NPR Blogs

The Two-Way
8:52 am
Thu August 30, 2012

Jobless Claims Saw Little Change Last Week; Four-Week Average Is Up

The number of Americans filing first-time claims for unemployment remained flat, last week, the Employment and Training Administration reports. In the week that ended Aug. 25, a seasonally adjusted 374,000 claims were filed, matching the previous week's total, which was revised up.

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The Two-Way
8:00 am
Thu August 30, 2012

After Soaking Gulf Coast, Isaac Is Weakening, Slowly Moving North

Darrell Hill, 11, feeds his sister Floy Dillon, 2, at a flood shelter in a school gym in Kentwood, La., Thursday. Residents fled to the shelter after officials announced that a dam upstream in Mississippi was in danger of bursting.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 30, 2012 10:17 pm

The Latest At 10:01 p.m. ET:

-- Isaac, now a tropical depression, is still drenching parts of Louisiana and Mississippi. Forecasters say it will eventually move into Arkansas and Missouri.

-- Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant has added 14 additional counties and the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians to the federal disaster declaration issued Friday.

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Our Original Post Continues:

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The Salt
3:19 am
Thu August 30, 2012

Subtracting Calories May Not Add Years To Life

A rhesus monkey eats watermelon, provided by zookeepers, at the Kamla Nehru Zoological Gardens in India in May 2012.
Sam Panthaky AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 10:34 am

Scientists have known for decades that lab rats and mice will live far longer than normal if they're fed a super-low-calorie diet, and that's led some people to eat a near-starvation diet in the hopes that it will extend the human life span, too.

But a new study in monkeys suggests they may be disappointed.

The long-awaited results of this study, which started back in 1987, show that rhesus monkeys fed a diet with 30 percent fewer calories than normal did not live unusually long lives.

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Shots - Health Blog
6:18 pm
Wed August 29, 2012

Mysterious New 'Heartland Virus' Discovered In Missouri

Two men from northwestern Missouri became ill after tick bites infected them with a previously unknown virus.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri August 31, 2012 9:42 am

Two Missouri farmers have been infected with a brand-new tick-borne virus that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is calling the Heartland virus.

The men recovered but suffered serious illness that required hospital care and weeks of convalescence. Symptoms included fever, severe fatigue, headache and nausea. Their platelet counts plummeted, but even though platelets are necessary for blood clotting, the men didn't suffer abnormal bleeding.

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The Two-Way
5:47 pm
Wed August 29, 2012

Syrian Rebels Make Do With Hodgepodge Of Weapons

The Syrian rebels have no one source for their weapons and have had to scrape together their arsenal in various ways. Here, Abdel Hakim Yassin, a rebel commander in northern Syria, inspects a Yugoslav illumination mortar round that was brought to him by an Iraqi arms dealer.
Bryan Denton for The New York Times

Originally published on Wed August 29, 2012 6:06 pm

Syria's rebels have been begging sympathetic governments for months to send them weapons in their battle against Syrian President Bashar Assad.

However, such help appears minimal at best, and the rebels have had to rely heavily on what they capture during battles, what they smuggle in from abroad or what they can make themselves.

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The Salt
4:04 pm
Wed August 29, 2012

Unraveling The Mystery Of A Grandmother's Lost Ravioli Recipe

Italian food expert Julia della Croce suggested Benner try a Tuscan sheep's cheese, or pecorino Toscano, for the filling.
Courtesy of Celina della Croce

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 5:11 pm

NPR listener Alice Benner says her Italian grandmother made ravioli that was "indescribably delicious."

Benner told us that she's tried to re-create the recipe many times. "The dough — the consistency — is totally wrong, usually too thick," she writes.

Benner's grandmother used Romano cheese in the filling — probably from an Italian deli in Chicago — but Benner says when she makes the ravioli, "the Romano cheese I've used never has the same punch. I've all but given up trying to make them."

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The Two-Way
3:08 pm
Wed August 29, 2012

With Photo And A Joke, Neil Bush Becomes Internet Sensation In China

Neil Bush in a picture he posted on Weibo.
Weibo

Originally published on Wed August 29, 2012 3:29 pm

China's latest online sensation is a Bush, but perhaps surprisingly, it's neither the 41st or the 43rd President of the US. In fact, Neil Bush, the younger brother of 43 and the son of 41 has become an online sensation in China after posting a joke photo on China's version of twitter.

Neil Bush was virtually unknown in China a week ago, despite being co-chairman of Beijing-based real estate company, CIIC.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:00 pm
Wed August 29, 2012

With West Nile On The Rise, We Answer Your Questions

A Beechcraft airplane sprays insecticide over Dallas early Monday morning to curb the spread of West Nile virus.
LM Otero AP

Originally published on Fri August 31, 2012 9:45 am

This year is on track to be the worst ever for West Nile virus in the United States. Here are the latest numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • 1,590 reported cases, nearly 500 more than a week ago for a rise of 44 percent.
  • 889 cases, or 56 percent, involve severe neurological disease.
  • 66 deaths, compared to 41 last week.
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The Two-Way
2:43 pm
Wed August 29, 2012

Bank Of America Hasn't Modified Any Mortgages, As It Had Agreed To

Last February, five major banks came to an agreement with the United States government that would provide $26 billion in mortgage relief aid to homeowners.

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The Two-Way
1:34 pm
Wed August 29, 2012

Paralympics Begin In London, Near 'Spiritual Home' Of Games

A team of torchbearers brings the Paralympic flame through Piccadilly Circus as the torch heads across London to the Olympic Stadium. The Paralympic Games' opening ceremony will be held Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. ET.
LOCOG Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 30, 2012 3:23 pm

More than 4,000 athletes from 147 countries will compete in the 2012 Paralympic Games in London, where the opening ceremony is being held today. The games, which conclude on Sept. 9, include 20 sports such as cycling, judo and swimming — three sports that will hold medal events when competition begins in earnest Thursday.

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The Two-Way
12:37 pm
Wed August 29, 2012

VIDEO: Hurricane Isaac As Seen From The International Space Station

Isaac at night.
NASA Earth Observatory

Originally published on Wed August 29, 2012 12:55 pm

For a bit of perspective on just how big Isaac is, NASA has released a video taken from the International Space Station, yesterday.

It shows the tropical cyclone churning slowly, its outer bands stretching for 200 miles:

Update at 12:47 p.m. ET. Isaac At Night:

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Monkey See
12:03 pm
Wed August 29, 2012

Entirely Real Photos: Model Or Headless Disney Mascot?

A model walks down the runway during the Maria Sofia Bahlner S/S 2013 Fashion Show from the Swedish School of Textiles during the Mercedes-Benz Stockholm Fashion Week.
Andreas Rentz Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 29, 2012 12:49 pm

This is a model walking during a Maria Sofia Bahlner fashion show from what I am told is the "Swedish School Of Textiles," during Mercedes-Benz Stockholm Fashion Week.

This is undoubtedly an example of avant-garde design, fashion as art, exploration of textile possibilities ... I have no doubt, it is artistically driven.

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Monkey See
11:18 am
Wed August 29, 2012

The Eternal Leonard Maltin: The Movie Guide That Gives And Gives

Seen here in 2010, film critic Leonard Maltin has been dishing out his reviews in capsule form since 1969.
Frazer Harrison Getty Images for AFI

Originally published on Wed August 29, 2012 5:00 pm

When I was a kid, I awaited the annual publication of Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide with the awe and dread of a Parent/Teacher interview. Sure, film criticism is a subjective thing, but to my young eyes, the 16,000+ capsule reviews in Maltin's yearly reference book carried the weight of absolute truth. Each year, with the austerity of a poet and the precision of a diamond-cutter, Maltin and his army of cowriters pass swift, one-to-ten-paragraph judgment on hundreds of new films, and a small part of me will always believe the Guide is blessed with objectivity.

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
11:15 am
Wed August 29, 2012

Dreams Of Travel To The Moon, And Beyond

Neil Armstrong stands next to his X-15 rocket plane at Edwards Air Force Base in California.
NASA

The recent passing of Neil Armstrong brings back vivid memories of being huddled with my cousins in front of a large b&w TV on July 20, 1969, incredulous eyes popping out of our heads.

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The Two-Way
10:25 am
Wed August 29, 2012

Bashar Assad: Syrian Conflict Cleanses The Nation

Screen grab from Syrian President Bashar Assad's televised interview.
Telegraph

Syrian president Bashar Assad made one of his rare, pre-recorded appearances on Syrian television today, proving that he is not dead and retains control of the Syrian government. He shows up in a carefully produced setting in the president's palace while orchestral music (not unlike Pirates of the Caribbean) swells behind him.

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