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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
2:03 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

Are You Overwhelmed? You Don't Have To Be

We didn't always feel guilty when we bought Wonder Bread and baloney at the supermarket, instead of fresh organic vegetables at the farmers' market.
Chris Hondros Getty Images

Originally published on Sat March 2, 2013 6:28 pm

The other day I got an email from a friend. It began: "Am suffocating and overwhelmed. Impossible to list everything that's going on. It's all work related. By next week should be out of the darkest of woods."

My 11-year-old son exclaimed the other day that he felt overwhelmed. I think what he meant was that the demands of school and home life, compounded by baseball-practice and karate class, are just too much.

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The Two-Way
1:43 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

Jedi? Vulcan? Mind Meld? Mind Trick? What Was Obama Thinking?

That's a light saber, sir, not a phaser. (President Obama in September 2009, during a White House event promoting Chicago's bid for the 2016 Summer Olympics.)
Roger L. Wollenberg UPI /Landov

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 8:53 pm

He can't do "a Jedi mind meld" with Republicans and get them to see his way about taxes and spending, President Obama said Friday.

About which CBS News' Mark Knoller immediately tweeted:

"Pres Obama Mixed Metaphor of the Day: The 'mind meld' is not a Jedi tool from Star Wars, but a Vulcan ability from Star Trek."

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Food
1:03 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

Seeking A Grain Of Truth In "Whole Grain" Labels

Whole wheat, stone-ground, multi-grain. Have food labels got you confused? Joanne Slavin, a nutrition professor at the University of Minnesota, and David Ludwig, a pediatrician and obesity doctor at Boston Children's Hospital, discuss the meaning of "whole grain," and whether intact grains like wheat berries pack more nutritional punch than their ground-up counterparts, such as whole wheat flour.

The Salt
1:03 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

Sugar's Role In Rise Of Diabetes Gets Clearer

A performer drinks a soda in Ahmedabad, India in 2010. A study found that rising diabetes prevalence in countries like India is strongly tied to sugar consumption.
Sam Panthaky AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 5, 2013 12:12 pm

Robert Lustig wants to convince the world that sugar is making us very sick. And lately he's turned to an unconventional field – econometrics – to do it.

Lustig rounded up statisticians and epidemiologists to look at the relationship between food and diabetes risk. The paper, published this week in the journal PLoS One, found that the more sugar on the market in 175 countries, the higher the country's diabetes rate.

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The Two-Way
12:48 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

Violent Street Clashes In Bangladesh Leave Dozens Dead

A truck burns on a street outside Bangladesh's capital, Dhaka, on Thursday. Violence erupted, and dozens have been killed, after a court sentenced an Islamist leader to the death penalty for crimes dating to the country's 1971 war of independence.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 1:34 pm

A wave of violence has rocked Bangladesh after a special war crimes tribunal Thursday imposed the death penalty on an Islamist leader for his role in the country's 1971 war of independence from Pakistan.

Demonstrators for and against the convicted leader clashed with security forces, leaving dozens of people dead, including police.

The violence demonstrates the deep sensitivities that remain over the war of independence that played out more than 40 years ago.

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The Two-Way
12:46 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

No Cyanide Detected In Chicago Lottery Winner's Remains

Urooj Khan, with his winning lottery ticket. Not long after this photo was taken, he was dead.
AP

The question of whodunit remains unanswered in the case of a Chicago lottery winner who died last July with a lethal amount of cyanide in his blood.

Cook County Medical Examiner Dr. Stephen Cina said Friday that tests on the remains of Urooj Khan did not detect cyanide in tissues or what remains of his digestive system.

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Pop Culture
12:42 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

V Reasons To Love Roman Numerals

The Roman numerals for NFL Super Bowl XLVII float on the Mississippi River on Feb. 2 in New Orleans.
Charlie Riedel AP

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 9:55 pm

Pope Benedict XVI has left the Vatican.

Love the Catholic Church or not, you have to admit the Roman numerals following a pope's name are distinctive. They set the pope apart from the rest of humankind. (As if he needs it.)

Roman numerals always stand out. In an increasingly computer-driven world run by the numbers — population totals, unemployment figures, mortgage payments, health care bills, credit card codes, "the last four of your social" — the occasional brash appearance of an X or an MCM can be surprising and sometimes a little unsettling.

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The Two-Way
12:18 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

Michigan Governor Declares Financial Emergency In Detroit

The General Motors world headquarters building dominates the Detroit skyline.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 6:55 pm

Saying it was a "sad day," Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder declared a financial emergency in the city of Detroit. He said that while it would not be appropriate to appoint an emergency manager, now, he would think about doing so after March 12. That's the day set aside for a hearing, if the city appeals his decision.

"I do have a top candidate," Snyder said during a press conference.

The Detroit Free Press explains:

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The Two-Way
12:17 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

SpaceX Reports Problem With Dragon Capsule

The Falcon 9 SpaceX rocket lifts off from at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on Friday.
John Raoux Associated Press

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 8:24 pm

Update at 8:10 p.m. ET: Problem Fixed, Arrival Delayed

SpaceX says the problem with its unmanned craft carrying supplies for the International Space Station has been fixed.

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The Two-Way
12:15 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

Decrying 'Dumb, Arbitrary Cuts,' Obama Says 'We Will Get Through This'

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 2:23 pm

"Washington sure isn't making it easy" for the American people and the American economy, President Obama told reporters late Friday morning as he and other lawmakers failed to reach a deal to avert $85 billion worth of automatic "sequester" spending cuts due to start at the end of the day.

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The Two-Way
11:57 am
Fri March 1, 2013

Virginia Gov. Restores Scooter Libby's Voting Rights

Former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby in 2007.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 6:56 pm

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell has restored the voting rights of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby.

If you remember Libby was former Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff. As the AP explains, "he was convicted in 2007 of perjury, obstruction of justice and making false statements in a case involving leaked information that compromised the covert identity of CIA operative Valerie Plame. Libby's 2½-year prison sentence was commuted by then-President George W. Bush."

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Shots - Health News
11:56 am
Fri March 1, 2013

Health Insurers Brace For Consumer Ratings In Some States

Shopping for health insurance could get a little easier in some states this fall.
iStockphoto.com

This fall, health insurers in a few states will be seeing stars.

Not the celestial kind, but stars that reflect their scores on quality measures picked to help consumers make informed decisions when buying health coverage.

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The Two-Way
11:51 am
Fri March 1, 2013

Kim Dotcom Loses Court Battle In Megaupload Extradition Case

Kim Dotcom, founder of the file-sharing website Megaupload, says he will take his fight against extradition to the United States to New Zealand's highest court, after an appeals court ruled in the U.S. government's favor Friday.

At issue is the amount of evidence Dotcom's defense team is entitled to see at the extradition hearing. An appeals court overruled a lower court's decision that the U.S. government had to provide more than a summary of its case against the Internet entrepreneur.

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NPR Story
11:39 am
Fri March 1, 2013

Mapping The Effects Of The Sequester On Science

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 1:03 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

As I just mentioned, the automatic spending cuts go into effect today, covering much of the federal budget, and we were trying to talk with Lamar Smith about where those cuts might come, obviously across the board. Well, someone who might be more forthcoming or know more about it is here with us, Michael Lubell. He is professor of physics at City College at the City University of New York, director of public affairs at the American Physical Society. He's here in our New York Studio. Good to see you again.

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NPR Story
11:39 am
Fri March 1, 2013

A Natural Particle Accelerator, Far Above The Planet

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 1:03 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Far above the Earth's surface, two doughnuts of radiation surround the planet, charged particles zipping around in stable belts - that's the shape of them - and they were discovered in 1958 by James Van Allen and now bear his name. They are the Van Allen Belts.

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