NPR Blogs

The Salt
11:03 am
Fri October 25, 2013

Does Bacon Really Make Everything Better? Here's The Math

According to big data, this bacon and avocado sandwich should be a party for your tastebuds.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Sat October 26, 2013 2:53 pm

You'd have to be living under a rock to miss the signs of our cultural obsession with bacon.

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Monkey See
9:22 am
Fri October 25, 2013

Pop Culture Happy Hour: '12 Years' And Rites Of Passage

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On this week's round-table podcast, Glen Weldon and I are joined by the marvelous Gene Demby and Kat Chow of NPR's Code Switch project. We're always happy to see Gene and Kat, who bring their very own brand of thinly veiled, sibling-like hostility, which is something we can fully relate to.

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The Two-Way
9:11 am
Fri October 25, 2013

Nigerian Rebels Reportedly Contact Pirates Who Seized U.S. Crew

A 2008 photo of the offshore supply ship C-Retriever.
Christian Serrano Courtesy of ShipSpotting.com

Originally published on Fri October 25, 2013 11:43 am

Rebels in Nigeria are reportedly in contact with pirates holding two U.S. crewmen seized earlier this week from the offshore supply vessel C-Retriever, The Associated Press reports.

According to the AP, an email reportedly from the rebel group Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta says the men were captured off the coast of the Nigerian town of Brass, but there were no details of demands or a ransom.

Officials have said the captain and an engineer from the U.S.-flagged vessel were seized during an attack in the Gulf of Guinea on Wednesday.

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The Two-Way
7:34 am
Fri October 25, 2013

Norway Says It Can't Destroy Syria's Chemical Weapons

A convoy of United Nations vehicles at the Lebanon-Syria Masnaa border crossing on Oct. 1 as a chemical weapons disarmament team awaited entry into Syria.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 25, 2013 11:41 am

Norway has turned down a U.S. request to take on the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons, saying it lacks the capabilities to carry out the task.

The country's foreign ministry said it had given "serious and thorough consideration" to the U.S. query but that "due to time constraints and external factors, such as capacities, [and] regulatory requirements," Norway would be unable to fulfill the request.

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The Two-Way
7:27 am
Fri October 25, 2013

Book News: Arizona Lifts Ban On 7 Mexican-American Studies Books

Originally published on Fri October 25, 2013 11:18 am

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

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The Two-Way
7:10 am
Fri October 25, 2013

France, Germany Want To Set New Rules For Surveillance

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (right) talks with Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta on the second day of an European Council meeting in Brussels on Friday.
John Thys AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 25, 2013 11:52 am

This post was updated at 10:15 a.m.

A day after reports surfaced that the NSA may have spied on dozens of world leaders, France and Germany are offering to hold talks with the U.S. to establish new rules on surveillance.

"What is at stake is preserving our relations with the United States," French President Francois Hollande said at an EU summit in Brussels, according to The Associated Press.

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Shots - Health News
6:50 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

FDA Seeks To Tighten Controls On Hydrocodone Painkillers

Hydrocodone, sold as Vicodin and other brand names, may face tighter restrictions on prescribing and use.
Toby Talbot AP

The Food and Drug Administration Thursday announced that it wants the federal government to impose tough new restrictions on some of the most widely used prescription painkillers.

The FDA said it planned to recommend that Vicodin and other prescription painkillers containing the powerful opioid hydrocodone be reclassified from a "Schedule III" drug to a "Schedule II" drug, which would impose new restrictions on how they are prescribed and used.

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The Two-Way
6:40 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

Guy On Train Live Tweets Former CIA Chief's On-Background Interview

Ret. Gen. Michael Hayden, right, and Tom Matzzie.
Twitter

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 8:25 pm

You'd think he'd be more careful: The man who was once responsible for the National Security Agency and the Central Intelligence Agency was giving a background interview during a train ride, but he didn't notice that a fellow passenger was live tweeting the highlights.

In truth, we didn't learn any secrets from Ret. Gen. Michael Hayden, but Tom Matzzie, who used to work for the liberal group MoveOn.org, provided a riveting — and funny — account of the ordeal on his Twitter feed.

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The Salt
6:03 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

Almonds For Skinny Snackers? Yes, They Help Curb Your Appetite

The protein, unsaturated fat composition and fiber in almonds all very likely play a role in helping to curb appetites.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat October 26, 2013 2:54 pm

Americans seem to have a love affair with snacking.

As a society, we eat twice as many snacks as we did a generation ago. Women, on average, nosh on upwards of 400 snack calories per day, according to federal survey data. And men consume almost 600 calories a day in between meals.

So, if nibbling is our new pastime, researchers have a suggestion for one satiating snack that seems to help control our appetites: almonds.

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The Two-Way
5:03 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

Twitter Sets Its IPO Price, Valuing Company At Around $11 Billion

In this Nov. 8, 2011, photo, NASA fan David Parmet signs his name on a Twitter logo during a tweetup event for about 50 of NASA's Twitter followers at the Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va.
Brock Vergakis AP

Twitter announced today that it plans on selling 70 million shares at $17 to $20 each, during its initial public offering.

Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal did the math and it means that the company is looking to raise about $1.4 billion and values itself at about $11 billion at the high end. This is the biggest tech IPO since Facebook went public in May of 2012.

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Shots - Health News
4:22 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

Dangerous Fungus Makes A Surprise Appearance In Montana

Histoplasma capsulatum is common in soil in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic. So how did it get a rancher in Montana sick?
CDC

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 6:53 pm

What life-threatening illness can you get from repotting plants, attending a rodeo or going spelunking? If you didn't guess histoplasmosis, you're not alone.

This week's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, chronicle of all things infectious, reports on the surprising appearance of histoplasmosis, a lung infection caused by a fungus, in four people in Montana.

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The Two-Way
4:08 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

Guardian: U.S. Monitored Calls Of 35 Foreign Leaders

German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Markus Schreiber AP

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 6:29 pm

The United States spy agency monitored the phone conversations of 35 world leaders, The Guardian reports today, based on a classified memo given to the paper by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

The paper reports that the NSA encouraged others in the U.S. government to share their contact numbers for world leaders, that way the agency knew whom to target. The Guardian adds:

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Shots - Health News
3:55 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

Slaying 'Little Dragons': Guinea Worm Moves Toward Eradication

Hawah Alhassan, 5, contracted Guinea worm in a village near Tamale, Ghana, in 2007. The country eliminated the parasite in 2011.
Wes Pope MCT/Landov

Originally published on Fri October 25, 2013 2:22 pm

The world has eradicated just one human disease: smallpox. But another illness is getting tantalizingly close to elimination.

No, we're not talking about polio; that virus also has its back against a wall. But a report Thursday puts a parasitic worm ahead of polio in the race to extinction.

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
3:44 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

A Life In Science: From Housewife To Amazon Trailblazer

Aotus lemurinus, a type of owl monkey also referred to as the gray-bellied night monkey, seen here at the Santa Fe Zoo, in Medellin, Colombia.
Raul Arboleda AFP/Getty Images

It all started in 1968 at a pet shop called Fish 'N' Cheeps in New York's Greenwich Village. On the way to a Jimi Hendrix concert, Patricia Wright and her husband dashed into the shop to escape heavy rain. There, a two-pound ball of fur from the Amazon captured their attention. A few weeks and $40 later, this owl monkey became their pet; later on they acquired a female as well.

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