NPR Blogs

13.7: Cosmos And Culture
9:44 am
Tue February 18, 2014

How To See A Galaxy In Your Toilet Bowl

The spiral galaxy known as NGC 3521 lies in the constellation of Leo, a mere 35 million light-years away. Now go flush and see if you understand the connection between the two.
O. Maliy ESO

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 8:01 pm

Have you ever watched a little kid playing in a sink full of water? It could be the kitchen sink, the bathroom sink or even the tub — it's all the same to kids. The faucet goes on. The faucet goes off. The water fills up, the water drains away. Why is it that every kid everywhere can lose a good hour just watching water slosh around?

The answer is simple.

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The Two-Way
8:59 am
Tue February 18, 2014

Before Northeast Thaws, Thundersnow Will Roll Through

It will melt eventually: People walk past a pile of dirty snow in New York City's Times Square.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 10:54 am

Hang on, you winter-weary folks.

"Temperatures are expected to warm to above average levels for late February from the Central Plains to the East Coast," the National Weather Service says.

But first, "we have to get through one more winter storm," The Weather Channel writes.

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The Two-Way
7:56 am
Tue February 18, 2014

Jimmy Fallon, 'Your Host ... For Now,' Takes Over 'Tonight'

Jimmy Fallon during his debut Monday as host of NBC's The Tonight Show.
Theo Wargo Getty Images for 'The Tonight Show'

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 10:42 am

The new guy's getting pretty good reviews.

Jimmy Fallon took over NBC's The Tonight Show on Monday night, saying he just wants "to do the best I can ... make you laugh and put a smile on your face."

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The Two-Way
7:32 am
Tue February 18, 2014

Book News: J.K. Rowling's Second Crime Novel Coming Out In June

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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The Two-Way
7:03 am
Tue February 18, 2014

Pussy Riot's Nadya And Masha Detained In Sochi, Then Released

Maria Alyokhina (left) and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova of Pussy Riot on stage at Amnesty International's "Bringing Human Rights Home" concert earlier this month in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Jason Szenes EPA/Landov

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 4:38 pm

The two most prominent members of the Russian punk protest band Pussy Riot say they were taken into custody Tuesday by police in Sochi, site of the Winter Olympics. Later in the day, there were reports that the women and other activists who were with them had been released.

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Around the Nation
5:03 am
Tue February 18, 2014

California Toasts 2013's Record Wine Grape Harvest

Chardonnay grapes are picked in the Stelling Vineyard at Far Niente winery Wednesday morning, Aug. 28, 2013 in Oakville, Calif.
Eric Risberg AP

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 3:03 pm

California may be stricken by drought, but this month it's also celebrating a record wine grape harvest for 2013.

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Monkey See
5:57 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

The Beauty Of Spilling Your Sad Teenage Guts

I read Pam Ribon's Notes To Boys: And Other Things I Shouldn't Share In Public in a few sittings, but the longest stretch I consumed where one should ideally read this book: in a bubble bath. The calming atmosphere is good for the anxiety that comes from seeing a woman excavate her teenage brain, the vulnerability builds the empathy it takes to understand how terrified all these boys she was writing to must have felt, and if you get too mortified for her, you can always elect to go down the drain with the bathwater just to escape.

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The Two-Way
3:45 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

Woman Arrested For Not Returning Movie Rented In 2005

Jennifer Lopez back in 2005 when Monster-In-Law was just coming out. An old video of the movie has landed a South Carolina woman in trouble with the law.
Michael Germana Landov

Originally published on Mon February 17, 2014 4:34 pm

The first thing we thought of when we heard this news was the Seinfeld episode known as "The Library" — the one where Jerry's tracked down by Lt. Bookman after 20 years for not returning a copy of Tropic of Cancer.

But this isn't a plot from a TV sitcom. This apparently really did happen last week in Pickens County, S.C.:

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The Two-Way
2:23 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

'I'm The Hijacker!' Says Ethiopian Pilot Of Commandeered Jet

After landing in Geneva on Monday, the pilot who reportedly took over control of the Rome-bound Ethiopian Airlines jet used a rope to climb down from the cockpit. He then went to authorities and asked for asylum.
Richard Juilliart AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 17, 2014 3:16 pm

Details are starting to come out about what it was like Monday when one of the pilots of an Ethiopian Airlines flight reportedly locked himself in the cockpit and flew the jet and its 193 passengers to Geneva, Switzerland, instead of Rome, its intended destination.

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The Two-Way
1:44 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

Penn State Picks New President: Florida State's Eric Barron

Eric Barron, Penn State's next president.
Patrick Mansell PSU.edu

Penn State University, which dismissed its president and its legendary football coach in late 2011 for their roles in dealing with allegations that an assistant coach had been molesting young boys, announced Monday that Florida State University President Eric Barron is leaving the Sunshine State to be PSU's next l

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The Two-Way
12:26 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

Help Arrives, But South African Miners Refuse To Be Rescued

Rescuers tend to a mine worker, in striped top, after he was pulled from an illegal gold mine Sunday in Benoni, outside Johannesburg, South Africa. Many of his colleagues remain below ground for fear of being arrested.
Alexander Joe AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 17, 2014 12:45 pm

After hearing that the 22 men who have made it to safety so far were all arrested, an unknown number of other South Africans are refusing to leave the illegal gold mine where they were briefly trapped over the weekend.

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The Two-Way
11:01 am
Mon February 17, 2014

Pennsylvania Woman Claims To Have Killed At Least 22 People

Miranda Barbour, who has told a newspaper that she's killed at least 22 people.
WNEP.com

Originally published on Mon February 17, 2014 12:29 pm

This is among the day's more disturbing stories:

A 19-year-old woman who's already a suspect in one murder has told a central Pennsylvania newspaper that she's a satanist who has been killing people since she was 13.

Miranda Barbour claims that after her 22nd victim, "I stopped counting."

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The Two-Way
10:08 am
Mon February 17, 2014

Snowden's Leaks About NSA Lead To Awards For 4 Reporters

Edward Snowden, seen during a video interview with The Guardian.
Glenn Greenwald/Laura Poitras EPA/LANDOV

Originally published on Mon February 17, 2014 12:23 pm

The four reporters who broke the first stories about former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden's revelations are among those being honored with 2013 George Polk Awards in Journalism.

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
9:51 am
Mon February 17, 2014

Galileo Lives On

Most historians agree that Galileo's famous experiment atop the Leaning Tower of Pisa never took place. So how did he arrive at and support his alternative to Aristotelian dogma?
Hulton Archive Getty Images

This past weekend marked the 450th anniversary of Galileo's birth. In articles celebrating his contributions to science, Clara Moskowitz at Scientific American wonders what he'd make of contemporary science, while Dan Vergano at National Geographic credits him with nothing short of the invention of "our own modern world."

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