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3:20 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

Desis Dominate The National Spelling Bee

Arvind Mahankali won the 2013 National Spelling Bee after spelling the word "knaidel."
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 4:48 pm

When Arvind Mahankali won the Scripps-Howard National Spelling Bee last night, he became the sixth consecutive Indian-American winner and the 11th in the past 15 years.

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The Two-Way
2:47 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

Top Khmer Rouge Leaders Apologize For Regime's Atrocities

A Cambodian survivor of the infamous Tuol Sleng prison (known as S-21) poses by a picture of "Brother Number Two" Nuon Chea last year.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

The top two surviving leaders of Cambodia's genocidal Khmer Rouge regime have expressed remorse for their actions while in power and acknowledged a degree of responsibility for the atrocities committed in their names.

Nuon Chea, the chief lieutenant of Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot, and Khieu Samphan, who acted as head of state for the Maoist regime, are currently on trial for genocide and crimes against humanity.

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
2:45 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

An Object Of Contention At The Venice Biennale

Il Palazzo Enciclopedico: A visitor puzzles over the multitude of choices offered by the the 55th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia. It runs from June 1 to November 24, 2013." href="/post/object-contention-venice-biennale" class="noexit lightbox">
Il Palazzo Enciclopedico: A visitor puzzles over the multitude of choices offered by the the 55th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia. It runs from June 1 to November 24, 2013.
Marco Secchi Getty Images

This is coming to you from Venice, where I am attending the opening of the Art Biennale.

I find myself interested in Tino Sehgal's live piece installed in one of the main galleries of the Giardini. If the piece has a title, it isn't posted anywhere. I say "live piece" rather than "performance" because the work itself seems crafted precisely to question the nature of performance.

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The Two-Way
2:33 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

VIDEO: Patrick Stewart's Strong Words About Domestic Violence

Actor Patrick Stewart.
Stephen Lovekin Getty Images

This video is recommended viewing for everyone, but especially for anyone who has been a victim of domestic violence or knows someone who has.

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Shots - Health News
2:15 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

Young Women With Breast Cancer Opting For Mastectomy

Toborcia Bedgood performs a mammogram to screen for breast cancer at the Elizabeth Center for Cancer Detection in Los Angeles in 2010.
Damian Dovarganes AP

Most women diagnosed with breast cancer when they're 40 or younger are choosing mastectomy rather than more limited and breast-conserving lumpectomy plus radiation, a study of women in Massachusetts finds.

Moreover, most of those choosing mastectomy elect to have the other, noncancerous breast removed, too.

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The Salt
1:53 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

Nordic Diet Could Be Local Alternative To Mediterranean Diet

A typical Swedish meal of fried herring and lingonberries includes some of the local ingredients of the healthy Nordic diet prescribed in a new study.
iStockPhoto.com

Originally published on Tue June 4, 2013 4:02 pm

The Mediterranean diet has long been a darling of nutrition experts as a proven way to prevent some chronic diseases. Heavy on olive oil, vegetables, fruit, nuts and fish, the diet most recently has been shown to reduce the risk of heart attacks, strokes and dying compared with a typical low-fat diet.

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Parallels
1:52 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

Rio Goes High-Tech, With An Eye Toward Olympics, World Cup

Rio's Operations Center brings together more than 30 agencies and allows them to coordinate on daily issues such as traffic, as well as on emergencies such as the frequent flash floods in hillside slums.
Raphael Lima Courtesy of the Operations Center, City of Rio De Janeiro

Originally published on Mon June 3, 2013 10:27 am

We are standing in front of a huge bank of screens, in the middle of which is a glowing map that changes focus depending on what the dozens of controllers are looking at.

The room looks like something straight out of a NASA shuttle launch. The men and women manning the floor are dressed in identical white jumpsuits. With a flick of a mouse, they scroll through dozens of streaming video images coming into the center.

This is Rio de Janeiro in real time.

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Movie Reviews
1:29 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

Rediscover Your Inner Anarchist In The Anti-Corporate 'East'

In The East, Ellen Page (left) and Alexander Skarsgard play members of an anarchist eco-terrorist collective.
Fox Searchlight

The second collaboration between writer-director Zal Batmanglij and actress and co-writer Brit Marling is called The East, which happens to be the name of the movie's anti-corporate terrorist cult. Marling plays Sarah, an agent who infiltrates the group. She doesn't work for the FBI. Her employer is a private security and intelligence firm run by the sleek, profit-oriented Sharon, played by Patricia Clarkson. Its clients are Big Pharma, Big Oil, or Big Rich Any Corporation that, according to the group The East, poisons the world and everyone in it.

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Research News
1:18 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

Gizmo Uses Lung Cells To Sniff Out Health Hazards In Urban Air

Adam Cole NPR

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 9:23 pm

Cities like Houston are dotted with air-sniffing monitors that measure levels of benzene and other potentially unhealthy air pollutants. But those monitors can't answer the question we care about most: Is the air safe?

That's because there's no simple relationship between toxic air pollutants and health risks. Researchers at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill are trying to get a leg up on that problem. They are building an instrument that uses human lung cells to measure health hazards in the air more directly.

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Monkey See
1:12 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

Truth In Advertising: Pregnant Ladies Date On 'Pregnant And Dating'

The cast of WE tv's Pregnant & Dating. They are all pregnant. Also dating.
WE tv

There's a part of basic cable that you might call "soft reality" — the unscripted shows where everybody is nice, almost all the stories are happy, the comedy is mostly gentle, and the main characters are meant to be very sympathetic. Soft reality loves pregnancy and childbirth, as seen on shows like A Baby Story and some of the shows about giving birth to multiples. (Jon & Kate Plus 8 started as soft reality and wound up as something else entirely.)

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The Two-Way
1:09 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

No Smoking Outside Starbucks Shops Starting Saturday

Don't sit down here and have a smoke with your coffee, Starbucks says.
Mark Memmott NPR

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 1:17 pm

Starbucks is moving its smoking ban outdoors.

Starting Saturday, according to signs posted in its more than 7,000 shops across the U.S. and Canada, "the no-smoking policy ... will include outdoor areas."

"Smoking will be restricted within 25 feet of the store and within outdoor seating areas," the notices read.

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The Two-Way
1:04 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

Calmly, From Portland, It's The Quiet Music Festival

The show Portlandia recently featured a skit titled "The Battle Of The Gentle Bands." Portland will host the Quiet Music Festival this weekend.
IFC/YouTube

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 3:05 pm

Not all music festivals are carnivals of noise, propelled by thudding drums and screeching guitars. In fact, for the annual Quiet Music Festival of Portland, which begins today, the goal is to experience calming sounds.

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NPR Story
12:09 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

With Chemical Tweaks, Cement Becomes A Semiconductor

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY, I'm Ira Flatow. In 2011, a group of researchers in Japan made a surprising discovery: With the right process, they could turn cement, in fact a component of the Portland cement you can find in the hardware store, they can turn that into a metal, and in its metallic state they could coax the cement to act as a semiconductor.

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NPR Story
12:09 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

Bad Diagnosis For New Psychiatry 'Bible'

Originally published on Tue June 4, 2013 7:22 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

There's ADHD, OCD, DMDD, PTSD, along with hoarding disorder, oppositional defiant disorder and dissociative identity disorder. You will find all of them in the DSM, that's the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the so-called Bible of psychiatry. The fifth edition of the manual just came out after 14 years in the making, but instead of a round of applause, psychiatrists, psychologists, ethicists, even columnist are panning the book, saying it has outlived its usefulness.

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NPR Story
12:09 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

Teacher Feature: Ethnobotanist Tom Carlson

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Joining us now is Flora Lichtman with our Video Pick of the Week. Hi, Flora.

FLORA LICHTMAN, BYLINE: Hi, Ira.

FLATOW: We got something really special this week.

LICHTMAN: It is special. We're turning the spotlight on an underrepresented, under-celebrated, you might say, group: science teachers or anyway. I don't think we're in danger of over-celebrating them.

(LAUGHTER)

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