NPR Blogs

The Two-Way
7:20 am
Tue October 8, 2013

Book News: Without A Shortlist, Nobel-Watchers Turn To Bookies

Haruki Murakami is the author of such books as The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Norwegian Wood and Kafka on the Shore.
Elena Seibert Knopf

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 9:30 am

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

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The Two-Way
7:14 am
Tue October 8, 2013

Higgs Boson Researchers Awarded The Nobel Prize In Physics

British theoretical physicist Peter Higgs (left) and Belgian theoretical physicist Francois Englert were awarded the Nobel Prize in physics on Tuesday.
Fabrice Coffrini AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 11:09 am

Peter Higgs and Francois Englert have been jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in physics for their theory of how particles acquire mass, the Swedish committee announced Tuesday.

The prize was given "for the theoretical discovery of a mechanism that contributes to our understanding of the origin of mass of subatomic particles, and which recently was confirmed through the discovery of the predicted fundamental particle, by the ATLAS and CMS experiments at CERN's Large Hadron Collider."

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Research News
4:37 am
Tue October 8, 2013

First Malaria Vaccine Moves A Step Closer To Approval

A health worker administers the malaria vaccine at a clinical trial in Kilifi, Kenya.
Joseph Okanga Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 1:50 pm

A malaria vaccine studied in more than 15,000 African children has been found to reduce the number of cases of disease by 27 to 46 percent.

That's only modest efficacy compared to most accepted vaccines. But this would be the first anti-malarial immunization on the market, and its developers emphasize that it still prevents a lot of cases. Its main sponsor, GlaxoSmithKline, says it's good enough to justify seeking regulatory approval in 2014.

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Shots - Health News
7:02 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Delaying Aging May Have A Bigger Payoff Than Fighting Disease

Gaining a few more years of healthy life would be great for individuals, but expensive for Medicare, researchers say.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 7:24 pm

Curing cancer and eliminating heart disease has been the holy grail of medical research. But there could be even greater benefits if aging itself could be delayed, a study finds.

This is not quite as farfetched as it sounds. While the anti-aging "cures" being marketed these days are largely snake oil, in the laboratory scientists have managed to extend the lives of laboratory animals. And they have a better understanding of the mechanisms of biological aging.

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The Two-Way
6:08 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Former French Leader Sarkozy Is Cleared In Corruption Case

The decision to dismiss charges against former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, seen here in Paris Monday, could clear the way for him to return to politics.
Thomas Samson AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 8:36 pm

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy has been cleared in a scandal over the finances of his 2007 presidential campaign. The examining magistrates' decision to dismiss the case may clear the way for a return to politics for Sarkozy.

"I am delighted about this decision, which I expected," said Sarkozy's lawyer, Thierry Herzog, after the announcement, the AP reports. The news agency adds, "After leaving a private meeting on Monday at the main Paris mosque, Sarkozy nodded to cameras but did not speak to journalists."

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The Two-Way
4:49 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Malala Yousafzai: 'I Believe In Peace; I Believe In Mercy'

Malala Yousafzai, the 16-year-old Pakistani advocate for girls education who was shot in the head by the Taliban, attends a conversation with the United Nations Secretary General Ban-ki Moon and other youth delegates.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 4:53 pm

It's been a year since Taliban militants shot Malala Yousafzai in the head for her campaign promoting the right of girls to go to school.

It was a heartbreaking case that captured the globe and luckily — and against the odds — the 16-year-old has made a full recovery that culminated in a stunning speech at the United Nations in July.

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The Two-Way
4:16 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Argentina's Kirchner To Have Surgery For Brain Hematoma

Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner will undergo surgery to relieve a hematoma on her brain Tuesday. She is seen here last month, at the U.N. General Assembly.
Stan Honda AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 5:07 pm

Days after doctors said Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner must take a month off from work to recover from a brain hematoma, reports now indicate that she'll undergo surgery to relieve the condition Tuesday.

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The Two-Way
3:16 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

China Cautions U.S. Over Debt Ceiling Fight

Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 5:56 pm

China — which holds nearly $1.3 trillion in U.S. securities (pdf) — is asking the U.S. to get its finances in order and not allow a political stalemate to cause the country to default on its obligations for the first time in history.

The United States is expected to run out of money by Oct. 17, so the Treasury needs Congress to extend its credit limit before then. As has happened before, the House and Senate are at odds and the prospects of a compromise look shaky.

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The Two-Way
1:57 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Fan's Video Captures Scary Scene Of Franchitti's IndyCar Crash

A safety team works to remove Dario Franchitti from his car after a high-speed crash at the IndyCar Grand Prix of Houston Sunday. The driver was hospitalized with a fractured spine and other injuries.
Juan DeLeon AP

Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 2:27 pm

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The Two-Way
1:51 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Justice Scalia Talks Satan, 'Seinfeld' And Gays

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia speaks during an event at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 4:02 pm

It's the first Monday in October, which means the Supreme Court is back in business after its long summer break.

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The Two-Way
1:43 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Taliban Vows To Try Again To Kill Pakistani Teen

Malala Yousafzai speaks after receiving the leadership in civil society award at the annual Clinton Global Initiative award ceremony in New York last month.
Ramin Talaie Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 2:48 pm

Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenager who spent months recovering after being shot in the head by the Taliban for championing the right of girls to education, says the way forward is to talk to the militants who attacked her.

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The Salt
1:43 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Sandwich Monday: The Limited Edition Candy Corn Oreo

Signed, sealed, delivered, it's gross.
NPR

Nabisco has released a special edition of its classic sandwich cookie, just in time for Halloween: Oreos with candy corn filling. This beats the July 4 special, the Oreo filled with a live M-80.

Eva: I didn't even know candy corn and Oreos were dating ... now they have a kid?!

Robert: When I eat regular Oreos, I want a glass of milk. When I eat these, I want a glass of poison.

(Weirdly, the filling lacks the waxy quality of candy corn, which Robert says is because it doesn't have any quality at all.)

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
11:59 am
Mon October 7, 2013

Fear Not The Voracious Vegan

You'll know you've gotten somewhere on the long and winding road to veganism when the greenery you see along the way starts to look seductively delicious.
iStockphoto.com

I blame it on the collard greens. While we're pointing fingers, I blame it on a recipe for black-eyed pea collard rolls. Don't get me wrong, the rolls were delicious. But the recipe led to the purchase of a small tub's worth of collard greens, initiating a week of giant leaves: steamed, sliced, diced, wrapped, and rolled. It was towards the end of that week that I spotted the Darmera peltata growing on the side of the road.

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The Two-Way
11:18 am
Mon October 7, 2013

MIT Scientists Develop New Breed Of Self-Assembling Robots

M-Block cube robots rest on a work table in the Distributed Robotics Lab in CSAIL at MIT in Cambridge, Mass. The robots are 50mm cubes that can reconfigure themselves into various arrangements using self-propulsion and magnets.
M. Scott Brauer MIT

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 9:49 am

They're called M-Blocks and the tiny, cubical robots that can spin, flip and jump their way into new configurations are the brainchild of scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

According to MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), M-Blocks:

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Monkey See
10:15 am
Mon October 7, 2013

A Hint That J.D. Salinger Kept Writing, From A Story He Didn't Write

J.D. Salinger shown in September 1961.
AP

With J.D. Salinger in the news three years after his death (and the new documentary and biography must have that obsessively private author spinning in his grave), I'm reminded of my conversations in the 1970s about Salinger with the editor of The New Yorker, William Shawn.

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