NPR Blogs

The Salt
4:04 pm
Mon August 12, 2013

Three Ways Cooking Has Changed Over The Last 300 Years

Maids at work in a large kitchen, circa 1890.
W. and D. Downey Getty Images

Originally published on Mon August 12, 2013 4:56 pm

Cooking with calf's head and cow heel may not sound like the most palatable way to spend an afternoon, but it's all in a day's work for librarian Judith Finnamore of London's Westminster Archive Centre.

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The Two-Way
3:34 pm
Mon August 12, 2013

'Ocean's 16' Powerball Winners Claim Share Of Jackpot

The winners of the Aug. 7 Powerball jackpot pose with a check for their share of the $448 million grand prize.
Sam Fromkin New Jersey Lottery

Originally published on Mon August 12, 2013 4:19 pm

The 16 women and men who won more than $86 million in last week's Powerball drawing validated their ticket and posed with a gigantic check Monday. The group, which calls itself "Ocean's 16," famously worked at the Ocean County Vehicle Maintenance Department the day after they learned they would become millionaires.

"Lottery officials say each will get about $3.8 million after taxes," the AP reports.

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Shots - Health News
3:33 pm
Mon August 12, 2013

Brains Of Dying Rats Yield Clues About Near-Death Experiences

Could the images common in accounts of near-death experiences be explained by a rush of electrical activity in the brain?
Odina iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue August 13, 2013 7:57 am

A burst of brain activity just after the heart stops may be the cause of so-called near-death experiences, scientists say.

The insight comes from research involving nine lab rats whose brains were analyzed as they were being euthanized. Researchers discovered what appears to be a momentary increase in electrical activity in the brain associated with consciousness.

Although the experiment relied on animals, the results could apply to humans, too, the researchers say.

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The Two-Way
2:06 pm
Mon August 12, 2013

James 'Whitey' Bulger Guilty Of Murder, Racketeering

A courtroom sketch of James "Whitey" Bulger (left) and defense attorney J.W. Carney, Jr.
Margaret Small AP

Originally published on Mon August 12, 2013 4:38 pm

James 'Whitey' Bulger, the notorious Boston gangster who spent 16 years on the lam before being captured in June of 2011, was found guilty of multiple murders and racketeering by a federal jury in Boston on Monday.

Facing 32 charges, Bulger was convicted on most of them, including 11 murders that date back to the '70s and multiple counts of extortion and money laundering.

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The Two-Way
1:51 pm
Mon August 12, 2013

Iconic Butter Cow In Iowa Doused With Red Paint

This photo provided by Iowans for Animal Liberation shows the 2013 butter cow at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, Iowa. Authorities confirmed Monday that people had gained access to the display, poured red paint over the butter sculpture and scrawled, "Freedom for all," on a display window.
Uncredited AP

Originally published on Mon August 12, 2013 2:43 pm

The iconic butter cow, sculpted meticulously every year at the Iowa State Fair, was doused with red paint early Sunday. Vandals also used the paint to scrawl "Freedom For All" on its glass enclosure.

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The Salt
1:32 pm
Mon August 12, 2013

Sandwich Monday: The Jim Shoe

Behold.
NPR

Originally published on Mon August 12, 2013 2:20 pm

The Chicago sandwich containing gyro meat, roast beef and corned beef goes by many names. This is one of many ways in which it's like the devil, and Sean Combs. People call it the Gym Shoe, the Jim Shoe or the Jim Shoo.

Ian: With a name this unappetizing, the sandwich had no choice but to be so delicious no one would mess with it. It's like A Boy Named Shoe.

Blythe: I thought I'd need my Reebok Stomach Pumps for this.

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The Two-Way
12:58 pm
Mon August 12, 2013

London Puts Stop To Sidewalk Bins That Track Cellphones

A promotional image from Renew shows one of its recycling/advertising kiosks in London. City officials asked the company to stop recording data about the phones of passing pedestrians.
Renew

Originally published on Mon August 12, 2013 1:37 pm

The city of London has ordered a company to cease tracking the cellphones of pedestrians who pass its recycling bins, which also double as kiosks showing video advertisements. The bins logged data about any Wi-Fi-enabled device that passed within range.

The company, called Renew, recently added the tracking technology to about a dozen of the 100 bins it had installed before London hosted the 2012 Summer Olympics.

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The Two-Way
12:48 pm
Mon August 12, 2013

'Suppository' Gaffe Makes Politician The Butt Of Jokes

Australian Opposition Leader Tony Abbott.
Pool Getty Images

Originally published on Mon August 12, 2013 5:45 pm

(Click here to avoid sophomoric humor.)

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The Two-Way
12:20 pm
Mon August 12, 2013

Judge Rules NYPD's Stop-And-Frisk Tactics Violate Rights

New York Police Department officers monitor a march against stop-and-frisk tactics used by police on Feb. 23 in New York City.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Mon August 12, 2013 1:15 pm

A New York Police Department procedure known as stop-and-frisk violates the civil rights of minorities and should be overseen by an independent monitor, a federal court judge ruled Monday.

The New York Times explains:

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Shots - Health News
12:15 pm
Mon August 12, 2013

In Rural Uganda, Homemade Bikes Make The Best Ambulances

Bike ambulance driver Grace Kakyo transports a patient in northern Uganda.
Photo courtesy CA Bikes

Originally published on Tue August 13, 2013 7:56 am

When Chris Ategeka was 9, his younger brother died while Ategeka was helping to carry him to the nearest hospital — 10 miles from their village in Fort Portal, Uganda.

There was no quicker way to get his sick brother, who was coughing and had a bloody stool, to medical care. "I did not understand the concept of lack of mobility being the biggest factor until it got later in life. I realized how that could have helped so much," he tells Shots.

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Krulwich Wonders...
12:00 pm
Mon August 12, 2013

This Pulsing Earth

John Nelson IDV Solutions

It's breathing, he thought. "All of a sudden I see a thing with a heartbeat."

John Nelson is a designer, well known for tracing complex weather patterns or cultural information on maps, so considering what he usually does, this was easy. NASA's Visible Earth team publishes pictures of our planet every month of the year, so John thought, why not stitch them together, and see what the seasons look like from outer space?

So he stitched, and then looked.

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The Two-Way
11:32 am
Mon August 12, 2013

After Much Hype, Elon Musk Unveils His High-Speed 'Hyperloop'

Elon Musk's "Hyperloop" vehicle.
Elon Musk

Originally published on Mon August 12, 2013 6:03 pm

Update at 4:45 p.m. ET. Introducing Hyperloop:

Bloomberg scored the big scoop and got Elon Musk — the founder of Tesla, SpaceX and Paypal — to explain his vision for a high-speed mass transit vehicle that could deliver you from Los Angeles to San Francisco in an astonishing 30 minutes. Musk explained that the Hyperloop pods would leave every 30 seconds and would run inside "low pressure" tubes. Bloomberg continues:

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The Two-Way
10:58 am
Mon August 12, 2013

Judge Orders Baby's Name Changed From 'Messiah'

Originally published on Mon August 12, 2013 11:47 am

A Tennessee judge ordered a baby's name changed from Messiah to Martin last week, after the boy's parents went to court to fight over their son's last name. The boy's mother, Jaleesa Martin, says she was shocked by the decision and that she'll appeal the judge's order to rename her baby Martin DeShawn McCullough.

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
10:35 am
Mon August 12, 2013

Is There Existential Meaning Beyond Religion?

A man reaches for a wooden cross in the sea during an Epiphany ceremony in the Greek port of Thessaloniki on January 6, 2011.
Sakis Mitrolidis AFP/Getty Images

Religious beliefs are often (though not always) comforting. The idea of an afterlife can be attractive. Ideas like fate and destiny — or simply things happen for a reason — can make it easier to cope with difficult situations. It's nice to think that humans have a purpose, that we were put here for some reason, that the natural world is meaningful.

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The Two-Way
10:23 am
Mon August 12, 2013

Rodeo Clown In Obama Mask Sparks Outrage, Apologies

A photo taken of the clown who wore a mask resembling President Obama during a rodeo at the Missouri State Fair on Saturday.
Jameson Hsieh AP

Originally published on Mon August 12, 2013 11:42 am

"It was feeling like some kind of Klan rally."

That's the reaction of spectator Perry Beam to Saturday's appearance at the Missouri State Fair in Sedalia, Mo., of a rodeo clown wearing a mask meant to look like President Obama and what happened during his performance.

Videos that Beam took show some of the scene and capture some of what the rodeo announcer and another clown were saying. The Kansas City Star has posted two of the clips on its YouTube channel.

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