NPR Blogs

Shots - Health News
12:43 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Falling Obesity Rates Among Preschoolers Mark Healthful Trend

This map from the CDC shows decreases (light blue) and increases (gray) in obesity prevalence among low-income, preschool-aged children from 2008-2011.
CDC

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 7:47 am

A fresh analysis from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests the tide may be turning on the childhood obesity front.

After decades of steady increases, 19 states and U.S. territories saw small decreases in their rates of obesity among low-income preschoolers. And another 20 states held steady at current rates.

A CDC map shows several Southern states — including Florida, Georgia and Mississippi — that are part of the downward trend.

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The Two-Way
12:38 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Bezos Can Help 'Post' Disrupt Other Businesses, Editor Says

Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com and soon-to-be owner of The Washington Post, last month in Sun Valley, Idaho.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images
  • From 'Here & Now': 'Washington Post' executive editor Martin Baron on new owner Jeff Bezos

What does Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos bring to The Washington Post, which he just agreed to buy for $250 million?

Here's how the Post's executive editor, Martin Baron, answered that question Tuesday on Here & Now:

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The Two-Way
12:38 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

WATCH: 'Mormon Missionaries' Dominate Pickup Basketball Game

A screen-shot from YouTube of a game of pickup basketball.
YouTube

Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 2:16 pm

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The Two-Way
12:12 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Japan Shows Off Largest Warship In 60 Years

Japan's new warship, the Izumo, draws a crowd for its launch ceremony at the port in Yokohama Tuesday. At 248 meters (814 feet) in length, the flat-topped ship has been called a destroyer, or a helicopter carrier.
Toshifumi Kitamura AFP/Getty Images

It's being called a destroyer, or perhaps a helicopter carrier. But by any name, Japan's new warship, unveiled Tuesday, is the largest it has built since World War II. The ship was shown to the public on the anniversary of the 1945 atomic bombing of Hiroshima, and at a time of escalating tensions with China.

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The Salt
11:46 am
Tue August 6, 2013

The Cotton Candy Grape: A Sweet Spin On Designer Fruit

The Cotton Candy grape looks and smells like a regular green grape. But the taste will evoke memories of the circus.
Courtesy of Spencer Gray

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 1:48 pm

Can't we just leave our fruit alone?

Last year, apple farmers were soaking their fruit in grape flavor to make them more attractive to kids. Now, plant breeders in California have created a grape that tastes like — well, spun sugar and air.

That's right, Salties. Say hello to the Cotton Candy grape.

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The Two-Way
11:39 am
Tue August 6, 2013

Whitey Bulger Trial: Jurors Begin Deliberations

James "Whitey" Bulger, in an image released by the U.S. Marshal's Service in August 2011.
EPA /Landov

After a nearly 9-week trial, jurors now have the case and are beginning to debate the fate of infamous Boston gangster James "Whitey" Bulger.

He's accused of 19 murders and racketeering. The trial featured gripping testimony from several of Bulger's accomplices over the years, who told harrowing tales of what they said had been brutal killings.

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Shots - Health News
11:37 am
Tue August 6, 2013

Obamacare Hurdle: Consumers Flunk Health Insurance 101

You're not the only one who finds health insurance perplexing.
iStockphoto.com

It's hardly news that people are having trouble understanding the nitty-gritty of the Affordable Care Act. Recent polls have detailed the difficulties.

But work by economists at Carnegie Mellon University suggests a big reason for the confusion that's been largely overlooked: The public doesn't understand how health insurance works in the first place.

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Krulwich Wonders...
11:33 am
Tue August 6, 2013

The Subtle Mysteries Of Dinosaur Sex

Robert Krulwich NPR

They dominated our planet for 130 million years. You can't do that without having babies, and to have babies, dinosaurs had to have sex. The mystery is — and this is still very much a mystery — we don't really know how they did it.

The key problems being:

First, dinosaur ladies and dinosaur gentlemen were roughly the same size. No big/little asymmetry as with spiders. With spiders, the little fellow mounts the big lady. There are no body-crushing weight issues.

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The Two-Way
11:09 am
Tue August 6, 2013

FATBERG! 15-Ton 'Lump Of Lard' Removed From London Sewer

That's a lot of fat: A photo showing some of the 15-ton "fatberg" that was clogging up a London sewer system.
Thames Water AP

Set this post aside until after lunch if you have a sensitive stomach.

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The Two-Way
11:03 am
Tue August 6, 2013

George Duke, Legendary Jazz Keyboardist, Dies

George Duke.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 12:42 pm

George Duke, the legendary jazz keyboardist, died on Monday, his publicist tells NPR.

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The Two-Way
10:51 am
Tue August 6, 2013

India Accuses Pakistan Of Killing 5 Soldiers

Supporters of India's main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party protest Tuesday in Allahabad, India, against the deaths of five Indian soldiers. India has accused Pakistani soldiers of firing across the Line of Control in Kashmir; Islamabad denies the charge.
Rajesh Kumar Singh AP

Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 12:35 pm

India has accused Pakistani troops of killing five Indian soldiers after firing across the Line of Control, the de facto border in disputed Kashmir. Pakistan denies any firing from its side, and calls the allegation "baseless."

This latest incident comes amid attempts to renew diplomatic overtures for peace between the two nuclear-armed rivals.

Indian officials say Pakistani soldiers fired into Indian territory overnight, ambushing a patrol of Indian troops.

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The Two-Way
10:01 am
Tue August 6, 2013

George W. Bush Has Heart Procedure; Stent Inserted

Former President George W. Bush at the April dedication of his presidential library in Dallas.
Larry W. Smith EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 3:11 pm

"Former President George W. Bush has successfully undergone a heart procedure after doctors discovered a blockage in an artery," The Associated Press writes.

According to the wire service, "Bush spokesman Freddy Ford says a stent was inserted during a procedure Tuesday at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas. The blockage was discovered Monday during Bush's annual physical at the Cooper Clinic in Dallas, where the nation's 43rd president lives."

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Shots - Health News
9:54 am
Tue August 6, 2013

Smoking Ban Tilts Odds Against Ambulance Calls From Casinos

Feeling lucky? Smoke-filled casinos cloud the health outlook for workers and gamblers alike.
William Thomas Cain Getty Images

Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 4:20 pm

Public health advocates have lobbied hard in recent years to clear restaurants, bars and other workplaces of tobacco smoke, and the winds seem to be at their back.

Already, 36 states and the District of Columbia have enacted some version of an indoor smoking ban to protect the health of workers and patrons, and many local communities in other states have followed suit.

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
9:44 am
Tue August 6, 2013

Is Weak Evidence Better Than No Evidence?

Jonathan Downey iStockphoto.com

In my post last week, I wrote that "weak evidence is still better than no evidence." The statement prompted some thoughtful comments from readers:

I find that weak evidence is often worse than no evidence. (Chris Harlan)

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