NPR Blogs

The Two-Way
5:58 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Author Isabel Allende Apologizes For Comments About Mystery Novels

Isabel Allende is apologizing for her comments about mystery novels.
Peter Morgan AP

Author Isabel Allende is best known for her works of magical realism such as The House of Spirits, but it was comments she made during an NPR interview about her new book, Ripper, a mystery novel, that angered fans of crime fiction.

Here's what she told NPR's Arun Rath:

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The Salt
5:38 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

When Not In Sochi, Order The Khatchapuri And Eat Like You Are

Traditional foods in Sochi may be Russian, Ukrainian, Georgian or from the surrounding Krasnodar region. This table is set at Mari Vanna restaurant in Washington, D.C.
Meg Vogel NPR

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 7:57 am

We've got more snow here in Washington, D.C., than they have in Sochi, and it's colder. But still it's hard not to dream about being at the Winter Olympics, especially since reports from athletes and spectators say that the food in Sochi is beyond delicious.

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The Two-Way
4:07 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Author Of Book Yanked In India Says Move Has Backfired

Indian activists from the student wing of Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party protest near the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi on May 25, 2010, against Wendy Doniger's The Hindus. Penguin Books, India, said this week that it would withdraw the book and pulp it.
Anindito Mukherjee EPA/Landov

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 8:09 pm

We told you earlier today [Friday] about a University of Chicago professor whose book was withdrawn in India after a Hindu group brought a court challenge against the publisher, Penguin Books, India.

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The Two-Way
3:56 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Feds Clear Banks To Do Business With Budding Pot Industry

A bag of marijuana being prepared for sale sits next to a money jar at BotanaCare in Northglenn, Colorado, in this file photo taken on December 31, 2013.
Rick Wilking Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 4:29 pm

The federal government on Friday issued guidelines for banks seeking to do business with the legal marijuana industry, stopping short of a blanket immunity for them, but strongly indicating that prosecutions for such crimes as money laundering would be unlikely.

NPR's Yuki Noguchi reports that the Department of Justice and Treasury Department on Friday sought to "clarify rules for banks trying to navigate the murky legal waters of the marijuana business. Murky, because pot is legal in a growing number of states, but remains illegal under federal law."

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The Two-Way
3:01 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

WATCH: A Death-Defying Climb To The Top Of Shanghai Tower

Vadim Makhorov and Vitaly Raskalov scale Shanghai Tower.
YouTube

A pair of daredevils, a Russian and a Ukrainian, scales the as-yet-unfinished Shanghai Tower, the world's second-tallest building.

As Russia Today writes:

"Donning army camos, black hoodies and face masks, Vadim Makhorov and Vitaly Raskalov evoke a Black Bloc aesthetic and an even more nonchalant attitude when readying themselves to scrape the sky with their own fingers."

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The Two-Way
1:34 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Even From Space, Near-Record Ice On Great Lakes Is Chilling

They're down there somewhere: The Great Lakes as seen from space on Wednesday. Lake Ontario, which has less ice than the others, is at the lower right. A bit of open water can be seen in Lake Superior, at the upper left.
CoastWatch.glerl.noaa.gov

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 8:45 pm

The satellite photo we posted last month of a partially frozen Lake Michigan sent shivers down our spines.

Then when we heard today that the ice cover on the Great Lakes is approaching a record, we went in search of other such images.

After looking through several dozen, we need some hot cocoa. See if you agree.

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Shots - Health News
1:26 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Here's One More Reason To Play Video Games: Beating Dyslexia

Video games with lots of action might be useful for helping people with dyslexia train the brain's attention system.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 2:38 pm

Most parents prefer that their children pick up a book rather than a game controller. But for kids with dyslexia, action video games may be just what the doctor ordered.

Dyslexia is one of the most common learning disabilities, affecting an estimated 5 to 10 percent of the world's population. Many approaches to help struggling readers focus on words and phonetics, but researchers at Oxford University say dyslexia is more of an attention issue.

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The Two-Way
1:11 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Make It A Grande: Mammoth Tusk Find Likely Seattle's Largest

Plumber apprentice Joe Wells touching what Burke Museum officials believe is the largest, most intact mammoth tusk, ever found in the region.
Uncredited AP

The tusk from a mammoth that lived 16,000 years ago in the Seattle area unearthed earlier this week appears to be the largest, most intact ever found in the region.

It's thought to be from a Columbian mammoth, a subgroup of woolly mammoths, and is considered to be a pretty rare find. Construction workers stumbled on it as they were digging the foundation for an apartment complex in the city's South Lake Union neighborhood.

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The Two-Way
12:46 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Delhi's Crusading Chief Minister Resigns, Slams Main Parties

Arvind Kejriwal addresses his supporters in New Delhi, India, on Friday after announcing his resignation as chief minister of Delhi.
Anindito Mukherjee Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 1:51 pm

He said he represented the common man, and he caused a political earthquake in India when his party's election performance catapulted him to the chief minister's office in Delhi. On Friday — less than two months later — Arvind Kejriwal announced he was resigning after his effort to pass an anti-corruption bill was blocked by lawmakers in the state assembly.

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The Two-Way
11:45 am
Fri February 14, 2014

Report: 'Pattern Of Harassment' Led Dolphins Player To Quit

Then-Miami Dolphins Richie Incognito (left) and Jonathan Martin before Martin's departure.
Bill Feig AP

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 2:41 pm

"Three starters on the Dolphins offensive line — Richie Incognito, John Jerry and Mike Pouncey — engaged in a pattern of harassment directed at not only Jonathan Martin, but also another young Dolphins offensive lineman and an assistant trainer," according to a report released Friday.

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The Salt
11:29 am
Fri February 14, 2014

Sexually Transmitted Food Poisoning? A Fish Toxin Could Be To Blame

Beware of the big guys: Red snappers from tropical waters sometimes accumulate high levels of the toxin that causes ciguatera. Go for the smaller fish to avoid it.
Kamel Adjenef iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 4:33 pm

Twenty-five years ago, two pals went out for a seafood dinner while vacationing in the Bahamas. What could be better than some fresh grouper steaks and a night on the town without the wives?

Um, plenty.

A few hours after dinner, the men started having stomach pains and diarrhea. Their legs began to tingle and burn. And their sense of temperature went haywire: Ice felt hot while fire felt cool.

All the while, their wives were completely fine — until they had sex with their hubbies.

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The Two-Way
10:56 am
Fri February 14, 2014

Shiny And New: World's Largest Solar Plant Opens In California

NRG celebrates the future of solar energy at the grand opening of the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System on Thursday in Nipton, Calif.
Jeff Bottari Invision for NRG

Originally published on Mon February 17, 2014 2:41 pm

The world's largest solar power plant, made up of thousands of mirrors focusing the sun's energy, has officially started operations in the Mojave Desert, just inside southeastern California near the border with Nevada.

The $2.2 billion, 400-megawatt Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, which covers 5 square miles and has three 40-story towers where the light is focused, is a joint project by NRG Energy, Google and BrightSource Energy. The project received a $1.6 billion federal loan guarantee.

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The Two-Way
10:55 am
Fri February 14, 2014

Dozens Hurt In Massive Pileup On Pennsylvania Turnpike

Vehicles are piled up in an accident on Friday in Bensalem, Pa.
Matt Rourke AP

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 4:25 pm

This post was updated at 4:20 p.m. ET.

A chain reaction of crashes involving dozens of cars and tractor-trailers has left at least 30 people hurt and forced the closure of the eastbound lane on the Pennsylvania Turnpike near the town of Bensalem, local news reports.

The lane is now reopened after being closed for much of the day.

Some 100 vehicles were reportedly involved in multiple accidents stemming from an initial 14 or 15-vehicle collision in southern Bucks County at about 8:25 a.m. ET.

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Shots - Health News
10:11 am
Fri February 14, 2014

Working With A Therapist Can Help When Sleeping Pills Don't

About 10 percent of Americans have chronic insomnia.
iStockphoto

About 1 in 10 Americans has chronic insomnia, and many aren't finding relief from pills.

A form of treatment called cognitive behavioral therapy, which doesn't use drugs, works. But it can be hard to find. So proponents of the treatment are trying new ways to get the treatment to troubled nonsleepers.

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Shots - Health News
9:37 am
Fri February 14, 2014

Doctors Court Controversy In Ad For Surgical Robot

This advertisement for the da Vinci surgical robot led former hospital executive Paul Levy to ask the University of Illinois Hospital and Health Sciences System about its role in marketing the high-tech device.
Paul Levy ProPublica

Flipping through The New York Times magazine a few Sundays ago, former hospital executive Paul Levy was taken aback by a full-page ad for the da Vinci surgical robot.

It wasn't that Levy hadn't seen advertising before for the robot, which is used for minimally invasive surgeries. It was that the ad prominently featured a dozen members of the surgery team at the University of Illinois Hospital and Health Sciences System. "We believe in da Vinci surgery because our patients benefit," read the ad's headline.

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