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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
3:16 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

Attenborough's Muddled Thinking Can't Stop Human Evolution

Human evolution is an unfolding process with chapters yet to be written; no one really knows where we're going. But we can look back to earlier chapters, with ancestors like Australpithecus afarensis, including the individual we call "Lucy" (seen above), for an understanding of how evolution works and what has happened to us over time.
Tim Boyle Getty Images

With stunning imagery and cogent commentary, British naturalist and filmmaker Sir David Attenborough has brought science into millions of homes, including mine.

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The Two-Way
3:07 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

Voyager Has Left The Solar System (This Time For Real!)

A NASA image of one of the Voyager space probes, launched in 1977 to study the outer solar system and eventually interstellar space.
NASA Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 5:31 pm

Stop us if you've heard this one: A spacecraft flies out of the solar system ...

Yes, the planetary probe Voyager 1, launched in the era of Jimmy Carter and bell-bottoms, has finally left the room, so to speak, years after completing its primary mission: a "grand tour" of the gas giants Jupiter and Saturn (twin Voyager 2 also visited Uranus and Neptune).

And years after we first started talking about its departure.

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Arts & Life
2:30 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

The Internet's 'Twerk' Effect Makes Dictionaries Less Complete

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 5:45 pm

Evidently it was quite fortuitous. Just a couple of days after MTV's Video Music Awards, Oxford Dictionaries Online released its quarterly list of the new words it was adding. To the delight of the media, there was "twerk" at the top, which gave them still another occasion to link a story to Miley Cyrus' energetic high jinks.

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Sports
2:30 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

Pioneer Billie Jean King Moved The Baseline For Women's Tennis

Billie Jean King, seen here in 1977, learned to play tennis on the public courts near her Long Beach, Calif., home.
Kathy Willens AP/Press Association Images

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 5:03 pm

Women's tennis champion Billie Jean King is best remembered for her 1973 exhibition match, known as "The Battle of the Sexes," with self-proclaimed male chauvinist Bobby Riggs. But King also had a remarkable career, both as a tennis player and as a trailblazer for women: She won a record 20 Wimbledon titles, six of them for singles, and she led an uprising of underpaid female players to demand fairer treatment and compensation in professional tennis.

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The Two-Way
1:48 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

Prince William Musters Out: He's Leaving The Military

Flight Lt. Wales (a.k.a. Prince William or the Duke of Cambridge).
Arthur Edwards Getty Images

After more than seven years in the Royal Air Force that included three years of service as a helicopter pilot on search-and-rescue missions, the Duke of Cambridge is leaving the military life behind.

According to the BBC, "he will now focus on royal duties and charity work together with the Duchess of Cambridge, a palace spokesman said."

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Shots - Health News
1:14 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

Big Measles Outbreaks Worry Federal Health Officials

The Eagle Mountain Church in Newark, Texas, was linked to at least 21 cases of measles this year, mostly in children.
LM Otero AP

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 2:06 pm

Federal health officials are worried about an unusually high number of measles cases occurring in the United States this year.

There have been at least eight outbreaks so far this year involving 159 cases, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Thursday in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Monkey See
12:52 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

Toronto 2013: Some Film Festival Highs And Lows

Julianne Nicholson, Meryl Streep, and Julia Roberts in August: Osage County.
Toronto International Film Festival

Tastiest Scenery To Chew: August: Osage County, the John Wells-directed adaptation of the Tracy Letts stage play, stars Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Juliette Lewis, Chris Cooper, Margo Martindale, Benedict Cumberbatch, and a generally very impressive cast. But Streep is cranked up to 11 as the miserable, pill-popping matriarch. I expect her to win an Oscar for this role, simply because it's so over-the-top and because she is compelling in it.

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The Two-Way
12:32 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

D.C. Mayor Vetoes 'Living Wage' Bill Targeting Large Retailers

A worker collects shopping carts at a Wal-Mart parking lot, in Bristol, Pa.
Matt Rourke AP

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 2:25 pm

Washington, D.C., Mayor Vincent Gray has vetoed a controversial "living wage" bill that would have forced large retailers such as Wal-Mart to pay a 50 percent premium on the district's $8.25 per hour minimum wage.

When the bill was approved by the city council in July, Wal-Mart said it would abandon three of the six stores it planned to build in the district, claiming the required minimum $12.50 it would have to pay was too much.

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The Two-Way
12:26 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

Bitter Battle Ends As Dell Shareholders OK $25 Billion Buyout

Dell Chairman and CEO Michael Dell in 2011.
Kimihiro Hoshino AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 12:44 pm

Dell Inc. shareholders, as expected, have approved founder Michael Dell's $25 billion offer to take the company private, ending a protracted battle that saw billionaire investor Carl Icahn mount his own takeover bid for the computer maker.

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Race
11:58 am
Thu September 12, 2013

Second-Grader's Dreadlocks Cause For Concern?

Originally published on Mon September 16, 2013 11:06 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. We're going to spend some time now talking about hair. Yes, we are. If you think hair is inconsequential and not worthy of the attention of serious people, then we'd like to know why there've been reports of thieves in Venezuela holding women up at gunpoint to steal their hair. We're going to find out more about that in just a few minutes.

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Law
11:58 am
Thu September 12, 2013

Losing Home Over $200? Tax Lien Fallout

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 3:29 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Later this hour, two stories that suggest that hair has a weightier topic than many people might think. We'll speak with a man who had to take his seven-year-old out of school because she wore dreadlocks and we'll find out why the president of Venezuela is pressing the police to do something about hair thieves. That's coming up later.

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The Two-Way
11:51 am
Thu September 12, 2013

New FBI Chief Says Budget Cuts Threaten Agency's Mission

Newly minted FBI Director James Comey speaks at a swearing-in ceremony last week at the Justice Department in Washington, D.C.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 1:10 pm

In his first full week on the job, new FBI Director Jim Comey is already expressing "intense concern" about budget cuts hitting the bureau as part of sequestration.

Comey used his first visits to FBI field offices in Virginia and New York, where he once served as a federal prosecutor, to sound an alarm about the ability to fulfill the agency's mission in a time of belt tightening.

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The Two-Way
11:43 am
Thu September 12, 2013

J.K. Rowling To Write Screenplay For 'Harry Potter' Spinoff

Remember the frenzy when Harry Potter books and movies came out? Fans may be cast under a similar spell now that J.K. Rowling has agreed to write the screenplay for a Potter spinoff. (This 2005 photo was taken in London when the book Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince was released.)
Paco Serinelli AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 9:00 am

Hold on to your sorting hats, everyone, there's exciting news today for muggles everywhere:

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The Salt
11:28 am
Thu September 12, 2013

Doctors Lean Toward Introducing Allergenic Foods To Kids Early

SafetyTat, the inventor of children's safety tattoos, offers a line of allergy tattoos to help children with food allergies.
Courtesy of SafetyTat

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 10:31 am

It's an anxiety that lots of us parents live with: With all the talk about the high rates of food allergies, will my baby or toddler be next?

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The Two-Way
11:20 am
Thu September 12, 2013

Missouri Vote Fails On Measure To Invalidate Federal Gun Laws

George Sherer and his son, Jeff, look at a SIG Sauer 716 patrol rifle during the NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits last April in St. Louis.
Whitney Curtis Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 12:30 pm

Missouri lawmakers failed to override Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon's veto of legislation aimed at invalidating certain federal firearms restrictions.

Senators voted 22-12 Wednesday night to override the veto, falling a single vote short of the required two-thirds majority. The override had already passed the Republican-controlled House.

The Associated Press reports:

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