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The Backflipping Robot That Nearly Broke The Internet

18 hours ago
Boston Dynamics

  Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017, was a day filled with news. So much news, in fact, that you might have missed the announcement of a backflipping robot. In less than a minute, the video posted by Boston Dynamics inspired screaming emotions from all corners of the Internet. It's a revelation in robotics, some said. It's the beginning of humanity's end, chirped others.

Jen Steele, via Flickr CC http://bit.ly/2zPAB3x

Holidays don't simply spring into existence - they're conceptualized, created, lobbied for, and passed into law by state and federal lawmakers. On this show, we're looking at the New Hampshire author Sarah Hale, who helped craft the modern traditions of Thanksgiving.  Also, a holiday that's still under construction: Indigenous People's Day.  

Courtesy of Dartmouth-Hitchcock

New Hampshire's largest hospital is struggling to fill open positions, said Joanne Conroy, CEO and President of Dartmouth-Hitchcock. Conroy spoke to local government and health leaders in Lebanon Friday morning at the annual meeting of the Public Health Council of the Upper Valley.

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center is currently working with a staffing agency to temporarily fill more than 100 open nursing positions, she said. The hospital is looking at incentives like travel stipends to try to sweeten the deal for prospective employees.

A new poll from the University of New Hampshire says many New Hampshire residents don't think voter fraud has an impact on local elections.

The latest Granite State Poll tackles a topic that's been front of mind for many New Hampshire residents lately, especially Republicans. 

Via waterfrontagent.com

In our continuing series Only in New Hampshire, we tackle listener questions about the Granite State communities and occasionally get the chance to uncover a bit of hidden history.

So here’s a perfectly timed question from Katelin in Northwood. She wrote:

“I heard Northwood had some kind of important link on the way we celebrate Thanksgiving. I looked but never found it. Any ideas?”

President Trump has nominated Merrimack County Attorney Scott Murray to be the next United States Attorney for New Hampshire.

Murray is serving his fourth term as Merrimack County’s head attorney. Before that post, he was the city of Concord’s top prosecutor for nearly two decades. Murray is a graduate of UNH and earned his law degree at the former Franklin Pierce Law Center, now the UNH School of Law.

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: November 17, 2017

Nov 17, 2017

A 10-9 vote from the House Education Committee on a school choice bill means it moves ahead. But a one-vote margin approving Keno in Rochester  leads to a recount. And a county prosecutor defends her decision not to bring criminal charges against two deans at Phillips Exeter Academy for their handling of an alleged sexual assault. 

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Picture yourself in the grocery store. You’ve got an organized list in your hand and you’re looking for the things on that list. And as you go down the aisles you’re whizzing by dozens, maybe hundreds, of things on the shelves until your eye picks out that one jar of peanut butter that you have on your list. It’s an efficiency technique that helps you find what you’re looking for.

Allegra Boverman / NHPR

A bipartisan group of lawmakers, including House Representative Annie Kuster, have introduced legislation to prevent and respond to sexual harassment in Congress.

The Me Too bill would require more transparency and provide better support for victims and whistleblowers. Morning Edition Host Rick Ganley spoke with Congresswoman Kuster by phone about the bill.

  (Editor's note: this transcript has been lightly edited for clarity.)

Lorie Shaull / Wikimedia Commons

Three members of New Hampshire's congressional delegation say they support an ethics probe of Minnesota Sen. Al Franken following sexual harassment accusations by a radio anchor.

WMUR-TV reports Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan and Democratic Reps. Carol Shea-Porter and Annie Kuster expressed support for an ethics investigation Thursday. Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, who is a member of the Senate Ethics Committee, said she couldn't comment because the case may be evaluated by the committee.

Courtesy: Northern Pass

Northern Pass cleared another hurdle Thursday, receiving a Presidential Permit from the United States Department of Energy.

This is one of the final major federal approvals necessary for the Eversource-backed Northern Pass project, which seeks to bring hydropower from Quebec through New Hampshire on its way to Massachusetts.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

A House committee this week recommended against  a bill to legalize pot in the state - but advocates on both sides are continuing the debate.

Speaking today on NHPR's The Exchange, Kate Frey, vice president of advocacy for New Futures, compares the marijuana industry to the big tobacco and big alcohol industries. 

“It’s a profit-driven industry,” Frey says. “And once ‘Big Marijuana’ moves in, just like ‘Big Alcohol,’ then you have pot shops in your neighborhood, you have highly potent edible products targeted toward kids."  

Peter Biello / NHPR

How do you get serious about baking bread? French bread, in particular, which takes hours to make and years to master.

For Manchester resident Benge Ambrogi, the path to becoming a serious baker began in the late 1980s, with a bad loaf made by someone else—the man who would become his father-in-law.

"It was terrible. Typical first loaf. Very heavy and monochromatic. Not a very interesting loaf."

"What did you tell him about his first loaf?" I asked.

FILE

Senator Jeanne Shaheen has teamed up with colleagues across the aisle to sponsor a bill, introduced Thursday, that seeks to strengthen the federal database on gun background checks.

Creative Commons

There are some obvious reasons, and some not-so-obvious for why low income people in rural New England struggle to find affordable housing.

For starters, there is simply a lack of inventory, as developers often prefer to build larger homes where there is more potential profit.

But a new study from UNH’s Carsey School of Public Policy finds that town zoning policies often present a roadblock to low-income housing by setting minimum lot sizes in rural communities.

Paige Sutherland / NHPR

A statement issued this week by the leader of Phillips Exeter Academy in defense of two deans contradicts a New Hampshire State Police report from 2016. The report alleges two deans had violated a mandatory sex abuse reporting law.

Rockingham County Attorney’s office decided against criminal charges, with deans Melissa Mischke and Arthur Cosgrove now remaining on campus.

Morning Edition Host Rick Ganley spoke with attorney Peter Hutchins about the dropped charges, and sexual harassment reporting at high schools.

FLYER

Officials in Nashua Friday are marking the one year anniversary of a drug treatment program – that they say has saved hundreds of lives.

NHPR Staff

A former Dartmouth professor says she reported an incident of sexual harassment involving Todd Heatherton – one of three professors now under criminal investigation – to the college about 15 years ago, raising questions about Dartmouth's handling of misconduct complaints.

Jason Moon for NHPR

State and federal environmental officials held a meeting in North Hampton Wednesday night to update residents on efforts to address contamination at the former Coakley landfill site.

For three hours, scientists with the EPA and the state Department of Environmental Services laid out the work that has been done and that will be done to monitor and address contaminated water at a former landfill on the Seacoast.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

Addressing the state’s drug crisis has been an all hands on deck approach from the medical community, law enforcement to social workers.

But advocates are saying one missing player in all this – has been employers. And how they can be a part of the solution. Whether that’s offering jobs to those in recovery or simply changing how addiction is addressed and talked about at work.

FILE

On Friday businesses in New Hampshire will come together for a job fair in Portsmouth targeted at hiring people in the drug recovery community.

NHPR File

Dan Brown just completed "Origin," another Robert Langdon thriller, but he says the fictional Harvard professor is unlikely to appear in his next novel.

The best-selling author spoke about his latest book and his favorite main character in an interview with the 10-Minute Writer's Workshop.

Before a recent Writers on a New England Stage at The Music Hall in Portsmouth, host Virginia Prescott asked Brown, "Can you imagine writing a book without him?"

Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

Two state representatives from the Seacoast are raising concerns about Eversource’s plan to buy a water utility company.

Eversource, New England’s largest energy company, announced back in June that it had plans to buy Aquarion, the region’s largest private water company.

The deal spans three states and is valued at about $1.7 billion.

Democratic Representatives Mindi Messmer of Rye and Renny Cushing of Hampton say it’s a bad deal for New Hampshire rate payers, and they've been working to stop it.

The blockbuster 2003 thriller The Da Vinci Code launched Dan Brown into the best-selling stratosphere. More than 200 million copies of his books have sold worldwide since. Three of his novels have been made into films starring Tom Hanks as fictional Harvard professor Robert Langdon. Brown is a disciplined writer, rising at 4 a.m. to a breakfast smoothie and "bulletproof" coffee, writing every day, and throwing himself into his research.

Mike Ross, UNH

Local chapters of the ACLU and the NAACP are asking the University of New Hampshire to emphasize issues of racial diversity and equity in the search for the university’s next president.

In an open letter to the presidential search committee, Devon Chaffee of the New Hampshire ACLU and Rogers Johnson of the Seacoast NAACP say the hiring of a new UNH president is the single greatest way to redirect the university.

They are urging the committee to use that opportunity to hire someone who will “foster a more socially conscious and inclusive campus.”

Todd Bookman/NHPR

Lyric, Hamlet, ZZ and Spook. Fantasia and Joue. To Christina Fay, they were works of art, animals lovingly cared for in her Wolfeboro mansion.

To prosecutors, these European Great Danes—75 in total—all removed from Fay’s care in June, were victims of mistreatment and cruelty.

The U.S. senators from New Hampshire and West Virginia have introduced a bill to prioritize federal funding for states that have been hardest hit by the opioid epidemic.

It would require the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to take into account mortality rates and lack of access to treatment and services when allocating grants to states, rather than making determinations based on population size.

KOMUNews | Flickr Creative Commons / https://flic.kr/p/aDWgGW

Anthem is planning to get tougher about covering ER visits for ailments that could be treated outside of an emergency room.

Democratic State Rep. Mindi Messmer has announced she’s running for Congress.

Messmer is a first-term legislator from Rye who has made a name for herself through her work on drinking water contamination in the state.

Messmer is a scientist who runs her own environmental consulting firm.

She says she wants to bring that scientific background to Washington to defend environmental regulations that are being rolled back by the Trump administration.

Jason Moon for NHPR

A controversial school choice bill cleared a major hurdle in the State House Tuesday, receiving a positive recommendation from the House Education Committee on Tuesday by a 10-9 vote.

The bill would allow parents of some children to spend tax dollars to educate their children with non-public school options like private school or home school. But the bill looks considerably different than when it was originally introduced several months ago.

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