NPR Blogs

The Two-Way
5:53 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

Miami Dolphins Suspend Richie Incognito Over Slurs, Threats

Jonathan Martin, seen here during an NFL rookies' camp in 2012, allegedly received threatening texts and voice mails from teammate Richie Incognito that included racial slurs.
Joel Auerbach Getty Images

The Miami Dolphins have suspended a veteran player indefinitely, after he allegedly sent threatening messages that included racial slurs to a younger teammate. The NFL is investigating what is being called a case of hazing and harassment.

Veteran guard Richie Incognito is alleged to have left intimidating messages and texts on the phone of second-year offensive tackle Jonathan Martin, who left the team last week. The Dolphins had not previously provided details to explain Martin's absence.

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The Two-Way
5:31 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

Scientists Estimate 20 Billion Earth-Like Planets In Our Galaxy

An artist's rendition of Kepler-69c, a super-Earth-size planet in the habitable zone of a star like our sun, located about 2,700 light-years from Earth in the constellation Cygnus.
AP

Originally published on Tue November 12, 2013 1:34 pm

A new study suggests there could be far more Earth-like planets orbiting distant stars than once thought, some of which might even harbor life.

A team of astronomers from the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, used the Kepler space telescope to survey 42,000 Sun-like stars looking for a telltale dimming caused by an orbiting planet as it crosses between us and the parent star.

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The Salt
5:13 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

How To Levitate A Sandwich: 'Modernist Cuisine' Spills Photo Secrets

Modernist chefs often like to deconstruct dishes. Why shouldn't food photographers do the same?
Courtesy of the Cooking Lab

Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 11:36 am

Food porn or art? That's for you decide.

But one thing is for certain: The jumbo-sized images in The Photography of Modernist Cuisine are truly awesome.

In one, a ham and cheese sandwich levitates in midair. Then, a Weber grill gets sliced in half lengthwise to expose a pink burger cooking on another page. And blueberries and peas balloon to the size of dinner plates and melons.

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Shots - Health News
5:13 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

Childhood Maltreatment Can Leave Scars In The Brain

Girls are particularly vulnerable to brain changes caused by stress or trauma, researchers say.
Allen Johnson iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue November 5, 2013 12:21 pm

Maltreatment during childhood can lead to long-term changes in brain circuits that process fear, researchers say. This could help explain why children who suffer abuse are much more likely than others to develop problems like anxiety and depression later on.

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Shots - Health News
5:13 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

Oregon's State Exchange May Be Worse Than HealthCare.gov

Matthew Collier, an uninsured entrepreneur, speaks at a rally sponsored by Cover Oregon in Portland, Ore., on Oct. 1.
Don Ryan AP

Originally published on Tue November 5, 2013 9:51 am

As the federal government consumes humble pie over failures in the health insurance exchanges, some states that have set up their own exchanges are also struggling. Oregon has yet to enroll one single person, and it's been reduced to pawing through paper applications to figure out eligibility.

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Shots - Health News
4:29 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

Bariatric Surgery Can Keep Pounds Off For Years

Just knowing that someone is obese doesn't mean they would benefit from bariatric surgery, doctors say.
iStockphoto.com

Weight-loss surgery is becoming increasingly popular because it's the only treatment that pretty much guarantees weight loss.

There is very little evidence on how it will affect people's health over the long haul. But people who had surgery maintained substantial weight loss three years later, according to a study that's trying to figure out if it works.

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The Salt
4:09 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

Why Are Pig Farmers Still Using Growth-Promoting Drugs?

In recent years, pork producers have found ways to keep the animals healthy through improved hygiene.
M. Spencer Green AP

Originally published on Mon November 4, 2013 7:42 pm

It's one of the most controversial practices in agriculture: feeding small amounts of antibiotics to animals in order to make them grow faster.

But what if the drugs don't even work very well?

There's some good evidence that they don't, at least in pigs. They used to deliver a boost in growth, but that effect has disappeared in recent years or declined greatly.

The reason for this is interesting and even paradoxical.

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The Two-Way
3:29 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

Not An Earthquake: Quarry Blast Sparks Tremors In Chicago Suburbs

Originally published on Mon November 4, 2013 4:20 pm

Around lunchtime today, residents in Chicago's western suburbs felt the earth shake. As WLS-TV reported, they assumed it was an earthquake and the United States Geological Survey reported it as a 3.7 magnitude quake.

While rare, earthquakes do happen in this part of the country. This would have been a significant one for the area.

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Shots - Health News
2:45 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

Johnson & Johnson To Pay $2.2 Billion In Marketing Settlement

The schizophrenia drug Risperdal was at the heart of government investigations into improper marketing that stretched back more than a decade.
JB Reed Bloomberg via Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 4, 2013 4:00 pm

Like professional baseball, the drug industry may need to slap asterisks next to some of its standout sales accomplishments.

Johnson & Johnson became the latest drugmaker to reach a costly agreement with the federal government over charges of improper marketing. The widely anticipated settlement, unveiled Monday, covers Natrecor, a drug for congestive heart failure, and antipsychotics Risperdal and Invega.

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The Salt
2:41 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

Sandwich Monday: Pumpkin Spice Eggo Waffles

I tried to spell out "HELP" with syrup in the little squares, but there aren't enough pixels.
NPR

If you sell food, this is the time of year you have no choice but to sell something with pumpkin spice flavoring. This has been especially hard on Taco Bell, which — nationwide — has sold only one Pumpkin Spice Dorito Loco Taco. Today, we try the Pumpkin Spice Eggo Waffle, washed down with the classic Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte.

Eva: In the Fall, never ask a woman if she's pregnant. She might just have Pumpkin Spice Latte Belly.

Peter: I think these are a great fall treat, redolent as they are of death and decay.

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The Two-Way
2:32 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

Johns Hopkins Halts, Reviews Black Lung Program

Johns Hopkins Medicine says it will suspend and review its black lung program, following joint investigative reports last week from the Center for Public Integrity and ABC News that found the program "helped coal companies thwart efforts by ailing mine workers to receive disability benefi

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The Two-Way
1:47 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

Child Care Costs, Already High, Outpace Family Income Gains

Originally published on Mon November 4, 2013 1:55 pm

In 2012, the cost of child care in the U.S. grew up to eight times faster than family income, according to a new study of the average fees paid to child care centers and family child care homes.

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
12:13 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

Let's Talk: Can Comments Advance Science?

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon November 4, 2013 1:42 pm

A little over a week ago The National Center for Biotechnology Information launched PubMed Commons, a platform that allows registered users to comment on published abstracts available through PubMed, a database of more than 23 million citations for biomedical research.

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The Two-Way
11:53 am
Mon November 4, 2013

Kenya Charges Four With Aiding Terrorism In Mall Assault

The first formal charges have been filed in the attack and standoff at a Nairobi mall that left at least 67 people dead. Four men are charged with aiding terrorism.
Ben Curtis AP

Originally published on Mon November 4, 2013 11:55 am

Four men in Nairobi, Kenya, are facing charges that include harboring terrorists who conducted an attack that left at least 67 people dead in September. The formal charges are the first filed over the assault and standoff at Nairobi's Westgate Mall.

One of the men is accused of offering refuge to a gunman after the attack, according to court documents cited in Kenyan media. Authorities say others allowed the attackers to stay at their homes before the attack. At least one of them also faces charges related to false identification documents.

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The Two-Way
11:41 am
Mon November 4, 2013

SAC Agrees To Plead Guilty To Insider Trading

Steven A. Cohen, founder and chairman of SAC Capital Advisors, is interviewed in Las Vegas in 2011.
Steve Marcus Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon November 4, 2013 4:21 pm

Reaching a plea deal with federal prosecutors, the hedge fund firm SAC Capital Advisors has agreed to plead guilty to insider trading, pay a $1.8 billion fine and end its investment advisory business.

Reuters reports:

"U.S. prosecutors on Monday filed a letter describing the deal to the judges in a pair of cases - one criminal, the other a civil forfeiture action - against SAC Capital stemming from a massive insider trading investigation. The judges would have to approve the deal."

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