04 pm
Fri August 31, 2012

American Taliban Sues For Religious Freedom

John Walker Lindh was captured in Afghanistan in 2002 after fighting with the Taliban.
AP

Originally published on Fri August 31, 2012 6:39 pm

Should Muslims convicted of terrorism be allowed to gather together in prison to pray? That's the question being raised by John Walker Lindh, the so-called American Taliban.

The U.S. citizen converted to Islam as a teenager. Shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Lindh was caught in Afghanistan. He pleaded guilty to aiding the now defunct Taliban government there and to carrying a weapon.

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Participation Nation
3:33 pm
Fri August 31, 2012

Recycling Bikes In Albany, N.Y.

Working on bikes at a spring event.
Courtesy of ABC

The Albany Bicycle Coalition started in my backyard in 2003 when a small group of mechanically inclined bike enthusiasts-volunteers gathered to learn bike repair skills and repair bikes that were headed to the dump. The rescued bikes were then donated to local organizations for kids.

Eventually we grew and moved into a community center basement, where the focus is on teaching kids skills while improving community relations.

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Economy
3:08 pm
Fri August 31, 2012

Are Today's Millennials The 'Screwed Generation'?

Graduates attend a ceremony at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Writer Joel Kotkin notes that many recent college grads are saddled with high debt and dim job prospects.
Butch Dill AP

Originally published on Mon September 3, 2012 6:18 pm

U.S. student loan debt tops $1 trillion, and young people face disproportionately high unemployment. Writer Joel Kotkin points to these numbers when he claims today's millennial generation is getting the short end of the stick. Kotkin speaks with Tell Me More host Michel Martin about his Newsweek/Daily Beast article on what he calls the "screwed generation."

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Election 2012
3:08 pm
Fri August 31, 2012

Can Obama Supporters Keep 'Hope' Alive?

Originally published on Sun September 9, 2012 8:32 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, Frederic Yonnet is taking the harmonica to new places. We'll tell you more in just a few minutes.

But first, as we mentioned earlier, the Democratic National Convention starts this week, where the hope is that the president and his party can rally his Democratic base and energize voters, which they did so successfully four years ago.

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U.S.
2:43 pm
Fri August 31, 2012

Gas Prices Expected To Retreat As Isaac Fades

A man fills his gas tank Wednesday in Lyndhurst, Ohio. Gas prices surged as Isaac approached, but are expected to ease after Labor Day.
Tony Dejak AP

Originally published on Fri August 31, 2012 6:12 pm

As a tropical storm was gathering strength last week, fears were growing that the fierce winds might knock out Gulf Coast refineries, send gasoline prices soaring and seriously damage the U.S. economy.

But when Hurricane Isaac slammed into the Gulf Coast on Tuesday, it was only a Category 1 hurricane, far weaker than Katrina, the monster storm that hit seven years ago.

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The Two-Way
2:36 pm
Fri August 31, 2012

Debating An Empty Chair? 'Eastwooding' Was A Thing Back In 1924

Actor Clint Eastwood speaks during the final day of the Republican National Convention at the Tampa Bay Times Forum Thursday.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 31, 2012 4:39 pm

If you've paid any attention to the last day of the Republican National Convention, you've no doubt heard about Clint Eastwood's strange performance in which he laid into President Obama, whom he pretended was sitting in an empty chair.

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Science
2:04 pm
Fri August 31, 2012

Unwinding The Cucumber Tendril Mystery

How a cucumber creates its curling tendril has stumped scientists for centuries, including Charles Darwin and Asa Gray. With the help of time-lapse photography and prosthetic tendril fabricated in the lab, physicist Sharon Gerbode, biologist Joshua Puzey and colleagues figured out why tendrils twist, according to a new study in Science.

Participation Nation
2:03 pm
Fri August 31, 2012

Hay Is For Horses In Tryon, N.C.

Dedicating hay bales to the emergency food bank for horses.
Courtesy of Libbie Johnson

Originally published on Fri August 31, 2012 5:16 pm

The Tryon area has been known as "Horse Country" for almost a century. People here take their equine economy seriously, it's a major source of jobs. Drought conditions and the economy have forced many horse owners into a predicament of how to feed their families and their horses.

So the Hay Pledge was born. Horse owners and hay growers "pledge" 10 bales of hay if asked — unless their supplies are too low to share. Calls for assistance are confidential. Some 500 bales have been delivered in 2012, but winter is coming and that number will go up significantly.

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Politics
1:52 pm
Fri August 31, 2012

It's All Politics, Aug. 30, 2012

Spencer Platt Getty Images
  • Listen to the Roundup

NPR's Ron Elving and Ken Rudin discuss highlights of the Republican National Convention — the speeches, the delegates, and what it all means for this year's election. In other news, Rep. Ben Quayle loses the GOP congressional primary in Arizona. Does that signal the end of his political career?

And borrowing from the Republican convention slogan that grew out of a statement from President Obama on the campaign trail, it's the "We Built It" edition of the "It's All Politics" podcast.

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Technology
1:52 pm
Fri August 31, 2012

Surveying The Mobile Landscape, Post Patent Battle

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY, I'm Ira Flatow. If you have a smartphone or a tablet, you might want to pay attention to this story because last week a jury in California reached a verdict in a major patent battle case between electronics makers Apple and Samsung, a fight over the way their mobile devices worked and looked.

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Planet Money
1:51 pm
Fri August 31, 2012

Inside America's Most Indebted City

A garbage truck at the Harrisburg, Pa., incinerator.
Mladen Antonov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 6, 2012 4:58 pm

Harrisburg, Pa., leads the nation in a dubious distinction: It has the most debt per capita of any U.S. city. The town's 50,000 citizens are on the hook for $1.5 billion.

The bizarre tale behind the massive debt includes a do-gooder who skipped town, an epically mismanaged incinerator, and possible criminal behavior.

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Television
1:44 pm
Fri August 31, 2012

Meet The Brains Behind "Bones"

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Up next, the brains behind "Bones." If you go to the beach this weekend and check out what the other sunbathers are reading, there's a good chance you'll come across someone deep into a Temperance Brennan crime novel. Brennan is a forensic anthropologist, the person the police call when they find human remains that are, well, past their prime, if we say.

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Space
1:39 pm
Fri August 31, 2012

Gazing Up At A Double Sun

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

If you headed outside this Labor Day weekend, besides seeing that second blue moon of the month, just look up at the sky, would you believe that about half of those stars you see are actually two stars or more, the kind of double star system that's quite common? And this week, astronomers reported on the discovery of a planetary system orbiting such a binary star, two planets orbiting two suns. It's called Kepler-47 after the Kepler planet-hunting mission that spotted it.

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Space
1:36 pm
Fri August 31, 2012

The World Remembers Neil Armstrong

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

On March 16, 1966, a potentially fatal problem gripped the Gemini 8 space capsule. Orbiting high above the Earth, it began spinning out of control. Spiraling towards unconsciousness and, perhaps, death, Neil Armstrong shut down the malfunctioning thrusters and wrestled Gemini back to stability. This was neither the first nor the last time that Neil Armstrong had escaped disaster. As an Naval pilot in Korea, he managed to guide a bullet-ridden aircraft, missing three feet of wing, back to friendly territory.

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NPR Story
1:30 pm
Fri August 31, 2012

Meet Your Ancient Relatives: The Denisovans

Originally published on Fri August 31, 2012 2:13 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. You've probably heard of your distant cousins the Neanderthals, but how about a more secretive member of the family tree, the Denisovans? Yeah, ring a bell? No? That's because traces of Denisovans are hard to come by.

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NPR Story
1:30 pm
Fri August 31, 2012

Time To Overhaul America's Aging Bridges?

Originally published on Fri August 31, 2012 2:08 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY; I'm Ira Flatow. Five years ago this month, the I-35W bridge in Minneapolis collapsed, sending a full load of rush-hour traffic into the Mississippi River. The disaster injured nearly 150 people, killed 13. The bridge was literally falling apart.

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Election 2012
1:19 pm
Fri August 31, 2012

A Few Convention Oddities, Pre-Clint Eastwood

Sen. Joe Lieberman appears at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn., in 2008, just eight years after he was the Democratic vice presidential nominee. His appearance is just one of several notable oddities at recent political conventions.
Charles Rex Arbogast AP

Originally published on Fri August 31, 2012 1:51 pm

From one angle, Clint Eastwood's dialogue with an imaginary President Obama — using a tall chair as a prop — at the Republican National Convention in Tampa on Thursday night was sharp-pointed and youthful and edgy and film-schoolish.

From another angle, it could be construed as the meanderings of an older man who is disenchanted by a shaky economy, an ongoing war and the perception of broken promises, but somehow can't put his disgruntlement into words.

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The Salt
12:55 pm
Fri August 31, 2012

Farmers Use YouTube To Share Devastating Impacts Of Drought

A YouTube user who goes by Katzcradul posted this image of a parched gulch on her drought-stricken land in Missouri on the site.
YouTube

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 10:29 am

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