NPR Blogs

Monkey See
10:44 am
Mon January 6, 2014

The Unreal 'Her'

The screen is the announcement of a message from Samantha in Spike Jonze's Her.
Warner Brothers Pictures

There is something prickly and provocative about the back story of Spike Jonze's Her, a futuristic drama in which a man named Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix) falls in love, as it were, with his artificially intelligent operating system.

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The Two-Way
10:10 am
Mon January 6, 2014

Was Luck's TD The Most Amazing Moment Of A Wild NFL Weekend?

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck dives over the goal line in the fourth quarter of his team's 45-44 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs.
David Eulitt MCT/Landov

Originally published on Mon January 6, 2014 12:50 pm

It's hard to imagine a much more dramatic weekend of NFL playoff games.

There was the big comeback by the Indianapolis Colts, who had fallen 28 points behind the Kansas City Chiefs.

Indy bounced back to win a 45-44 thriller.

The game included arguably the most amazing play of the weekend: Colts quarterback Andrew Luck's touchdown late in the fourth quarter when he picked up a ball that had bounced off a teammate's shoulder. Luck dove toward the end zone and managed to just stretch across the goal line.

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Monkey See
9:11 am
Mon January 6, 2014

Morning Shots: Fiction, Tweet Advertising, And Marvel Envy

iStockphoto.com

I have a few quibbles with this lengthy profile/evaluation of Jennifer Weiner in The New Yorker, particularly in that it makes the common error of describing her argument as primarily about why her own books are not considered literary fiction, when in fact a major part of her argument is that commercial/genre fiction market

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The Two-Way
9:00 am
Mon January 6, 2014

German Chancellor Merkel Fractures Hip In Skiing Accident

German Chancellor Angela Merkel after the recording of her annual New Year's speech at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, on Dec. 30.
David Gannon AP

Originally published on Mon January 6, 2014 10:00 am

German Chancellor Angela Merkel fractured a hip during a cross-country skiing accident in the Swiss Alps, her spokesman, Steffen Seibert, said on Monday.

He says the injury will confine the German leader to a bed for about three weeks, so Merkel has cancelled some meetings.

From Berlin, NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson sent this report for our Newscast unit:

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The Two-Way
7:24 am
Mon January 6, 2014

Book News: Steve Jobs Biographer Asks Internet To Help Edit New Book

Walter Isaacson speaks during the April 2013 Creativity Conference at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.
Kris Connor Getty Images

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

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The Salt
3:06 am
Mon January 6, 2014

Amazon Locavore: Meet The Man Putting Brazilian Food On The Map

Brazilian chef Alex Atala, whose restaurant, D.O.M., is ranked among the top 10 in the world, was named one of the most influential people by Time magazine this year.
Cassio Vasconcellos AP

Originally published on Mon January 6, 2014 8:03 am

He was named one of the most influential people by Time magazine this past year.

Now Alex Atala, whose restaurant, D.O.M., is ranked among the top 10 in the world, is putting a new kind of Brazilian food on the map.

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Shots - Health News
3:02 am
Mon January 6, 2014

Dental Coverage Deciphered, And The Latest On Sign-Up Deadlines

Laura Breland gets her teeth cleaned by Denise Lopez-Rodriguez at a community health center in Aurora, Colo., in 2012. Dental coverage is available through the Affordable Care Act.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 4:01 pm

New Year's Day marked the halfway point to sign up for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act for coverage this year.

And after a dismal start, things seem to be going a lot better on the HealthCare.gov website. Federal officials say more than 1 million people enrolled in coverage by the Christmas Eve deadline for coverage that began January 1.

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The Salt
2:32 pm
Sun January 5, 2014

In Sao Paulo, Organic Markets Are Beginning To Take Off

As demand for organic food in Brazil rises, organic produce is getting more affordable.
Paula Moura for NPR

Sao Paulo holds the title of the biggest city in Latin America, with an estimated 22 million people in its metropolitan area. But when it comes to local, organic food, the pickings are pretty slim: The city has just 20 organic farmers' markets.

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The Two-Way
12:54 pm
Sun January 5, 2014

Kerry Appears To Signal Openness To Iran Role In Syria Talks

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaks during a news conference at the David Citadel Hotel in Jerusalem on Sunday.
Brendan Smialowski AP

Originally published on Sun January 5, 2014 3:37 pm

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has opened the door for Iran's participation in peace talks to end Syria's civil war.

The U.S. has long been opposed to an Iranian role in the so-called Geneva II talks later this month, but Kerry's comments in Jerusalem on Sunday may be the first sign that opposition is softening.

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The Two-Way
11:50 am
Sun January 5, 2014

Pope Francis Says He'll Visit Holy Land In May

Pope Francis arrives for the Angelus noon prayer Sunday, during which he announced he would travel to Israel, the West Bank and Jordan on May 24-26. It would be Francis' first visit to the Holy Land.
Alessandra Tarantino AP

Originally published on Sun January 5, 2014 12:21 pm

The pope says he'll visit the Holy Land in May.

Pope Francis made the announcement Sunday while giving his weekly blessing at the Vatican.

"In the climate of joy, typical of this Christmas season, I wish to announce that from 24 to 26 May next, God willing, I will make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land," he said.

The pope is expected to visit Israel, Jordan and the West Bank.

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The Two-Way
11:26 am
Sun January 5, 2014

Israel's Sharon Fights For Life, But Doctors 'Pessimistic'

Former Israel Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has been in a coma since 2006, but his condition is now deteriorating.
Oded Balilty AP

Originally published on Sun January 5, 2014 3:41 pm

The outlook for Ariel Sharon's survival is "pessimistic," but the former Israeli prime minister is "fighting like a lion."

That's according to Dr. Zeev Rotstein, the head of the Chaim Sheba Medical Center near Tel Aviv where Sharon is being treated.

At a news conference this weekend, Rotstein said Sharon's condition was still critical, and that his organs weren't functioning. But, he added, doctors had stabilized the former leader's blood pressure and pulse.

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The Two-Way
10:52 am
Sun January 5, 2014

U.S. Icebreaker On The Way To Rescue Ships Trapped In Antarctic

The U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker Polar Star, seen here in 1999, has been sent to help free Russian ship Akademik Shokalskiy and Chinese icebreaker Xue Long, which are gripped by Antarctic ice.
U.S. Coast Guard Handout Photo Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon January 6, 2014 6:09 am

A U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker is sailing to Antarctica to rescue more than 120 crew members still aboard two ships trapped in the frozen continent. That's after the news that 52 scientists and paying passengers trapped aboard one of those vessels — the Russian ship MV Akademik Shokalskiy — were on their way home.

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The Two-Way
9:58 am
Sun January 5, 2014

At Least 20 Dead In Baghdad Blasts; Fighting In Anbar Continues

An Iraqi riot police officer flashes the V-sign as his unit returns to its headquarters from clashes with al-Qaida fighters in Basra, Iraq's second-largest city, in the restive Anbar Province.
Nabil al-Jurani AP

Originally published on Sun January 5, 2014 4:24 pm

More news Sunday of violence in Iraq: At least 20 people are dead in the capital, Baghdad, following a wave of bombings.

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The Two-Way
9:11 am
Sun January 5, 2014

New York Weighs Easing Limits On Marijuana Use

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is reportedly considering allowing the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes.
Tim Roske AP

Originally published on Sun January 5, 2014 4:03 pm

New York may join a group of states that have loosened restrictions on marijuana: Gov. Andrew Cuomo is reportedly considering allowing the use of the drug for medicinal purposes.

The New York Times first reported the story. Here's more from the paper:

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