NPR Blogs

The Salt
4:16 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

Meat Mummies: How Ancient Egyptians Prepared Feasts For Afterlife

Anyone up for meat mummies? Above, a mummified beef rib from the tomb of Tjuiu, an Egyptian noblewoman, and her husband, the powerful courtier Yuya, circa 1386-1349 BC.
Image courtesy of PNAS

Originally published on Wed November 20, 2013 12:25 pm

Meat mummies.

It's a word pairing that is, I dare say, pretty rare. Who among us has heard those two words together? What, indeed, could a "meat mummy" be?

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Shots - Health News
4:12 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

Using Birth Control Pills May Increase Women's Glaucoma Risk

Estrogen affects cells in the eye's retina, which may help explain a possible link between glaucoma and estrogen levels.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed November 20, 2013 11:37 am

Taking birth control pills may increase a woman's risk of eye disease later in life, a study finds, because they may reduce protective levels of estrogen.

Doctors have long known that cells in the eye have estrogen receptors. But in the past few years they've started looking into whether the changes in a woman's estrogen levels as she goes through life could affect her risk of glaucoma.

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The Two-Way
3:35 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

MAVEN Lifts Off On Nearly Half-Billion-Mile Trip To Mars

NASA's MAVEN, short for Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution, with a capital "N" in EvolutioN, atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket, lifts off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, on Monday.
John Raoux AP

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 5:38 pm

NASA's MAVEN explorer blasted off Monday on the first leg of its 440-million-mile journey to Mars, where scientists hope it will answer an ancient question: why the red planet went from warm and wet to cold and dry in a matter of just a billion years.

The robot orbiter, called the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution probe, launched aboard an Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 1:28 p.m. EST. It will take 10 months to reach Mars.

The Associated Press writes:

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The Two-Way
3:33 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

First Fuel Rods Plucked From Tsunami-Damaged Fukushima Plant

Workers remove nuclear fuel rods from a pool at the Unit 4 reactor of the Fukushima Daii-chi nuclear power plant on Monday.
Handout TEPCO

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 6:30 pm

Workers at Japan's Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power station successfully completed the first day of a delicate operation to remove radioactive fuel rods from a reactor damaged in the March 2011 tsunami.

The fuel rods were removed from the Unit 4 reactor, which was offline at the time the tsunami smashed into the plant, overwhelming its backup systems. Although Unit 4 was spared the fate of three other reactors that melted down, a fire in its containment building weakened the structure.

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The Two-Way
1:47 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

Hoops, He Did It Again: Player Has Second 100-Point Game

Have ball, will shoot: Grinnell College's Jack Taylor fires a 3-point shot during Sunday's game against Crossroads College. He scored 109 points — the second time he's topped 100 in a game.
Justin Hayworth AP

Originally published on Fri November 22, 2013 11:49 am

This year Jack Taylor "only" scored 109.

The Grinnell College basketball player, who set an NCAA record a year ago when he scored 138 points in one game, poured in 109 Sunday night during his team's 173-123 win over Crossroads College of Rochester, Minn.

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The Two-Way
1:38 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

VIDEO: An Aerial View Of The Damage In Tacloban

A tanker sits amongst debris on Sunday in Leyte, Philippines.
Dan Kitwood Getty Images

While it's clear that Typhoon Haiyan left unbelievable destruction in its wake, today we're getting a unique view on the landscape that is simply stunning.

CNN flew a drone over Tacloban and the images show complete devastation: homes turned into a mangled mess of wood and concrete. There's not much more to add to the images, so we'll leave you with the video:

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The Salt
1:38 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

Sandwich Monday: IHOP At Home

The only thing missing is that sticky feeling when you accidentally touch the side of your hand to your plate.
NPR

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 3:28 pm

Sure, you want IHOP all the time. But what if you want the "P," without the "I" and the "H"-- at which point the "O" is just kind of hanging there? Fortunately, you can now have food from the International House of Pancakes at home, even if your house is not the slightest bit international. We sampled IHOP's new microwavable Griddle n' Sausage breakfast sandwich.

Eva: Now I have something to eat when I'm drunk at 3 a.m. alone at home.

Miles: After I finished my meal, I left a $4 tip in my microwave.

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The Two-Way
12:44 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

Supreme Court Refuses To Hear Case Challenging NSA Surveillance

Without comment, the Supreme Court declined Monday to hear a case challenging the constitutionality of the National Security Agency's vast collection of telephone and electronic data.

SCOTUSblog reports that this is the first case to reach the U.S. high court since former NSA contractor Edward Snowden began leaking documents that shed light on some of the U.S. government's most secret operations.

SCOTUSblog explains:

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The Salt
11:57 am
Mon November 18, 2013

Coffee Maker Cooking: Brew Up Your Next Dinner

Parallel processing: Couscous cooks in the coffee maker's carafe while broccoli and cauliflower steam in the basket.
Morgan Walker/ NPR

Originally published on Fri November 22, 2013 7:36 pm

A few months ago, we introduced you to the wild world of dishwasher cooking. Poach salmon while cleaning dirty plates? No problem.

But some of you expressed concerns about having your sockeye sit so close to soapy water and the high energy cost of running a dishwasher.

Well, we've stumbled upon another wacky cooking method that may overcome these issues: using your coffee maker.

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The Two-Way
11:33 am
Mon November 18, 2013

After Chaotic Session, Toronto City Council Strips Mayor Ford Of Power

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is surrounded by the media as he waits for an elevator outside his office at Toronto City Hall on November 15.
Geoff Robins AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 5:57 pm

(This post was last updated at 5:52 p.m. ET.)

After a chaotic session that saw Mayor Rob Ford lash out at the public and topple a colleague, the Toronto City Council voted to strip Ford of most of his duties and slashed his budget to 40 percent of what it used to be.

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
10:44 am
Mon November 18, 2013

'Brain Porn' Not So Seductive After All?

If we are seduced by neuroscience, it might not be the pretty pictures that people find so alluring.
Illustration iStockphoto.com

There's something deeply compelling about "seeing" the mind at work with the help of relatively new neuroscientific tools, such as functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), which furnish the images of brain activation that often accompany popular science coverage. Indeed, a well-known 2008 paper by McCabe and Castel reported that people thought articles containing fMRI images of the brain reflected better scientific reasoning than matched articles that did not.

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The Two-Way
10:05 am
Mon November 18, 2013

'Doing What He Loved,' Deep-Sea Diver Dies After Record Bid

Nicholas Mevoli in a video, posted in in August. He talked of his love for freediving. On Sunday, Mevoli died after trying to set an American record.
YouTube.com

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 12:32 pm

Without the aid of an air tank and without fins on his feet, Nicholas Mevoli dove more than 220 feet beneath the surface off the Bahamas on Sunday.

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The Two-Way
9:41 am
Mon November 18, 2013

Chile Election: Bachelet Is Far Ahead But Will Face Runoff

Former Chilean President Michelle Bachelet waves to supporters Sunday following general elections in Santiago, Chile.
Victor R. Caivano AP

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 11:23 am

Michelle Bachelet, the former president of Chile from 2006 to 2010, is well on her way to an encore, winning 46.6 percent of the vote in Sunday's presidential election.

While Bachelet won nearly twice as many votes as her closest rival, she will still face a runoff with her childhood friend Evelyn Matthei.

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Monkey See
9:36 am
Mon November 18, 2013

'The Best Man Holiday' And The Language Of Expectations

Sanaa Lathan and Taye Diggs star in The Best Man Holiday.
Michael Gibson Universal Pictures

The Best Man Holiday, made on an estimated production budget of $17 million, nearly doubled that on its first weekend, bringing in an estimated haul of more than $30.5 million.

As Lucas Shaw wrote yesterday for The Wrap, the film joins 12 Years A Slave, The Butler, and other films from black filmmakers that have somehow surprised people with their success.

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The Two-Way
8:13 am
Mon November 18, 2013

Top Stories: Midwest Tornadoes; Typhoon Relief Aid Lagging

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 11:17 am

Good morning, here are our early stories:

-- Death Toll At 6 After Storms Explode Over Illinois.

-- 11 Days After Typhoon, Parts Of Philippines Yet To Be Helped.

And here are more early headlines:

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