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7:14 am
Sun September 8, 2013

'Memory Pinball' And Other Reasons You Need A Nap

On the surface, sleep may seem like an evolutionary disaster, but its benefits have come to outweigh its potential downsides.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 1:40 pm

We spend about one-third of our lives sleeping, but much of that function remains a mystery. Weekend Edition Sunday is asking some pretty fundamental, yet complicated, questions about why we do it and why we can't seem to get more of it.

Dr. Matthew Walker says the question of why we sleep remains "that archetypal mystery."

Walker, the principal investigator at the sleep lab the University of California, Berkeley, works with patients who suffer from sleep abnormalities. He says the complexity of sleep makes the research that much more fascinating.

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Pop Culture
7:14 am
Sun September 8, 2013

Arsenio Hall Returns To Late Night

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 1:40 pm

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.

In the late 1980s and early '90s, success in the competitive world of late-night television sounded like this.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHEERING AND DOG POUND NOISE)

MARTIN: That, of course, was the signature shout out from "The Arsenio Hall Show." Arsenio interviewed everyone from Muhammad Ali to Madonna and, of course, there was that seminal pop culture moment when then-presidential candidate Bill Clinton played the sax on the Arsenio stage.

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Environment
5:32 am
Sun September 8, 2013

Climate Change Leaves Hares Wearing The Wrong Colors

A white snowshoe hare against a brown background makes the animal easy prey.
L.S. Mills Research Photo

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 1:40 pm

The effects of climate change often happen on a large scale, like drought or a rise in sea level. In the hills outside Missoula, Mont., wildlife biologists are looking at a change to something very small: the snowshoe hare.

Life as snowshoe hare is pretty stressful. For one, almost everything in the forest wants to eat you.

Alex Kumar, a graduate student at the University of Montana, lists the animals that are hungry for hares.

"Lynx, foxes, coyotes, raptors, birds of prey. Interestingly enough, young hares, their main predator is actually red squirrels."

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Shots - Health News
6:55 pm
Sat September 7, 2013

E-Cigarettes May Match The Patch In Helping Smokers Quit

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 10:18 am

Electronic cigarettes are sparking lots of skepticism from public health types worried they may be a gateway to regular smoking.

But the cigarettes, which use water vapor to deliver nicotine into the lungs, may be as good as the patch when it comes to stop-smoking aids, a study finds.

Smokers who used e-cigarettes in an attempt to quit the old-fashioned kind of cigarettes did about as well at stopping smoking as the people who tried the patch.

After six months, 7.3 percent of e-smokers had dropped cigarettes, compared to 5.8 percent of people wearing the patch.

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All Tech Considered
5:10 pm
Sat September 7, 2013

Baltimore Officials Want To Unplug Phones-For-Cash Kiosks

EcoATM kiosks dispense cash in exchange for used cellphones, MP3 players and tablets.
ecoATM

EcoATMs take old cellphones, MP3 players and tablets in exchange for cash. But the automated kiosks, operating 650 machines in 40 states, are getting bad reviews from police, who are concerned the machines are a magnet for thieves.

The transaction is fairly simple. The machine walks you through the process, scanning your ID to certify you're over 18 and verify your identity. An ecoATM employee inspects the transaction remotely in real time. Once the seller's identity is verified, the kiosk takes the device and assesses its value. You get the cash, and the device is recycled.

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Music Interviews
5:10 pm
Sat September 7, 2013

'Electric Lady' Janelle Monae On Creating The Unheard

Janelle Monáe's new album, The Electric Lady, features collaborations with Prince, Erykah Badu, Miguel and Esperanza Spalding.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 5:15 pm

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Author Interviews
5:10 pm
Sat September 7, 2013

'Be Mine': Love And Identity Tangled In Tehran

Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 5:33 pm

How far would you go for love? In Sara Farizan's debut novel, a studious 17-year-old girl named Sahar finds herself deeply, head-over-heels in love with her childhood best friend and neighbor — another teenage girl named Nasrin.

Their story takes place in Iran, where homosexuality is illegal, making their love that much more forbidden. When Nasrin is engaged to be married to a man, Sahar is crushed. In order to openly be with Nasrin, Sahar considers gender-reassignment surgery, which is more accepted in Iran than homosexuality.

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The Two-Way
3:55 pm
Sat September 7, 2013

Tokyo Will Host The 2020 Summer Olympics, Beating Out Istanbul

Tokyo will host the 2020 Summer Games, IOC officials said Saturday. In Tokyo, five-time Paralympian Wakako Tsuchida, left, and former Olympic athletes Hiromi Miyake, center, and Yoshiyuki Miyake cheer the news.
Atsushi Tomura Getty Images

Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 5:51 pm

It will be Tokyo, not Istanbul or Madrid, who hosts the 2020 Summer Olympics, the International Olympic Committee and its president, Jacques Rogge, announced in Buenos Aires Saturday. Rival city Madrid was eliminated in the first round of voting. We have updated this post with the latest news.

Update at 4:55 p.m. ET: Voting Tally Detailed

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The U.S. Response To Syria
3:40 pm
Sat September 7, 2013

Syria Puts Obama's Multilateralist Philosophy To The Test

President Obama holds a press conference in St. Petersburg, Russia, on Friday on the sideline of the G-20 summit.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 1:11 am

President Obama has come home from the Group of 20 summit with essentially no more international support for a strike on Syria than when he left the U.S.

He spent the last three days in Sweden and Russia, lobbying U.S. allies on the sidelines and on the public stage, with little movement.

The conflict has presented perhaps the biggest challenge yet to Obama's multilateralist inclinations.

'A Hard Sell'

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The Two-Way
2:49 pm
Sat September 7, 2013

Pope Francis Leads Vigil Calling For Peace In Syrian Crisis

People in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican hold Syrian flags and signs against a possible military strike, after gathering for a vigil in the name of peace convened by Pope Francis Saturday.
Riccardo De Luca AP

Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 5:44 pm

Pope Francis is leading a mass prayer vigil in St. Peter's Square Saturday night, building on his calls to avoid violence in the escalating conflict over Syria. Tens of thousands of people have come to the Vatican on what the pontiff has declared a day of fasting and prayer in the name of peace.

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Around the Nation
2:04 pm
Sat September 7, 2013

Minneapolis Courts Chicago's Same-Sex Couples

Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak took to a Chicago rooftop on Thursday to attract the city's gay and lesbian community to spend their wedding dollars in Minnesota.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 6:34 pm

With the skyline of Chicago behind him, Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak stands on a rooftop plaza in Boystown, the heart of a predominantly gay community.

He's here on a recruiting mission. Minnesota legalized gay marriage just over a month ago, but Illinois' same-sex measure is stalled in its legislature. So now the mayor of Minneapolis is drumming up business for his city — setting his sight on millions of wedding dollars that could come from Illinois.

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The Two-Way
1:36 pm
Sat September 7, 2013

Chobani Issues All-Clear After Yogurt Recall

The Chobani Greek yogurt company says the mold that caused some of its products to bloat or swell is not normally harmful to people. On Thursday, Chobani said, "To be extra cautious, we have moved from a voluntary withdrawal to a voluntary recall."
PR NEWSWIRE

Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 2:18 pm

After concerns over its product led the Chobani Greek yogurt company to issue a voluntary recall of some packages earlier this week, the New York-based foodmaker now says the mold that was identified as the culprit is not dangerous.

"Through extensive testing and expert consultation, we now know that the mold found in the products we voluntarily recalled this week is a species called Mucor circinelloides," the company says. "Mucor circinelloides is not considered a foodborne pathogen."

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The Two-Way
11:52 am
Sat September 7, 2013

Rim Fire Is Third-Largest Wildfire In California's History

A charred tree rests on the forest floor after being sawn down to a stump Friday. Firefighters are still working to contain the Rim Fire, which is now the third-largest wildfire in California's history.
Mike McMillan U.S. Forest Service

Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 1:00 pm

The Rim wildfire that began three weeks ago today is now 80 percent contained, officials say, but it has burned more than a quarter of a million acres, and it may continue to grow, thanks to low humidity and other conditions.

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The Two-Way
10:17 am
Sat September 7, 2013

NASA Lunar Orbiter Solves Snag After Successful Launch

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden speaks before Friday night's launch of the LADEE moon orbiter. The craft has run into a small technical issue, NASA says, which it will fix before it arrives at the moon next month.
Carla Cioffi NASA

Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 1:59 pm

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The Two-Way
9:26 am
Sat September 7, 2013

EU Nations Join To Blame Syria, But Not To Support An Attack

Secretary of State John Kerry urged European Union officials, including foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, left, to support military action in Syria to punish the country for a chemical attack on its citizens.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 1:19 pm

America's most powerful European allies agree that Syria should be held responsible for what the U.S. calls a chemical weapons attack on Syrian citizens on Aug. 21. Despite Secretary of State John Kerry's request to support military strikes, members of the European Union believe diplomacy should be the priority.

NPR's Teri Schultz reports for our Newscast unit:

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